Blowtorch (2003 Built to Rule)

During the 2000s relaunch series, many collectors waited to see the 80s Joe team interpreted in the new style. I admit that while I liked to see the characters’ looks taken in a new direction, I also was curious to see the Joes I remember in a modern interpretation. Of course, we’d have to wait until the 25th line to get that sort of product.

Blowtorch (2003 BTR)Blowtorch is one of the figures in the 2000s Built to Rule series to take at least its color cues from its 80s counterpart. Most of the other BTR figures were either based on the main line of the time or veered off in their own unique direction. This is also a case of the the brick studs melding with the uniform design a bit better. Conceptually, the real-world scaled studs on a miniature figure make sense, if there are enough interesting weapons or gadgets to attached to them. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case, so kids didn’t have much to do with them and collector types just saw the added bits as an annoyance. I remember plenty of custom BTR figures of the time with their arm and leg studs surgically removed. In a way, that’s sad to me.

The figure is also memorable for its inclusion of a removable helmet. It would have been nice to have more backpack and rifle accessories in the line, but the new sculpt line produced its share of weapons that could be used here–or not, since the hands are molded in a U-shape. On the positive side, the hands are not horrifically tiny as their main line counterparts.

The 80s Blowtorch is one of my favorite 80s Joes, and I admit to a soft spot to the character in any format. He’s one of my favorites of the BTR series. I know having a favorite BTR Joe carries about as much critical weight as saying I have a favorite Missouri crabcake, but there you go.

Blowtorch (2003 BTR) Blowtorch (2003 BTR)


  • There wasn’t a lot of the new sculpt era that I really enjoyed. However, the Wave 3 Blowtorch figure was a solid take on the character. The color and overall look was a nice update for an outdated specialty. Had this not been BTR, it would have been a good repaint.

    A local second hand kids store has a ton of boxed BTR items that haven’t sold in 3 years. So, they’re still not overly popular.

  • Dreadnok: Spirit

    Porkchop sandwiches! Oh shit!

  • He’s pretty cool. Face sculpt not bad either.

  • I can’t figure it out: when I had 3 GIJoe vehicles (VAMP, JUMP & FLAK), I used Legos with my Joes all the time. Multicolor didn’t bother me, and I could make a base, helicopter, jet or spaceship. As the line bloomed with any vehicle you can imagine, I stopped mixing Legos & Joes. BTR is a toybox idea that should work, but for some reason doesn’t. I wonder if a “living toys” movie like Toy Story where the GIJoes build their own vehicles to escape the bedroom could’ve helped.

  • I’m still looking for this guy’s helmet.

    I may swap out the arms at some point.

  • James From Miami

    To me, this is the best of the best of the Built To Rule figures. I remember wanting to get this figure so bad, but the vehicle that it came with was like thirty dollars at Walmart. So I just kept waiting for it to go on sale, or discount, at fifty percent, or cheaper than that. But i think I totally forgot about it at some point, and then a while after that I stopped collecting G.I. Joe. And then between Sigma 6, Direct To Consumer, and the 25th Anniversary reboot figures, I wasn’t interested in collecting Joes and Cobras anymore. Anyway, this figure from 2003 is a repainted retooled version of the 2002 normal Joe Blowtorch figure. But I prefer this Built To Rule version because it uses the 1984 version’s colors. I wish that they had also repainted the 2002 version’s backpack and flamethrower in yellow, and included it with this figure. But that’s ok, I’ll just make some yellow customs of those accessories for this figure, when I get one in the near future. It’s just too bad that the 25th Anniversary, and later same style figures, are not of the same scale as these, and the older figures. Anyway, I don’t mind those Lego imitation studs on the arms, and legs of this figure.

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