Tank Commander (Code Name: Steeler)

Another high ranking driver figure, with unique mold elements and accessories to boot. Hasbro didn’t have to pull out all the stops with this figure, but it makes sense considering he came with the line’s most expensive early vehicle. The MOBAT was a beast for its time, and I think it remains a must-have fast attack Joe tank. Steeler was an essential character in the Marvel comics, and I was happy to add the figure to my childhood forces. The visor alone was enough to sell me on him, and his slick shoulder holster was an added bonus. Oh and he also came equipped with and uzi, just like Snake Eyes. A showcase figure for a showcase vehicle.

If you thought Hawk’s silver details were strange, check out Steeler’s gold undershirt. That’s gotta be super itchy. Since there’s metallic paint involved, the figures tend to lose the gold. In the Sunbow cartoon, most of the characters had slight modifications from the figure designs. Steeler was one of the team who had a drastically different uniform.

Hitting on a memorable comic moment, I recall Steeler performing an amazing feat of strength in the Trojan Gambit by lifting a counterweight in order to open a steel blast door in the Pit. Talk about strong!

Image via arealamericanbook.wordpress.com


  • ”Steeler was really scared in the 2 part episode(1985) when Flint , Lady Jaye, Bar-B-Que, Air Tight, Footloose, Grunt Clutch, all saw what happened to their counter -parts in a parallel world.where Cobra actually conquered the world.Steeler, Clutch ,and Grunt all Dead, nothing left but uniforms covering their skeletons.where Grunt says”Mother of Mercy, these must be the poor Joes of this world ,who got caught in one of Destro’s weapon’s testing range.”

  • SpiritoftheBeachhead

    Why do the upper and lower arms and elbow joints often not match on Joes? Steeler’s here look pretty off!

    Was this aging or did they originally look mismatched?

    My first Ebay purchase getting back into collecting was a Beachhead…I almost sent him back thinking I had been ripped off with an arm swap of sorts.

    • Aging might be a factor, but I think it was different plastics used for lower arms after 1982, anyway. Someone probably knows the whole story.

      • Its gotta be aging. And definetly different plastics used between the arms. The only way would be to find a picture of the joes from back in the day to compare. a really clear picture. ive gone though like 5 beacheads and they all have funny colored elbows. But not every figure used the same plastics. My CG’s arms match fine. eels too. maybe its certain colors that break down over time?

  • It’s interesting that straight arm Steeler had unique arms. The swivel-arm release used the same arms as Wild Bill.

    There’s been 8 Steelers (9 if you count straight and swivel arms as different, which…you know, they probably should have). But the swivel arm 1983 release is still the best overall.

  • He was a cool looking figure. The visor was futuristic (oh no! not in my gi joe!) and the uzi was always cool. never noticed the gold shirt! how odd. But the tank was the star of the show, it really moved on its own! even later, motorized vehicles were not common. Just the battle wagon late in the line?

    even though as a tank, it was really outdated by the early 90’s and it was pretty plain looking. But no one knew better lol

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