Showing posts with label 90's. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 90's. Show all posts

Monday, July 8, 2013

I'm drawing a Blanka.

The early 90's were a strange time for GIJoe. We had neon colored Marines, Joes in mech suits fighting in space, and brightly colored ninjas with spring action features. I may have found something to like in the different lines under the GIJoe umbrella, but it was easy to see that Hasbro was grasping at straws trying to find something, anything that kids would buy. It was that desperation that led Hasbro to combine two different properties that had absolutely nothing to do with each other. It was a move that may have led to the untimely (or overdue, depending on who you talk to) death of the GIJoe toy line in the 90's.

Hasbro actually released two series of Street Fighter figures. The first was the Street Fighter 2 subset, released in 1993. It featured the original fighters from the games in action figure form. Some of them used original molds, while others featured parts from other GI Joe figures with newly sculpted heads. These actually featured GIJoe markings on the packaging, leading many to consider them cousins to the main line. The second line featuring the world fighters premiered in 1994. It was based on the newly released movie and didn't mention GIJoe anywhere on their packaging. They were considered a completely separate line, much like the Mortal Kombat figures released the following year. The Street Fighter movie crashed and burned at the theater, and I'm pretty sure these figures did as well. I remember seeing the movie line hanging on pegs years after they'd been released.

My Blanka was part of a trade with John from The Clawful Punch. He was one of my favorites from the Street Fighter line, though I think I originally owned the blue version that came with the Beast Blaster. I remember most of my play sessions with blue Blanka consisting of him going on a one man rampage against both GIJoe and Cobra. It always took the combined might of both armies to finally bring him down. That sounds an awful lot like most of the Incredible Hulk comics I read, so I guess having the green version would be more fitting. This version reuses the entire Road Pig body, with a newly sculpted head. It's appropriately bulky, fitting for a character that spent all of his time living in the jungle and street fighting.

Like the other GIJoe figures of the 90's, Blanka came with his weapons attached to a plastic tree. He also came with a ridiculously large missile launcher. There's one thing I can say about Hasbro in the 90's; those GIJoe missile launchers had quite a bit of power for their size. This one will launch rockets almost all the way across my office. I made the mistake of hitting the trigger while it was pointed at my face, and it left a red mark on my forehead for a couple of days. Consider it lesson learned, don't point missile launchers at your face.

It's perfectly acceptable to point them at Cobra though.
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