Muskrat (1988)

Muskrat’s file card paints a picture of a pretty interesting individual, and someone who seems like a unique presence to add to the team. Just reading his background reminds me of an old Jerry Reed song. It’s unfortunate that the 1988-1989 figures (including Muskrat) fell into a no man’s land of Joe animation, with only a few getting a moment in the sun as part of the DIC Operation Dragonfire mini-series. I think Muskrat could have been a very fun and colorful character as part of the Sunbow or DIC cartoons.

The figure may seem rather plain at first glance, but it has some interesting details and unique accessories that befit the man’s swampy origins. With his boonie hat and sleeveless look, a simple but effective uniform, I can picture Muskrat piloting an air boat, going after Copperhead in the bayou. I can also see him trudging through the swamp, hacking away at vegetation with his machete. On the subject of machetes, 1988 seems to be the year for odd melee weapons, as two Joes included machetes, and Cobra had a Dreadnok armed with a cinder block on a stick. And why (even though it’s not in my pic–sorry) was Muskrat’s machete baby blue?

I can’t leave this figure without talking about his most famous accessory–the swamp skimmer. I still have no earthly idea how this thing is supposed to work. It seems like a boogie board, but I don’t think there are too many waves to ride in the swampland. It would seem then to only be useful if it had some sort of power, but that’s not the case. In the end, it’s one of the wierdest accessories of the time. It does however, attach to the figure like a backpack. Pretty handy. My only wish for this figure was that the face sculpt could have matched the nasty visage on the package art. That’s one dude I wouldn’t want to meet in a dark bayou.


  • Definitely odd to give a Joe a kids beach play toy (a boogie board). I always pictured him running and jumping on his board, skimming along the swamp water for 10 feet or so before falling in backwards. What the heck else was he gonna do?

  • I got his boogie board at my local flea market, and now I want to get the whole figure, baby blue machete and all.

  • Ah, Muskrat… Easily my favorite figure and character from the class of 1988. It was a rare treat to have Larry Hama recently feature my four top guys from the years ’86, (Low-Light) ’87, (Outback) ’88, (Muskrat) and ’90 (Ambush) all in a single issue of the current RAH comic.

    The funny thing about Muskrat is that he doesn’t feature any camouflage, usually the reason why I love the ’88 Joes so much. Yet, both the ongoing comic and the Special Missions series rapidly endeared him to me as a major badass. Muskrat is like Gung-Ho without the Cajun accent and bald noggin. My only grievance is that he never made it to either of the cartoon shows.

  • I used to pretend that Muskrat was war-era Snake-Eyes… wrong color hair but he did the trick.

  • Pure love. G.I.JOE toyline at his top!

  • I recently added Muskrat to my collection, after wanting it for a long time. Great figure!

  • He looks more like he’s been fighting on Guadialcanal than the swamps. So why do so many hate him? He looks okay to me!

  • That Jerry Reed song added a WHOLE other dimension to the review! I like Muskrat okay, more for his M.O. than the character. I wonder if he was supposed to be sortof a Gung Ho replacement as resident “crazy Cajun”? The Night Force repaint is kinda cool, but it’s crazy how many times that torso seems to have been reused. What IS that on his shoulder?!

  • Muskrat is a great figure and one I wish I had in my collection. The sculpt is impressive and I’m shocked that chest never saw more use by Hasbro because it’s really good. I developed an affinity for him after Joe Con when I was hanging around the Joe Declassified booth and while I was there they actually got the original Hasbro paperwork on him and they were reading the alternate codename options for him and (I kid you not) one of the prototype names for him was “Wet Willie” which really adds a whole extra layer of awesomeness to the story of Muskrat in my mind.

  • That swamp board is one of ARAH’s mysteries.

    Swamp folks did use small boats carved from trees…I forget what they are called, but that would’ve been too big an accessory for 1989.

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  • Dreadnok: Spirit

    This is one of my favorites. It’s too bad Muskrat was never featured on the cartoon. And I too, would sometimes have him fill in as Vietnam Snake Eyes.

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