Captain Grid-Iron (1990)
Years ago, when I first got back into Joe collecting and saw this guy listed on the back of a 1991 cardback, I was both intrigued and confused. The idea of a football themed Joe seemed ridiculous, but the card art, even at the size of a postage stamp on the back of another figure’s package, sure did make him look cool. In my years away from Joe, it was obvious that the marketing and design teams were still coming up with interesting, if sometimes strange, ideas.
Unfortunately I couldn’t find the figure on shelves at the time, and there was no internet with which to locate a picture, so it was several years before I actually saw the figure. It didn’t exactly match up with what I had imagined it to be, yet it still held my interest.
The accessory count and its interaction with the figure is staggering for the time. There’s a helmet with visor, two elbow pads, backpack with attachable football grenade, rifle with four attachable missiles and two more football grenades that attach to the legs.
If you thought that the football imagery was taken to an extreme with the figure design, then you shouldn’t watch any of the DIC episodes starring the Captain. Seriously, you’ll want to put your fist through the screen after hearing his incessant cutesy football puns and metaphors. At least Big Lob mixed it up with the sports references.
In the end, it’s one of those “only in GI Joe” figure designs that’s crazy, yet still works. My only wish would have been for a repaint somewhere along the line, in either a subdued military scheme or an all-out Army Black Knights uniform.