If Destro and the Iron Grenadiers are going to try to take over factories
DRAGONSKY - The well-known sixth member of the Oktober Guard. Dragonsky first appeared in G.I. Joe Yearbook #2, which was only the second appearance of the Oktober Guard. A flamethrower by specialty, Dragonsky had the most atypical uniform of any of the members of the Guard, then or ever. It was sort of a dark magenta, with purple armor to protect Dragonsky from the high-powered flamethrowing equipment he used. Dragonsky was also one of only two survivors of the tragedy that befell the rest of the original Oktober Guard, interestingly enough at the hands of the Iron Grenadiers, in G.I. Joe Special Missions #26. It's fair to say that this guy's got every reason to have a serious mad-on for Destro's bunch, but as his file card reveals, it's even more personal than this.
Interestingly enough, there was almost a Dragonsky figure in 1993. There was one in the works as an addition to the Eco-Warirors team. But when the Soviet Union collapsed in real-life, and the Eco-Warriors hit the clearance bins about the same time, plans for the figure were scrapped. So Dragonsky is really pretty overdue.
The figure is superb. For the most part, the figure is BLAST OFF, from
Of course, you can't have Dragonsky without having SOME level of purple on the uniform, so Dragonsky's headpiece, chest, and back armor are an approproate shade of purple.
Dragonsky's accessories are perfect. He comes with flamethrowing equipment that even includes a snap-on burst of flame! Nice touch.
This fantastic figure's file card reads as follows:
Andrei "DRAGONSKY" Freisov
Andrei "Dragonsky" Freisov is a member of the OKTOBER GUARD (Russian/Warsaw Pact equivalent of the G.I. Joe Team), and an expert with special weaponry, including his favorite - the flamethrower. His interest in fire control and the military started at an early age. As a child, he was seen throwing Molotov cocktails at German Panzers when they invaded his homeland. He later joined the Soviet Army and had a long and successful military career. His greatest honor came with the invitation to join the elite Oktober Guard. Dragonsky carries the latest in military pyro-technology and wears a special flame-retardant suit. He is a very dedicated and loyal individual, always ready to protect his comrades even when the odds are against him.
Early in Dragonsky's military career, he was trained by a brilliant commander who later proved to be insane and immoral. Because he failed to turn him in when he had the chance, the Oktober Guardsman has made it his personal responsbility to someday bring down the madman. Even though his personal nemesis now goes by the name of General Mayhem, the brutal tactics are all too familiar to Dragonsky. It is to this end that he seeks the assistance of the G.I.Joe Team in capturing General Mayhem for his crimes against the motherland.
"Even in Siberia, I make sure things get really hot."
This is really an excellent file card. Obviously Hasbro wasn't able
GUNG-HO - One of the most popular Joes, first introduced in 1983, Gung-Ho has been a prominent member of the team ever since. He's known for being one crazy Cajun Marine, as tough and as nasty as they come, especially when faced with Cobra. Almost anything named Cobra will do. He once, in the comic book, tore apart a Shelby Cobra with his bare hands, that was trying to get around the Joe Team, that was stuck in traffic in Washington D.C. after Hawk had been wounded. Anybody that can take apart a car with his bare hands is definitely someone you want on your side, and you want to keep him that way.
So, how'd he end up in Russia alongside Dragonsky going up against the Iron Grenadiers? It's all explained on the file card:
Gung-Ho may be the toughest G.I. Joe of all time - just ask anyone who has ever been at the receiving end of the ragin' Cajun's fists. He is always the first out of the transport, the first to take down enemy guards, and the first to run out of ammo. His fighting spirit makes him an inspiration to his fellow soldiers, but also his own worst enemy; he has been promoted for heroism and later demoted for off-duty brawling so many times, his superiors often are at a loss as to what his current rank should be.
Gung-Ho was on vacation in a Russian SAMBO camp, learning the secret Soviet martial arts, when he got the orders to take charge of a Steel Brigade Team and help foil Destro's latest sceme. Normally, cutting short his "rest and relaxation" would be infuriating, but for Gung-Ho, putting down the Iron Grenadiers is almost as much fun. The Marine seems to be making a habit out of crushing Destro's plans, and working with the Steel Brigade and Oktober Guard just adds more spice to the gumbo.
