About HQ icebreaker

My photo
This is a very random bunch of thoughts based from my collecting of GIJOE: A real American hero figures and vehicles. Contained here are memories, experiences, recent thoughts, completely random thoughts, and other random things on top of that. While one company has made, and makes, our shared interests, we all add into that interest with our own creativity. You, the reader, will find many, many, excellent sites among the links to see what other GIJoe fans are doing, hit them up! For GIJOE stuff that is more random in topic, you'll find it here.


A re-packer strikes!

Perhaps not as bad as Tatooine, however, if there is a bright toy center to the toy universe, my HQ's town is the farthest from it.

Kmart has been gone for a few years now.  The Fleet Farm Toyland section that at one time was stocked under a veil of secrecy, anticipation, and lower retail prices, once again just came in like any retail seasonal changeover.    It is hard to believe that it is  years ago that G.I.Joe stuff was at Fleet Farm.    (Of course, we do have a our couple of small comic shops and a retail franchise video game location, and the new collectibles shop almost next door.)

That leaves Walmart as the big go-to destination in town for toys.   And after today's trip going for the purpose of 4 different items, there was only one of them in stock, and I almost didn't buy it since it was more of a "since I'll be there" I will get it  (this item was outdoor light bulbs.)

I don't go to Walmart that often, and in the toy aisle, the Lego's are the most interesting thing to me.   I like to check out the Transformers, too, some are really fun looking and I have thought of buying some.

Before Christmas 2019, I was in the store and the PDQ display of plastic models was a surprising sight to me.   I can't remember the last time I saw plastic models in that amount in this town, the Star Trek ships being somewhat tempting to me.  Anyway, so today, passing  through, the Transformers with the exception of two were all sold through, some models added to the side aisle.

I don't play Fortnite but I have seen the action figures in the market, there is some appeal to me on these.   Plus with the chance that something from the Jurassic World might be there that might be fun to add in to a G.I.Joe collection, I'm kind of tuned in to looking at these things, too.

Without good vehicles, I haven't paid much attention to anything Star Wars.  Passing by this with the more green color I kind of glanced and I thought I was looking at a Fortnite package for a second.  With it in my hand I thought, wow, this would make a spot-on Lady Jaye and maybe I should look at Fortnite closer.

And then I felt dumb for ignoring the package looking past the figure.  And then I realized it was Lady Jaye and those were Lego pieces.  In Star Wars packaging.

And something I had not seen in who knows how long, a re-packed figure swap.  
So if you're buying an Offworld Jawa online from the west-central Wisconsin area your box is here.


Team testing, sorting, packing.

Hit and Run is out and instead of trying to sell or trade this figure, I think it will be best put with my other more personally relevant figures.   In one of the rubbermaids I have a small container with some of the stuff I saved that would be stuff from my very childhood.    What's left from my '80's G.I.Joe childhood?  Let's take a look:

While it looks like I was the kid that couldn't use scissors, I have to point out that the scissors that were available to me at the time were these really useless safety plastic scissors.   I see that with the "junior joes" now, they struggle with the "kid scissors" and while the "adult" scissors are maybe too big for the hands, I can see a much better and cleaner cut.   I probably did some straight up ripping after frustration when I cut these years back.

From the back of vehicle and figure packages are some flag points.  What vehicles did the 2 and 3 points come from?   Zandars flag point is here.   The 6 flag point is from the Killer W.H.A.L.E.
When the 1994 "original" G.I.Joe offer came out I used all the newest flag points and went out of my way to save these.   I have to wonder if anyone really counted the flag points that were processing those orders and where they all ended up?

I think the "x-tra weapons" was maybe a early '90's accessory pack inventory and spare weapons.  I'm kind of at a loss for what it is for sure, but it looks like I had Dogfights pistol at the time, and I'm not sure where I picked that up at that time.  I had '88 Destro using it for a long time, though.

The sentimental figures.  Figures I opened up back in the day and had many adventures.

