1992 DEF Toy Fair Catalog Spread
Because you wanted more, here’s another Toy Fair catalog page from the 90s. This time it’s the Drug Elimination Force, a sub-line that I think had some pretty cool figure offerings. Bulletproof and Mutt are faves of mine, and the Headhunters are incredibly nice. The light up weapons are super ginchy too!
”Drug Dealers Beware!-G.I. Joe D. E. F. is on the case , and will bust you up!”
These things are really cool, though I do find it interesting that the Hasbro folks either messed up who got which big missile launcher (Shockwave’s is closest to Mutt and vice versa) or they changed things at a later point after this photo was taken. The diorama settings Hasbro used for these are great and I’m sure had I seen this image as a kid I would have been an even bigger fan of the D.E.F. than I already was. (Seriously, aside from Shockwave’s helmet that always looked a little funky to me, that was a subteam full of winners.)
Cutter looks like he’s about to launch his grappling hook launcher at Bullitproof
Yeah, the aim in some of these dioramas is at Imperial Storm Trooper levels.
I guess they wanted to include it even though the grappling hook launcher is more a tool than a weapon, or is more a weapon to be used on vehicles than people (though it would need some kind of anchor or else the launcher and Cutter if he’s holding it gets dragged behind the car, boat, etc.
Another cool display. It looks like these figures were further in the design process than the Street Fighter figures. Though, that likely makes sense.
The first series DEF figures are excellent figures. There really isn’t a dud in them and I’d go so far as to say that it’s the best Cutter ever and the Shockwave is nearly tied with his original version. The Headhunter was probably the best enemy mold of the 1990’s and doesn’t have the coloring caveats that come with his main competition. Just a solid set all around.
Yeah, the DEF figures are a very sound bunch in design (molds, colors, accessories). Being overpriced for their accessories and having DARE-like branding, making them skirt educational toy territory, were the biggest deterrents. Besides, drug cartel vs. international terrorist organization bent on ruling the world led by a guy in a hood with weapons supplied by a dude in a metal mask? No competition. There isn’t a weak figure in the bunch. All reused Joes fit the sub-team well. Cutter’s figure in the very least rivals his original figure (I think the 1992 DEF Cutter is the best one too).Shockwave looks more geared for the bomb squad than raiding some drug factory, but still cool nonetheless. Headhunters looked badass too. Bulletproof was also a good figure. GI Joe’s most underrated subset.
Headhunters are good but there are at least a few enemy molds from the ’90s that can rival them- Crimson Guard Immortal, Interrogator, Night Creeper v1, Undertow, Night Vulture, Slice v1 (while the Stormtroopers are excellent, Headhunters > HH Stormtroopers in overall look). Sonic Fighter Major Bludd was also one of the few individual Cobras whose ’90s figure was at least a sidegrade if not an upgrade.
Funny they never released Chuckles as part of the DEF. He’s the one guy that was pretty much made for this with his undercover background.