September 12, 2011

Five Joe years in the making….

Filed under: GIJoe — Tags: — fairplaythings @ 1:13 am

For the last week, I’ve been thinking about original three-and-three-quarter G.I. Joes. The catalyst came last Sunday when, kicked out of the house this morning to allow for yet another home showing, we went out to hit a flea market in Atrim, Ontario, and later onto  antique store just outside of town that I don’t get to as much as I like, and was able to come out of the trip with at least something for my efforts, including a Real American Hero Wild Weasel.

Wild Weasel got me thinking to the old Hasbro three-packs. At a time when Hasbro has switched to the Valor vs. Venom style of figures that reigned during the early and mid-2000s, these three packs (running from 2004 to 2006) were a rare chance to get original body Joes. But it was more than just a mere retread of old figures. The way Hasbro moved forward was to package three figures with an old Marvel Comic, using the comic story to determine the figures to be released. So original Joes were released in comic-accurate (and frankly more interesting) colours than their original offerings. Frequently, the updates included new outfits, with remolded heads and parts to better make the transition to plastic. Even better, the series offered characters never before released, like Kwinn, General Flagg (the senior), and the October Guard.

A fan wank if there ever was one.

Now the series wasn’t perfect. To keep the line interesting, popular characters like Snake Eyes were reused to the exclusion of other variations. Certain variations that would have made sense (Helmeted Cobra Commander) were not included. And not everyone came out with the best accessories (the case of Zap and his missing bazooka). But the biggest trouble was that the line wasn’t simply not meant to last.

Hasbro initially released three packs of the first nine issues. They then switched to an approach whereby they cherry picked certain notable comics from the ongoing series, like the silent issue #21, rather than find themselves constrained by story lines where key characters dominated the several issues (the whole Kwinn/Venom sub plot that ran through most of the mid teen issues). And then the 25th anniversary line appeared, with new body architecture, and the three packs evolved to match. Three packs became two packs, and the line continued with the new bodied Joes for a few more years.

But this was a line I wanted to see continued, as unlikely as it was ever to be and probably only because of my OCD, right through the entire G.I. Joe run. And in particular I wanted justice done for the two red armour plated soldiers known as Flash and Grand Slam. Flash was part of the issue 8 pack, but packaged in a space suit. I wanted him in his classic garb. And Grand Slam was the sole missing figure from the first 15 figures released in 1982. I wanted him represented too!

So, at the end of the line,  I started dreaming up what I would do with an Issue #10 and #11. And the idea has peculated ever since, until I am forced to write it down. So, aided by a re-reading of the original Marvel trades, I’m creating my list:

  • Issue 1:  Baroness, (Hooded) Cobra Commander, Cobra Soldier
  • Issue 2:  Scarlett (judo uniform), Snake Eyes (arctic), Tracker Kwinn
  • Issue 3:  Stalker (tan and green fatigues), (Double) Clutch, General Abernathy (Hawk)
  • Issue 4:  Zap, Grunt (as mercenary), Snake Eyes
  • Issue 5:  Steeler, General Flagg, Cobra Officer
  • Issue 6:  Daira, Brekhov, Shrage (October Guard)
  • Issue 7:  Horrorshow, Stalker (green and black fatigues), Stormavik
  • Issue 8:  Short Fuze, Flash (in space suit), Rock ‘n Roll
  • Issue 9:  Breaker, Scarlett, Hologram Cobra Commander
  • Issue 10:  Dr. Venom, Zap (as Cobra Soldier), Scarlett (as Cobra Soldier)
  • Vehicle Set:  Issue 6:  October Guard six-wheeler with Flash (with tan armour, unreleased 1997 style)
  • Issue 11:  Snow Job, Rock n’ Roll (in parka), Wild Bill
  • Issue 12:  Gung-Ho, Breaker (undercover - in civies), Stalker (undercover - white suit)
  • Issue 13:  Hawk, Torpedo, Richter (mercenary)
  • Issue 14:  Destro, 2 X Cobra airtroopers
  • Issue 15:  Quinn (in shorts), burned Snake-Eyes (maskless), Dr. Venom
  • Issue 16:  Cover Girl, Tripwire, Baroness
  • Issue 17:  Grand Slam, Ace, Cobra Pilot
  • Issue 18:  Grunt (desert), Airborne, Scarlett (with orange helmet)
  • Issue 19:  Doc, Scarface (with removal helmet), Major Bludd
  • Issue 20:  Clutch (in civies), Cobra Trooper (with Jet Pack), Arbco Security Guard
  • Issue 21:  Storm Shadow, Snake Eyes, Red Ninja Viper
  • Issue 22: Grunt, Zap (in dress uniform), Flash
  • Issue 23: Baroness (black suit), Major Bludd (Undercover), Storm Shadow (Undercover)
  • Issue 24:  Duke, Destro, Roadblock
  • Vehicle Set:  Issue 16:  Double Pilot HISS Tank (with HISS Driver)
On its own, the list was always going to be a challenge given the story arcs that presented themselves (for reasons listed above). But I managed to conspire against myself to make it even more difficult in a number of ways:
  1. I treated the first nine three-packs as untouchable, as well as #21 and #24, even when some flexibility would have made for a better rounded selection. Moving General Flagg from #5 to #19, and making #5 a Clutch, Steeler and Breaker combo would make for a better set of figures for both issues, just as Duke and Roadblock would have been preferred for Issue #22. But second-guessing Hasbro would have opened a bigger can of worms (mainly whatever happens if I decide to actually make these figures and stick them on cards…)
  2. I have prevented myself from reusing any character, unless I gave them a significant overhaul. Multiple reiterations of the same character is boring to me, and I’m actually disappointed that Stalker ended up in the first batch of nine three packs in very similar uniforms. Thus, the undercover versions of Stalker and Breaker, civilian Clutch, the parka-ed Rock n’ Roll, and the “battle damaged” Snake Eyes. In all five cases, each character lend itself explicitly to the issue in question (although by #15 Snake Eyes had mysteriously gotten a new glove and mask) Admittedly, I cheated a bit here with Hawk and Scarlett, but only just. Hawk is wearing a very cool variation of his original uniform, with a black top, in Issue #13, and Scarlett never seemed to get her orange helmet so it was a good fit for the battle royal in Libya portrayed in Issue #18 (even if the orange helmet was really shown in Issue #13).  Desert Grunt was a nod to his Falcon attire in 1983 as much as an effort to round out a difficult issue for unique figures, and I hope to be able to do similar justice to Grand Slam’s silver variant in the future.

Working in my favour was a willingness to use new Cobra trooper uniforms (see Issue 14) and creating the vehicle packs (and a willingness to bend the figure rules therein.) While it would have been better to put an October Guardsman with their six-wheeled vehicle, there weren’t any that hadn’t already been used. But Flash got decent service in the storyline, and his tan miscolouration in Issue #6 was too good to pass up, as a homage to the unreleased 15th anniversary version originally planned for 1997 (even if I did squeeze a regular Flash into Issue #22). For the HISS tank, while there wasn’t actually an incident in the first 20 issues where he appeared, my desire to ensure that all new molds were represented and the absence of a logical choice for pilot duties allowed me to bring him forward. I would imagine he would be very much in the unreleased Wal-Mart Rip-It vain anyway, to match the colour scheme of Cobra troops at the time (a scheme that goes nicely with the remote control tank drivers in Issue #28.)

Still it was hard. What does one do when character-driven issue like #20, without relying on something like the Arbco Security Guard? My efforts to make sure that Issue #19 had significant weight without repeating characters like General Flagg meant that Scarface (originally scheduled for #13) was replaced by Richter the Mercenary, and Major Bludd (originally scheduled for #17) was replaced with a Cobra Pilot. Anyway, a list of the first 24 issues is complete.

Having skimmed ahead, combined with Hasbro’s later issue releases, makes me think continuing this exercise is going to be even more difficult. So this may be it, we’ll see. But it’s a start for now.

(Thanks to yojoe.com for the use of the Flash picture.)

July 23, 2010

Friday ComicCon is Love!

Filed under: ComicCon, GIJoe, Shogun Warriors, Toys, Transformers, collecting, nostalgia — fairplaythings @ 12:31 pm

I’m back from TFCon. The fabled Munny draw will take place this weekend so if you’re watching this space, watch this space this weekend for the winner.

In the meantime, Friday and ComicCon is barely underway and yet the pictures and information are coming fast and furious. Too much to tweet really, so I’m putting it all together in a post.