 Low Light's o-ring finally gave today.  This figure got a lot of play and you can see where I tried to smash that uzi into his leg holding spot.   Hawk kept his pistol and Serpentor his knife.   Repeater came in later, unlike the other three that were gifts, was a purchase on my own.  People that were around in life at that time are all gone, the location it came from gone, and the fact that it was with me from a way back in the day home makes Repeater a little more connected. (even though the character was never a big gotta use this guy character.)
The stickers are from my original Night Raven, Dragonfly, W.H.A.L.E., and best bud's Tomahawk, all done.  The red shell is from a little green "army men" cannon that actually fired these.

I think this was an inventory grid I made up sometime in the mid-90's and then I cut it up. 

I counted about 110 and with "G.I.Joe" and "Payload" among the names, I don't know what I was doing now.   Maybe a random mission selection method?

Anyway, Hit and Run is going to join this box, so now in the future if I can't remember what it is, or someone finds this, they'll know what it is. 


Oh, and I might as well put Icebreaker's "other half's" Cobra Commander in there, too.   I have no connection to the figure other than that it came from "the other half's" cereal box and then sat inside a cup on a shelf until I took it.  

There we go, all packed up.  Except Repeaters figure card, it doesn't fit, and I don't want to cut the file card.

So apparently in my team sorting and trimming years back I was trying to incorporate an
"original 13" aspect.   Today I thought I would test this out to see what figures I have on my team might replace the actual original 13.

Rock and Roll--- Roadblock
Short Fuze--- Downtown
Snake Eyes---Snake Eyes
Steeler---Sgt. Slaughter
Zap---Heavy Duty

What do you think?
An original 13 G.I.Joe team replacement

From there I wondered if I could fill in the '83 recruits with what I have.

Airborne---Airborne (weird, huh?)
Cover Girl--- Dodger
Duke--- Falcon
Snow Job---
Tripwire---Tunnel Rat
Wild Bill---Wild Bill (weird again...?)

Beyond that, the '84 Roadblock could be Rock and Roll and Thunder is Wild Card.  But yes, way too much thought into something made up but I got stuff out and fun anyway.  


Hit and Run

Not as much of a massive adventurous mission today as it was digging through stuff.   My Tomahawk and Retaliator are still boxed up since not long after my late November 2012 post.   And here within the current HQ shell*, they haven't even been out.  

 I brought Bulletproof back in in early 2017.  (And as I reread that post, I am reminded of his helicopter skill.)   And now with Airborne in the HQ, the small team of 28 is up two too many.   Who is going?   I'm leaning on Hawk, a nice figure, but not a go-to figure that I have thought of grabbing.    But why not have Falcon or Bulletproof in charge?  Everyone else in the collecting/ fan world might choose Hawk for the most part, maybe to make my small team more unique?

I didn't get too geeky and make a graph today.   I just laid out the figures in a sort of graph style by year.   Kind of just to see what it looked like all these years later.
So, '86, '87, '88, '89, '90, '91, and '92/'93-ish.

Various branches, years, specialties in one 28-man team.   The "original 13" vibe (that I forgot I was going for initially until I read what I wrote) didn't stand out to me.   And I guess that "original 13" team really never had a real personal connection to me as much as it was something that I became more aware of as I bought Marvel Comic back-issues or learned about the early toy year I never really knew much about it as I was more '83/'84-based from the get-go.

And yes, you might have thought, hey, Icebreaker, you're missing a pistol.  Yeah, I saw that not long after I had everything out and was thinking.  And yeah, I overpaid on that figure, but shipping and actual product condition that might have come from ebay.....   Well, it's here.   And two figures that I feel okay with swapping spots with.

That leaves the question of whether or not I want to swap-in Airborne.    Hit and Run was a figure that as I pulled from my "chart" above is one I questioned.   But I can see this character/ figure was one the edge of making it years ago to my team.   The sentimentality of this figure is there.   I still have some loose connection to my best bud from so long ago where I suppose if I ever meet up with that fellow again, he could have it back.   It's not a mint figure, I've made notes about "upgrading" this figure over the last few years down in my Pit.


The head is slightly loose, the knees a little loose, some discoloration.   My back-in-the-day best bud's mom was a smoker and I had this figure hanging on the Christmas tree and from a plant hook in a former room for years.

I flipped over the knife to keep it from getting too warped today.

I always liked this rifle.   My 1990 Sonic Viper, the only Viper for me for years, used his version of these rifle all the time.   It's a very ergonomic for G.I.Joe figures in my view.

