I consider myself an “opener” when it comes to toys. After all, if I can’t get my hands on it, what’s the point? While I love well made card and packaging art, that hasn’t translated into my collecting habits. So when I picked up this figure, I fully intended to open it up, as I’ve done with all the Funskool Joes I own. But something has held me back. I don’t know if it’s the card art, since I’ve ripped open other gems of ugliness like Windmill and Cross Country, or if the raft folded neatly behind the figure somehow makes the package just a bit more colorful. Funskool Tracker and his packaging has me at odds with myself.
This figure is a melange of Hasbro hues and Funskool reinterpretation. The shirt and pants are similar to the domestic release, but the socks are where it gets strange. Have you ever seen silver socks? Maybe they’re fireproof, like the old 60s crash crew set. Paint-wise, he’s missing the torso tampo, and doesn’t have any suitably chintzy Funskool replacement text. I was hoping for something like “Tracker” in Brush Script font, or maybe “Undercover” in Comic Sans Bold.
All of the Tracker accessories made the trip over to India, including the strange visor. Somehow a bright blue remold of this inexplicable part makes sense. The visor was always one of the wierder bits of Joe headgear to me; just what purpose did it serve; was it based on some military gear, or was it just there to look cool? Whatever the case, it looked cool on the card art. The figure was a different story, and the visor just seemed too huge when placed on the head.
Speaking of card art, I am continually awed by the horrid re-do of the original. Where the Hasbro version was an impressive vignette of action featuring Tracker piloting his raft, the Funskool remake is a ridiculously stiff and flat rendering of Tracker (now dubbed an Under Cover Operator) climbing out of his raft. Wait a minute, wasn’t this guy a Navy SEAL? Now he’s an Under Cover Operator. Remarkably, the term is both specfic and generic at the same time. It also sounds like the title of an 80s R & B album.
So now I, a collector who loves to open his toys, am stuck in a No Man’s Land with this figure. It looks like it would be a wonderful subject to bust out of its plastic prison and photograph, but the whole presentation as it stands is too much of a testament to Funskool Funk to allow me to take the leap. Maybe I should put it to a vote. What do you all think? Open or not?