1997 Slugger Box Art

Now here’s something interesting that I hadn’t noticed for years. The Toys R Us Exclusive release of the Slugger from 1997 uses the same image layout as the classic version, yet done in a photographic rather than painterly style.  The conceit is revealed in its driver, Gung Ho, who looks more like an action figure than the usual painted representation of the character. I don’t know why this fact escaped me for years, but now I’m curious to go back and look at the rest of the line.



  • Never noticed that the gun on the back is from the Night Landing and not the Slugger. So much weirdness in the ’97 line. Best laid plans and all that.

  • ”Classic 1984 G.I.Joe Slugger w/Thunder is always the favorite among collectors.”

  • Slugger seemed like an odd choice for 1997. It’s from the popular years, but isn’t that iconic.

    • Mauler was the original choice. But, the mold wasn’t there so it was scrapped. Slugger came up as an emergency replacement. You can find mock up photos of the Mauler. Had it come out, it would have been pretty cool.

      • That’s something I didn’t know…, cool!

        Possibly the new tan coloring choice was based off the original Mauler choice?

        I always thought these ’97/’98 package fronts looked like photoshop/ illustrator intern jobs.

  • This boxart look quite a bit more real than some of its contemporaries, like the ’97 Rage. I’m kinda glad they made a desert Slugger, but the toy is over-stickered. Gung Ho is the weirdest choice for a driver, but he’s not a terrible figure. And I just noticed the Kenner logo on the back!

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