Zartan (2010)

I wouldn’t have thought that Zartan, of all the old GI Joe designs, could have been made integrated into the modern era’s realistic approach to what was essentially a sci-fi military toyline. A hooded, facepainted master of disguise decked out in half-shirt armor, riding a waterski–how could this design and concept work in the post-movie line?

By putting a nomadic, shaman-like spin on the character, Hasbro really nailed a different new interpretation. I welcome a non-slavish attempt to recreate the old hits, and this figure delivers. The figure really benefits from the modern era’s perfected modular construction. Where the old Zartan’s disguise was a simple mask slipped under the hood, the new version features a swappable head and interchangeable head and jacket.

The falcon is the kind of out of left field concept that somehow works well. It certainly lends even more of a mystical element to this new interpretation of character. The mysticism angle is something that I don’t think has been explored with Zartan before. Could the bird have also been an homage to Raptor, another classic Cobra wierdo?



  • Like this figure so much I bought two! You can imagine it playing well as a seemingly innocent desert stranger/nomad who encounters the Joes and stealthily causes havoc in the ranks.

    The falcon needs a name, but I think Croc Master hogged the best Aussie-ish monikers for his rough-skinned pets!

  • I still need to get two of this figure–one so I can give the alternate head to my ROC Sandstorm.

    The torso is reused from the 25th Anniversary Quick Kick, the head is from the 25th Zartan, the arms were later used for the POC Spirit, and the legs were used for the 2nd POC Duke. The rifle came from the ROC PIT Commando, while the pistol originated from the ROC Desert Duke.

  • This guy is still one of my favorites…I loved the new low-tech look on Zartan and using swappable heads for the disguise was just great (plus, there’s a part of me that just thinks Zartan running around with a head in his big manpurse is amusingly gruesome). My only regret is that I didn’t live in an area with Ross’s. I would’ve loved to have put that Sandstorm head on Sandstorm. I was so hoping that Sandstorm head would look good on the Dusty body (since he was a pretty impressive pegwarmer where I lived), but it just looks way too clean.

    He’s got a really great kit of equipment. I think that pistol is a perfect weapon for Zartan, but since he’s also running around as Sandstorm he’s got a Joe issue combat rifle. Plus the interchangeable vests look great and I really like the way he can store his two blades on his body. I’m kind of surprised that’s never shown up on a version of Storm Shadow. My only real complaint is that I wish the falcon hood stayed on a little better. I still have it, but a few times, that falcon decided to go flying on its own and it took me the better part of a night to find where that little bugger went.

  • New version of Raptor i.m.o.!

    • It should’ve been. The line is too centered on lead characters lately, Cobra especially…you have Cobra Commander, Destro, Storm Shadow (worst offended), Firefly and Zartans.

  • This figure will always be Raptor to me.

    Additionally, note should be made of the amazing sunburn effect painted on the torso.

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