In January 2020, Hasbro unveiled its new G.I. Joe Classified action figure line of six-inch (or 1: 6) beginning with very popular characters in its first release. There was a Hasbro Pulse exclusive Snake Eyes action figure, a regular Snake Eyes, Duke, Roadblock, Scarlett, and the villainous Destro. I have not received mine yet, but this is one action figure line that I am determined to collect after having stopped collecting seriously for year. While the Transformers have continued without interruption since 1984, many G.I. Joe fans lost hope on Hasbro.
But there are so many G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero action figure that I want. This series promises to be the one for grownups like me who grew up with the cartoon and the comics as kids. These were great. Well, even though the figures have a futurist look that annoys me, I am interested! I would prefer a basic back to the military roots of the original 1982-1983 toys rather than the neon, and outlandish science fiction stuff that we saw starting in 1986. As for the Cobras and other villains, I am not interested in the garish and weird vipers. I prefer a back to the basics’ approach.
First, we know that some action figures will be released to coincide with the Snake Eyes film and I am not sure that I am as interested in those as the material drawn from the original 1983 cartoon and the comics. One thing that I know, I am not interested in ninjas. Larry Hama, and Hasbro tend to like the ninjas. I am interested in the military aspect of G.I. Joe. I can tolerate a few ninja themes, but not at the point where they overwhelm the series, like it has happened many times in the comics, and the latter toys.
I am not interested in the weird factions such as the Oktober Guard. The Iron Grenadiers are tolerable in the future but only for a few characters. I am also interested in vehicle drivers, even if we never get full 1: 6 vehicles for them. Finally, army-building is important. We need ways of obtaining many vipers for cheaper while they still are built with the same quality as other action figures. There are many characters that I want. I have divided my list between the good guys and the bad guys. I had many runner ups but I’ll concentrate on the many twelve must-have Cobras and the twelve must-have G.I. Joe troops.
First, I will list characters that we can intuit that are probably soon to be announced. I will not focus on them. So we know that on Cobra’s side, the Baroness, Cobra Commander, Alley Vipers (troop-builders), and Red Ninjas (also troop-builders) may be in the works on G.I. Joe’s side, there is Gun-Ho, the original marine of the team. Of these five, I am not interested in the Red Ninjas and will probably skip it when it comes out.
1. Major Bludd
Major Blood is the main tactician officer of Cobra. He is necessary.
The original spy-turncoat, infiltration agent of Cobra and leader of the Dreadnought is of course necessary.
3. Cobra Officer
We need officers! I would buy at least two of them.
4. Cobra Soldier and or Viper mix
This one was very difficult. They are the basic Cobra grunts. The Viper is the updated version, but they serve the same function while being specifically infantry. If Hasbro could figure out a way to combine them into one rank and file or offer one or the other later. The Vipers always had very expansive protective gear compared with the regular Cobra soldiers. Why did Cobra spend so much money for their basic infantrymen? I would buy ten of them!
Many people are using a Fortnite Havoc action figure in lieu of Firefly. Do I really have to justify why this Cobra saboteur and his Swiss bank accounts are so necessary?
6. Scrap Iron
Always a favourite. Competent in the comics. A geeky villain. Great in the Serpentor Arise cartoon with his treachery! He needs his portable missile unit!
7. Storm Shadow
This is the only Cobra ninja that I will tolerate. A great character in the comics and the cartoon. Not so much in the movies though.
8. Tomax and Xamot
Tomax and Xamot are the twin commanders of the Crimson Guards and the secret financiers of Cobra. Cobra needs a lot of elite cast around Cobra Commander! Seriously, Xamot and Tomax have to ship together, instead of separately. They need to be mirror versions of each other.
9. Dr. Mindbender
We need Cobra’s chief scientist!
10. Crimson Guard
We need a few Crimson Guards for Tomax and Xamot to lead. They need the bright red suit. I would buy three or four of them.
I struggled with which other Cobra to squeeze in my list. Of all the Cobra troops, outside of those mentioned above, I settled for the Tele-Vipers since they are very useful. The Snow Serpents and the Eels were very close but too specialized. But in future waves, I would buy at least two Eels and two Snow Serpents. I would buy two Tele-Vipers.
