Black Major Desert Scorpion Trooper

Black Major Desert Scorpion Trooper

For almost an entire decade now, collectors have been bombarded by an entourage of third-party GI Joe figures, mainly produced by the Black Major. After getting more Cobra Troopers than you can shake a stick at, Night Vipers, Alley Vipers, and an endless amount of other creations, keeping up with all of them is getting hard. A few of the oldest customs go mostly forgotten, which brings me to the Desert Scorpion Trooper from the Black Major.

Essentially, this figure is from his earliest production runs around 2010. It’s made from a different mold than all of the Troopers that came after 2014 or so, and it’s reflected somewhat in the quality of the figure. Don’t get me wrong, the quality’s pretty great, especially for what one would’ve expected back then. Though it’s certainly not as nice as later runs of figures. In general, loose arms tended to be a bit more common with these than the later mold. As well, I found that mine had a slight issue with their hips not wanting to sit straight, a problem the later mold also lacked.

The colors and design, to my knowledge are based on an older bootleg made in small numbers by other individuals. TBM’s figure is a much more saturated tan color, compared to the lighter tan of the older figure. The usage of the Desert Scorpion sigil is similar between the two figures. Personally I think TBM’s version of the design is the better appearance, but it can be argued the old figure was closer in color to Hasbro plastic, so there’s room for debate.

I think when these were new, they were largely overshadowed by the camouflage Troopers that came out at the same time. The added realism of the camouflage, coupled with the amount of detail that it provided on the vintage Cobra Trooper mold made for a figure most collectors couldn’t afford to ignore. This guy on the other hand comes off as more of a standard Trooper with a switched up pallete; yet for me this is one of the figure’s main appeals. While the camouflage figures always looked impressive, they don’t blend in well with most of the vintage ARAH figures. The Scorpion Trooper doesn’t look that out of place comparatively.

Like the V1 Cobra Trooper, this figure only included a Dragunov sniper riffle. Newer Trooper customs have gone to add in a Viper backpack and AK47 from the Cobra Officer, but these were more true to the original. I definitely prefer the AK to the Dragunov, but it’s quite a blessing to be able to hoard up tons of spare AKs and Dragunovs when these were so hard to get with vintage Troopers prior. Even if this figure didn’t have the nice extras, I was plenty happy just getting more Dragunovs.

They show up pretty rarely now, so it’s hard to figure out what the Scorpion Troopers go for on average. Most custom Cobra Troopers don’t go for more than $30, and certain figures will still only run around $15. So although it’s a wide estimate, given their rarity I think it’s fair to say you might see them go for anything in between those two numbers.

TBM customs cobra trooper bootleg the black major factory custom gi joe arah desert scorpion
TBM customs cobra trooper bootleg the black major factory custom gi joe arah desert scorpion

Black Major Desert Scorpion Trooper Links:

Early Factory Custom Desert Trooper at Attica Gazette

Display of Black Major Custom Troopers by 00zxcvb

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2 Responses to Black Major Desert Scorpion Trooper

  1. A-Man says:

    I have one, and it’s pretty decent. But I don’t care for the scorpion logo, it’s asymmetrical and messy looking, doesn’t mesh with the simplicity of the 1983 mold. The other version with the standard red Cobra logo is better.

    IIRC, these guys cannot use standard backpacks and…not sure about foot pegs.

  2. R.T.G. says:

    I legitimately like this mold better than the later Black Major trooper mold. Though you’re on point in regards to the AK being a better addition.

    On the plain vs. camo point, the three camo troopers were pretty well received, but the desert one was definitely the one lagging behind. I think having the plain ones come out, did it in. I remember the plain desert figures being more popular, but I’m also basing that off how often they were in dio pictures, which were for the most part just you, me and Outrider (R.I.P.). I liked the plain ones better.

    Though overall, the Urban and Jungle camo figures were far and away the most popular of the first era TBM custom troopers. That’s why I don’t think you see them in dios the same way anymore, the people who were there first, and tend to have them in armies, photo’d the fuck out of them!

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