Transformers: Prime looks nice style-wise. Now let’s see if it has the heart of Animated, or the soul of Beast Wars…

However, these movie two-packs are just hitting the shelves. I have to say I like them. I thought 2010 was going to be a safe year for me in the toy isle…


With the new Renegades cartoon coming, there certainly is good Joe potential. But looking at the clip from the cartoon, a very Resolute story, I am wondering if the toys will be in the same style (so like TF: Animated was in comparison to the movie line). It would be cool but will cause some astetic issues. Anyway, some toy highlights:

Mini-Hiss Tank. What is nice about this is that it’s another opportunity for the HISS driver, a perrenial favourite.

Alley Viper. You can’t be released soon enough!

Lowlight in the RAH style. Nice.


It seems to be a good year to be a Lantern. Could there be a movie coming?

A five pack of Lanterns, plus a new (two-ups are yum!) DCUC Kyle in the foreground.

It’s DCUC Alan Scott!

No! He’s only available at Wally-Town!

It’s DCU Power Ring. I’m in! (And the Reddy looks awesome!)

Manhunter? Looks more like the Ultra Humanite. Whatever. Want!

Hey I just bought this set at TFCon. Go me!

I love the McGuinness-style toys. So Hal and company make me happy!

More Metal Men in the DCUC style. Fantastic!

Epic Win, Epic Fail!:

I think for me the big news is to see a resurgence in Shogun Warriors. Check this out!  I am totally getting this!

But, is this a Battle Beast? Can’t tell. Hope not.

November 22, 2009

Part 3: A S.N.A.K.E. on the BarBie

Filed under: GIJoe, collecting, nostalgia — fairplaythings @ 1:07 am

Part three is about my first foray (should that be Moray?) into the world of the Rise of Cobra toys.

I have come to love the 25th anniversary line of G.I. Joe toys as I believe I’ve expressed on more than one ocassion. Modern technology + classic figures = win. In fact, under construction is a comparison offering of how to round our the first six years of Joes as if it were 1982 through 1987… But while I miss the classic body types of old, you can’t go wrong with the chance to bring home an original ‘83 style Snake Eyes or never-before-released-on-card H.I.S.S. Driver, Mint on Mint Card!

Now that G.I. Joe has gone the way of everything movie, Hasbro has taken some liberties with the Rise of Cobra line to use it as a backdoor to some of the figures or characters it didn’t get to put out as part of the anniversary line, primarily through exclusives. Charboil is one of these cases. Unlike some other current or pending releases (like Heavy Metal… er… Rampage), Charboil does not exactly mirror his 1980s counterpart as much as pay small homage to him. But I’m a sucker for a blowtorch and so, on sale this week at Zeller when I picked him up on Friday (November 13th), I brought him.

He came home much easier mind you given the appearance of a certain piece of recoloured armour on the right. The S.N.A.K.E. armour has been white (and probably yellow by now in a lot of collections), rarely blue, and red overseas (except when it was aging grey) but it’s never been black. Before now. As far as I can tell, this is the original, and joining a series of toys to come including a Crimson coloured Mobile Missile System and a repainted Firebat.

Given that I am in the middle of playing through the Rise of Cobra game with Kirilaw (which gets great nostalgia points but is a game that someone should have put better functionality into the save points and camera mobility), it’s Joe-tastic here right now.Now can we get us a Terrordome? Pretty please?

November 20, 2009

Part 1: Dressing Up Is Hard to Do When You Wear Yourself on Your Sleeve

Filed under: GIJoe, nostalgia — fairplaythings @ 1:06 am

Thought I’d shake things up a bit here at the blog and tell you the tale of five recent purchases in serial style. This is part one.

Back in the 1980s, there were a number of licenses granted to the likes Collegeville and Ben Cooper to make Halloween costumes of your favourites characters, from Gobots to Strawberry Shortcake, Micronauts to Star Wars. What they all head in common was the style. Instead of today’s style where you look like you came right out of the cartoon, you wore a costume that made it seem that the character came right out of you.

Yes kids. The 1980s were a time just like those described by Jerry Seinfeld, with rubber bands and Superman flying right off your chest. And let me tell you it really did suck when it rained on the big day and you had to wear your snow coat over your once-a-year danger suit.

Having said that, having survived my own experienced as Yoda, Darth Vader and Stormtrooper (possibly Boba Fett too - those Star Wars costumes were awesome!), the old and highly flammable costumes of yore hold a special place in my heart. Yes, they are plastic pictures but the masks are often brilliant. So I’ve been tracking them slowly on eVay, but tend to balk at the shipping prices. So when I saw two of the eight Collegeville Transformer costumes* (Megatron and “Jumpstarter”) in tiptop condition, I jumped at getting them sent to me. At the same time I put a bid in on a third costume, that of “G.I. Joe”, or as he was represented in 1982, Grunt. I then forgot about the auction until it was too late to rescue my bids. No formers for me.