An odd choice, right? A vehicle driver without his infamous Water moccasin hovercraft. I’ve always liked the dude. I could have picked Wild Weasel too but I’m not into poetry. Make him some kind of Navy Seal or a Marine for Cobra. By settling on him, I avoided all the Dreadnought which are also a must but there are so many of them, that picking one when there are only twelve spots was impossible. I have faith that we’ll get some Dreadnoughts.
Stalker should have been the one included in the first wave instead of Roadblock. It would have kept some symmetry with the first episode of G.I. Joe when the main cast was introduced. I still want Stalker. I had to pick one green beret so I chose him instead of Lieutenant Falcon which I’m sure we’ll see more of in the future.
You will notice a pattern with my picks. I chose Grunt as the everyman G.I. Joe soldier instead of Footloose. Oh, I still want Footloose, but only after we get Grunt.
How could I not put Hawk on this list? The General is the official leader of G.I. Joe. Duke is the de factor leader on the filed though. I would like them to make Hawk look a bit older, like in his forties. I ignored all the other officers that Hasbro tried to sell us over the years. Hawk is the real deal.
This was painful because I also wanted Sci-Fi. But if we’re going to have one laser riffle infantry soldier, Flash is the one. I also want Grand Slam, but they can reuse Flash’s body and make a variant with a new head and new weapons! Blowtorch could also have been a great pick but with limited space, a future wave can reintroduce him.
Here, I cheated. I did not favour an original 1982 G.I. Joe troop. Well, to be clear, unless you count Sparks, Mainframe had no equivalent in the early cartoons. The closest was Breaker who really was a communications’ guy. But Mainframe also carries a radio pack on his back, plus a laptop! Mainframe was a favourite as a kid. Sorry breaker…
I admit that although I know that Zap is the original Bazooka, I always confused his function with Short-Fuze. But this is why we need him. I still want Bazooka one day, but Zap is less popular.
I don’t recall if here ever was a direct replacement for Short-Fuze. His function on the team was utilitarian and based on actual specialties in conventional warfare. I still like him a lot, even if he is a bit mor obscure. He does have the original soldier look that the first generation of A Real American Hero had.
Ripcord in the comics had a major storyline and he was a HALO jumper. We need working parachutes! For some reason, I always saw him as a replacement for Airborne but cooler. Mond you, I still want an Airborne. I also must mention, Ripcord must not be like the movie version. That, I will not buy!
Torpedo in the cartoon was a cool Hawaiian surfer guy. We need one Navy Seal in his wetsuit. Speaking of wetsuits, I also want Wetsuit but Torpedo came first.
Tripwire was not utilized often in the comic and his action figure was lame. I love him! Mines and their detection is a big deal in modern military. Of course, I also like Tunnel Rat but, you know my drill. Original characters first.
Okay, with Scarlet, Chuckles as the male spy is not as necessary. But Chuckle was unique and had this cool Hawaiian shit without political meaning, much like the Fraggles’ Wembley! I did not pick Lady Jaye nor Shipwreck. I suffered from too much Lady Jaye in the cartoon. Shipwreck can annoy too but I still want him around. I don’t have to worry about whether any of them will come in future waves, so, let’s give the spotlight to someone who needs it.
It was not easy to pick the twelfth member, but we need a medic. Doc was always different from the other characters and much less whiny than Lifeline. Flint, much like Lady Jaye or Shipwreck would have been a good pick. But we know that there will be a Flint so why bother? Cutter and Spirit were good picks too.
So, I'm cheating. Since I counted Tomax and Xamot as one unit instead of two, I must be OCD and add one more Joe that I can't do without! Under utilized but very dynamic-looking!
Other action figures that I would like to see are these.
- Rock’n Roll
- Grand Slam
- Mutt & Junkyard
- Cover Girl
- Lt. Falcon
- Lady Jaye
- Quick Kick
- Beach Head
- Snow Serpent
- Wild Weasel
I’m excited about the new G.I. Joe Classified series of action figures. The only thing that they are missing are great file cards!