1983 GI Joe Product Catalog – Part 4

The next section in the landmark ’83 catalog is all about battlefield equipment and vehicles. The Joe and Cobra teams’ arsenals expanded in their second year, and the battefield equipment assortment was the first to be spotlighted. The ingenious weapons accessory pack made its first appearance, and though the weapons were recolored, I still got a lot of use out of them. The bigger innovation to me were the battle stands. Now the figures could have a much easier time when trying to stand up on a living room carpet battlefield or a mountain made of a bedroom comforter. The PAC/RATs and Cobra SNAKE armor are in the same photo, and continue the first year’s commitment to providing fun accesories even at small price points.

The class of 1982 GI Joe artillery is joined by the new Whirlwind twin battle gun. This shot of all four artillery pieces is particularly interesting, as it showcases the early weapons together, in all their military green glory. And sorry kids, but none of them made sounds or fired missiles. You just have to imagine that on your own.

Finally, it’s on to the vehicles. For many of us, these were the meat to the action figures’ potatoes. In the armor photo, we see the Wolverine for the first time, along with Cobra’s new HISS tank. Both included new driver figures, but like the detail shots of the HQ, you had to buy the toy itself to get a good look at the full figures.

The last section is a look at the fast attack vehicles, with three mainstays and a couple of new additions. First up, the JUMP shows a brand new repainted version of Grand Slam. This one was an instant favorite with me, as I found there was something very alluring about the look of the silver pads. Maybe it was the sci-fi angle causing the hibernating Star Wars kid in me to come back to the surface. Yet another magical patch of snow appears in this panel, and at a perfect time to showcase the Polar Battle Bear. Like Snow Job, this vehicle was a huge hit with me, particularly during winter. I used to load it up with Joes, regardless of their readyness for the cold weather.

There’s one more piece of the catalog to cover, and it features aircraft, including one of the greatest of all the Real American Hero vehicles. Come back tomorrow for the final fold out, as our visit to the rocky terrain and blue skies of the 1983 catalog comes to a close.


  • All the classic vehicles. I need to get a vintage SNAKE someday…

  • I managed to get both Wild Bill in one of my last big flea market hauls, and I got Steeler a while ago. Now I just need to find a good Dragonfly and MOBAT.

  • Last weekend i picked up the old Revel model kit of the Hawk [ha] missile system. I havnt checked it in comparisson to the 3/4 Joe figures yet but i’m guessing it and the Wolverine started out as repurposed 1:35 model kits

  • I never understood the logic behind the recolored accessory pack gear, but I still bought them anyway! As a kid in ’83 and ’84, I also had the HAL, FLAK, MMS, Whirlwind, MOBAT, VAMP, Polar Battle Bear, and the second JUMP release, mostly because I loved Grand Slam and his silver padded variant. Boy, do I ever wish I had kept that figure!

    Hasbro and Marvel encouraged kids to load up the Battle Bear with any Joe, regardless of adaptability to cold weather. Gung-Ho appears in the commercial, issue #11 of the comic, AND the actual Battle Bear box packaging! He was a highly popular character from the onset and was featured virtually everywhere those first few years.

  • Accessory gear was huge for me, overall I had about 5 different packs back in the day, and those definitely armed the (somewhere between) 12-18 figures I had back in the day.

    I still ended up losing some, as well as putting on some play wear.

    Great page here, a cohesive looking group of toys, a look I always wanted in my collection which went the exact opposite of cohesive looking in the vehicle department, especially.

    Any inside info on whether or not the Wolverine was to be battery-powered initially, like the MOBAT? Or even the HISS, definitely room for batteries between the treads….?

  • If only the Accessory Pack had included originally colored gear like pictured here. I did love the extra guns from the first pack, though, since they were similar enough to the others. But, I couldn’t use the tan packs and helmets on the figs as they were just too much.

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