Top 10 Lamest G.I. Joe Action Figures


In honour of the release of G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra this week, I thought I would scour the internet and my own memory to unearth some of the weirdest and lamest G.I. Joe action figures ever released. Considering the vast number of toys that Hasbro produced throughout the ’80s and early ’90s, you can bet there were more than a few stinkers. Here’s to hoping some of these characters end up appearing in the sequel!



Every military operation needs a network of top notch spies, and G.I. Joe is no different. I’m not quite sure why their undercover specialist would be wearing the loudest, most attention-grabbing Hawaiian shirt, but hey, what do I know? As for his wacky codename, apparently he is just a fun guy with a knack for “cracking jokes and punching shoulders” with the enemy. I’d definitely grab a beer with the dude.



Both G.I. Joe and Cobra were known to have animal trainers on their teams, but Raptor has got to be the lamest of the bunch. His official position is “Cobra Falconer”, and he wears a kooky bird suit with wings. From his file card: “Raptor was a yuppie tax consultant who took up falconry as a pasttime and soon became obsessed with the avian blood-sport.” Now it all makes sense.

The Fridge


Most people remember that professional wrestler Sgt. Slaughter was a part of the G.I. Joe team, but did you know that there was another real-life celebrity who was immortalized with a G.I. Joe figure? Yep, NFL star William “Refrigerator” Perry was available through a special mail-in offer back in 1986. He was a “physical training instructor”, and his weapon was a steel football attached to a chain. Yikes.

Big Boa


Here’s another interesting bit of trivia: Rocky Balboa almost had his own G.I. Joe figure, but I think they ended up giving Stallone’s other popular character, Rambo, a cartoon and toy line instead. Too bad, that would have been amazing. Anyway, Big Boa was supposed to be Rocky’s arch enemy. Knowing this, his character makes a lot more sense because as a kid, I always thought that a Cobra officer with boxing gloves as his only weapon was pretty lame.

Ozone (Eco-Warriors)


In the early ’90s, G.I. Joe launched a series of figures called Eco-Warriors. Apparently Cobra decided to start “dumping tons of hazardous toxic sludge into the environment in their quest for world domination”. How that helps their cause, I’m not sure, but either way G.I. Joe needed people like Ozone, the Ozone Replenisher Trooper, to help clean up their mess! I’m just really glad Hasbro was able to teach kids about the big issues through G.I. Joe.

Gristle (Drug Elimination Force)


Speaking of big issues, Hasbro also had plans at one point to introduce a line of G.I. Joe figures called the Drug Elimination Force (some of which were based on C.O.P.S. characters). While not all of them ended up getting released, it’s pretty hilarious that their enemies were called Headhunters, and they were basically just common thugs. Check out Gristle, who has the official job title of “Urban Drug Commander”. Yep, this was when Cobra started getting really nasty, pushing drugs on the street and all that. I just love the fact that one of his accessories is a pager.



There are some G.I. Joe characters with pretty weird specialties, but you know they were running out of ideas when they decided to give G.I. Joe their very own embedded journalist. His codename is Scoop… how clever. Scoop comes equipped with his very own video camera and backpack with satellite uplink, and his likeness was supposedly based on NBC news reporter Mike Leonard.



When you’ve already got The Fridge and Sgt. Slaughter on board, I guess it’s not all that weird to have another athlete on the G.I. Joe team. But still, is that baseball uniform really standard military issue?

Colonel Courage


Worst. Codename. Ever.

Ice Cream Soldier


Scratch that, this guy has the worst code name ever. But it’s all about deceiving the enemy. “The last thing you would expect from G.I. Joe’s fiercest flamethrower commando is for him to be called Ice Cream Soldier. However it’s a perfect cover because when Cobra hears the Joes are sending a guy into battle with a code name like that, they don’t expect much more than a kid with chocolate ice cream splattered on his fatigues.”

Most of my research was conducted via the action figure archive at and also the G.I. Joe Wiki.

  • A.J.

    All those G.I.Joe after 1989 were crap. Raptor was definitely the lamest figure I ever owned.

  • I sure am glad I was a Ninja Turtles fan.

  • Henrik

    I had both Big Boa and Scoop! Probably those were among the cheaper figures to get. I at some point during my childhood traded my limited Action Force-figures (apparently, I now know, these were GI Joe) for my neighbours extensive TMNT figures. I am a better person for it.

  • I totally still have a Scoop figure.

    Also, I swear that I had a figure that was the same sculpt as Colonel Courage and had the same weapons, but was a white guy with different color clothes. According to, there is a Brazilian variant called Colonel Coragem, but I couldn’t find a picture of him, and I’m sure that the one I got wouldn’t have had a card written in a different language. I must research this when I get home as I still have all of my Joes in a box in the basement.

