Monday, February 25, 2013

#253 GI JOE – TIGER FORCE (EUROPEAN RELEASES III): BLIZZARD and SNEAK PEAK (1989)


The second wave of Tiger Force figures (released in Spain around 1992) comprised 6 figures: four of them were brand new: Blizzard, Sneak Peak, Tunnel Rat and Hit and Run; the other two were Psyche-Out and Outback. All of them are European exclusives, so most people forget the last two were part of the first TF wave, and refer to the Euro exclusive figures as the “2nd TF wave”.

This one above is the promotional picture that appeared in the “official” catalogue (the one that came with every vehicle). The figures are numbered 53 to 58 because the catalogue frame was decorated with miniatures of the card artwork of each figure.

 
The new figures were sold, as the previous ones, in blister packs with the characteristic artwork of the figures, but this time, the orange background was changed for black and orange rays. The backcard is more interesting in that wave because there were differences depending on the figures: 

  • The re-releases of Outback and Psyche-Out still included the old figure assortment (starting with Red Dog, Avalanche…) including the 6 “old” Tiger Force figures. As said in the previous article, re-releases can be identified by the grey filecard, instead of the yellow one in the first release.
  • Blizzard, Sneak Peak, Tunnel Rat and Hit & Run came with the brand new assortment (starting with Muskrat, Budo…) and included the six new tiger forces.
  • The rest of the figures in the new wave came with the new figure assortment, but the 6 “old” Tiger Force figures. The last two lines in the message in the orange box says: “SOON new TIGER FORCE characters. LOOK FOR THEM!”

Blizzard

The original figure was released in white in 1987, while this re-release in yellow came two years later. The yellow outfit doesn´t really fit a ski troop, but who cares? This one was also one of the people´s favorite 
figures in 1987 and had amazing accessories.




The figure came with a yellow helmet, a yellow gun, a yellow UZI, two black skies, two black snow shoes and a black backpack (three pieces, including two detachable handles).


The filecard is interesting, because there is an evident mistake in the text. Blizzard is supposed to be born in Leipzig, Austria, but Leipzig is in Germany. I guess you are already familiar with the fact that the toy line’s name was changed in Europe from “A Real American Hero” to “International Heroes”. Within this change, many figures were released in Europe with changed "file names" and “places of birth”, other examples are Psyche-Out: born in Munich, Mutt: born in London…

Tiger Force Blizzard - Spanish Filecard
Sneak Peak



The fourth new figure in the second TF wave was a new release of an older figure (from 1985), that I had never seen before, because Sneak Peak v1 was never released in Spain. It was the only one from these four that I bought at that time and I have it complete ever since. It came with a lot of accessories, and is very difficult to find complete because of the mouthpiece and the fragile hook on his waist were you hang the walkie-talkie. The original figure was almost completely grey, while this version is more colorful with light blue and orange parts.


Sneak Peak's original mouthpiece, VHTF!
The figure came with a black mouthpiece, a black rifle, a green three-pieced observation device, a black walkie-talkie that could be attached to his waist and black binoculars. The rifle was different depending on the country of release. In Spain, all figures were packed with a "Night Viper" model rifle while in other countries; it came with the "Footloose" rifle model. In the promotional pic above, the figure is depicted with the “night viper” rifle, which finally was not the one that came with my figure, and that got me thinking if that had been a factory error of my figure.

Tiger Force Sneak Peak - Spanish Filecard

Another interesting fact about this figure is that it is one of the few figures whose name identifies a living person. The original name is Owen S. King, who is the son of Stephen King. He was a great fan of this toy-line and his father wrote the filecard for Crystal Ball. In Spain the file name was changed to Ferny Falgas (!?).

Article continues HERE.

FACTS AND FIGURES:
  • Name: BLIZZARD and SNEAK PEAK
  • Alternate Names: VENTISCA (Spain)
  • Toy Line: G.I.Joe: A Real American Hero
  • Year: 1989
  • Company: Hasbro (U.S.A.)
  • Size of the figures: 11 cms or 3,75’’

2 comments:

  1. Cool! I never knew about these! They look really fun.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Miss M! Thanks for the comment, I haven't visited your blog in a long time, see you there soon!

    ReplyDelete

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