#2260: Action Sailor



“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 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 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.

#1812: G.I. Joe Keychains



Hey, you guys remember when I looked at that G.I. Joe keychain a while back?  Wasn’t that pretty cool? I sure thought so! Here’s another four of those. 


These four were released as a boxed set as part of Fun 4 All’s G.I. Joe: Classic Collection in 1998.  They used the same molds as the single-packed keychains, but in alternate color schemes.  Like the previously reviewed Action Marine, all four “keychains” are fully articulated figures with a removable keychain attachment.  And, just like that figure, all four of mine are missing said attachment, because I didn’t really buy them to be keychains.


The most standard member of the team is the Action Soldier, a member of the US Army Corps.  This one in particular is wearing MP gear, showcasing a slight variant.  The figure stands 3 3/4 inches tall and he has 14 points of articulation.  The Action Soldier features a few parts in common with the previously reviewed Marine.  They share a head, pelvis, and upper legs.  The other parts are unique to the Soldiers.  For whatever reason, the Soldier actually has a slightly smaller build than the other three figures, despite the original 12-inch Joes all using the same basic body.  But, I guess a little bit of variety isn’t the worst thing.  The sculpt is a decent offering, though he’s definitely on the softer side detailing-wise.  His paint is the main defining part of this releases.  It’s okay, but rather on the simple side. He lacks any sort of paint on his torso, not even on his web gear or grenades.  Also, what paint he does have is rather prone to chipping, though the Soldier has held up the best of the four in this set.


The pilot is one of the more intricately designed of these figures; unlike the Marine and the Soldier, he and the Diver are actually based on fully decked-out Joes with parts from some of the supplemental sets.  He’s seen here in his full pilot’s gear…or he would be if mine weren’t missing a few pieces.  The Pilot is sporting an all-new sculpt, and while it’s still not quite up to Hasbro par, it’s certainly a stronger sculpt than either of the other two I’ve looked at, and is perhaps the strongest in the set.  The details are more numerous, and the overall construction is a bit less rudimentary.  He also gives us our only true look at the “standard” Joe head, which is a decent replica of the old 12-inch figures.  His paintwork is fairly decent, and certainly better spread out and more complete than the Soldier’s.  The blue/yellow combo is another non-standard look, but it works well, and it’s slightly less situational than the others in the set.  The Pilot was the only one of these to actually include an accessory, which was a removable helmet.  Unfortunately, I’ve lost mine, which is a real shame.


Like the Pilot, the Action Diver is a more intricately designed figure, also patterned on a fully kitted-out 12-inch Joe.  The frogman get-up is actually one of my favorite classic Joe designs, and by far the most distinctive of the Navy looks.  The sculpt is rivaled only by the Pilot in terms of quality.  He’s got one of the most organic sculpts of the bunch, and definitely the one with the sharpest detailing.  I also really dig that clear visor on the goggles; it’s a small touch that really helps the figure.  Unfortunately, the Diver has one main drawback: he’s the member of the set most affected by the low quality plastic used for these figures.  On both versions of the Diver own, the front piece of the pelvis has broken off; it’s a minor issue, and still leaves you with a workable figure, but it’s annoying to say the least.  The Diver is actually the only figure in this set to get more paintwork than his single-carded release.  Since he’s molded in orange (an alternate color scheme that actually hails form Adventures of GI Joe, the less military-themed precursor to Adventure Team), all of the straps and such are actually painted black, whereas the regular figure was just molded in black and thereby left them unpainted.


The final piece of this set is the one figure I’ve looked at before, more or less.  These keychains were based on Hasbro’s commemorative 30th Anniversary figures from 1994, and while those figures included alternate color schemes for both the Pilot and the Diver, the Marine and Soldier didn’t get second releases, so these had to be made up.  The Marine gets a desert camo look, which certainly makes him quickly identifiable as distinct from the standard release.  Also, for whatever reason, he swaps out his lower legs for those of the Soldier, giving him tucked-in boots.  Not 100% sure why, but it certainly works.


As I noted in my Marine review, it was these keychains that introduced me to 3 3/4-inch Joes.  This set was actually the last of the keychain offerings I procured.  After finding the standard releases of the Diver, the Pilot, and the Marine, I was quite thrilled to find this pack at the KB just outside the town where my family vacationed over the summers.  At the time, I was in the midst of quite a G.I. Joe kick, and these really hit the spot.  Admittedly, they aren’t the greatest offerings.  They’re fun, but definitely lower quality than a lot of figures from the same era.