Gristle (2008)

From the ridiculous to the sublime. Yesterday’s convention exclusive was an odd concept with a crazed color palette. Tonight, it’s a prime example of the effective repainting of an originally disappointing figure. To me, the first version of Gristle holds a certain distinction for being an example of the end of the first generation Real American Hero years. 1993 and 1994 have their share of duds, but some of the new figures peppered in with older molds were quite nice, at least from a character design and sculpt standpoint. The colors speak for themselves. In the case of the Headhunters Commander, his bright yellow highlights and maroon weapons weren’t exactly imposing.

Gristle (2008)

The old mold gets new life in black and grey, and fits in perfectly among old and new versions of the various Headhunters troopers. Not to gush too much, but this is one of my favorite named Cobras out of all the o-ring con sets.

The mostly generic weapon tree accessories have been succeeded by a simple pairing of pistol and knife. While his old gear was seen throughout the Battle Corps sub-line, the pistol was a unique new addition. If I’m not mistaken, this weapon was meant for a modern version of Iron Klaw, and was later released in 2013 with the FSS version of the GI Joe Extreme villain.


  • A con fig done right. Gristle had a solid mold that was lost in yellowy maroon-ness of the early ’90’s. This repaint was both a welcome surprise mold and a solid repaint. If you see this repaint and still think the Joes from the last years of the suck, there’s no hope for you. 🙂 If only more of the ’93 and ’94’s had gotten this type of repaint treatment. (Where, oh where, was the ’92 Firefly and why didn’t he get a repaint?!?)

    The Headhunter Guards were good enough. The Driver was really nice and the BAT was solid. The only real stinker was the Headhunter Stormtrooper. But, that’s less of a disappointment as the original was nearly perfect and this con release killed the values of the vintage HHST’s.

    • I’ve always thought that most of the 90’s figures had good sculpts but suffered from bad colour schemes. Look at battle corps Lwatherneck. That would have been a great figure if he wasnt painted in yellow and caramel.

  • I always liked Gristle, but thought he’d fit much better with the Dreadnoks. In fact, when I didn’t have that many Dreadnok figures for an entire gang, Gristle’s one of the guys I would always add to the group. This color scheme adds to the biker style.

  • The pistol was meant for DTC Munitia.

  • Nice repaint of a decent figure. Headman is so over the top that it makes Gristle, with his tiny “Bloodshot” sunglasses, seem grounded.

  • I kept my convention Gristle over the ’93 Gristle. ’93 Gristle lost out for me due somewhat to just the yellow painted details on the figures, but the lack of any real original accessories that I didn’t find very appealing played into this decision, too.
    I prefer the ’93 figures head over the convention Gristle head, however.
    Gristle was the only figure I ended up keeping from this convention set. Very nice figure.

  • I think the gun/knife combo veers more towards “silly” than “5 minutes into the future.”

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