G.I. JOE: A REAL AMERICAN HERO (HASBRO)
“Since joining the Joes, I’ve held the record for personally sinking more enemy ships than the entire 3rd fleet, and that’s on a bad day! I’ve torpedoed so many hulls, I’m surprised the ocean hasn’t overflowed with scrap iron! On dry land, I’m a fish out of water. I’d rather be on my sea sled than in a tank or jet fighter; luckily I have plenty of courageous teammates to handle those jobs. Making the seas safe from criminal scum is my life’s work, and I can’t think of a better way to do it than as a member of G.I. Joe!”
In 1994, it was the 30th anniversary of the G.I. Joe brand as a whole, but perhaps not the best spot for the brand’s 3 3/4 inch scale, which had ruled the market for 12 years. In its last gasp of breath before going on a hiatus, the line merged styles with its 12-inch predecessors for a line of commemorative 3 3/4-inch figures based on the original Joes. Each of the major branches of the military was covered with one figure based on the original packaging illustrations. In the case of the “Action Sailor” that meant a pretty sick looking wet suit!
THE FIGURE ITSELF
The Action Sailor was released in 1994 as part of the final year of the Real American Hero branding’s vintage run. He and the other four 30th figures were sold as deluxe boxed items in packaging that replicated the original box. The figure stands 3 3/4 inches tall and he has 14 points of articulation. While the original Action Sailor was in a more standard uniform, this figure instead gives us the sailor in his Navy Frogman outfit, by far the most distinctive look for this branch. His mold was brand new to him, but a slightly altered version was used by Fun 4 All later in the ’90s when they put out their Keychains. As I noted in that review, I find this and the Action Pilot to be the best of the 30th sculpts. It’s a lot more organic than the soldier and marine were, and gets to add in the details of a fully kitted out design. This version of the mold is also a lot sharper than the keychain recreation, allowing the details to more clearly be made out, making it all the more impressive. Also, the better quality plastic means that he’s not as easily broken, allowing me to finally have a diver without the broken pelvis. Yay! His paintwork is a fairly basic set-up; the black is just molded plastic, with some silver and flesh toned details mixed in throughout. The Action Sailor included his sea sled, a scuba tank, two flippers, a harpoon gun, a flashlight, and a hose. My figure’s missing the gun, flashlight, and hose, but even so, he makes out alright on the accessory front.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
The Action Sailor is important me because the Keychain release is actually what got me into small-scale G.I. Joe. That one was never quite as impressive as a proper Joe, but I hung onto him for a good while. It wasn’t until much later that I even knew that non-keychain releases existed, nor did I know of the difference in quality. This guy came from a small collection of Joes that All Time got in about a month before the huge collection. He got a little overshadowed, but I was still pretty happy to have the proper Hasbro release after all these years. He’s not majorly different, but it’s different enough that I felt he was worth the purchase.