It's a fine figure but would Airborne make for a more versatile and interesting figure on a small team?   I see Hit & Run has been in this position before.  And it's not like the toy is going away if I switch up spots in a box.  (plus, Christmas is coming up, hello Christmas tree....)

Infantry and Mountaineering.  The only "o-ring" version of the character.  
Vs. Parachute Assembler and Medic (plus a Lake Geneva, Wisconsin birthplace...).

*= house.


Post #3 this year or I did a G.I.Joe thing today, with updates a day later.

Some people might go to the face book and show pictures their lunch, I will show you what I bought during lunch time today.  Even though I was not out for lunch.

So, as real life continues to impact and evolve around the HQ, this week is a "vacation" week for me, or as "vacation" as it is going to get.   With no HQ outer shell projects planned for this year and everything as squared away for winter as it is going to get, I thought I would trim out some "modern" G.I.Joe stuff that isn't bringing much joy.  With a new collectibles store in town, just around the corner, and nothing to do, I made this store my destination.

Of course, trading in stuff, is never going pay off for maximum profit, this is something I expect, but I hope the few items will be able to make their way into someone else's collectible play world in the end.  What went out?   The Fangboat, Silent Strike set and the Acid Rain figure, the "kids" Eaglehawk (a second one that lost its ramp....), and the G.v.C.  Rockslide.    And some random odds and ends.    But even being "modern," or from my so-called adult years, there is still a strange feeling of some sentiment towards these that wasn't really there until it hit me just now that they are gone.  But also, a few things that won't be just sitting there in the basement.   Plus, these vehicles will go along with loose modern figures that are already at the shop.

Surprisingly a G.I.Joe collection was recently bought and just being sorted as I got to the store.  One of those just sorted out and just pricing it up sort of things; the sort of situation that I have never run across before.   I had a sort of side-hope that some new G.I.Joe thing that would be perfect for my collection would be at this store, but didn't expect this.   And it wasn't a "perfect" (for me) selection of stuff, either, strangely no vehicles at all despite an apparent inclusion of vehicle missiles and very mint vehicle driver figures in this collection.   (and we are talking more uncommon and large vehicles, here....so, these matching vehicles are out there somewhere, maybe nearby....)

The figures, however, maybe 40-50, maybe a little more, with the exception of just a few, were all very mint condition.   This was not expected today.   Of course, I am still on the path of smaller collection, but to have such nice condition figures right there made for a fun "vacation" activity, and it was very nice to chat with the shop owner for a few hours, too.  

So, what did I choose.  Well, here are the figures I picked out.  Nothing really rare or uncommon but all very nice condition figures.   And I mean the paint is still dark on the Iron Grenadiers shoulder rivets nice.   Or, the Python Vipers knees felt like I just took it off the card nice.   

Track Viper, at $12.99 is a figure that will add to Cobra for me.  I've been wanting more Track Vipers for awhile.

Motor Viper is dead mint at $9.99 and a core figure for Cobra here.   One of my original guys and something I want to add to.

The Python Viper is my very first Python Patrol anything.   At $39.99, this was one of the higher prices I've ever paid for a figure.   I can't stress how mint this figure is and it is not a figure that I had in mind for my collection at all, but I bought it.  Maybe I can trade someone towards a preferred 1986 Viper in the future?  I don't see me getting many more of these.

W.O.R.M.s., at $14.99, I should have maybe passed on.  No antenna but super good shape, maybe better shape than the three I used to have.   But as an army builder or that single officer vehicle role, there might be something.

Airborne was one of those figures that were sometimes close to making my final team cut years ago.  I think the all "sub-teams out" rule I had in my head might have cut him.  Originally, I think this was one of those highest paid dollar figures for that first one I had years ago, this guy was $19.99.   I was thinking that the absence of 1986 Lift Ticket here and now would allow for Airborne to get into some aircraft role, something that would benefit my small G.I.Joe team, as well as bringing the "medic" role to the field.

