Cutter (1992 DEF)

My original Cutter figure did most of his on-duty toy time at the helm of the WHALE (naturally). Outside of that vehicle, he commanded the Tactical Battle Platform, which seemed like a natural fit. I didn’t have a USS Flagg as a kid, otherwise I’m sure he would have manned that gargantuan playset in some way. I know, he’s Coast Guard, but kids don’t care much for adhering to military branches. Also, this is GI Joe, right? The military group in which seemingly every main character was qualified to pilot fixed wing aircraft (often without proper headgear, I might add).

Cutter (1992)

I wasn’t too keen on the DEF concept when the subset hit shelves. I stayed mostly within the main-line releases until later in the 90s when I began picking up more and more figures (on the cheap). Although it didn’t float my boat at the time, I find the DEF Battle Flash weapons to be pretty snazzy these days. What can I say, I’m a sucker for translucent plastic and light-up features. Cutter’s is even cooler as it incorporates a grappling hook. Win win win!

Unfortunately, when I broke out this version for pics, I could not find his original rifle. So here, the Shark 9000 Cutter lends his weapon. I think it’s a decent and sensible swap, but also a shame, since the original is quite unique, and I don’t think it’s been recast in other colors. There’s also something very cool and toyetic about a complement of all white weapons. Speaking of weapons, that enormous flashlight could double as a pugel stick. I thought police Mag-lites were big, but holy cow. This thing gives Cutter an extra two foot reach. Roll an extra D6 for melee, Skip.

Cutter (1992)


  • Yeah, this was my Cutter and I still love him to this day. It’s a great figure and while I wasn’t totally sold on DEF as a kid either (so much so I never really got into the more drug-dealer bad guys that came with it), it was hard not to think Cutter was awesome. The vintage gun is great and that giant flashlight is just plain cool.

  • I didnt care who or what my Joe figures were when i was a kid as my parents were poor and i was lucky if i got a figure that wasnt a 99 cent Whipsering Willie. I guess the reason DEF didnt catch on was that the kids may have felt it was too preachy; that and the turtles were in full swing.
    Its a good figure still

  • This figure is nothing short of awesome. It’s true to the Cutter character, but is an upgrade in every way from his ’84 version. I’ve only got one, but he’s a perfect match for the Whale, even though he was released so much later.

    If you’re so inclined, the Funskool version includes the original accessories, but in black. (One of the rare cases where the Funskool weapons are better than the American versions.) The Funskool figure is a bit brighter, but still works well within the confines of the character.

  • Yeah, I was basically out of GI Joe by 1992 and fully into video games and comics then, but I still browsed the aisles. I think why DEF didn’t seem to resonate (besides the fact that it was overpriced for its gimmick) was the sub-group theme seemed to plug into DARE, which grouped DEF toys in with things like educational games (one of the only educational NES games in the 1980s, Donkey Kong Jr. Math, did not sell well at all and as a result, it’s one of Nintendo’s rarest first-party games). As noted above, drug dealers as villains, even if armed with giant cannons, just didn’t resonate as high profile villains, like Cobra. They seemed like small fry. Now, maybe if Mexico had cartels back in the early ’90s making the news with their orgy of violence and disturbing actions as they had from the mid 2000s on, maybe Headman would’ve been seen as a very powerful, dangerous figure, but in the ’80s and ’90s, the prevailing American view of the drug supply line is a complete fog on the top followed by skeevy drug distributors and dealers beneath them. But the villains’ objective just seemed to get people addicted to drugs and protect their markets from disruption, low objectives compared to conquering the world, among other things.

    That said, looking back on the DEF figures, the figures themselves look excellent and seem to be underappreciated. They were subdued in design, bucking the trend towards neon or cartoonish that was beginning to appear in 1992. If these figures came out in, say, 1988 or 1989, would we really have been able to notice? (besides the light-up accessories I mean). Each figure had a different colored translucent accessory and while some got the generic missile launchers, others got unique things, like net launchers, battering rams, and grappling hook launchers.

    It looks like Cutter lost his baseball affiliation between 1985 & 1992. Maybe their World Series appearance in 1986 and the infamous play at first base made him walk away as a fan? LOL.

  • I was 8 years old when these figures came out and I had plenty of 80s joes as me and one of my cousins got all the hand me downs of my two cousins who were 6 and 7 years older. So when these came out I’ll be honest, I loves them! DEF was at my forefront, when I was that age being a cop was 1st in my dreams of future and 2nd was military, funny how my future became reality, but anyway. So the gimmick of drug enforcement was huge and I was all over getting these guys. Even though I already had shockwave the def version was awesome to me and bulletproof was really cool in green and tan camo! Cutter, mutt and junkyard I think I didn’t have either of their first versions due to my cousin getting them so I was pumped and I loved these guys. To be honest I had the v2 an v3 cutter and put v2 legs on v3 top half and made him even betterto a 10 year old then. I know it is hard to appreciate these guys but for a wannabe cop 8 year old they were great! Also headman was a lesser villain but in my joeverse he was running drugs for cobra and they benifttted from his cocaine/ heroin sales. I may be the only one but as a law enforcement professional I would love to have all these guys mint on the card to hang on my office cause that gimmick however lame it seemed to some stuck with me and I truly loved this sub-group and I guess I still do, man I am lame ha.

  • I was 7 in ’93. For my 7th birthday, i got showered with assorted Joe products such as; talking battle commanders, battle copters, battle corps, DEF stuff, a few early ARAH figures which someone had managed to find from somwhere. I didnt care that Muskrat was a DEA agent and had an orange missile launcher strapped to his head.

  • D.E.F. as a “sub team” became a favorite of mine as my collection evolved. I did not get any of these past Cutter originally when these were on the pegs because of the higher price. The larger card plus the lighting spring fired accessories did not pull me in as for a couple to few dollars more I could buy a vehicle (more appealing than a spring fired accessory). Or even two “regular” figures for not much more than the price of one. And it seemed like , back in the day, these “deluxe” D.E.F. figures, or Eco-warriors, or Armortech figures, etc., would not be included in any in-store sales or deals that the “regular” figures might have. (for example, like buy one get one 50% off or a simple 20% off this week deal)

    I bought Cutter, at the deluxe figure price off the pegs back in the day, however, as this is one of my favorite characters, and a new version of a figure that was from my earliest days being able to play with G.I.Joe. Add in that my original Cutter was really worn down from play, needed an upgrade.

    The life jacket is much more appealing on this figure version, too. The white has a nice detail and really makes me think U.S.C.G. in a dress sort of way, not unlike other figures that sported details from their branches or other personalizing things of that nature.

    Plus, you got to love the pipes on Cutter here, and the addition of gloves.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.