With GI Joe Week wrapping up here at Infinite Hollywood I wanted to take a look at some of my favorite Joe figures that aren’t necessarily favorite characters of mine. If that makes any sense. Three of these figures come from 2005 while the other three come from the early 1980’s. 1983 and 1985 respectively.

First up is the “new” figures. In early 2000 GI Joe made a switch from “new sculpt” or Valor versus Venom style figures to more vintage releases. Or re-releases as it were. Taking the Comic Pack formula, Hasbro would take three figures with existing molds and re-release them with better paint jobs, comic accurate colors and typically new head sculpts. Very little was changed on these figures from their original releases unless the original parts no longer existed.

This comic pack contained three of the best figures of this era. As this was truly the end of the “vintage” GI Joe line. I suspect we may never see vintage 3 3/4 Joes back on the market again so this truly was the end of an era. What a great way to go out though. Starting with Scrap Iron.

Scrap Iron was actually one of my more favorite figures as a kid. My brother had made a trade with some friends of his, a three pack of Golobulus, Nemesis Enforcer and the Cobra-La Guard for Scrap Iron, Storm Shadow and the original Cobra Commander. Considering we already had a couple Golobulus packs, I think we walked away with the better end of the deal. Since these guys were rare by this point (it was already 87 or 88), they almost never saw play. As such Scrap Iron more or less became Cobra Commander’s right hand man.

Scrap Iron originally came out in 1984 and didn’t get another release until 2004. It took him 20 years to get a new figure. This version is mostly the original Scrap Iron, with some slightly different legs. His paint job is more reflective of a comic pallet but overall he looks like his vintage version. The only real weak spot is that his hair is oddly painted blue along with his helmet. Still, a fantastic figure. I’ve been pleased to see Scrap Iron getting some love in the modern lines.

Next up is Serpentor. Whether you liked the character in his comic and cartoon appearances is largely a moot point because there is no denying he was a very cool looking character. The original figure was one of the coolest looking GI Joes ever released. We had several Serpentors as a kid and I have NO idea why but we always ripped off his helmet to see what was underneath.

If you’ve never had the pleasure of ripping off Serpentor’s helmet I’ll give you some spoilers. Underneath was a head that looked a bit like Sloth from the Goonies. It also ruins Serpentor, so I don’t advise doing it. Serpentor had only had one other release by 2005 and that was a repaint in 2002. This was only the third Serpentor figure and honestly, despite all the leaps and bounds of improvements on most figures in the 25th style, I believe this is still the best Serpentor figure ever released.

Using the exact same body as the vintage figure, Serpentor gets a new head and helmet. The helmet is slightly more detailed and this time it’s removeable. Underneath is a great head sculpt that looks a lot like the Serpent lord did in the comic books. The paint scheme is also one that appeared on a few comics, which is green and gold with the green in the places that are normally gold and vice versa. It’s a beautiful figure and as I say, probably still remains the best version of the character yet. The only way he could have been better is if his gold was like the vintage figure’s gold as this is a bit more like yellow.

If you ever get a chance to own him, pick him up. THIS I COMMAND!

Next we have Firefly. As I mentioned in my Rise of Cobra Firefly review, this figure started seeing repaints and re-releases in 1998. He then got six or seven repaints using the exact same mold. So when this Firefly rolled around a lot of people weren’t really anticipating it. However this time Hasbro created a new head sculpt for him. There wasn’t anything particularly wrong with his original head sculpt, but this one is better.

This version of Firefly is repainted but is basically his original colors. For a mold that was used nine other times, the body sculpt still looks quite good. It’s not a reinvention of the character by any stretch of the imagination, it’s just an improvement.

This remains the undisputed best vintage style Firefly ever released. Considering he got 13 releases in the original style and they were almost all the same sculpt, that’s a pretty strong statement. But I don’t think anyone would disagree with me.

Take a brief look back in time, here are three figures from the early 1980’s that remain favorites of mine. Again, not so much the characters as the figures. Starting with Doc. My cousin had Doc as a kid and as someone who never owned him until years later I was always envious of Doc. I got stuck with Lifeline… In fact several Lifelines. When we played massive scale wars as kids, me, my brother and my cousin would all divide up figures and each team would get a medic. The medic was the one figure who couldn’t be shot. Rules of engagement and all that. We always had to have a Lifeline, while he had Doc. It’s nice to have Doc finally.

Tomax and Xamot were always cool figures to me. Virtually the same figure, only reversed, they were very elusive to get back in the 1980’s. I think we may have had them at some point as kids, but never for very long. As children we really didn’t know how to fix GI Joes (Turns out it’s very simple) and if a figure’s rubber band broke he was toast. We did cobble a few back together, but Tomax and Xamot remained elusive for many, many years and I still think they’re very cool looking figures.

That’s it. Three old and three new. We’re wrapping GI Joe week up here at Infinite Hollywood and later tonight I’ll have my thoughts on the new Joe movie. Coming up in a few hours I’m spotlighting one of the coolest vintage vehicles/figures that will soon be getting a re-release!

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