Okay I know what you are going to say. What was once promised as a 5 part in 5 day series has now turned into a month long saga with more delays and gaps then the Game of Thrones series. What can I say, the crazy quotient of the early 90’s GI Joe line had such an impact on me that I needed to take a week long vacation to get away from it all. But I’m back!
Now behold…I give you the six craziest GI Joe/Cobra figures of 1992!
(just a reminder…these are not in order of sanest to craziest although the top of this years list is definitely so “Super Crazy” that he could be a late 90’s WCW Cruiserweight wrestler…)
Somehow after the awesome 91 line the GI Joe line didn’t come to a screeching halt and pressed on for 1992. But somehow I doubt they did it so they could release the Flak-Viper.
So what’s so crazy about the Flak-Viper? His name? Well oddly enough, flaky’s name is so normal that its relatively crazy for the joe line. You see “FLAK” isn’t some awesome acronym describing what he is like everything else in the Joe line (like S.L.A.M., Strategic Long Range Artillery. W.O.L.F., Winter Operational Light Fighting, H.A.V.O.C., Heavy Articulated, Vehicle Ordinance Carrier, and my personal favorite crazy acronym W.H.A.L.E., Warrior: Hovering Assault Launching Envoy.) Nope Flak is just simply Flak which of course means anti-aircraft fire and wouldn’t you know it that’s exactly what Flak-Vipers do.
So name, check. But what else. There has to be more and there is. Just look at our Flak-Viper in all his Grey, Green and Teal glory. Color scheme alone is crazy but to top it off hes wearing garters and Andre the Giant’s one shoulder singlet….I mean what the heck is he trying to prove? Looks more like a video game random create a wrestler then an elite Cobra solider commissioned with the Viper name.
But there is one more bit of crazy that puts him over the top. Our Flak-Viper, as helpfully shown in the picture above, sports two 6 foot (if in scale) rockets strapped to his back. How much maneuvering do you think you could pull off if you were carrying those around with you? I’ll help you, the answer is none. And then he’s supposed to launch the missiles from his back. You know what would happen if he did that? I’m pretty sure he would be dead and that is pretty crazy. Should have just named him the Kamikaze – Viper.
An interesting note about Barricade. By name (and armor) you would assume that he was the Joe that made barricades but he’s actually the Joe that breaks barricades using his awesome high powered wall smasher batting ram gun and no I didn’t make that up, its what his spring loaded cannon thingy was called on his file card. In fact his primary military specialty is Bunker Buster. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that’s not an actual military specialty but I could be wrong.
More telling is that his secondary specialty was as the driver of the Badger which is interesting because A- the Badger (a four wheeler, armored jeepy thingy with a cannon seen here) was released the year before without a driver so when Barricade came into the military he decided that in addition to beating down doors he wanted to drive the Badger and B – the Badger was soo ugly (how ugly was it?) it was sooo ugly that it should have been part of the Eco-Warriors line and yet crazy Barricade decided that above all other GI Joe vehicles would be his specialty. Its also revealing because he actually wanted to be a driver of a GI Joe vehicle but couldn’t cut it so they gave him a rocket and told him to go bust down doors and be the first guy in the of fire. He couldn’t even make it as a driver…I don’t know how to say this but 95% of all vehicle drivers were the worst figures to grace the entire franchise.
But the craziest part of all is not what Barricade did on the Joe team…nope its what he did as part of his side job. Take a look at Barricade there again…remind you of anyone?
How about a certain…
No resemblance there or anything right?
For those of you not lucky enough to know, Captain Power was a 1987 sci-fi tv series that was singularly awesome because the toy line actually interacted with the TV show.
Watch this and see if it would have blown your little 1987 mind…
I know it blew mine…and we have Barricade here to thank. Leading mankinds last hope in 2132 by creating the incredible Power Suits to fight off the Bio-Dread army and take down the evil Lord Dread and then bringing said Power Suit back to 1992 and using it to beat down doors for the GI Joe team? Well thats pretty freakin crazy if you ask me…
(Think Mattel has a case to sue Hasbro for his likeness? Captain Power came out a full 5 years before Barricade. Aw who am I kidding…the Captain Power line didn’t exactly fly off toy shelves and Barricade…well they probably only sold 10 of him…)
Firefly & Eels
This is a very special two-fer-one on our top 6 countdown for 1992 because both figures are equal levels of crazy for the exact same reasons. The original version of Firefly and Eels in the 80’s were two of the cooler Cobra figures to grace the line. So it was equally astounding that as part of the 1992 line that they both decided to trade in their previously awesome togs for two of the more hideously neon costume changes of the entire line.
I mean lets follow the thought process of each of our evildoers here.
Firefly: Lets see for years I have hidden in the shadows as the Cobra Saboteur sneaking around and picking off Joe targets at random. But its all been too easy. Time to ramp up the difficulty by trading that in for a new neon green jumpsuit and awesome neon green sniper rifle. Lets see me hide in the shadows with that! Might as well join that crappy ninja force. Oh and even though my entire gimick is that I am the best in the world at precision placed bombs that strike with a surgeon’s accuracy I think I should trade all that in for my new weapon…a spinning blade top that will randomly take out as many Cobras as Joes!!!
