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Go Big or Go Home – Part 2

Updated: Mar 22, 2021

In part one, I reviewed several of the GI Joe Real American Hero sets with large accessories. On the GI Joe Duke with Desert Surfer, I forgot to mention one of the reasons this set intrigued me (in case any of you have not put the connection together.)

GI Joe Adventure Team Wind Boat Action Pack

GI Joe vs. COBRA River Assault with Gung Ho

This was the first of two boat sets that we released. The original concept model was more elaborate and contained real firepower with a .30 machine gun that could fit in the front. There was much more camouflage paint and a second mode with a small scuba backpack so GI Joe could dive after reaching his assigned destination.

The final version had a figure that was adapted to look more the like 3 ¾” figure with a molded T-shirt torso but without the .30 cal and just a face mask. Still included were the kayak paddle, boonie hat, knife, sheath, boots, sewn shorts and an Action Man assault rifle with three clips that fit onto the strap.  The kayak came from Hasbro Action Man Canoe.

GI Joe Spy Troops Assault on COBRA Island with Chief Torpedo

The second boat version we released contained a smaller version of a rubber dingy.  Although it was not inflatable, it worked better than the vintage inflatable rafts first issued to Joe in the 1960s. Of course, I had to test this in my swimming pool with a Joe in it for a while before I was sure. 

The original version of this raft was released as Hasbro Action Man Mission Raft in 1995 and came with a working motor that spun Action Man or GI Joe around the pool for about an hour before the batteries died. 

This version had the motor but just a shell version with no electronics. It also had a front cover to hide two hand grenades in the bow of the dingy. Chief Torpedo wore a molded t-shirt, long sewn pants, a clip on flack vest, an assault rifle with strap and his molded knit cap.  It had a clear resemblance to one of the classic sets, GI Joe Adventure Team Mission to Spy Island.  The green camo on the black raft was a fun touch.

GI Joe Flint with Tracker concept model

One set that made it into the model and costing stage was a clever rethinking of the Hasbro Action Man Moon Raker from 1997. This new version was positioned as a swamp buggy “tracker.” When disassembled, it fits well into the standard package which was one of the key attributes to make it fit into the cost. The figure was to have a new muscle shirt torso (so I did not have to rely on the T-shirt torso as much) but it did not arrive on a figure until the RAH Faces figure. He had a jungle camouflage shirt, long khaki pants, tall boots, and his signature beret. The best part about this set was the weapon. It was mounted behind and over Flint’s shoulder and contained three different scanning screen options to track down COBRA – infrared, night vision and heat vision. It also had three completely different projectiles for the launcher – heat seeking, radar guided and a glow-in-the-dark tracer round. The final judgment was lukewarm on this set. However, I had hoped to reuse that launcher somewhere else.

GI Joe Halo Hang Glider

Another nod from the past was the working hang glider for Joe that was similar to the Adventure Team Sky Hawk. I was not a fan of the sitting position of Joe in that, so I created one where it was closer to a real hang glider. This accessory may have been one of the toys I had made with my daughter for our backyard adventures before Hasbro asked me to work on GI Joe. Either way, we launched it off a football stadium bleachers to be sure it would work, and I had a version of this that we were able to fly like a bat kite with a Joe attached.

On the front was a multi-shot cannon mounted to the first version and wheels for a smooth landing.

The original figure was more generic camouflage GI Joe but later changed to more of an all-over green to match the 3 ¾” figure.  It still came with boots, knee pads, a flight helmet and molded harness which clipped onto the hang glider.  As mentioned earlier, I could not change the package size due to cost, and also it was part of an assortment that fit into a specific plan- o-gram at Toys r Us.  When I shrank down the concept to fit into the box small enough to keep it with solid rods for necessary stability, it had to shrink down so small that it lost its appeal.  A version of this was considered briefly for the GI Joe Collector’s Club but the concept never fully took flight – although we had fun playing with it. 

Many other large accessories were considered, but this completes the list of the only ones which made it as far as concept models and into costing. However, all of these, and many more did make it into my backyard adventures.

How many 1/6th scale big accessories have you removed from the package to test?

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Hello Greg,

Thank you for sharing all this cool behind the scenes stuff with us.

A little note is that Moon Raker Buggy was also release here in the US under the Small Soldiers movie toyline as the Ground Assault Vehicle. It include almost everything the original set did except the antenna that would plug on the back of vehicle.

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