12 Joe A Days of Xmas: Day 6
The “greenshirt” concept in modern GI Joe is something of a mismatch, considering the team’s nature as a group of highly trained specialists. From the beginning of the Real American Hero era, one of the main elements for the figures has been to give them each a distinctive personality and name. Even though the original thirteen team members from 1982 shared quite a few common body parts, each was meant to be a specific person.
The Greenshirt turns that idea on its head, abd provides the GI Joe team with nameless and faceless troops. This is great for filling out a scene in a cartoon or comic, but sort of clashes with what the small Joes have always been about. The generic Joe troopers have more in common with the original 60s Joe than anything else, as he was the everyman soldier in his initial incarnation.
Whatever your opinion on the GI Joe infantry trooper, the idea of a pack of plain green oufitted troopers was an intriguing one. The set could have provided, at the least, an opportunity to revisit the classic 1982-83 molds. That happened to some extent, but the results were, for the most part, a mixed duffel bag.
The Infantry Division used a few of the original 1982-83 parts, including torso and forearms, but substituted other parts like Talking General Hawk’s legs. I missed the more interesting original 1982 legs. Two of the figures, in lieu of the Zap/Short-Fuze torso, use the HISS Driver. Not the best substitution. Then there’s the odd choice of Downtown’s head. All six in fact used the same head. Talk about faceless troops. The only differences among their heads is skin color, hair color and facial hair. It’s the facial hair patterns that get to me. The goatees verge on comical, like the grooming styles of a diabolical silent movie villain. The weapons are all over the map. Although there are a few different specialties in the set according to the file cards, the choices aren’t the greatest, and consist mostly of rifles.
As I’ve said before, despite the lackluster nature of this pack, I find something crazily likeable about the set. Maybe it’s just a bit of nostalgia for the new sculpt era lingering in my mind. When left in the package, the set looks impressive, and serves as a reminder to me of a bygone era, when Joe still had a strong presence at retail.