Zap (1991)

The character of Zap, a bazooka soldier, was one of the Joe team’s original members. The first group of Joes released in 1982, usually referred to as the “original 13,” were made up of simple molds, many of whose parts were shared among the figures. Simple paint schemes set this first group apart from later releases; most were simply a shade of green with a few painted highlights here and there. Because of these differences, the original Joes just don’t mesh well with the style of later years. One of the common wants of collectors over the years has been to see the original group updated to the later style. Snake Eyes got the first update in 1985. Hawk was updated in 1986, mostly due to his promotion to General. Rock N’ Roll was the next in 1989. Zap received an update in 1991.

First off, about his original figure–bazooka soldier? Has that term even been used since World War II? Luckily I think someone got wise to the outdated term and renamed his specialty to Ground Artillery Soldier. The updated look reflects the new designation, as Zap looks less like a common soldier simply carrying a rocket launcher and more like a mobile missile specialist. There’s a lot of detail befitting a guy who spends his time carrying and firing large amounts of heavy ordnance. The armor on his legs looks like it provides protection as well as possibly functioning as a kind of exo suit for added stability when firing off massive weaponry. The shells on his chest leave no doubt that he’s ready to do some damage at a moment’s notice. He’s topped off with a nice removable helmet that fits in without looking too bulky. Like the other figures in the Super Sonic Fighters sub-group, Zap also included a huge flashing light and sound backpack, which is fortunately removable. Overall, this Zap is an excellent update of one of the Joe team’s oldest members, and one of the better designs of the 90’s era.


  • I remember being very pleased upon spotting this version of Zap in the early 90’s. They even added his trademark mustache which was absent in the original version. Zap’s armored look reminds me of Captain Power and the Soldiers of the Future. Easily one of the best updates that any of the original 13 have received to date.

    • It does have a Captain Power look. Speaking of which, the series is supposed to be coming soon to DVD.

    • Barricade is the one that gives me a strong Captain Power vibe. This Zap gives me a kind of retro impression. He kind of looks like he got his armor & bazooka from around a 1940s building- pipes from an old furnace or water system for a bazooka, the chest metal looks like those old heaters that looked like a bunch of bent pipes, leg armor from waffle irons or giant door hinges. He gives the feel like he’s ready to protect a school in a farm town in Podunksville or Anytown, USA from some 1950s B-movie aliens, which I guess could be represented by Lobotomaxx or Carcass. And as others have pointed out, he does look like Clark Gable, which kind of reinforces that 1950s impression (even though he was more active in the 30s/40s).

  • I like this figure. There’s something cool about him. Maybe it’s because he looks like Clark Gable!

  • I’m really looking forward to Captain Power on DVD. Last I heard, they might be releasing it by the end of this year. And Almitra: Yeah, he does look like Gable now that you mentioned it. Hasbro’s sculptors produced some remarkable work on this line.

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