But I still won G.I. Joe.

This was a mix-up really. Grunt was only on the list because the shipping of three suits would be negligible. Now I was shipping just one suit. But a bid is a bid is a bid (particularly when the seller is fair about shipping rates) and Grunt arrived Monday (November 9th). He’s in incredible shape and even the elastic holds firm. As you can see, it amazingly still fits almost thirty years later.


*(Collegeville Transformer costumes included Optimus Prime, Megatron, “Jumpstarter” (Topspin), Snarl, Superion, Silverbolt, Ultra Magnus and Metroplex. They weren’t much for villains apparently, and you could go as Superion and your brother could go as your chest piece (coming out of his chest piece…)

September 22, 2009

Take your Munny to the Slaughter

Filed under: GIJoe, collecting, custom, munny, nostalgia — fairplaythings @ 2:04 am

I’m still pretty exhausted from the past weekend’s activities but I really need to get them down for posterity. And to show you pics of course. So I am holding off sleep to give you the important news. Which I’ll make properly rambly in any event, but still, it’s worth holding out on sleep to note properly.

This past weekend, you see, I took the opportunity to go down to Toronto for the 6th Annual Canadian Action Figure Expo. Seemingly hosted by a lot of the usual TFCon suspects, it seemed like a good reason to get out of the city for a break. Now I’d never been to the Expo before, but experienced a bit of what I thought it would be like with the newly-added second day of TFCon, where the show was expanded to include other toy lines.

I collect other toy lines. Such is my cross to bear.

Anyway, I thought it would be fun to see what I could gather up. Of course, I attended this event like I do any other event - with a mental checklist only. Which doesn’t help when it comes to getting parts but isn’t bad in terms of eye-candy (which of course has implications for the pocket book, but no surprise there). Admittedly, there was another draw too. I must confess that an appearance by Sergeant Slaughter, former WWF wrestling champion, current WWE ambassador and past pitchman for G.I.Joe, was the icing on the cake. As a kid, I use to watch WWF and Grand Pre wrestling with my grandfather, so I got to know all the superstars of the day. So I have a healthy dose of nostalgia there too. And I actually own the original mail-away Sergeant Slaughter figure (although could I find it for the show?… not on your life…)

So I chance to blend my love of toys (or as my grandfather use to call them, “dolls”), with our past shared interest in lazy Saturday afternoon watching wrestling was too rich to pass up.

I’ll get into more about the Expo (what I call the good, the bad and the dumb) in the coming days. But let’s talk about Sarge. He was basically running a Q&A session from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. and then signing autographs afterward. The Q&A was quite good. He’s a really affable fellow and quite interesting with his various stories from his wrestling days and his days as a Joe. And of course, it’s always appropriate to have the last question prompted by Cobra Commander. Later, I waited in what was a very efficient autograph line to dutifully get my item autographed (in my case, the Warthog, the big amphibious vehicle which he piloted in the late 1980s in the toy line) and then back in line for a picture with the Sarge.

While I think having a picture of little me and big him together would have looked cool too, how could I turn down his generous offer of his signature move, the Cobra Clutch?

But then, I had a surprise for him.

At heart, I am a big fan boy. By big, I mean massive. So I am going to Toronto for a toy show and the big push over-the-top in terms of rationale is to meet Sarge. Of course, I have to bring something with me as a gift. The adult in me cringes even admitting this, and yet I cannot help but think it was appropriate to undertake such a last minute project as an adult in appreciation for bridging my toy world with my grandfather’s wrestling world. Something appropriate….

And that’s when I decided to create the Sargeant Slaughter munny.

That I have to wait until the night before I leave to have this realization, while trying to find something for the autograph line meant that the effort did not leave a lot to error. I wasn’t bringing a close to final piece. As with Botcon 2009, I was once again embarking on a project that I would kick myself for not finishing but which might end up impossible to do in the time frame allowed. So I am still a little surprised how (relatively speaking) easily it all came together.

