Enemy Weapons Officer (Demon Enemy)

Uh, yeah. So as you can see, the 80s weren’t the height of cultural sensitivity in terms of the toy aisle. If you thought Lanard’s Bengala or Tracker Tom were bad in terms of stereotypes, check out the face sculpt on Enemy Weapons Officer.

He hails from National/American Defense, the same also-ran series that brought us Enemy Leader, the infamously S&M garbed answer to Hasbro’s Cobra Commander. Like his compatriot, he assaults the senses with an amazingly ugly face sculpt. I have a hard time seeing a child wanting to play with such an ugly, ugly toy, even if said toy is supposed to be a bad guy. It’s like the sculptor was a nihilist and poured all his hatred for all that is good an innocent about childhood (and humanity in general) into a toy design. Okay, maybe I’m being too harsh, but the toy sports one of the most unattractive action figure visages I’ve ever seen.

I will give the American/National Defense line some credit over a more well produced “me-too” line like Lanard’s CORPS; it put out a clear cut enemy force for the pseudo-Joes to go up against. The antagonists even had their own separate assortment, called The Demon Enemy (and Demon Ranger), compete with an exclusive, and also incredibly ugly cardback. There’s no colorful code name for the figure, which is unfortunate, but the specialty makes me wonder if he’s meant to be a weapons dealer a la Destro. Doubtful, I’m sure, and I’m probably just projecting my own needs for this series to be somewhat meaningful.

This body will look familiar to those who had the Galoob A-Team 3 & 3/4 inch figures, as it was later used to create B.A. Baracus. Its broader shoulders were repurposed for several other figures in the National/American Defense series. It’s an interesting feature for a knock-off line to work with two body types, as well as several different heads. On another positive note, the weapons for this line were generally well done.

There’s a sort of knock-off toy renaissance going on right now in certain circles, in terms of both the appreciation of the slapdash nature of these imitations as well as the outlandishness of some of the concepts. There’s also a custom/art toy movement that has produced some pretty far-out designs, and more than a few interesting mash-ups. A large segment falls along the lines of Masters of the Universe and Star Wars, but I’ve seen a few GI Joe concepts here and there. I find it a much more intriguing outgrowth of toy collecting than the superdeformed or urban vinyl genres, but then again, I’m a weirdo.


  • Why can’t smaller toy companies just come up with their OWN original concepts or gimmicks and let the big boys have their fun?

  • He reminds me of that steriotype who helped Megatron build his giant purple griffin

    I was also going to say he looked a bit like Mr T.
    I have noticed people are starting to make 25th/30th style customs of old CORPS characters and other simmilar lines.

    I was wondering if that mark in the middle of his forehead is meant to be a peice of hair or maybe a crescent moon tattoo?

  • Wow, that guy is so ugly that I want one for my collection! I have a couple of knock-offs but none as painfully awesome as this one. Knock-Offs did serve a purpose as a cheap alternative to families that couldn´t afford the good stuff.

    The smaller toy companies knew that they couldn´t compete with Hasbro but they also knew that by holding a lower production cost they could reach in to the wallets of those less financially privileged.

    Maybe I´m wrong but I don´t really think that Hasbro ever made any Sheik-looking guys? So, what about this figure makes him a GI Joe rip-off except for the fact that he has a similar construction?

  • What good is a helmet for when he’s wearing such a huge turban?

    There’s certainly a knock-off renaissance going on looking at the prices for these figures on Ebay. Most of them fell under my radar during the 80’s. I gotta admit though, that Remco sure went out of their way to give this dude a highly detailed sneer.

    @Skymate: I’m pretty sure it’s a crescent moon tattoo of some sort. The earlier G.I. Joe comics featured several Middle Eastern characters portrayed as enemies, so Remco might have been trying to fill a niche. But they got way too into it going by the finished product.

    @Rob: I’ve never understood why the supedeformed and urban vinyl became so popular, so sign me up for that custom art/toy movement ’cause I know very little about it. It sounds more up my alley.

  • Well, he definitely looks “evil”. Was Cobra-fatigues Rock & Roll a Demon Enemy, too?

  • It’s not a Remco release. THIS IS A FREQUENT MISCONCEPTION. AMERICAN DEFENSE was K-MART’S generic brand name like Toys R Us’s TRUE HEROES. Remco made the later American Defense figures with the swivel arms (which were also issued under other names to other retailers). I challenge anyone to find the REMCO name on these straight arm card packages. After Remco folded, K-Mart used “IMPACT” style 3 3/4″ figures from another producer.

    They all came with a helmet, even if it didn’t fit, and a (sometimes random) weapon. I never had the American Defense “originals”, but later versions available at small retailer places like BILLS and PERRYS, as well as some larger retailers. Those versions had alternate packaging/names like The Masher…so they sort of did have code names. Some also had different colors.

    The funny thing about this figure is he isn’t an 80’s terrorist stereotype, his head seems more like some Arabian Nights caricature.

  • From our vantage point in the “2000-teens” I’m amazed figures like this guy “got through” to production at all! If political correctness didn’t get him pulled from development, design-by-committee would have finished him off. I guess the 80s were fast-and-loose times…like movies from before PG-13 ratings–PG could be kid-friendly OR it could be full of swears and you might see a boob!

  • “Stereotype” quite literally means “solid impression”. 😉

    That said, the turban, nose and amazing sneer on this character seem very reminiscent of a certain French comic-strip anti-hero…


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  • This figure looks like it uses the same body as the A-Team B.A. Baracus figure…

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