Wednesday, February 27, 2013

#254 GI JOE – TIGER FORCE (EUROPEAN RELEASES IV): TUNNEL RAT and HIT & RUN (1989)



TIGER FORCE UNPRODUCED FIGURES

Among the many catalogue and promotional images that were made to promote this figures, in some of them appeared other figures that were never released and some prototypes as well. In this entry, I’ll try to summarize all those figures, and at the end, I’ll present Tunnel Rat and Hit & Run, the last two Tiger Force figures.

One of the earliest promotional images we know is a diorama depicting 6 tiger force figures which were not the ones that Hasbro produced. Only three of these six were actually produced, but not in the same colours. Let’s check them one by one:

Preproduction Duke:
Quite similar to the released figures, the black stripes on its trousers are wider than the ones in the actual figure.

Picture taken from yojoe.com
Preproduction Dusty:
Almost identical to the released figure, just in slightly different colours.

Picture taken from yojoe.com
Preproduction Recondo:
This figure was produced and sold together with the vehicle “Tiger Fly”. The colours, however, are completely different to the ones show in this picture.

Picture taken from yojoe.com
Additionally, a second picture of the prototype figure appeared in the European catalogues.

Preproduction Lifeline:
The only difference here seem to be the black painted belt and black leg accessories, which were silver painted in the released figure. The stripes on the shirt are also different.

Picture taken from yojoe.com
Preproduction Ripcord:
This figure was never mass-produced.

Picture taken from yojoe.com

Preproduction Sabretooth:
This figure was never mass-produced. It is a repain of Firefly.

Picture taken from yojoe.com
Preproduction Thunder:
You need good sight to see this, but the figure inside (or the head at least) belongs to Thunder. In some British catalogues, the Tiger Rat was announced to include figure “Thunder”:

Picture taken from yojoe.com
None of this figures seem to have its corresponding weapons in its corresponding colours.

Preproduction Torpedo:
Again, this figure is difficult to see, but it could be the Tiger Force version of Torpedo. The figure was never mass-produced.


 

Preproduction Wild Bill:
This figure was intended to be the pilot of the Tiger Fly (what had been logical, since Wild Bill was the pilot of the Dragonfly), but at the very end it was replaced by Recondo, but none of the “Recondos” above.


 

Preproduction Outback:
This prototype appeared in European catalogues show a different t-shirt that the finally produced. The mouth of the tiger is not painted. Additionally, the camo pattern on trousers is different from the one in the produced figure. A couple of shades darker?.



Preproduction Psyche-Out:
This chest plate with the silver gadget is placed over a black harness in the preproduction sample, while the produced figure has a grey harness.



Those were the prototypes/unproduced figures, and now let's finish with the last two figures I wanted to show:


Tunnel Rat:

Similarly to the previous figure, Tunnel Rat was one of the best figures in 1987´s wave and now it was available again in completely different colors. The original release had black trousers and green shirt, but now it is quite a colorful figure in blue, red and orange. The story of my figure is quite cool, since I found the upper body at school and a friend of mine the lower body. Somebody brought the figure to school and it broke somehow and got lost. My friend gave me the lower half, and here it is!





The figure came with a big green backpack, two small green flashlights that could be attached to the backpack, a green pouch and a black rifle.

Hit & Run

Hit & Run is a extremely cool figure from 1987, re-released two years later for people who missed it back then. The color scheme is not like the original one, which had a very realistic camo uniform, but something a bit more fantastic in light blue and orange.

The figure came with a black rifle, a green knife, a two pieced bag, a hook, a handle (also working as a "reel") and a string putting these two together. These three parts were built in the bag, were there is also place for the knife. The accesories are exactly the same (even the colour) of the original Hit & Run v1 figure. I forgot to take pictures of the figure with its weapons, I’ll try to fix it as soon as possible.

FACTS AND FIGURES:
  • Name: TUNNEL RAT and HIT & RUN
  • Alternate Names: TOPO and ACANTILADO (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’’

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