Eel: For years we have lurked in the dark waters striking the Joe’s naval fleet down when they least suspect it. I think its time we became the stars of the show. I’m trading that all in for a lovely blue and neon yellow diving suit. Never let it be said I don’t know how to make an entrance. Oh and just so undertow doesn’t get to have all the fun I think I’ll also steal Monkeywrench’s pitchfork gun (shown here) so I too can pretend I’m king Triton of the sea on my downtime. To top it all off I’ll really screw with the Joes and breakout my new rocket firing mechanical shark robot that has a peg on it so I can strap it to my back…BECAUSE THAT MAKES NO FREAKING SENSE!!!!
Senseless neon recolors of previously awesome characters and completely insane accessories…check and checkmate on the crazy game…
So in 1991 GI Joe had successfully combated the destruction of the environment (or had they? More on that in a sec) with the Eco-Warriors team and ruined the careers of several key Joe team members in the process. So what was left? Well in 1992 the Joe team decided to take on a much more dire thorn in our society’s side…drugs. Now I know drugs are no laughing matter but somebody apparently didn’t pass that memo onto the GI Joe team as they unleashed the heroic DEF (aka Drug Elimination Force, see what I mean about awesome acronyms?) led by Bullet-Proof. The evil part of drugs was then played by the Head Hunters which of course were headed by the evil Headman…I get the feeling that he went through the whole “allow myself to introduce myself” line a lot…
Anywho, aside from the awe-inspiring gold pin stripped suit (ever see one of those before?), sweet devil goatee to beat the evil point home and shocking mismatched hair/facial hair colors the writers of his filecard (was it Larry Hama at this point?) must have had a field day with the crazy stash when they wrote this. Some of my favorite features:
- He is wearing an “ominous steel mask of obscurity”, “poison-tipped” steel toed boots, a “gangster” dress hat and a “Double-breasted blazer with reinforced protective lining”. (you think thats crazy, his “narcotics guard” the Headhunters came with a “portable drug lab backpack” and a “Aerodynamic hitman protective helmet”. Why they needed an aerodynamic helmet is beyond me. The Headhunters were a special breed of crazy…
- Like all drug kingpins, Headman has cuff link communicator/transmitters…
- He is sporting “Drug battle scars” on his face, not to be confused of course with regular battle scars because those are different then drug battle scars.
- His weaponry consists of a “mega-blast” combat rifle and a “sophisticated armaments launcher system” complete with “high-tech wipe-out missile”. That of course is represented by a giant gold rifle and a translucent red cannon.
- His file card tells us a fantastic story about how he started his life of crime by mugging old ladies for their Social Security checks and how “Nothing is sacred to him…nothing!”
Forrest Gump summed it up best when he said “Crazy is as crazy does” and Headman is definitely crazy.
In my last article I mentioned that Ninja Force was another in the crazy Joe sub lines but upon further inspection the first wave of Ninja Force wasn’t that bad in 1992. I mean sure Storm Shadow featured a bizarre snow covered black gi design, Nunchuk was the worlds only green dressed ninja, T’Jbang was…errr…named T’Jbang…on second thought Ninja force was pretty crazy I think I have just been desensitized to mild doses of crazy from the Eco-Warriors. That said Dojo is the only Ninja force member that gets the honor of making the 1992 crazy list though.
Well aside from having the loudest ninja outfit of all time (at least in 92) Dojo looks a whole lot more Zorro than Ninja so I think his choice of outfit and facial hair is pretty dang crazy, but what turns him up to 11 is his awesome “real” hair ponytail! (I know in my wussiest joe article that I claimed that Zanzibar was the only joe to feature real hair…well I was wrong. I honestly stopped buying GI Joe around 89 so I didn’t remember Dojo sporting a real hair ponytail.)
My word are we even trying any more? Deep Six may be the most worthless joe of all time. His 1984 figure was more statue then action figure and his 89 figure seemingly had more in common with astronauts then deep sea divers although I suppose the two have a lot in common. So I guess in a way it made sense in 1992 when the Joe team decided…hey, you’ve spent your entire military career breathing recycled air and crampt up in airtight suits so how about joining the ECO-WARRIORS!!!! Of course Deep Six accepted. I mean it couldn’t get any worse for him could it?
Why did I ask that? It can always get worse.
And it did. Deep Six decided in order to fit in with the rest of the Eco goofball team he needed to trade up to neon and that meant a neon green vest, awkward diving helmet and neon pink gloves, tubes, fins and accessories…
But its worse then that….thats right folks…Deep Six also came with…
The worlds most bloated/aggressive dolphin. What kind of demented sicko was Deep Six that he decided to take his “highly trained dolphin sidekick” with him into toxic infected waters as part of the eco warriors? Someone call PETA! I bet he was trying to start the teenage mutant ninja dolphins or something…come to thing of it a walking talking ninja dolphin probably wouldn’t have been out of place in the 93 or 94 lines….
Okay I know at this point I have technically featured 7 figures in my 1992 crazy list exceeding my self imposed limit of 6 (I don’t want to OD on the crazy…although Headman might want that…) but there is one more figure I have to add that holds his own wing in the GI Joe crazy hall of fame.
He’s a figure/character that is so crazy that it crossed a line GI Joe could never come back from.
He’s so crazy that I won’t even need to explain him…
He’s so crazy that he killed off the Eco-Warriors sub line because the creator who tried to top it had to be locked up in a padded cell…
So I give to you…
The craziest figure of 1992…
Alright I’m not making any promises on when pt 4 of the crazy list will be coming, just know that the 1993 line featured 36 different figures as part of the base assortment and on top of that there were the start brigade, mega marines, more ninja force , dino hunters and if that wasn’t enough they managed to bring Street Fighter II characters into the GI JOE universe?!?!? Talk about throwing the crazy crap at the fan to see what sticks…