Although 1991 gave birth to some of the worst GI Joe vehicles in the line, the figure assortment was nicely different. Amid cool new figures like the Crimson Guard Immortal, Desert Scorpion and Red Star, you also had some rather decent updates of a few older characters. A few of these updates like the Cobra Commander from that year were rather questionable, but in my eyes Mercer at least is a solid upgrade over the original.
The original Mercer is a figure I have mixed feelings over. His head looks goofy to me, his colors aren’t great, and his identity as a character feels permanently tied to the Renegades. V2 Mercer has a cool and fairly distinct head sculpt, great colors, and as his filecard states he “Recently transferred into the main body of the G.I. Joe team”. I feel like this figure represents the character in a more interesting way and stands better on his own.
Mercer’s sculpt is one of the best parts of this figure. His vest is adorned with straps, buckles and a lot of good details. His pants are also well detailed and bear a strong resemblance to the legs of an 86′ Viper, which is another nice touch the original Mercer didn’t have. Another interesting part of this figure is the arm with a metal sleeve on it. I don’t really know why he wears this, but the look is very cool. When I was kid, this detail was the one I was the most fond of, as I thought he was a cyborg.
His weapons are also pretty interesting at the very least. For a long time, I had thought his larger gun was something the designers of the figure had just made up. Turns out, it’s a real gun called the Calico M960. It’s supposed to be a submachine gun although it appears they upscaled it somewhat generously. His smaller gun is a laser riffle that’s a bit less interesting than the Calico, but can look charming when paired with certain figures. Lastly, he also came with a backpack mounted missile launcher, a rather boring requisite part I have no sentiments of.
As far as I’m concerned, this Mercer is one of the better figure’s from the nineties. Which is good too, as he’s common and readily available. A complete example can be easily acquired for less than $10 from a dealer, and if you forego the guns, the figure usually only runs a few dollars by himself. That’s not much for a figure that’s so nice generally.