Before I left Ottawa, I grabbed a pre-dyed black 4″ munny and quickly spray painting the flesh parts, I wrapped up the required paint colours, necessary line art for the original mail-in edition (which is also very much his pro-wrestling attire) and accessories, and took it all with me to work on into the wee hours of Saturday morning in my hotel room. Time meant I couldn’t do a fancy box, but having the idea worked out at home meant I could whip up more than just a figure. I was able to use a standard 4″ munny cowbow hat, with the edges removed and replaced with an epoxy brim, for Sarge’s ubiquitous stetson. His staff was an altered pinwheel handle. And rather than paint on the trademark glass, I used the 4″ versions to complete the look. The rest was standard line art and paint applications, except for the whistle which is added with epoxy.

Given the advantage of a dyed body and the spray-painted fleshtone, Sarge Munny came together reasonably easy (with the exception of the hat, which took more effort because I lacked wax paper and a solid plan for working it out in advance) and I’m very happy with the overall effect. In the end, I went with a cartoony look for his face because, well, I’m better at that look than I am at hyper-realism. And I put the GIJoe logo on his back, as opposed to his leg, for space advantages.

So after he released me (you don’t escape the Cobra clutch; the Sarge lets you go…) I mentioned I had something for him and brought out the munny. I really wish I’d had more forethought to tell him the story about papa and I watching wrestling together or even explaining about the popularity of vinyl toys. But I did get out enough to say it was to thank him for coming and could I get a picture.

He was gracious to oblige.

Part of the reasoning to get this post up and printed was in case Sarge checked the site. I did put one of my remaining first-run cards in the box. And I didn’t want to take the chance that he might skip by without seeing a more detailed history. But in the end, even if the munny ends up in one of his boxes of souvenirs that I’m sure he’s picked up at events over the past quarter century, it made all the effort worth it. Thanks Sarge!

Yo Joe!

September 10, 2009

Cyclonus / Snowcat (09-10-09)

Filed under: 10 arm-eng-cyb, GIJoe, TF365 — Tags: — fairplaythings @ 12:10 am

Transformer of the Day for September 10, 2009


-Faction: Decepticon
-Era: Armada-Energon-Cyberton (2002-2006)
-Motto: “”There is No Terrain, or Opponent, that I Cannot Conquer.”
-Notable Toy: Deluxe (Hasbro, 2005)

Notes: Oh I could go on about Cyclonus, the halfwit Decepticon from Armada. But I am so intrigued by his “upgraded” self, Snowcat. Here is a vehicle that bears eerie resemblance to a GIJoe vehicle of the same name, right down to the wiper blade and name! Even weirder is the Transformers Universe repaint, which you could almost see as part of GIJoe’s Night Force line.

September 7, 2009

Cobra Rising

Filed under: GIJoe — fairplaythings @ 2:43 pm

Over at Poe Ghostal’s Points of Articulation, there was a review of GIJoe: Rise of Cobra, a movie that (given my love of GIJoe: A Real American Hero) seems like a huge oversight on my part. In putting together a response that mostly agreed with the summary that the film was a good bad movie, I found myself pontificating at great lengths. So to fill the noticeable gap in my recent writings, I give you a slightly modified version of the opinions expressed at Poe and add it here for your consideration.

I was really surprised how much I enjoyed GIJoe. In fact it was a far better movie in my opinion than Transformers: Rise of the Forgotten Guy Who Use to be a Prime but is now Called the Fallen. I think that’s mainly because of anticipation (positive for Transformers, negative for GIJoe). And that I could tell the characters apart.

I thought (particularly after rumour that director had been hauled out to the back alley and shot) GIJoe would be unbearable, and so I went more out of morbid curiousity than devoted loyalty. Having seen two clips at Botcon for Transformers: Electric Boogalo, and enjoyed the first one, I had big expectations that were sadly squished like a bug. With GIJoe, the reverse was true. I had negative expectations that the movie could not help but exceed.

Yes, a lot of the plot points were bad comedy. So the unnecessary “Hazing of Duke and Ripcord”, the convenience of skills coming into use at just the right time (Ripcord’s piloting skills, Scarlett’s language skills), the weird triangle between the Baroness, Duke and Cobra Commander, I mostly overlooked and tried not to dwell on.

Where I really got upset about the story? Two parts. One, the idea that Cobra has enough money to build an undersea base but needs NATO funding for the nanotech bombs. It would be understandable if the whole point was simply to make NATO aware of the bomb’s existence, but that really wasn’t it, so I was put off by that. But the worst was the “let’s take away the Baroness’ free will at the end of the movie and make her a puppet of Rex.” Really. That sucked. As did the “And you shall call me Commander” line. Up there with the infamous “NOOOO!” of Darth Vader at the end of Revenge of the Sith.

