The second year of Eco Warriors figures took things into an interesting direction with its Joe team figures. From a squad of three specifically environmentally themed operatives, year two brought the comparatively plain specialties of firefighter and deep water specialist. Both however functioned well within the concept.
As much as I liked Barbecue back in 1985, his specialty seemed a bit out of place in a military unit. As a kid, I wondered if he was just there to put out the fires that Blowtorch started. Hey, it’s a natural thought, right? You just can’t leave large swaths of battlefield in flames after the fighting is over. The firefighter job seems a great fit for the eco themed sub-team, considering that there would be ample opportunities to put out fires (of the notably toxic and dangerous sort). It’s an even better fit for a water squirting toy. Hopefully, the more literal tykes of the day didn’t take to setting miniature oil fires for their Barbecue figure to put out. Maybe the package should have come with a warning, “Don’t start any real fires, kids!”
The mold is probably most famous for being a stand-in for the unavailable Payload mold during the Star Brigade run. It was during that sub-team’s two years of existence that Barbecue’s figure was recolored three times as an astronaut. Then again, his Eco Warriors buddy Ozone got the same treatment. I dig the bright colors on the figure, but the gloppy paint on his chest apparatus has always bugged me.