  • paulm

    I’m older, so I only had the earlier 12″ figures. I liked the Atomic Man GI Joe and the Bullet Man GI Joe figures (I had both). I’m also more of a fan of the pre-Kung Fu Grip figures, though they did hold the weapons better. I always wanted an “Intruder” GI Joe figure. I saw it in a comic book ad, but never saw one in a store.

  • rob

    I somehow missed the whole GI Joe crazy when I was a kid. It was just a couple years ahead of me. But I did have one and only one Joe action figure. That figure was … Scoop. Embarrassing to admit.

  • Donovan Hamstain

    That top picture looks like some kind of G.I. Joe Village People line-up. “IN THE NAAAA-VYY!”

  • Ice Cream Soldier?!?!? Oh my God, tell me you’re making that up.

  • Matt

    I had Ice Cream Soldier. The handle may be a little on the lighter side but there’s no questioning the ominous orange-yellow color combination.

  • Not only does Colonel Courage sport a ridiculous code name, he also looks like douchebag Kanye West.

  • Looking through that list it is funny how many that I remember. I actually owned three of them – Scoop, Raptor and Hardball.

  • Derek 8-Track

    To this day I still regret giving away my GI Joes to a toy drive for Hurricane Andrew victims back in 3rd grade. Man I wish I still had Big Boa and The Fridge!

  • A counter point: The coolest figures (in my opinion)

    Both Storm Shadows (OG Ninja and Camo Ninja)

    Zartan (Changed colors)

    Firefly (Gray Camo)

    Both Snake Eyes (Second Version The Best)

    Destro (Sweet Shiny Head)

    Tunnel Rat (Camo Paint)

    Dusty (See Above)

    Cutter (I don’t know why, maybe because he was the sole Coast Guard member)

    Snow Job (Because he had a ski set and we could twist his name into something foul)

    Grunt (Because he was a plain, bare bones Infantryman)

    Low Light, Lifeline, Wild Weasle, Deep Six round the rest.

  • What about the playsets and vehicles? They had some of the most impressive (USS Flagg) and silliest (Pogo Pod?).

    What do you think Sean? Did your parents love you enough to fork out on that giant aircraft carrier? What is the lamest of the bunch?

    I really loved GI Joe up until the Eco Force rolled around. I also enjoyed the cartoon and the comic books. I went out and bought the new comic book (graphic novel now that I’m a grown up) and it’s pretty good.

    The cartoon was great and recently rewatched a bunch. I found them pretty rewatchable, I love the song “Cold Slither”! The Dreadnoughts were pretty funny.

    I never understood why everything shot lasers instead of bullets. AK-47’s shot lasers, Aircraft cannons shot lasers, and if they had black powder muskets…laser.

    I also think it’s funny how everyone would parachute to safety just as an aircraft was blowing up. No one ever died in battle! The Taliban would kick Cobra’s ass. Also, where was the regular military when Cobra was attempting world conquest?

    Still loved it flaws and all.

  • Ice Cream Soldier was originally a character in Dc’s “Our Army At War” with “Sgt Rock” and was a member of “Easy Company” — Laffmaster Bill

  • SSGDunigan

    In reference to Scoop, there actually ARE military journalists in all the branches. In the Air Force and Army they are known as Combat Camera. I know this because I was one for about seven years. Most of the footage from WWII, Korea, and a substantial amount of combat footage from Vietnam, Grenada, Panama and Desert Storm was shot by military cameramen. There seems to be an assumption that civilian journalists are the only ones recording anything. Even in the Global War on Terror, there are military Combat Cameramen (and women) out there on the battlefields. So, yes the name Scoop is pretty lame but the idea behind the character is not as far fetched as you might think.
    Discovery Channel did a documentary on Combat Camera back in the early 90s (one of my instructors was interviewed for the show). Today, with the proliferation of digital cameras and the WWW, pretty much any soldier can be Combat Camera.

  • SSGDunigan

    Also, the main character in ‘Full Metal Jacket’ was a military journalist and the 1989 movie ’84C Mopic’ was about a Combat Cameraman.

  • Marcos

    When I was a kid, there was a rich guy in my school selling a pack full of the most up to dated gi joes he had bought in USA, which were not found in brazilian shops. In Brazil (I am brazilian), these toys were very expensive, and I coudn’t afford not even one of them. But I had some of them (given as a present, birthdays…), and they were one of my favorite play during my childhood. I tried to buy the caracters croc master and big boa from this “rich classmate”, because they were so different of everything that were avaliable in my country, were the gi joes were simpler, that until now (I am 32 years old) both these caracters represent some kind of hole in my wishes’childhood and still fire my imagination. It may sound ridiculous, but sometimes I dream with these characters (big boa and crok master). Gi Joes are the best toys ever!! And, as a grown man,I am humble (and ridiculous) enougth to say: they rulle!!!

