Monday, October 31, 2011

#78 G.I. JOE – TALKING BATTLE COMMANDERS (1991)

Hasbro created one of the most successful lines in the history of toys. I think I have already commented, that the peak of popularity of G.I. Joe is located somewhere between 1987, 1988 and 1989. Hasbro obviously wanted to extend the lifespan of this collection, that so many million dollars was producing worldwide. That’s why during the first years of existence, they introduced new subgroups of figures (like the Dreadnocks” or the “Tiger Force”) to boost the G.I.Joe universum and the playing possibilities.
Until now, the figures released were normal figures, they included a few weapons like any other figure. In 1990, the first “special” groups are released:
-one of the is the “Sky Patrol”, 6 G.I. Joe paratroopers including a backpack with a functional parachute (although the same parachute system was used in the mail-in Parachute pack form 1985),
-the second group was the “Sonic Fighters”, 6 figures (4 G.I. Joes & 2 Cobras) with a bunch of guns and a huge backpack with 4 electronic battle sounds each.
Both sets were based mostly in old casts that were repainted in other colours. In Spain some of these casts were available for the first time with those figures. I guess this second group of figures sold very well, even though the price was higher than the others, because Hasbro decided to launch 10 figures more the following year:
-six of them were the “Super Sonic Fighters” (4 G.I. Joes & 2 Cobras), very similar to the “Sonic Fighters”
-the rest (4: 2 G.I. Joes & 2 Cobras) are the ones in this article, and the difference is that they produce 1 battle sounds and 3 voice commands. They are made with completely new casts, and all of them include a figure stand, because it is very difficult to put them in a certain position due to the weight of the backpacks. Note that Overkill is one of the most original figures in the whole collection. Apart from the interchangeable hand accesories, it has a gun in his chest protected by a small door, something unique in the vintage ARAH collection (1982-1994).
The figures show no variant from one land to another, but their backpacks (which couldn't be removed like other backpacks as they were screwed to the back of the figures) speak at least two different languages. I did investigate about this topic, and I couldn't find any other language than English and Spanish. In the Netherlands, for example, UK carded figures (with english commands) were sold, which is probably the same that happened in France, Belgium, Italy and the rest of the countries in which the line was still being sold. This seem logical if we consider that the greatest market in Europe, after the United Kingdom was Spain.
Another point is that the Spanish figures have alternate names. Hasbro Spain probably thought (or maybe had noticed), that the second versions of already known characters wouldn’t sell (didn’t sell) that well. This way, the Cobra Commander was renamed “Commander” in Spain, and General Hawk was renamed Falgass”. Stalker kept his original name, and Overkill changed it’s name to Barracuda, much easier to pronounce and to read in Spanish language.
These are the original (English) voice commands and the commands used in the Spanish version:
COBRA COMMANDER:
English Version:
  • “I’ll Get You”
  • “Cobra!”
  • “Vipers Attack!”
Spanish version:
  • “¡Oh, no!”
  • “¡Me las pagarás!” (You’ll pay for this!)
  • “¡Venceremos!” (We shall overcome!)
GENERAL HAWK:
English Version:
  • “Eat Lead, Cobra!”
  • “Yo Joe!”
  • “Move Out!”
Spanish version:
  • “¡Al Ataque!” (Attack!)
  • “¡Cuidado!” (Watch Out!)
  • “¡Misión Cumplida!” (Mission Accomplished!)
OVERKILL:
English Version:
  • “B.A.T.S. Attack!”
  • “Wipe Out!”
  • “Destroy!”
Spanish version:
  • “¡Viva Cupra!” (Long Live Cobra)
  • “¡Nos Atacan!” (We are being attacked!)
  • “¡Maldición!” (Curse!)
STALKER:
English Version:
  • “Let’s Party!”
  • “Attack!”
  • “Blitz ‘Em!”
Spanish version:
  • “¡G.I.Joe!” (pronounced in the “Spanish” way: “jee-joe!”)
  • “¡Es una Trampa!” (It’s a trap!)
  • “¡Adelante!” (Forward!)
If you’re not familiar with the G.I. Joe that were marketed in Spain, Cobra organisation was renamed “Cupra”.
These figures are relatively easy to find and are generally sold cheap. Spanish version are much more difficult to find, but I don’t think the language stuff is enough to be considered a variant, and to push collectors to find all international versions of these figures.