I think this Night Force Shockwave is the most I have paid for a figure, at $99.99.   It's a new record that I can't hardly believe I just set for a G.I.Joe figure.   With Night Force in general being listed high on the ebay, examples of the backpack alone going for as high as $50, I wasn't keen on the price, but the shop, and this is a local brick and mortar shop, is the part that makes me not feel as bad about this price.  However, as much as I dig my Shockwave, and don't want an all dark and dreary looking G.I.Joe team, the Night Force Shockwave is a figure that I have been contemplating for some time to replace my guy in light blue.   And, I got to see the excellent condition this figure is in in person, vs, trusting an ebay picture.   There are three other mint complete Night Force figures there, too.  I was thinking about the Night Force Muskrat but considering Muskrat is a pretty good 1988 figure I don't know if the Night Force version would add anything much better. 

Surprise, another Iron Grenadier in the HQ.   Bet you didn't see that coming.  Once again, I can't stress how out-of-the-package fresh most of these figures at the store are.  No red pistol, which I am not a fan of, but at $17.99, this was definitely a little high, but no hand-drip wear on accessory handles, and well.... more Iron Grenadiers for the Iron Grenadiers.

The cheapest at $9.99 and the most weird choice is the B.A.A.T. here, it really is.  It's like, hey, there's 5 "army builders," a couple more uncommon G.I.Joe figures, and the ArmorTech B.A.A.T..   But, Icebreaker, you don't spring loaded weapons, and you got out of the B.A.T.-business, and you don't like limited articulation.   Yes.  This is true.   All of it.   The B.A.T. is a concept that as an old guy I like more but the less robotic-feel of the "oring" B.A.T.s left me wanting something that is, well, more robot.  This limited moving bulk is something between a S.N.A.K.E. and a B.A.T. to me.  It's not super mechanical but not equal in size to a "human" G.I.Joe figure, either,  essentially something I have never had my hand on before and have wanted to try out.  Surprisingly with all the accessories that would have not been deal breakers if they were not there.

So, I spent a lot more money than I thought I would today going out the door, but I was also able to move some things out the door, too.

I don't know if I want to simply just bag everything up and put it in the rubbermaid containers or if I should give all these guys the proper play adventure welcome into the HQ like I used to. 

What kind of adventure would entail all 8 of these characters?   Who on my small team would have to go to keep the roster at 28 to make room for Airborne?   Will Airborne even survive the mission to be considered for the roster?  What would cause our former Detroit cop, Shockwave, to lose the blues and get dark?   Are Cobra forces growing in number?  What is that B.A.A.T. made of, can it be stopped?

Should I go get that 1990 Night Creeper at the shop?


So my storage box is back upstairs with my figures.   I can't remember the last time I took out my note binder where I had condensed and updated all my various notes on what would essentially be my inventory of stuff.

It looks like I haven't made many notes in the last 7 years in it.

So, all my Motor Vipers are accounted for..  Mostly.
The left Motor Viper is my original Motor Viper, or at least I marked it as.   It would have came with the STUN that was a present from an aunt.  One, I have no accounting for, maybe from my best bud from back in the day.   One I bought at Flea Market in 1995 ($1.25), another from a "for sale" ad that was selling a small bunch of toys in October 1996.

Two came from BBTS, one in June 2010 for $12.75, the other in September 2011 for $13.00.  Plus this new addition this week for $9.99.

Track Viper is now up to a crew of three.  It looks like I guessed that one came from an ebay purchase.  A second one from BBTS for $18 in February of 2012, and this weeks 2019 find.

I did a horrible job keeping track of my Iron Grenadiers.  I am at 16 here and upon inspection I can feel the o-rings getting weak on some.  
Two of these are my original off-the-peg purchases brand new.  
I wrote down an October 2008 ($15.00) and an December 2008 ($22.00) for two of these.
Two more figures I likely couldn't figure out where I bought them as I left that entry blank.
Add in another Iron Grenadier in September 2011 for $14 from BBTS.

Plus this weeks purchase puts us at eight Iron Grenadiers recorded.

With 16 figures, obviously the math doesn't add up to what you see.   Here is where I am glad I wrote something here.  I remember the 8 figure buy, and using the post date I can now record when, but I can't remember who I bought it from through ebay.  

According to the nearby shop owner, the sword was the more expensive accessory.  It's not my most desired of the three at all so that is something I will be pondering at some point.  I thought this would be a good time to see what all is in my jumbled baggie of accessories.