"I don't care what kind of fancy armor that tin-plated capon has,
I thought Larry Hama was writing these cards, but both David S. Lane and Brian Mulholland are doing one heck of a good impression.
The Gung-Ho figure is based on the 1993 Mega-Marines Gung-Ho, but you'd scarcely know it. The formerly rather bright uniform has been given the "Urban Rain Camo" treatment, and doesn't even have the purple trim that Dragonsky's uniform has. The mottled and streaked grey is overlayed with some very dark grey and black armor, and only a hint of gold trim here and there. Really, it's a very effective and plausible uniform design. This is an excellent Gung-Ho figure.
STEEL BRIGADE COMMANDER - The Steel Brigade has quite an interesting history within the world of G.I. Joe. The name was first introduced to represent a special mail-order action figure, that was largely cobbled together from other figure parts, recolored, and then given an all-covering helmet. The idea was that you filled out an order form with the details that you wanted, including choosing a code-name which you thought up entirely, and then you would receive a Steel Brigade figure with a customized file card.
There were several versions of the Steel Brigade Trooper over the next
The only other official reference to the Steel Brigade was in a series
Now, the Steel Brigade is back, with a far better defined function.
The rest of the Steel Brigade Commander figure is a recolored version
of the Windchill body. It's an excellent choice. The uniform is a little
STEEL BRIGADE COMMANDER
The Steel Brigade Commander is the leader of the international security forces for the G.I. Joe team. His primary duty is to provide highly trained and capable security personnel with the abilities to fight the enemy on the land, the sea, and the air. His tactics include defensive combat operations as well as providing aggressive reconnaissance to gain all possible information about the enemy and terrain. Once the threat is determined, he can allocate the resources from an integrated military structure and safeguard the freedom and security of his mission objectives - all from behind enemy lines.
It takes a fearless and determined individual to engage the enemy on
"Backed with steel, we are strong - with our might we can't go wrong!"
Okay, he's a good military commander -- but he should leave the poetry
These three figures - DRAGONSKY, GUNG-HO, and the STEEL BRIGADE COMMANDER, were all part of a special three-pack that was available at the G.I. Joe Convention. But there was also an additional two-pack available -- a set of two STEEL BRIGADE PARATROOPERS. Let's review them now.
It took me a while to figure out who this figure was made out of. The helmet was the same former Cobra Blackstar helmet that the Steel Brigade Commander was now using, but I couldn't get a handle on the rest of the figure. I finally determined that the body was that of the 1991 Duke. Not too surprising I didn't readily recognize it. This is easily my least favorite version of Duke. The body's not really a bad design, but the headsculpt had too large a nose for his character. Nothing that couldn't be remedied by some sandpaper, but still...!
The arms were different, too, and were a little more readily identified.
STEEL BRIGADE PARATROOPER
The Steel Brigade Paratroopers are members of the G.I. Joe Team's
The Steel Brigade Paratrooper helmet has a built-in oxygen mask and
"We fight for freedom - wherever there's trouble!"
Boy, there's a familiar refrain... Nice touch, actually.
Finally, there's one figure I didn't receive, but he was pretty limited,
The Jungle-Viper is a new-style figure, but as I reviewed the regular
The Jungle-Viper's file card for the Convention, which was printed
Jungle Vipers are tenacious and deadly in their domain. They are equipped to survive oppressive heat and humidity, and must forage for their own food and supplies. Trained in guerrilla fighting techniques, they usually supplant any natural predators wherever they are posted. These troopers enjoy the thrill of the hunt and often climb into trees, hiding for days until their prey wanders into one of their many snare traps.
The most ferocious Jungle Vipers receive additional aerial assault
"When your soldiers start mysteriously disappearing from your ranks, assume we are present - and run!"
These five figures which I received are truly amazing, and I imagine
that the Jungle Viper is pretty cool as well. If you've acquired the
main boxed set for the 2005 G.I.Joe Convention, you've got fifteen really