The cards are a little bit larger than the ones for normal figures, and the bubbles are bigger, due to the figure carrying the backpack. At the backpack, there is a small hole in which you could test the sounds before you bought the figures. Very interesting is the fact that the filecards of these characters differ quite a lot from the American/English version. If you can understand a little Spanish, you can click on the pictures and read the stories, you’ll notice that some facts have been ignored and some other information added. Just an example, Falgass'/General Hawk's file name has been changed to “Ferdy Sleeper”, probably just because it is mentioned in the card that he celebrated his promotion to commander by sleeping 20 hours that day :)
Most Spanish collectors find the translation/invention of the filecards quite annoying, I find them quite amusing.
Original filecards can be seen at yojoe.com:
Update: a promotional image taken from a Spanish catalogue:


FACTS AND FIGURES:
  • Name: COBRA COMMANDER v5, GENERAL HAWK v2, OVERKILL, STALKER
  • Alternative Names: COMMANDER, FALGASS, BARRACUDA, STALKER (Spanish)
  • Toy Line: G.I.Joe (Wave 10)
  • Year: 1991
  • Company: Hasbro (U.S.A.)
  • Size of the figures: 3¾’’ or 9,5 cm

7 comments:

  1. Je ne me suis jamais intéressé aux GI Joe, mais cet été si tout se passe bien, on devrait faire quelques articles avec la collection d'un ami.
    Ca promet de belles heures de jeu !

    ReplyDelete
  2. Merci pour le commentaire! C'est superbe qu'il y aura des GIJoes dans "en broc". Tu ecris toujour les articles, mais les jouets ne sont pas toujour les tiennes? (par example, le vaisseau spatial aujourd'hui)

    Ce sont mes figurines preferées. Il ne sont pas trés differentes aux Captain Power.

    ReplyDelete
  3. A ver si un día puedes dedicar una entrada a la Tiger Force. Aparte de que me encantan los camuflajes tipo tigre y las fauces añadidas a los vehículos tengo entendido que son figuras muy cotizadas en USA al ser exclusivas de Europa (y relativamente fáciles de encontrar sino me equivoco). Me gustaría conocer más ese grupo.

    ReplyDelete
  4. ¡Gracias por comentar! Tengo muchas ganas de hacer ese artículo, pero como estoy en Austria tengo acceso nulo a nuevas fotografías, así que voy tirando con lo que tengo en el ordenador (fotos antiguas que hice para CS, adquisiciones nuevas...), de ahí que la selección de juguetes que van apareciendo sea de lo más impredecible, y que a veces haga artículos de juguetes que igual no merezcan por si solos una entrada, pero bueno, no puedo hacer otra cosa.

    Ahora en Navidades voy a hacer muchas fotografías, y entre ellas, de los TF. Podría hacer un monográfico de 5 artículos consecutivos tratando vehículos, figuras, incluso prototipos no producidos. Será muy interesante (espero).

    ReplyDelete
  5. Jusque là, ce sont tous des jouets qui sont les miens. Mais il y a deux gammes en particulier dont je voudrais parler et dont je ne possède quasi rien, ce sont les MASK et GIJOE, je présenterai donc les jouets des amis pour ces deux gammes.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Desconocía esta serie de G.I. Joe. Tienen muy buena pinta las figuras, y los blisters son preciosos. El universo de G.I Joe es increíblemente amplio y sorprende ver todas las figuras y series que llegaron a las jugueterías. ¿Son alguna rareza? ¿Tienen algún valor especial? Y otra cuestión que me surge, ¿son anteriores o posteriores a Kaïdo? Pregunto esto por el tema de las mochilas electrónicas.

    Un saludo.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pues efectivamente, son unos blisters increíbles. Cuando los comprá hace lo menos 6 o 7 años, eran los típicos blisters que no quería nadie, así que cuando salió el lote en ebay, los compré super-baratos. No recuerdo cuánto pagué, pero quizá 10 Euros por cada uno. Ahora son super-raros de ver, y algunos coleccionistas en Espana los están buscando (recibí una oferta por uno de los blisters a través del blog).

      Creo que en la entrada de Kaido comento el tema de las fechas de ambas líneas: ambas líneas son contemporáneas, por lo que los de Bikin tuvieron la idea al mismo tiempo que los de Hasbro, y las líneas salieron prácticamente al mismo tiempo.

      Gracias por el comentario, Pablo.

      Delete

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