  • Anthony

    I remember when the little joes first came out and they were cool. Every year the new ones got cooler up until about 87. There were always a couple of them that were sweet but the lame ones started out numbering the keepers. At my house the lame ones were the ones that got blown up, shot with a pellet or .22, attached to model rockets to be launched into the neighborhood onto a rooftop, and the stupid ones also were burned. I think my favorite 3 3/4 joe was Blizzard. I had a fridge but I painted him camo and he was then cool, but I would never own a raptor even to blow up. I still like the big joes better.

  • D-Unit

    Quick-Kick, complete with his barefoot, shirtless look should have made this list ahead of Chuckles.

  • Kyle

    I liked Hardball. Yeah, the outfit was a stretch but his gun was awesome. That gun meant business.

  • Anthony

    I liked the Crocmaster, the baseball guy was cool only for his weapons.

  • I don’t agree that all of them are in the same lot but most of them are terrible. The card art is great though. I’ve paid tribute to the G.I. Joe when I mentioned it in the history of the action figure, go check it out if you will.

  • kotipeltox

    Oh my god, fuck you!!

    i have all these figures and they rule!
    i have about 80 figures from the old school, the new versions do really suck!

  • ComCam

    BTW Combat Camera Photographers/Videographers are not Journalists. We document, caption, transmit imagery. Do not call us journalists, we take it personal. We tell it how it is, we do not “create stories”.

  • Irrelevant Man

    Mozart? What are you talking about? Mozart is at least 12 years older than Beethoven!

  • Scribbler

    ComCam, it’s OK to distinguish between journalists and military cameras because the former are private sector, doing their work for profit or sometimes for a non-profit, and the latter are public servants. But they all “create stories,” as you put it. They all observe, inquire, record and describe. They all are trying to show their audience what happened, and to do that, all of them have to create an explicit or implied story about the event. Your complaint is about a person who creates a story that the facts do not support. Some journalists do that; so do some military camera people.

  • It will be very helpful for me in future please don’t stop to share such a kind of tips.

  • OpFor Medic

    These guys should have made the list as well:

    Captain GridIron.
    Fast Draw.
    Steel Brigade.
    Battle Force 2000.
    Crystal Ball.
    Cobra-La Team (Golobulus, Nemesis Enforcer,Royal Guard)
    Super Trooper.
    Skidmark (I admit the name’s HILARIOUS)
    ALL 1988 Cobra Figures
    Most Figures 1989 thru end of original run

  • How dare you? Those top four were among my very favorite as a kid. Especially Raptor. And yes, I took part in the mail-in Fridge offer. A perfect match for a kid who collected Football cards watched way to many cartoons.

  • Ted

    Which figures came with camo paint you could wear yourself? I put some of the stuff on and couldn’t get it off!!!

  • Twelve

    Some of these are actually pretty awesome. Chuckles? Come on, that is some cool dude. Colonel Courage sounds like a crazy ass motherfucker. I would buy them.

  • Penman from Glasgow

    hadn’t seen alot of them before, fuckin brilliant. still they are the best toys ever. oi fuckin oi

  • ”RAVEN”

    ”I have to agree with a.j.-action figures after 1989 are JUNK=MONEY WASTED!…BUT…Cobra Commander ,any year from 1982 on, buy it.”

  • Everything after The Adventure Team is lame.

  • Chuckles, The Fridge, and Ice Cream Soldier all made my top 5 list ( Nice job compiling some of the biggest FAILs of the G.I. Joe line. Always fun trotting out these old action figures to have a laugh.

  • One question–who is the figure on the far right in the top picture? I don’t recognize him, but he should be on the list for sure…

  • dudotski

    Biased and ungrateful you are; Raptor was my favorite bec he is the only Gi joe figure without a weapon, rare indeed. And not all boys like military theme toys,some are into monsters, adventure etc. Maybe you werent brestfed for being lame on appreciation of true toy collection :-)

  • Larry Hughes

    Whoever wrote this article should just keep his(/her?) to his self. I had Ozone and even though the cartoon part that featured the eco-warriors was wack, I do think Ozone was one of the coolest joe action figures I had. I also would have loved to have Colonel Courage. Watcha talk about “worst.codename.ever.”? u gay. u don’t like him coz he black and he’s a colonel. i know this sounds cheesy but “Colonel Courage” does seem to embody joe values pretty well.

  • i think these are the best collections of action figures and toys. Thanks

  • Roggie

    You are Awesom !!

  • Francisco (Frank) Garcia

    Ive seen my share of lame characters in G.I. JOE and Chuckles ranks as the dumbest one ive ever seen. Ice Cream Soldier and the Fridge also stink but then again most of the Joe characters ive seen are lame anyway. I prefer COBRA characters because they dress WAY BETTER than the JOES, they have better sounding names, an infinite number of cool units like the vipers and crimson guards, plus they’re not afraid to fight and kill.

  • jizzman

    hysterical. nice work

  • Action Figures

    Snow Job is actually the worst code name ever.

  • Josh McNattin

    You forgot Major Fonz, Specialty: Shark Jumping.