JAD Replay: 2003 Dart

Let’s hear it for new characters! I find it exciting when a new Joe or Cobra shows up on the scene, as it takes me back to the first few years of the RAH line, when every year held the promise of something new and different. I’m glad that the Joe line in the 2000’s wasn’t a slavish tribute to the past.

Dart would appear, at first glance, to be a new version of Spirit. Though they have similar specialties and backgrounds, the two are different enough for me for Dart to not seem like a wanna-be.

The design is simple yet effective. It’s much more restrained than Spirit. There’s no mistaking the military aspect, unlike his predecessor, who could easily be mistaken for an adventure figure. The Native American touches are lighter here; they’re obvious, but not the primary focus. I also like the personalized look to the uniform. Ultimately though, the figure is held back by the issues of the time, namely, proportion. The shoulders are wide and the head is too small.

There’s some attempt at a personality with the file card, and it states that he downplays what people usually think is some sort of psychic ability. He’s actually just a really good tracker and Recondo man. Oh, and his secondary specialty is refridgeration repair. With the limited amount of info on the modern file cards, I miss the inclusion those kinds of little character details.


  • I’ve always liked Dart, but the figure is pretty weak. The tiny head makes it hard to use him in a custom, too. But creative for the era.

  • I have trouble displaying New Sculpt figures alongside my vintage Joes, but I can still appreciate them as fun, durable, kickaski toys.

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