G.I. JOE: A REAL AMERICAN HERO (HASBRO)
“The spoiled offspring of wealthy European aristocrats, the Baroness graduated from student radicalism into international terrorism and finally into the ranks of COBRA. She was severely burned during a COBRA night attack operation and has had extensive plastic surgery. Rumor has it that she is the only one who knows Destro’s secret identity. Qualified expert: M-16; AK-47; RPG7; Uzi; H.I.S.S. tank operator.”
While the GI Joe comic was designed primarily to sell the toys in the toy line, it wasn’t entirely without its roster of non-toy-bearing characters. On the Joe side, it was most limited to higher ranking officers who didn’t get in on the action quite so much. On the Cobra side, however, there was the Baroness, who would go on to be one of the franchise’s most prominent fixtures. Though introduced in the very first issue of the comic in 1982, Baroness wouldn’t join the toyline for another two years, and in fact would only have a single figure during the original vintage run. I’m reviewing said figure today.
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Baroness was added to the GI Joe line-up in 1984. The line was at the time doing one female figure per line-up, making Baroness the third female figure to be inducted into the line. She was the first female Cobra added, and she would remain their only female member until Zarana jointed the line in ’86. The figure stands 3 3/4 inches tall and she has 14 points of articulation. Baroness’s sculpt was all-new to her at the time, but would go on to see re-use for a few other Baroness figures later on down the line. It’s probably the most attractive female sculpt that the vintage line produced, and certainly a step up from the likes of Scarlett and Covergirl. It’s pretty decently proportioned, and really captures that femme fatale thing that Baroness had going in the comics and cartoons. Additionally, it follows that great trend with a lot of these mid-run Joes, where there’s just so much depth to their sculpts. You can make out what’s body armor, versus what’s the underlying jumpsuit. It gives her a definite weight that a lot of similarly styled figures tend to lack. They even manage to not make the glasses look totally awful, which is certainly not a bad thing. Compared to others, Baroness’s paint is perhaps a bit lax, with a majority of the figure being un-painted black plastic. What paint is there is really made to count, as she’s one of the cleanest vintage Joes I’ve ever handled. Baroness is packed with a small back pack and a laser rifle. The rifle would later see itself repurposed during the 2002 line for the re-issued Vipers, which is kind of nifty if you ask me.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
When the large Joe collection that netted me the previously reviewed Destro figure arrived at All Time Toys, Baroness was one of the earliest pieces to jump out at me, even though the figure’s never been at the top of my must-have list. There was just something very impressive about this figure in-hand, and finding both her and Destro complete and together was really what sold me on getting the two of them. She’s a very strong figure, and I can definitely get why Hasbro felt this one would do it for the whole vintage run. Certainly one of the strongest figures the vintage line had to offer.
As noted above, Baroness came from All Time Toys, who got in a rather sizable vintage Joe collection, the remnants of which can be checked out the Joe section of their eBay page here. If you’re looking for other toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.