I put my '89/'90 Cobra roster on the same page but ran out of room in the upper '89 section on this page, so down below I added notes.
I was really surprise to see a Python Viper entry, I really don't remember getting this figure.  It came in February 2012 and I kept the order list, I also bought 8 2012 series new figures along with several older figures.  
So, I was wrong earlier in this post that the Python Viper was my first Python anything.   So much for memory.  I do know it went to Chittenango, though.   The cost is so much higher than the one I had before, though, maybe there was no rifle or backpack or both with that one?


Cobra Black Dragon

It all started with the Cobra F.A.N.G. for me but the Cobra Fang II is the go-to for my (not exactly built yet) Cobra forces.   Old thoughts on the Cobra Fang II are eight years ago already.  (WOW).

A new local toy shop popped up a few months ago and I finally stopped in.  I was expecting something more on the stuffy high-end but there is a mix of all kinds of things from mostly what are parts (I bought a parts 1983 F.A.N.G.) to in my opinion more uncommon mint-in-box items.   A nice person working was knowledgeable and made it sound like people are digging some toys out of their storage places to bring in.  So, yeah, I'm kind of excited about that, especially when it was mentioned someone reportedly had a lot of G.I.Joe stuff that was expected.   

Besides a parts F.A.N.G. that will be for my old F.A.N.G. I opted for the Cobra Black Dragon that was loose, despite a higher price than I preferred, it was in much better shape than I think I would ever find loose at the Goodwill.  It is missing one red bomb, but these are not visible at all and I don't expect to be making any bombing runs where it will make a difference.

This Black Dragon (2011) is not that old but it seems like so long ago already.   Generals Joes has it covered.

As OAFE points out, this was a G.I.Joe Renegades vehicle.  I liked Renegades, that was a nice short period where a newer, longer universe story sort of started to really unfold.   There was the unreleased Coyote, old Fred has some pictures of that here.    This kind of brings back some weird adult-era nostalgic vibes for me.  For me, the Renegades toys and some of the other figures in that short period really started to feel like a quality cohesive toy line was getting some direction.  

The Black Dragon is pretty nice, as much as I dislike action gimmicks, it's not too bad here.   The second flip-out gun underneath does absolutely nothing for me and the limited articulation and detail of the chin-gun leave me wanting a little more.

The rest comes out with some fun VTOL styling.   It is significantly larger than the FANG II but doesn't have that much more when it comes to "teeth."   Aside from the fully enclosed (armored?) canopy (has a nice hydraulic arm detail) and larger engines, and maybe more lift, is this more of a long distance fast traveler versus a close-in air support platform?   It was more of that transport in Renegades.   If it had been equipped with air-to-air rocket pods and a Cobra Rattler style nose gun, with a drop bomb in the center belly it could have made for a nice blend of FANG and Rattler/Huuricane S/VTOL capabilities putting tank smasher and chopper support in one machine.
Cobra Black Dragon and Cobra Fang II

I still think vehicle comparison pictures are huge.   Not everyone will have a Fang II, Black Dragon has the size I did not fully appreciate before having it in hand,  but it almost seems ordinary.   The Black Dragon design is solid but something that does not seem that far-fetched from real life at all.  The 30 year old Fang II has multiple wings, integrated wing landing gear, limited body (light weight), huge rockets, and a cannon that has excellent movement. 

As long as it is wide describes the Mamba next to the Black Dragon in some ways.  Maybe Interrogator should get the Black Dragon?

The underwing holes didn't stand out to me in other reviews that I came across, with two on each side.   They seemed snug for the few modern backpacks I tried in there.  The Eaglehawk door guns fit okay on the inner holes, but made contact with the rotors when placed on the outer holes.

I don't have a lot of "modern" style G.I.Joes or accessories to try here. 


Short adventures and Big Boa

It is rare to have the Junior Joes* not around the HQ but there was a day with really not a lot going on.   In real life, there is enough to keep a person busy around the HQ shell** and over the last few years a couple new side adventures have taken up some resources.

But on the day of..., well, nothing, I carried the Rubbermaid of my collection upstairs along with some figures and parts I picked up quite awhile back.  I thought I would do some sorting and maybe get some adventure set up after some G.I.Joe neglect.   Hard to believe a couple things just ended up sitting on a shelf for years.

