I find it amazing that even after nearly three decades, we are still finding out new information about the toyline’s production in the 80’s and 90’s. As more and more people enter the digital age (there are still people out there who AREN’T in the digital age??) more of this stuff is going to come to light.
Every once in a while, a very cool find is uncovered, though…something that most folks have not had wind of before… and this is one of those.
Obviously as the 80’s gave way to the 90’s toy formats had undergone a major paradigm shift. No longer did the 3 3/4″ scales of Star Wars and G.I. Joe rule the toy aisle…everything was geared towards super heroes, and the figures were growing larger and more exaggerated to match the superhuman elements. McFarlane Toys ushered in an era of larger, more tightly sculpted, ore detailed action figures, and Hasbro was trying to keep pace. Anyone who read the excellent book Toy Wars by G Wayne Miller got a little insight into Hasbro’s thought processes as this evolution was happening, and ultimately, G.I. Joe: Extreme appeared to be the (unfortunate) answer. Of course, everyone must know that this wasn’t Hasbro’s only experiments in a larger, more “super hero” scale in the 90’s…but for the first time, we have pictorial proof.
Gyre-Viper has become renowned for his test shots and pre-production samples of new items, but he has gone above and beyond here, tracking something down from the past…and quite a cool something at that. Behold, the unproduced G.I. Joe 6″ Scale Cobra Commander:
Now, many folks who were at JoeCon last year probably saw this prototype in the JoeDeclassified display booth, but for most of the general public, this is likely the first time this has been shown. It’s a very cool look into the past design concepts, and a great idea of just how many things are floated out there before something sticks. I find it really interesting that this Cobra Commander appears in a trenchcoat, which was a design element that was adopted by Devils’ Due and Sideshow Collectibles. Fascinating to think it dates back to the 90’s.
A very cool piece of Real American Hero history, and I’m glad Gyre-Viper is sharing it with us. He talks about it a bit more on JoeDeclassified.com.