GI JOE 25th Anniversary Comic Pack: Scrap-Iron and Wild Bill by Hasbro

The last time I was in Marshall’s hunting Joes, I was able to pick up one of the GI JOE Comic Packs that still eluded me. They had quite a few I still want, but I’ll be back for those. I was originally planning on leaving this pack sealed as I have a few Joe comic packs hanging on my wall, but the horrible stubborness of the Marshall’s price tag made me change my mind. That’s ok, though, since I really did want to get at the figures… well, one of the figures. I already have the single carded Wild Bill from the 25A Collection, and while this one is certainly different, I was most excited to get me a new Scrap Iron for my collection.

Hasbro’s comic pack packaging is some of the best action figure packaging mankind has yet invented. Whether it be GI JOE, Star Wars, or Marvel, it’s just brilliant. The presentation is awesome, you get two figures, and you get a nice comic book reprint to read too. I rarely ever think twice about tearing open packages to get at my toys, but ripping these things open always gives me pause. It’s amazing that these are the same guys that took the comic book out of the Marvel Legends figures when they took it over from Toy Biz. Anyway, I would have thought that Scrap-Iron and Wild Bill were an unlikely of pairings, but there they are trying to kick the shit out of each other right on the front of the comic.

Let’s get Wild Bill out of the way first. You know what was always so cool about Wild Bill? He came with the Dragonfly chopper. Take away his ride, and he’s pretty, meh. Throw in the fact that I have no Dragonfly chopper to put him in, and he becomes even more pointless. I guess I could dig out my Spy Troops Desert Attack Chopper, but it’s just not the same. Besides, his holsters are so damn big, I doubt he could fit into a cockpit if I had one to put him in. Toss in the fact that this is just a repaint of the same figure I bought carded many years back and he really is totally superfluous. He better keep wearing that yellow vest and cowboy hat, because with that blue outfit, one of the Joes is bound to shoot him by mistake.

To make matters worse, the quality on this figure is not good. Besides the cheesy and uneven white paint used for his pistols and belt buckle, the hinges on his left knee are totally shot, making him difficult to stand up even on his figure stand, and the seams in his legs are pulling away. Maybe I just got a bad one. On the plus side, his colors do match the comic pretty well, if that’s your bag, and I love the fact that he comes with both a flight helmet and his Cavalry hat. He also came with a figure stand, which is definitely cool since I forgot Hasbro put them in these packs.

And then there’s Scrap-Iron. I can’t really explain the fondness I had for this figure as a kid. He must have had a really kick ass moment on the cartoon that I can’t remember now. Or, maybe it was because he came with a big missile launcher. Either way, I really loved my Scrap-Iron figure and whenever I played with my Joes he got invited to partake in all of Cobra’s reindeer games. This update is really spot-on and they didn’t wreck his colors for the comic book like they did with Wild Bill. The head sculpt is excellent, and he’s got all sorts of little scars painted on his face too. His vest is removable and he has clips on his leg to attach a dagger, although he didn’t come with one.

He did, however, come with an automatic pistol and his trademark armor-busting mobile missile launcher. [The strands of cat hair seen in the picture didn’t come with it, I had to add those. -FF] The launcher is pretty close to how I remember the original toy. It has a stand, a corded control box, and the two red missiles just lay inside the launcher. Scrap-Iron also comes with his own figure stand.

The included comic isn’t a classic reprint, but rather a new original book by Larry Hama. It’s kind of cool to see that Hasbro went through the trouble to create something new and original like this, but honestly, it’s not all that great. There’s no story, it’s just a drawn out set-piece action sequence with Scrap-Iron trying to take down a Dragonfly with Wild Bill and Airborne on board while Dial Tone, Scarlet and Snake Eyes duke it out with some HISS tanks. What it lacks in story, though it makes up for in style as all the story is told through radio communications, which is kind of cool. There’s also a couple of classic moments like Wild Bill blasting a missile off target with his six-shooters at nearly point blank range. So, yeah, the comic is always a nice bonus, but I didn’t get the same nostalgia and enjoyment I got out of reading the reprints from the Classic Comic Packs.

I always thought it was a dirty move for Hasbro to include Scrap-Iron with a shitty recolor of Wild Bill. But finding this pack on clearance, I was able to overcome my principles and finally add one of my favorite Cobras to my 25th Anniversary Collection. It was $6.99, which was definitely worth the price, even if Wild Bill gets tossed into a bottomless storage tote or becomes a plaything for FigureFeline. It’s the kind of deal that I remember back when Hasbro was putting out those Valor vs Venom 2-packs for around the same price. They weren’t the best figures, but how can you complain about getting two figures with accessories for seven bucks, eh?

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