The Flaggs That Would Not Be*

*With apologies to Metallica.

It’s Flag Day in the USA, and I can never resist an opportunity to tie a holiday in with both a post and a lame pun. Here are two modern interpretations of the famous GI Joe aircraft carrier that unfortunatley won’t see the light of day. First up is the Flagg that was shown during the Hasbro unreleased panel at JoeCon 2011. Although this thing isn’t as big as the classic, it still looks mighty impressive considering the modern action figure playset climate. This one also was on the road to some playability, thanks to a fold-out concept similar to the movie Pit (and yes, the Pit is a fun toy if you give it a chance).

UR_Flagg1 UR_Flagg2

Next up is a design drawing that made its way around Joe fandom a while back, and it appears to be a USS Flagg in the scale of the Combat Heroes line. This thing has me even more jazzed than the regularly scaled Flagg above. I’m in love with the playsets of both Hasbro and Mattel’s younger aimed lines, like Imaginext et al. The play features, tough construction and pricing seem more in line with the toys of my youth than the too-often collector focused “real” action figure lines of today. I would have snapped this thing up in a second, and given it to my son—after I played with it for a while, of course.

Image via


  • Rob, you don’t seem like a Metallica fan .Bare naked Ladies or Modest Mouse for sure. Ironically, “The Thing That Should Not Be” is the worst song off of Master of Puppets. What’s next, Slayer puns?

    • Ugh, Barenaked Ladies and Modest Mouse? No. As far as Metallica goes, the bad pun focus was on a title, not quality of the song itself. Although I can’t hate any song that boasts a Lovecraft reference, especially before Lovecraft was a pop culture commodity.

  • My guess is that Hasbro refused to make it as they needed all the plastic for ten dozen nonsensical Bumblebee repaints instead

  • Interesting to see that the Flagg idea has been floating around Hasbro again. I figured for sure when they did two different S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarriers for Avengers (the SDCC version had some added pieces to make it longer and slightly more in scale with the Avengers figures as compared to the mass market version) that they’d try and repurpose it into a fast and dirty Flagg.

  • Those are very neat! I am trying to figure the dimensions on the big one.

  • I’m with you on fanboy ing hard for Imaginex! Rumor has it that since Mattel owns the license anyway, a BatCave sized Grayskull & 2.5″ He-Man figures are next!

  • These are both very cool designs! The USS Flagg is a relic of the past, though, and we old guys need to let it go. I just don’t see an action figure based toy this large coming from Hasbro again.

  • I discovered the Imaginext line for my kids this past Christmas. I did some research and was amazed by their offerings. Aside from the knights, town, space and licensed themese, they have whole figure series where you can get a sword weilding Santa Claus, a guy in a Bigfoot costume, a witch straight from the Wizard of Oz, Dracula, Frankenstein, a Zombie with a hood like Jason from the first Friday the 13th meeting or a Space Gorilla: for $3 each. You can’t find that kind of diversity in a compatible toyline anywhere else. (Plus, there are already a ton of MOTU homages hidden in the line today.)

    With that said, I don’t know how I feel about these lesser detailed toys for Joes, as a collector. To me, the value of the vintage vehicles was their realism. When Hasbro started new vehicles in 2002, the design really slipped and made the line feel cheaper than it probably was.

    As a parent, these things would have been cool offerings. I don’t know if my kids would have wanted them. But, more nice playsets in the marketplace is never a bad thing.

  • I do not like the prototype.

  • I was thinking about what a new Flagg could be, and for me, the model build in the pictures is just not holding the excitement of what could have been at all.

    As a toy, trying to emulate an aircraft carrier in scale is tough. Sure, it can be fun with whatever proportional tweaks and suspensions of disbelief is put into it, but…. I think for what would make for a really successful aircraft carrier toy is to totally back away from our perceptions of what a real life naval carrier is.

    If we are to look at Joe history, I think the best design is one that is going to be a little more out in the future. As a toy, this is something that is going to have to be its own suitcase that can store in a closet or under the bed, and yet through thoughtful design, all be able to unfold into some sort of aircraft launching warship that is seemingly massive with interior and exterior figure-interactive spaces.

    But even with all this, the better design is one that will enable this toy to be more than “just an aircraft carrier.”

    Why not a toy that makes a new Flagg a straight warship, and this warship stands apart by being able to launch and land aircraft, but also launch ICBM’s, torpedoes and duke it out with traditional naval gunnery?

    I think that is why I would not have been happy if that model build aircraft carrier is what was put out. It just doesn’t feel that exciting. This doesn’t say adventure on the high seas to me at all. It is what it is, though. I mean, why have an elevator on another Flagg that doesn’t really fit the aircraft? Simply because the real life carriers do? What have a superstructure? I think a submarine style bridge room somewhere in the hull would be much more interesting, and enable a longer overall form to take over visually…., adding realism….

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