While I can't say I would get much more use out of stuff I have let go many years ago, I rather would like the 1983 Headquarters back.  Even though it is a piece that really fits best with the 1982 to 1984 years, and my figure collection is more '86 and on, maybe it would be more fun to have it again.  

While stuff was out, I am glad I took the time years back, I think it was 2011/2012, to really sort stuff out like I did.  

One of those "not essential" moves I made years back was to reduce and simplify the ranks of Cobra.  Characters that have turned on or otherwise were really not wise to have around Cobra Commander were trimmed out. 

Big Boa was out, well, as the Cobra Trainer.   The figure was tough looking and huge but lacked that sense of costume that this was a truly fearsome opponent to all.   So, as-is, Big Boa was kind of the figure that was stuck in the Cobra boxing ring.

I've put some thoughts out on Big Boa before, hard to believe that was 2011.

I am glad I have the opportunity to put some of my thoughts out there, and pictures.   The old hard drive from 2010 recently went out.  A lot of things were previously on other sources, CDs, SD cards, actual film print, etc., and I put a lot of that onto the hard drive from there.   So, I am pretty sure most everything is around somewhere, but I think it is nice to have this stuff from my life out in the world.  I have enjoyed a lot of it and I hope some of this adds to that enjoyment for others.

Back to Big Boa, I have tried some easy parts swaps to make a more fun "commando" Big Boa before.

Well, the Major Bludd I picked up in 2016 literally has sat on the shelf for most of the time since then.   I really like the head and put that one on the 2000 Major Bludd to give that character some more...well, character.

I did not keep my previous Big Boa creations and stuck a spare Big Boa head that I had in my limited parts pile onto a rough 1986 Viper body.  I wanted Big Boa to feel more like a Cobra infantryman or a squad leader.  Or something.

Well, while playing on my nothing-going-on day, I thought I would give this a try.  I have the original Big Boa arms but they are on the loose joint side of things.  I kind of liked it.

I like the colors.  In some ways I think of Tomax and Xamot with the shirt.  Not combat-gear-like Viper or ceremonial like a Crimson Guard but still functional. If that makes sense.

The original silver on the helmet ties into the shins, and the Toxo-Viper pants may be leaky but are still likely pretty tough.
Cobra Big Boa

Another adventure was deciding on whether to toss the bubbles from a couple of opened cards that were still sitting around.   Putting the cards with the other cards pretty much demanded full removal. 

Years back, we are talking around the mid-'90's, I would open new figures and kept most of the plastic bubbles.   Eventually the bag of stacked bubbles I did toss sometime still in the '90's.   I will probably come across some inventive use for them after I throw these out. 

Plastic Bubble


General rambling I suppose is what this is.

Here we are closing out 2018!   I didn't get much done in the G.I.Joe department this year.  The HQ's sub-level (a.k.a. the basement) is not that warm fun creative space that I just feel like would be a great permanent set up that a fan could just enjoy until retirement or whatever.   There's so many distractions and things to do around the HQ, too, that that necessity or other hobby fun activity somewhat uses that focus of doing rather than sitting in the sub-level.

I wish I had taken more pictures of the stuff I had, too.  Lots of pictures I have just make me want to get a lot of that stuff back, though.   I was getting close to just buying some things but the lack of an awesome space to put it kept it from happening.

I am still unsure of what that awesome space would look like.  I know I don't want Rubbermaid containers full of stuff stacked all over.  But I don't stuff getting full of cobwebs, either.   And then there is the lack of a base in the HQ where I really want that base ('83) but I want it to be set up where it can be a sweet display.   Lots of considerations and still after years I feel like I am looking at that blank canvas unsure of where to start.

The smaller collection really didn't allow me to instantly grab stuff out as fast, either, for that fun set up and play.  I still have a lot of individual bagged figures, and I don't want to get too disorganized, but I am not ready to separate into a something else yet; like a tool box.   With drawers, a lot like, the right tool for the job, quickly find and make your selection and grab your vehicles and adventure!

Maybe a "battle table" could be cool?   Something in the center, just a landscape?  In one corner an HQ '83 and in the other corner a Terror Drome?   With my focus on smaller missions and more covert like things this table would still be huge!

We'll see what 2019 brings!