GI Joe Extreme Cross-Sell
In the interests of equal time, we present another in a series of occasional GI Joe Extreme posts. The series isn’t anyone’s favorite, but it deserves coverage, if only for historical context.
To be honest, there’s a bit of the line that I don’t mind. Some of the vehicles in particular contain interesting features, and the bold design and construction may appeal to you if you’re also a fan of 1990s Kenner output like Predator, Aliens and Terminator. The series’ overall style is big and dumb, but there’s value in such things, I believe. I feel I must qualify that statement by pointing out that I’m also weird.
Extreme died on the vine, but it wasn’t for lack of effort when it came to the dio shots on the back of the packaging. The figures may not appeal, but I can appreciate the presentation. I also have to give credit for peppering in a bit of (then-recent) Joe history with good old Sgt. Savage.
There was a lot going against Extreme, gone was anything resembling gijoe, or cobra. It was only joe in name. Kenner/Hasbro merged and joe was obliterated for star wars. These were hasbro and kenners answer to toy biz and McFarlane toys…and it was an absolute failure. Half the weapons were reused for kenners animated batman toyline. What is even more insulting is the horrible animated series we were subjected to.
They feel very much like a 90s Kenner line. Not my Joe but Kenner made good stuff even then. Hope they made some kids happy after they went to the Kay Bee discount bins. BTW thank you for including all versions of GI Joe on your site.
I just got a hold of all of those figures on ebay for real cheap. They’re kinda great for backyard fodder. I actually really like the Freight & Sgt. Savage figures a good deal.
Extreme lingered on close-out at stores like Big Lots for awhile, still around when TRU’s 1997 Joes were released.
Conceptually, it was dumb to release only 2 different villains figures in the first wave. 2 versions of Iron Klaw, maybe, but three? And 2 Infernos? There was no SKAR army builder, not even one planned it seems. The line seems like a squad of Army thugs taking on 2 villains. Would’ve been 4 villains if all of series 2 were made.
The mulitple versions of good and bad guys in series 1 was strange as there’s no attachment to these new characters yet, but they push multiple versions. Of course, that was a thing with 90’s toy lines. Kenner’s whacky love of “deluxe” versions that usually amounted to a figure with big stupid accessories. IIRC there were also repaints planned, that was a another 90’s action figure line thing…the repaint wave(s).
The hero characters were mostly recycled tropes from ARAH…even the “tough enough to hang with the tough guys” red-head Mayday. Extreme’s ninja could talk, though.
I never had any GI Joe Extreme figures as a kid, but my neighbor did, and we played with them like crazy. He had at least one of the foam missile-firing vehicles. They were a lot of fun.