Defiant in 1987 Toys R Us Ad

The Defiant is one of the great trinity of ultra-mega-huge GI Joe vehicles/playsets alongside the Flagg and Terrordrome. To say the toy is large is an understatement. I had mine displayed in a room for a time, and it is a behemoth. Unfortunately, I stepped on the front section of the crawler and snapped off a corner. Yeah, not good. Anyway, I was out of GI Joe by the time it was in stores, so I don’t have recollection of it as a kid. If an adult thinks this thing is big, imagine what it seemed like to a kid. It’s like the reverse of going back to your old grade school and realizing how small everything is.

On the same page, we get a sample of Transformers with the Technobots, Battle Beasts, as well as two of my miscellaneous 80s faves, Air Raiders and Visionaries. I’d love to cover those two lines in a blog a la JAD. I suppose I can work Visionaries in since their construction is similar to small Joe.


  • Weird thing about Battle Beasts is that I only saw them in store once. I bought a pack of two figures, went back a week or two later to get more, and they weren’t carried anymore.

  • I was out of Joe pretty much at this point but still very into space. I wanted one very badly, I even saw one at our local Walmart the box took up the whole center isle.

  • ”Hasbro got smart, and used the same mold,that they used to create ,The 1987 G.I.Joe Defiant Space Shuttle, to mass-produce the 1989 Crusader Space Shuttle with Avenger Scout Craft.The latter space shuttle was more affordable,and by consumer attitude back in the 1980’s, more popular, since The G.I.Joe Defiant also had the Gantry Launch Crawler, and Space Station , as additions,making the price tag $100,compared to $40, for The G.I.Joe Crusader.”

  • I think Kirk Bozigian worked on Airraiders and Visionaries in addition to G.I.JOE; you could work it into the blog that way.

  • According to the inflation calculator, $119 in 1987 is $264 in 2017 dollars, but the Defiant would certainly be over $300 nowadays. Probably closer to $500. Maybe since it was created in Hasbro’s GIJoe heyday they were able to make HUGE toys more easily? And when I say huge, it’s like having a Volkswagen bug in your toy room that’s made out of tissue paper (the blue gantry doors are very fragile). Interesting that TRU didn’t advertise any other GIJoe stuff on that page.

  • I got Defiant thanks to Night Force being elusive. As I kid I lived in a small rural town and didn’t get to Toys R Us very often. I did in the fall of 1990, with money saved up to buy the Sky Raven and Hurricane. Had never heard of Night Force but saw a bunch at TRU and was floored. I bought the other 2 jets at the neighboring Children’s Palace, expecting Night Force to be around more later like Tiger Force was. No such luck, only found some figures and the Night Storm after that. Years later I find it they were TRU exclusives and had been out for a years before! Anyway, I had been saving up for more Night Force. Then in the Fall of 1991, with no luck on Night Force, instead, in a Children’s Palace found one remaining Defiant, 4 years old then, on clearance for $69.90, and jumped on that.

    Since then I’ve sold Defiant, just soooo big, heavy, unwieldy, and have bought the Terrordrome and most of Night Force (just missing Night Striker, Night Scrambler, and a couple Night Ray pieces).

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