To the good? Well, the characterization might not have been great but at least I could tell who was who. And Joes acted in character. For instance, they didn’t just beat up the arresting officers in France - they managed to get themselves out of the jam with the police in time to save the world, instead of shooting their way out and running (or to use the TF analogy, murdering the villains because they failed to consider other options).

Meanwhile, I got Christopher Eccleston (who I love), Snake Eyes mostly in an original costume and well portrayed, a decent Duke in Dennis Quaid and the surprise of Adabisi as Roadblock… er… Heavy Duty. And I loved the Heavy Duty shout out of “Yo Joe” after they destroyed the underwater base, and various other fan shout outs (the U.S.S. Flagg for instance - there was another one there that was BRILLIANT but it has slipped my mind for now.)

And EVIL WON, which I totally didn’t expect.

So I watched it once in the theatre and left not thinking I was going to have to punch the manager in the face. Not sure if that is two thumbs up but at least I don’t feel like I was ripped offf. I’ll probably grab a fancy box edition during the upcoming DVD release campaign. Because, it really could have been much much worse.

And knowing that is half the battle.

February 9, 2009

1982: Cobra the Enemy and Steeler’s Uzi

Filed under: GIJoe, Toys, nostalgia — fairplaythings @ 2:01 pm

G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero was the second toy line that I really got into, after Micronauts, and it holds a singular distinction in terms of the variety of items I was able to amass during my inital four-and-a-half year collection.

For me, G.I.Joe was a toy that came with great figure poseability, great detail, mail-in redemption offers and vehicles that came with drivers. Propelling G.I.Joe was the fact that my best friends were also driven to “catch them all” (which they did, actually, much to my ongoing toy envy and probably resulting in my ongoing toy fixation) which allowed us a common activity for many afternoons after class.

For Canadians, G.I. Joe had two other interesting points of note. First, we had a number of Canadian-only exclusives (like the Consumers Distribution Cobra Tank and the Sears Cobra Combat Set that appeared in 1983). Moreover, Hasbro Canada made an effort to make the Joes feel more Canadian. This meant unique decals for the Joe vehicles with a “CANADA” and maple leaf prominently displayed, and the change of select figure birthplaces (like Steeler) to Canadian cities.

All this said, 1982 was a strange year for G.I. Joe.

For those of you familar with the first year of G.I. Joe, you will know that there were a total of 13 original Joes (nine individually packed figures and four that came with vehicles). These figures came with a variety of accessories including a laser rifle, machine guns, RPG and a mortar. Moreover, Joe forces had a motorcycle (RAM), a cannon (FLAK) and a portable mobile missile system (MMS). It also had a jump pack (JUMP), a portable laser cannon (HAL), a jeep (VAMP) and the mother of all ordinance, the motorized battle tank (MOBAT).

All this to take on an evil terrorist organization that consisted officially of two figures, a soldier and an officer.

Oh sure, you can argue they had a Sears exclusive cardboard cutout base, and the Commander was available either through this purchase or through the mail. But for the first six months of G.I. Joe’s existence, it was a lonely time for those two Cobra soldiers, always outnumbered and trying to make ends meet with whatever old Tonka bulldozer or stolen Joe vehicle they could get there hands on. I never quite understood why Hasbro didn’t throw them a bone in the form of a tank or a special jeep.

While on the subject of 1982, I would be remiss if I didn’t ask the question about how it is that Steeler got an Uzi. It’s hard to imagine these days, when figures routinely end up with more weapons than they can successfully carry, but in the early Joe years, you didn’t get always get added gear. Short-Fuze and Zap were out of luck if they ran out of rockets for their mortar and RPG, Scarlett if she ran out of arrows. Even worse, Hawk, Grand Slam and Clutch were all sitting ducks if they lost their vehicles, although Hawk could theoretically make due with his molded-on grenade and knife.

But somehow the guy in the tank, the driver that should make Cobra forces quake in terror because he can just run them over, gets an Uzi. Even with a pistol moulded onto the front of his uniform! Was this because he couldn’t duck his head into his tank and risked being sniped or simply because he was not the best driver and the powers-that-be knew he’d abandon his tank at a drop of a hat.

These are the questions that stop me every once and awhile.

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