Bulletproof is back. He's been back here for a couple months but still hasn't gotten my classic proper G.I.Joe imagination world of a collection introduction yet. Even though my toys aren't getting and haven't gotten that real "back in the day play" intensity for a long time, something that I liked to do at a point in life (that seems so long ago) was to have a sort of introduction battle for any new incoming toy. Before that new figure got tossed into one of my evolving cardboard storage boxes or plastic drawer set ups, I would have a little welcome battle and would usually do that while setting up a little simple background-less diorama on whatever shelf was there. Back when 35mm point and shoot film was the option, I might have taken a picture but more than likely not. I stopped doing this when I was buying a little more in the mid-to-late 2000's and as I think about it more I spent more time sorting and digging through a lot of stuff, not even really setting anything out.
I am going to try and start doing this again so I don't just feel like I'm buying stuff just to buy stuff. Maybe I can bring back a little of that pointless made up fun from back in the day.
So way back then, until that "welcome to the storage box with the rest of the collection" battle I would keep that new figure set up on a shelf separate. Bulletproof has been in that holding pattern for the last couple months. Waiting to join my 28-member team as the replacement for one of them.
This is my second Bulletproof figure now. The first one was sold away maybe in late 2011 but maybe as late as a final big sell in 2012. Bulletproof was a part of one of my top favored made up sub-teams in my collection and was always always in the running for my final collection team picks. And I didn't really have Bulletproof that long to begin with being added only a couple years before.
Some of the reason on why Bulletproof was cut was due to the file card giving him a high rank of O-4. That was in the highest 10 ranks given to other figures in my collection. Excluding pilots and astronauts, Bulletproof is not much farther below Hawk, Keel Haul, and Flagg (Battle Corps). Sure Fire and Col. Courage are also in this area. I wanted a well-rounded out rank and file and with only 28 G.I.Joes the officer level felt like it has to be very light compared to the rest.
Some of the reasons I was leaning to keep Bulletproof was more for that "other" source of recruitment for the G.I.Joe team. Beyond just the armed services, Bulletproof is indicated to be a Federal Marshall and experience with the D.E.A. and was leader of the new D.E.F.. But that "other" source of recruitment was filled with Shockwave's Detroit S.W.A.T. background (as well as an "enlisted" rank on the file card) and I found aspects of other figures I wanted to include in my 28-member collection to rule out having two somewhat more similar figure character backgrounds .
As much as I really dug my security force and could have just kept that group of figures, I wanted to steer clear of having any one "sub team" or theme stand out or have matching uniforms. Like, 21 figures would look unique, but seven having Tiger Force shirts would make them stand out more, rather than blend into a small highly trained special mission force. D.E.F. figures are each fairly distinct, however, and as much as I really like this "sub team" I wanted D.E.F. Cutter to represent the Coast Guard. So, in some sense, it was a case of a D.E.F. figure vs. D.E.F. affiliated figure inclusion that swayed my decision to axe Bulletproof in my final collection trimming picks.
Another very strong aspect of the character/ figure of Bulletproof is his "vehicle specialty," the AH-74 Desert Apache. Sure, any G.I.Joe *could* fly the Skystriker, but I wanted some basis or some real tidbit of information that would make something seem more real in my collection. Another helicopter pilot in my collection is always a useful thing, especially if the figure has an excellent overall uniform that doesn't keep them looking like a pilot (version 1 Ace, for example.)
So all-in-all, Bulletproof was always in that spot to keep as I was cutting all that stuff years ago, but ultimately cut.
But I think I might have made a mistake of keeping a character/ figure of strong familiarity where I think I might challenge my getting older imagination. Bulletproof is still, in this A Real American Hero toy, combined with Marvel comic appearances, a solid-based blank slate. Not just a blank slate character, but one with a strong origin (more or less) that really wants that user-imagination to add more on top of. So, that's part of why Bulletproof is back, to challenge imagination and even maybe lead my pretend team in this real modern world; not just represent an '80's-'90's cross-section against Cobra, but make this team very real modern.
And the figure is just plain interesting to me, always has been, like all of 4 D.E.F. figures.
Consider that in '92, there was more playful coloring, but the D.E.F. labeled figures did not have it. In '92 and later, figure sizes were getting a little more beefy looking, but here Bulletproof doesn't seem far removed from a GI.Joe style that is almost 10 years older. (this short fuze, with the exception of a custom testing Scrap-iron, may be the only swivel-head figure left in my possession) Not pictured, but even the rifle and backpack that Bulletproof comes with could easily fit in style with the more delicately detailed '84 and '85 accessories than with the larger 1990 accessories for instance.
Certain details that listed out the accessories with fun names are gone.
That Member of the Patnership for a Drug-Free America is interesting, there may be toys doing stuff like this now, but what are they?
This mark-down to $.90 I just dig, no sticker, just someone wanting it out. Do you think $.90 cents was the "break-even" point for whatever store sold this?
Another side note for my reason for wanting this carded was to see what battle stand cavity the D.E.F. figure might have originally come with. Some likely consider a battle stand just a battle stand. I couldn't find the answer online, but years ago I sorted out my battle stands with cavity numbers. Not that it was any matter but I was wondering if on the trivial side of things when I got a loose figure with a battle stand that was "complete" if the battle stand was THE battle stand that was originally included.
This is what was in this package, no cavity number.
Helmet variations. I like removable helmets and I think this was from a Street Fighter Guile figure.
Bulletproofs teammate Shockwave's helmet. (should I switch my teams Shockwave '88 for the '92 D.E.F.?)
Last of the greenshirt helmets that didn't make it into a sell-off box.