no, fucking seriously, this is AMERICA. A dumpy pro-wrestler who pretends to be a Marine on a cartoon show meant to sell toys to children pretends to play an electric guitar shaped like the logo of a terrible beer in the desert on the back of a pickup truck while bikini girls dance.
90s G.I. Joe / Ninja Force toy box art for the “Ninja Raider Pile Driver”
yes, when I think of stealthy assassins who hide in the shadows, this is the kind of thing I imagine.
This is obviously for when they fuck up and get out of the shadows, duh.
You see T’Gin-Zu up there? He’s a white dude from Somers, NY. I’ve been to Somers, it’s a half hour drive from my house. It is not a town that would produce a guy described like this: ”T’GIN-ZU was the best martial arts student STORM SHADOW ever taught. He studied the martial arts for over 20 years until he earned the right to be called a ninja master. He learned some of the guarded secrets of the Arashikage ninja clan, especially those dealing with covert operations and various techniques in self-discipline and endurance training. During his first week as part of Ninja Force, T’Gin-Zu volunteered to be a Ninja Raider driver. Since then, he has clobbered Cobras across the globe in his pursuit to capture the entire band of Cobra’s Red Ninjas…ALONE!!!”
This is the kind of thing I think of when I see Joe fans trying to be serious and hard-core.
Yeah, I think like, 90% of the Ninja Force Joes were named after Hasbro staffers at the time.
That’s how you get Lloyd S. Goldfine, the Snow Ninja from Queens.
He carries his grandfather’s ceremonial samurai sword into battle.
How a dude from Queens came into possession of a samurai sword is best left unasked.
I figured I spent so long getting this figure ready for the YoJoe archives I might as well make a post showing how it came together.
Chef was a proposed 1987 G.I. Joe figure that evolved into Starduster, the mail-away figure from the G.I. Joe Action Stars cereal! The original artwork can be found here! This was the figure we would be making for the International G.I. Joe Collector’s Convention’s custom class for 2014. It’s the first time there’s been a directed build, and we’d have some new parts sculpted by Boss Fight Studios for us.
First picture - the bagged set of parts cast by Alyosha with help from Raginspoon. Note that participants had to provide their own limbs. The head is cast from Lifeline, while the torso and waist are from Firefly. The neck was modified by Andrew of Boss Fight Studios to remove the turtleneck. Apparently, all he used was a dremel! Along with the body parts, we had some accessories, including Zandar's shoulder holster that Alyosha lengthened to fit around the larger torso.
Third picture - After painting, I realized the arms weren’t working. The shoulder joints didn’t agree with the torso, and the skin tone really didn’t match the head. I also wasn’t liking painting the neck with the loaner tools in the class, so I decided to hold off on that until I got home. This was as far as I got during the convention.
Fourth picture - I picked up a Joe Colton from the convention’s dealer room for his arms. I kept Flint’s gloved hands, as gloved hands were part of the original artwork. With my own brushes and paints, I felt more comfortable tackling the neck, too.
Fifth picture - The next day I finally applied the waterslide decal we were given as a tattoo for Chef. I definitely procrastinated on this step! Partly because I wanted to scan the decal in for the archives, but mostly because waterslide decals scare me. Let’s just say this was the first successful application of one I’ve ever done, and leave it at that.
Sixth picture - after rounding up some Testor’s Model Masters paints in the colors used in the custom class, I was able to touch up some scratches made during the journey home. Chef is finally ready for his YoJoe close-up.
It’s like Greg and I’ve talked about before. Hasbro has had more than a decade of writing on the wall and ignored it. This is the inevitable result.
No one wants to…
As a child of the 90s moreso than the 80s, I loved the wackier aspects of the 3 3/4” line. I got my mom to buy me every Armor Tech figure, got my grandma to buy me Mega Marines Gung-Ho, got my dad to buy me Shadow Ninjas Storm Shadow and Snake Eyes. Seeing a pattern here?
I liked the military aspect of GI Joe, but I also liked the fantasy. And that’s something that really hasn’t been embraced. This year’s convention set, with its callback to Eco-Warriors is a good start, and I saw many people love it and many people hate it.
GI Joe isn’t just 82 - 86 for me, it hardly ever was! Sure, I love the original 13, but there’s so much more to Joe than that. Embrace the wackier bits! I’m got to think I’m not the only kid from the 90s who wants more of that strangeness brought back. Olive drab gets boring after a while.