2003 Wreckage

2003 Wreckage

I recall the 2000‘s as an era of mostly missed opportunities for Hasbro and GI Joe. There was some nice stuff, but more that often missed the mark. This is certainly not the case always, and one example of a figure that holds up well is 2003 Wreckage.

It’s funny that some of Hasbro’s better item’s from back then were Firefly repaints. V1 Firefly was one of the molds they honestly used a bit too much, but it’s still hard to fault any of the repaints as being bad figures besides maybe BJ’s Firefly. The unfortunate side effect of this is some mold degradation that affects figures like Wreckage a good amount, but it’s not too noticeable thanks to his darker colors.

Wreckage is a worthy and cool repaint for paying homage to the unreleased Tiger Force Sabre Tooth from the vintage line. Of course, the two figures don’t look much alike, beyond both being Firefly in a Tiger Force centric color scheme. Sabre Tooth has more of the classic TF green and orange, while Wreckage swaps these colors for yellow, black and tan. While it’s somewhat off putting to me that the original Sabre Tooth colors were ignored in favor of new ones, I honestly think that these colors are more unique and interesting on Wreckage, and help him stand apart in the sea of similar colors featured on the vintage Tiger Force.

I get really curious as to what Sabre Tooth’s filecard might have been like. Wreckage’s bio seems pretty juvenile to me:

WRECKAGE perfected his craft at the Army Jungle Warfare Training Center, where he served as a member of the OpFor (Opposing Forces) cadre. It was his job to play the enemy in training exercises, and he took his job very seriously indeed. His favorite trick was to sneak up behind a trainee and write “bang, you’re dead,” on the back of his helmet without him knowing he was there. Once, he booby-trapped a drink cooler with a live skunk and left it in the path of a thirsty trainee patrol. His methods may have been irregular, but they worked; his victims never forgot the lessons he taught them. Any demolitions specialist can set a charge and blow something up, but WRECKAGE is also an expert at defusing and disarming demolitions. This is quite an asset in hostile territory where one is apt to find all sorts of dangerous stuff just lying around waiting to be stepped on or activated by a trip wire. He is even better at spotting these troublesome devices and avoiding them entirely, which is why the other members of the G.I. JOE TIGER FORCE team are always glad to have WRECKAGE along on any mission.
“If it goes off with a bang, I treat it with respect. Even if it’s a little firecracker. Anybody who doesn’t is a fool, plain and simple.”

It’s not as bad as something like Big Brawler’s bio, but it bounces between making him some kind of trickster and a Tripwire replacement. So, I’m left to my own devices to figure out what Wreckage really is. “Jungle Warfare Instructor” is a pretty cool secondary MOS, so I like to think that he might have helped reinforce the training for all members of the Tiger Force, and might still serve as something of a tactical advisor. He’s also good enough when I just turn my brain off and use him as Tiger Force Firefly.

GI Joe Tiger Force TRU Toys R Us 2003 Firefly cobra sabre tooth wreckage

Like almost every release of the V1 Firefly mold, Wreckage comes with the same gun, backpack and walkie-talkie. Oddly though, this figure doesn’t include the cover for his backpack, and I’m left clueless as to why. It couldn’t have cost that much to include it, and subsequent Firefly’s had it, so they didn’t lose the mold. It was just removed for no apparent reason. Otherwise, his accessories leave me with no real impression. It’s good they kept the vintage parts, though as a tiny criticism I wish they were some color unique to this release instead of black.

For an oddball exclusive from 2003, Wreckage is a lot more common than I’d have thought. I think it’s safe to say he was the most interesting figure from the set he came in, so likely many collector’s have sought him out in particular at some point. The prices tend to range on him a bit too, but $10 to $15 seems to be what’s typical. I think this is an interesting figure, and of the post-ARAH Tiger Force releases, this one seems to add the most to the vintage assortment.

GI Joe Tiger Force TRU Toys R Us 2003 Firefly cobra sabre tooth wreckage

2003 Wreckage Links:

Yo Joe

Half the Battle

Forgotten Figures

Joe A Day

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4 Responses to 2003 Wreckage

  1. A-Man says:

    Nice they revisited an unproduced vintage concept. Alas, they didn’t do that much. As a character, another demolitions guy seems redundant. And the good guy in the balaclava already existed with Beach-Head, Shockblastwave, plus ninjas and later too many characters in Modern Era. (FROSTBITE IS A MASKED BAD-ARSE NOW)

    Isn’t there a skin tone variation on Wreckage like the other TRU members. I could look it up in the time it takes to type this.

    I like BJ’s Firefly. Fun bad-figure, (at least the 3rd best figure in the BJ’s 8-pack, which I guess doesn’t say much). If he were a foreign exclusive everyone would love him and he’d be worth $$$$. When Hasbro makes a goofy repaint that’s readily available, everyone scoffs at it. (Hyperbole, not everyone and he wasn’t readily available initially).

  2. Mike T. says:

    Hasbro made 25,000 Tiger Force sets. But, after they and the Python Patrol underperformed, the 2004 sets were reduced to 20,000 Cobra sets and 16,000 Joe sets. So, there’s a lot more TF than there are other TRU figs from that time.

    Wreckage features a variant, too. There is a flesh tone difference on the figs between the red haired and black haired Big Brawler sets. Not really much of a variant, but it exists.

  3. R.T.G. says:

    For years I tried to use him as “Wreckage” or “Sabretooth” but at the end of the day, he’s still Firefly. I think had they gone with the original colours, or gave him the Jinx Battle Cat deco, he’d probably fair better as a separate character, instead he’s so close to Firefly it’s not worth worrying about.

  4. Jester says:

    Given the character’s SMOS as a jungle warfare instructor, it would have been nice if Hasbro had given the figure Recondo’s rifle, as shown in the catalogue photography for the original Tiger Force figures.

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