12 Joe A Days of Xmas: Day 6

It’s the sixth day, and sort of relating to six geese a laying is this exclusive six pack, with which Hasbro and Toys R Us laid an egg back in 2005.

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.


  • These really do look like generic Joes to me. Like someone got a hold of old Hasbro molds and decided to make their own.

  • I really wanted to like this set back in the day. I kind of liked the idea of young Joe troopers who are kind of on probation with the team filling in the ranks, but the choices were just so bizarre, I could never really pull the trigger on this set.

  • This looks like really good value to me. You get some custom fodder plus a substitute for Zap and Shortfuse if you’r missing the originals and you get a Baroness and Dialtone rifle too

  • I have the 25A pack with Firefly. Those Greenshirts I like. Breaker’s head is the only one that can hold a helmet though.

  • The heads are just too similar for it to work for me. It’s almost as bad as the Dreadheads.

  • The Greenshirts originated in the Sunbow cartoon as a way of getting around drawing so many different characters for animation cels which featured group shots or battle scenes. The problem with this, as Rob points out, is that the Joes were a team of specialists in individualized fields.

    Watching the cartoon starting with The MASS Device back in ’83, it bugged me to no end seeing these generic guys mixed in with the actual Joe team members. Unlike the comic, it felt like the Joes were openly serving in an army base along with everyone else whereas in the comic, you had the Pit hidden away from the Chaplain’s Assistant school attendees, and later on, it was based underneath the Utah desert. Besides that, the Greenshirts actually had brief speaking roles from time to time when Joes such as Grand Slam and Crankcase didn’t even make the series!

    As a result, these figures do nothing for me. They look more like knock-offs than anything else. Good custom fodder, yeah. But still a faulty concept for all the reasons Rob cited.

  • This is a case where a touch more creativity might have made these (unnecessary) troop builders more desirable. Duke legs were very overused at the time, but I think they’d add something to these guys. Compare to the 2012 DG Duke, who is pretty plain but provides a decent soldier body.

  • Crankcase has a non-speaking appearance in GI JOE THE MOVIE.

    I don’t mind the idea of the nameless joes. In the USA we got the 1994 Action Marine, Soldier, Sailor, pilot and Astronaut as tributes to the generic 60’s team. There was also a touch on the filecards with this set, where you can “right your own character names). Everyone liked Steel Brigade, right? In Europe those figures were “army builder” mail-ins…no special personalized card included.

    It’s the parts where the set flounders. The set bad choice for a head to use on all six figures. They even retooled it to make it 82 style. Why not a new head? The mix of 1982 parts with 1986 Roadblock waist and 1992 Hawk legs looks awkward. The HISS tank torso doesn’t work well, with those Futurama-style shoulder rings.

    The Goatees were stupid, but the era was rife with them to the point it was a joke.

    I give them props for lots of weapons, even if most included were overused by that point. But at least they were better than the Cobra infantry teams gear, which many people just tossed to the side.

  • This set was nothing short of terrible. Aside from the lame colors and mold choices, the construction was pretty bad. This could have been a set with some redeeming value had it been more like a Steel Brigade set instead of a generic army guy set. The fact that this was a major pegwarmer and was clearanced shows there some justice in the collecting world. Such a waste….

  • The “green shirt” angle on this pack was the only real time I ever “incorporated” anything of that idea into my collection.
    With two of these six packs, these figures sort of became a sub team of its own in different ways, such as Sgt. Slaughters “trainee” group, to Col. Guile’s “Street Fighter” team (modeled after Hawk’s early team, naturally…).

    Eventually, the large number of as-is GIJoe character/ figures made this “green shirt” concept too much to me. I had plenty of cool characters, lots of ways to mix and match figures for missions, and eventually, these green figures lost all appeal.

    The weapons were nice to get. The helmets seemed awkward all around. For 2005, in some ways, I think the swivel neck was outdated. For the three-pack figure comic packs, the swivel necks made a lot of sense, really better suited for that theme. Maybe if this “green shirt” pack had taken on that comic pack role, however, with a cartoon angle (dvd inclusion), the retro-theme would have made it more fun on the long term.

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