GI Joe has been a toy line for longer than most of your have been alive. GI Joe, introduced way back in 1964, essentially invented the action figure market. Most of us think of the 1980’s/1990’s revival, the Real American Hero series, when we think of GI Joe. The toys at 3 3/4″ were perfect for building armies and buying a ton of vehicles. Here are the absolutely coolest weapons and accessories of all time.
Many toys were supposed to be spies or shapeshifters. Zartan actually came with a creepy human mask to wear over his face. Sure he still looked absolutely ridiculous, but you could easily split over some other character and pretend he was a spy infiltrating a unity. Or a serial killer wearing a skin mask. Either way, it was a cool accessory.
SNAKE EYE’S JOINTED NUNCHUK
Snake Eyes was always the most popular GI Joe, so he got approximately 17,046 figures over the lines lifespan. The 1989 release had the best accessory other than possibly his wolf Timber: jointed nunchuks. Back in the 1980’s, ninjas were the coolest thing on the planet and every toy line had 1 or 6. The problem was that most had nunchuks that did nothing, being just hard hunks of plastic. Snake Eyes got an awesome set with joints in it so it could actually be used to pummel people.
HYDRO-VIPER’S BREATHING MASK AND OXYGEN TANK
Just imagine if Cobra was a real terrorist organization. They spent the time to design and build a mask that looks like Merman from He-Man for their deep diving operatives instead of just pulling one off the shelf. That’s the kind of insane dedication we expect from evil organizations. Be honest, though, if you were going to take any of your toys scuba diving, you’d absolutely use Hydro-Viper’s gear.
STORM SHADOW’S CLAW
Storm Shadow’s second figure got an awesome accessory that appeared again and again with many of the ninja turtle figures from GI Joe. It was a claw that can best be described as “Wolverine’s claw”. There’s no better way to fight Snake Eyes than with a deadly claw in one hand a sword in the other.
ROCK & ROLL’S ENORMOUS GATLING GUNS
What even is… how does he stand… how? Rock & Roll was another normal looking military GI Joe figure with one amazon accessory. He had not one but two gatling guns that no living human being and almost no fictional character of that the Terminator could handle. Would these guns immediately snap his arms in half in real life? Yes. Is this toy amazing? Yes.
COBRA EEL’S SHARK CANNON
The 1992 release of the Cobra Eel trooper came with a shark. This was not just any shark, though, it was both an oxygen tank AND a missile firing cannon. It could be a robot shark attacking Joes. It could be a gun. It could be a jet pack. It could be anything you wanted it to be, including a shark. Now that’s a great toy.
CROC MASTER’S CROCODILE
Many of the vintage GI Joe toys came with animal partners. Snake Eyes had his wolf Timber. Various figures came with snakes, vultures, haws, a bobcat, a dog, etc. But no other animal companion was cool than Croc Master’s crocodile. I mean, come on. It’s an actual pet giant reptile kept by a Cobra luchador dude.
BACKBLAST’S RIDICULOUSLY HUGE SHOULDER MISSILE LAUNCHER
Backblast wasn’t a cool looking figure, with no mask or insane armor. What Backblast lacked in flair he made up for in having a GIANT SHOULDER MISSILE LAUNCHER that was literally the size of the figure and then some. I mean… wow. Just wow. This is what made 80’s toys so cool.
BULLHORN’S RIFLE IN A CASE
As far as GI Joe toys go, cool figures with realistic guns were always the best. Growing up, cool bad guys in movies had guns in briefcases. Bullhorn was a good guy, but he had an awesome gun that broke apart and stored in a case he could wear as a backpack. That was cool on any planet.
GENERAL HAWK’S JETPACK
General Hawk came out in 1991 in an outfit that can only be considered the 1960’s version of the Rocketeer. Thanks to Boba Fett, jetpacks were cool. Space suits are always cool. When you combined that for a retro futuristic look, you got General Hawk in all his insane glory.
Which is your favorite?