Frostbite (1985)

It’s been snowing a lot in my corner of the world over the last two weeks, and I saw it as an opportunity to break out some of the cold weather themed figures that I hadn’t covered yet. I had been finding it difficult to set up photos for them, since some sort of snowy looking ground or background is needed. I still feel a bit bad for taking a shot of Snow Job set up inside a stone castle interior, but what can you do? Maybe I should have sprinkled a bit of baking powder under his skis, like the old catalog photo.

So here’s Frostbite in his natural environment–real snow! His big claim to fame for me, aside from driving the Snow Cat, was the fact that he was a driver figure that included a rifle. And what a rifle it is; the scoped M-16, one of the absolute coolest GI Joe weapons. This weapon found its way into many figures’ hands over the years, especially Stalker, after I had read the Snake Eyes origin comic issues.

I acquired Frostbite and the Snow Cat in one of many childhood trades. Again, I had traded Star Wars toys for it. I think it may have been the Turret and Probot set, ironic considering they were both snow related. On the subject of Star Wars, Frostbite’s grinning face brings to mind the friendly countenances of the vintage Star Wars action figures. Those were such kind looking toys. Anyway, Frostbite really looks like a happy, amiable chap. Maybe he’s smiling because he’s wearing cozy warm mittens.

Looking back at the figure from a historical perspective, I have to wonder if the bearded head sculpt was meant to be a callback to the Adventure Team era. I’ve thought the same thing about the 1982-83 series’ bearded figures as well. To further belabor the AT point, if you remove the missile rack and missile skis from the Snow Cat, it could make for a passable Adventure Team vehicle. It just needs a bright yellow paint job.



  • I didn’t have the Snow Cat as a kid but I did get Frostbite when Hasbro released him as part of a driver mail-in set in the late 80’s. We were living outside of Chicago and our backyard was extensive. Frostbite was the only cold weather Joe I had at the time, so he saw a lot of action. I dug his scoped rifle and head sculpt a lot. He could also pass as Clutch in arctic gear since they were both vehicle drivers. Of course, if you have the Snow Cat, then Iceberg is a must for passenger seat duty.

    I only wish that Frostbite had shown up more in the comics and Sunbow cartoon. His appearances in either media were few and far in between.

  • Well, your wish sort-of came true when the 1988 Tiger Force Tiger Cat was released.

  • Living up in Buffalo NY I have a fondness for the artic troops 🙂 Frostbite is one of the best !

  • I always thought he looked like Non, Zod’s henchman from Superman II.

  • Much better than Iceberg and with the same number of accessories to boot. Iceberg was a disappointment compared to his much more equipped snow trooper brethern (Snow Serpents, Snow Job, Blizzard). Frostbite would have been a better choice. His colors were more suited for the arctic (Iceberg looked a step inbetween arctic troopers and Starduster). And Frostbite looks like he would be friends with Snow Job (part of the elite Bearded Blizzard Battalion? Makes one wonder if all Snow Serpents were bearded beneath their masks).

    The Snow Cat was a great vehicle. It’s too bad the cartoon didn’t get to show the Snow Cat vs. the WOLF in action.

    Given your area’s weather of late, Blizzard would have been an ideal candidate for a profile, especially if he was photographed outside in the blizzard, standing on top of a Dairy Queen Blizzard (oreo chunks in vanilla ice cream would kind of look like rocks through the snow). It would be a Blizzard trifecta!

  • I always liked Frostbite more than Snowjob but Snowjob always gets the credit when it comes to polar troops. By the way its summer where i live and you cant bring bullfrogs to visit. The only Joe suiting my areas weather patterns would be Chuckles.

  • Frostbites sculpt was based on a real person.

  • One of the best drivers. 1985 was a strong year for driver figures, some were as good as carded figures if not better in a few cases. My poor Frostbite had to deal with a broken Snow Cat missile launcher, so he only had 2 skipedoes…later 2 more when the vehicle accessory pack was released.

  • Great figure, iconic vehicle and one of the best rifle in the ARAH (1982-1994) line! Yo-Joe!

  • yojoeicebreakerScott

    Tiger Cat with Tiger Frostbite was my first encounter with Frostbite. That rifle is awesome, it was THE most realistic-to-me rifle I had in my collection at that time. (It also was passed around from figure to figure, Low-lights (’86) and Sci-fi (’86) rifles were the “big guns.”)

    I found a Frostbite (’85) at an antique store, it was so badly sun faded, but I bought it any way. I upgraded him many years later, but more recently have gotten out of the dedicated snow-trooper business, despite the wintery weather that can dominate months out of year here.

    The Snow-Cat has such a potential for variant vehicle designs, it isn’t funny. It would make for a great AT vehicle, as you mentioned.
    Sure, the Tiger Cat was very good, it was my only GIJoe ground vehicle for many years back in the day, but the ski-pedoes and “frosted” canopy never sold me on the desert use. Or any other non-wintery location.
    And as good as TF Frostbite was, a well-used trooper back in the day, the ’85 Frostbite is where it is at for me.

    (He has fingerless mittens on! How many ‘joes have fingerless mittens?)

  • One of my all time favourite figure / vehicle combos – my Mum got it for me in 1987 for Christmas along with the Stinger…was one of my first proper Action Force vehicles too, Hasbro UK released it a few years after its 85 US debut. Still have it with the variation UK Action Force box even though I sold nearly all the rest of my immense ARAH collection a few years back. While I like the T.F. version I didn’t really like seeing Frostbite with red hair and beard, what the hell? Same character, same real name, so why the red?? I also agree, it would make for a cool custom if done as an A.T. vehicle, just swop over the Tiger Force red missiles to contrast the yellow spray job?

    Hmm, perhaps I’ll so that someday myself!

  • Dreadnok: Spirit

    I didn’t have this version of Frostbite, but I’ve gotta say it’s a classic. Very underrated and definitely one of the best cold weather environment figures in the line.

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