Downtown (1989)

Couldn’t this guy have just been Short-Fuse? He certainly has the look and the specialty to be the Joe team’s original mortar soldier. Other ’82 Joes had the redo treatment later in the line. Actually, this did happen when the mold was re released as Short-Fuze in 2004. Regardless of name, it was a welcome addition to have another mortar man in the ranks.

The later Joe figures catch flak for straying farther and farther from drab military style and into the realms of sci-fi. Downtown has a look all his own, and seems to be going the route of a stylized future soldier. The odd helmet is the most striking feature, and appears at first glance like boxing headgear or even something out of the short-lived Laser Tag knock off series Photon. The boots, with what appear to be armored bracers, are unlike normal Joe team footwear, and look like something Zartan would wear.

1989 was a year for large amounts of gear inclusions, and Downtown is no different. His backpack holds six mortar rounds, which unfortunately don’t fit into the mortar. The mortar itself is quite detailed, and more modern looking than the previous version from ’82, with its tripod style legs. The whole concept here is for a highly mobile mortar man, and Downtown fits the bill.


  • Having the original Downtown released as Short-Fuze would have rocked since 1989 saw updates for his fellow founding members Rock & Roll, Stalker, and Snake-Eyes. As it stands, he is a nice figure except for the colors. That blue plastic hasn’t aged well for some reason as seen in the photo. The helmet might have looked more realistic had it been cast in green or olive. Still a cool addition to the ranks, though.

  • I used to think the problem with this figure was the color scheme… but the 04 Night Force colors and the 07 GIJCC Starduster colors didn’t fix it. After those two, I realized its just a bad mold for a member of GIJoe.

  • Not keen on the Night Force set decided Downtown was Short-Fuse, well, not literally, but mold wise. Who was the Arctic set’s “Short Fuse”….Blizzard? Whatever!

    I never liked Downtown’s helmet.

  • Jonah Hardenbrook

    I’m wondering if he wasn’t intended to be Short Fuze, but they opted to go with a new character for trademark/copywrite issues ors something.
    Regardless, I always liked Downtown as a figure and the character, which is kind of a black slate. His mold is unique, the colors, while not traditional military, are not as viscerally assaulting as many of his early nineties counterparts.
    His mortar and backpack with removable shells is a very nice detail!

  • Pingback: Short-Fuze (2004) |

  • He looks cool to me!

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