Monday, August 16, 2010

G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero 1987 (Hasbro)

Here it is, the long awaited updated version of the 1987 G.I. Joe toys.  This post has been one of the longest ones in the works as we updated it from our prior photographs to this all new, mint in package edition.  It's been a chore to say the least.

Much like an good Joe series, the figures are the heart and sole of the 1987 series, bringing with it several figures from the highly frowned upon G.I. Joe The Movie from Sunbow, as well as figures from the (at the time) all new DIC television series.  It may seem like a mish mash of figures, but it worked very well at the time, and today stands up as a solid line of figures in the Joe's plastic history.

Seventeen basic figures were produced for the line, elven of which were Joes, with only six being Cobra figures.  Way to be outnumbered there, snakes!

Hasbro also released the very intriguing, but poorly executed Battle Force 2000 sub series.  The figures weren't too bad, but the vehicles which promised a "build a base" feature really drove the nail in the coffin for what could have been a solid Joe branch from the main line.  See below for more details on that (vehicle section).

The group represented a high tech Joe squad that utilized experimental weapons in battle.  Though six were produced in 1987, the team actually consists of seven members.  The seventh figure would be released later in the G.I. Joe line (1989 AKA Series 8).
In an attempt to sell more of the Battle Force 2000 figures, Hasbro also produced three two packs.  Today collector's take great joy in finding both the single and duel packs for their collections.

Two three packs were produced based on the Sunbow film, and contained some of the most interesting figures based on the flopped movie - Sgt. Slaughters Marauders, and the infamous trio of Cobra-La.

The Marauders included Red Dog, Taraus and Mercer.  The Cobra-La set included Golobulus, Nemesis Enforcer and a Royal Guard.  Sadly a Pythona figure was never produced for the line - Something that to date still hasn't happened despite repeated fan requests of Hasbro.

No good Joe line is complete without mail away figures.  The mail away figure Starduster unfortuantely never found much popularity during its initial release, and was soon discarded for a much more popular mail away...

...Steel Brigade.  It's the figure that boasted that, "You can be the next Joe!"  Kids went nuts!

Each order form included several boxes that could be checked off, each of which picked your character's stats.  Was he an explosive expert?  A ninja?  Possibly a medic?  What about an explosive ninja medic?  Not only that, but you gave the figure its own unique name.  If that weren't enough to make any kid go bananas, Hasbro would print up your own unique file card.

The figure was so incredibly popular that six different versions exist.  The variations consist of different belts, chest straps, and holsters.  Out of the six versions, the rarest is the gold headed version.  This figure, while hard to find, is easy to spot because not only is the helmet a different color, but so is the clothing.

These days a "standard" Steel Brigade figure sells for About two hundred dollars, while the gold helmet edition goes from four to five hundred.
Two accessory packs were released in 1987.  The first continued the numbering from the battle gear "series" with number five, and the second was an all new Vehicle Accessory pack which contained various bombs and rockets.

New to the world of Joe was the motorized Action Packs.  Each wind up toy had not only a crank to perform its "motorized" action, but also an on/off switch so that you could crank it, and then play at your leisure.  The packs are incredibly easy to find loose, but most don't contain all the individual stickers that came packed in.

As usual, the series was rounded off with a fair amount of vehicles of all sizes and price ranges, some of which were packed with exclusive figures.

If you thought the kid down the street with the USS Flagg was a spoiled brat, his cousin down the block with the Defiant Space Vehicle Launch Complex must have been the Mayor of Spoiled Brats.  This massive playset, while not as large as the Flagg boasted more moving parts and fun than the Flagg ever could.

The eqaully impressive Mobile Command Center which folded out into three sections/levels was also released with the 1987 assortment.

Then there were the Battle Force 2000 vehicles which drew kids in with a heartbreaking promise that the vehicles could be combined to build the massive Future Fortress.  It was a lie!

Yes the parts could be used to build the fortress, but none of them actually hooked together.  Instead, you just put each piece next to the other, and created a square "parking lot" of part of the vehicles.  It was such a let down to kids.

On their own the vehicles are much more impressive as each breaks apart into two pieces, half of which was used for the "base".  Unfortunately the sub series never really took off the way that Hasbro intended, and with the exception of the one final figure and vehicle released in 1989 the line was silently scrapped, which made way for more sub lines such as Tiger Force and Night Force, but those are part of a whole new series that we'll talk about at a  later date.
Until then, we hope you've enjoyed our updated look at G.I. Joe 1987!

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1 comment:

  1. Out of these I'm having only Big Boa, Chuckles, Cobra Commander (in battle armor), Crazylegs, Croc Master, Law and Order and Sneak Peak


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