GI Joe Backyard Battles on Bikes
In previous articles published in the GI Joe Collectors Club magazine, I noted a few GI Joe Double Duty figures designed which were reconfigured before release to become Real American Hero characters. Notably, Stealth Shot which became Grunt and Midnight Scorpion which became Dusty. There were other Double Duty designs created. Some used and some not used.
One of the designs for an unnamed dessert bike assault became Spy Troops Mountain Recon with Dusty.
There is always two parts of the mission for a GI Joe Double Duty figure. Often it is #1 get there and #2 destroy an enemy stronghold or weapon. Getting there remained the same. It was a great dirt bike from Action Man Mountain Bike Extreme, which was a big seller in Europe. The detailing is modern and techy and it had the added benefit of being reasonably priced (many of the Action Man accessories were over-engineered with the result of being too expensive for the US market. My favorite part of the bike was the projectile launcher in the front that triggers by pressing down on the back wheel of the bike so you can make it shoot as you are rolling it into action. Two additional projectiles could clip onto the side of the bike. The missiles actually looked more like rocket-propelled grenades than the bland projectiles from GI Joe Hall of Fame figures. Once I had access to the AM projectiles, I hardly ever used the HOF versions and created a few new ones when the opportunity arose. Joe’s uniform for this version was only adding camouflage painting to the existing AM figure, which has sculpting like motocross riding armor. At that time we wanted to use that body which had knees that would flex and feet attached to the pedals so AM looked like he was peddling the bike as you rolled it. Later we changed the bike riding uniform to a sleeveless jumpsuit and black boots. The head wrap and goggles from Action Man Desert Mission inspired the initial look of the uniform. This gave a desert tribal Bedouin look, which is seldom seen on Joe, and then I added mission specific camouflage to blend into the sand dunes on his long sleeved robe. His robe also contained straps to hold the Hall of Fame bazooka and a panel of hidden electronics for navigation and communication. In this mode, he would infiltrate the enemy stronghold and destroy the appropriate terrorist weapon.
Later the design became part of the GI Joe Spy Troops segment of RAH with Dusty once again inheriting an earlier design. Now that the Double Duty segment had ended, he no longer needed separate looks so the figure’s uniform was simplified and given additional plastic gear. It was also noted that Joe consumers were not as interested in figures that had limited mobility and use. The AM body would only look good on the bike and that figure would never stand well on its own due to the loose knee joints. Dusty now used the T-shirt molded torso body as the bike and the size of the package where already hiking the retail price tag up. Then we gave him military kneepads and the very detailed short boots from the first Dusty/ Midnight Scorpion. To make him look more hi-tech, we used the motocross helmet with facemask that came with the AM Mountain Bike Extreme.
He was issued a HOF bandolier style holster to hold one HOF grenades and a detailed AM pistol. The pistol has an attached scope with removable stock and removable barrel. One of the old HOF belts, probably from Karate Chopping Snake Eyes was just oddly shaped enough to hold these other parts. A HOF knife and sheath could be strapped to Dusty’s legs so the whole figure was self-contained to go into battle (one of the aspects I always found important in all of my GI Joe Backyard Battles).
Another Double Duty design did not make the cut was Rolling Thunder. In this case, we started with a vehicle that would convert into two functions. I was aiming at making a motorcycle turn into a gun like a WWII portable anti-aircraft mount; get in fast and blow something up.
The motor cycle was as simple as I could make it with two wheels, handlebars, windscreen and a motor/seat that was two halves of detailed techy plastic. The wheels came off to be mounts for 4 barrels – 2 on each side. The motor opened to be the base structure and the windscreen became a heads-up display for Joe to look through and fire.
His uniform was comprise of a riding helmet, tall riding boots, knee pads, an AM plastic flack vest and a jumpsuit with sleeves and pant legs in camo to tuck in for a different look.
The best part was the hidden inside the bike structure, wear I hid a bellows so it shot four foam missiles. These missiles were from GI Joe Extreme. I will admit that I tried to cram in too much so it looked too contrived, but it would have been awesome firepower in yet another GI Joe Backyard Battle.
How long ago was your last GI Joe Backyard Battle?