Sparks (2007)

A lot of us Sunbow freaks have a laundry list of “cartoon only” characters we’d like to see in action figure form. Sparks was always at the top of my list. His presence on the cartoon confused me, since the Joes had a communications specialist (Breaker) since the first mini-series. I still liked his look however, with his odd helmet and gargantuan backpack. So why is Sparks even around? Was he intended to be a figure? Who knows. I see him as background/exposition fodder like many of the background Cobras in the early issues of the Marvel comic. In fact, a Cobra communications officer pops up in issue #1. Was this some sort of conspiracy to tease us in both comic and cartoon with communications specialists we’d never get? Probably not. Okay, okay, let me stop for a moment and take a deep breath. I spend way too much time thinking about these things. I think I’m starting to get punchy from this post-every-day thing. What was I thinking? Dang, I need a break.

<15 minutes later>

Back to the matter at hand, the Collectors Club did oblige years of wishes and included the Joes’ missing cartoon exposition–I mean communications–specialist in the 2007 convention set. The figure is basically a mish-mash of the two more famous Joe radio operators, Breaker and Dial-Tone. Actually, he’s mostly Dial-Tone, with the comic pack Breaker’s head and torso. That’s a bit disappointing, as I would rather he more closely resemble the Sunbow look. But I get the idea here, as he’s got a tie-in look to the original thirteen Joes, which is more in line with the theme of the con set.

I need to get around to my custom Sunbow accurate Sparks. I just can’t seem to find the time. I wonder why that is?



  • I want to like this figure. It has some redeeming qualities in terms of colors and accessories. But, it just doesn’t mesh for me. I love this con set overall. But this figure and red headed Snow Job repaint are the two figures that I like the least.

  • Steven B. Williams

    Surely there was a Joe with a better matching top than Breaker. Chuckles’s torso and arms might of worked (might of). Too bad the Club didn’t use Dial-Tone’s radio pack (unless the mold wasn’t available). Here’s hoping we’ll see a modern-style Sparks in the near future.

  • He’s supposed to be based on the Devil’s Due version of the character, who had black hair instead of brown. The only difference here is the tan and brown uniform instead of the green he’s normally seen in. Parts list:
    Head-Comic Pack Breaker
    Torso-O13 (Breaker, Grunt, Hawk, Snake Eyes, Stalker)
    Arms, waist, and legs-Dial-tone
    Helmet-Comic Pack Breaker
    Pistol-Sky Patrol Skydive
    Backpack with hose and mic-Stretcher 1990

  • He reminds me more of Tan Grunt from the waist up than anyone else. Wouldn’t it have been cool if Sparks had been created by Sunbow only to be suddenly killed off much like General Flagg in the comic? Back in those days, it was basically this sort of deal: No figure = dead meat. That would have been a better alternative than merely writing him into limbo, but we all know the policy in 80’s animation regarding death and violence. At least the DDP era fleshed Sparks out quite a bit and actually made him relevant for a while.

  • You forgot to mention that Sparks is the only Italian member (not only Italo-american) of the G.I.JOE team!
    Alessandro D. Verdi from Carcare (Italy).
    D.D.P. “G.I.JOE America’s Elite” style.

  • Action Force’s radio operator “Breaker” (a star wars style figure) was also an Italian. You’d think they might have made him and Sparks the same character as a nod to Action Force, but they have different names and birthplaces.

  • Nice idea for a figure. But the old 1982 smooth chest with those arms doesn’t work. The comic pack heads seemed too puny.

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