2005 Frostbite (Valor vs Venom)

2005 Frostbite

Normally, I might’ve not thought to write about a figure this odd from the New-Sculpt era, but, a brief and sudden snowstorm gave me an opportunity to explore him for a bit to take some snow photos before the snow melted. In hindsight, the so called “New-Sculpt” era comes off as an obscure footnote, paling in comparison to the size and scale of GI Joe in the 1980‘s. Yet, toys like this one were of good quality, and were I given the option to do so, I would use this construction for a revival of the GI Joe brand.

The New-Sculpt style of figures was flawed, but in ways I think it would be ideal if Hasbro went back to this construction style.Ultimately, this was a modern take on the classic o-ring construction, which meant that the figures had similar function and playability. Compared to the 25th/Modern style figures, these were much less fiddly and were functionally more consistent. The later construction cemented GI Joe as a collector’s line, which has ultimately lead us to the current moment. While articulation and functioning-gear gimmicks like removable pistols and vests are good, it’s imperative that the toys retain the overall function and play pattern that made them popular at the line’s peak moments.

As for Frostbite, the design lacks character in certain regards, but overall is a good quality figure from this period in time. The proportions are quite good, and the sculpt has the right amount of detail as well. The main problem with the figure is that he’s generic and lacks the character of V1 Frostbite. Looking at his head sculpt which lacks his distinctive beard, you could just as well say he’s some Viper as much as he is Frostbite. Touching back on my earlier point, I feel like this figure represents a problem with the era, in how it demonstrates this style of construction at it’s best; while also demonstrating the line’s overall lack of character and identity.

The accessories are a bit curious, but in general I’d consider them fun. He includes a snowboard, missiles for the snowboard, a riffle, a gauntlet communicator, and a paintball gun, oddly. Most of these parts seem pretty standard, although nice overall. As the first instance of this paintball gun, I feel like it’s inclusion is worth commenting on. It’s a fairly nice part, but why does he have it? What does he do with it? I can’t really think of anything besides just that paintball was popular at the time. The rest of his parts are decent, the snowboard in particular is quite good. Besides being able to mount the missiles on it, it has adjustable foot mounts that add extra playability to the piece. The fact that the parts are fun and relatively unique to the figure does a lot to elevate him over many of his contemporaries.

There’s a variant of this figure for whatever it’s worth in the form of the 2008 single-card release. Like all of those figures, slight changes were made to the paint colors, such as his goggles, skin, and most noticeably the camouflage on his legs. It’s pretty insignificant, and of course the 2005 release is objectively better for including parts, though, it is very interesting to see how much a figure can change between production runs that are only a few years apart.

New-Sculpt figures aren’t valued by collectors, and this is reflected in the price of figures like Frostbite. If you hunt, you can get a complete Frostbite for a handful of dollars, but, it does seem that that would require some hunting now. Like with many figures from the Valor vs Venom line, only a handful ever seem to be on the market at any given time. If you wanted to represent this period in you collection with the best it had to offer, Frostbite’s a figure worth tracking down.

Gi joe frostbite valor vs venom 2005 2004 Snow Wolf Cobra vvv vintage hasbro
Gi joe frostbite valor vs venom 2005 2004 Snow Wolf Cobra vvv vintage hasbro

2005 Frostbite Links:

Yo Joe


General Joes

Forgotten Figures: Rarities – Unproduced 2002 – 2005 New Sculpt Figures

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4 Responses to 2005 Frostbite (Valor vs Venom)

  1. R.T.G. says:

    The New Sculpt Era, was probably a better construction style for Joe, in comparison to the Modern Era style. However, I’ll say the New Sculpt stuff, really suffered from a lack of cohesion (Put that Frostbite beside JvC wave 3 Flint, they don’t even look like they’re from the same toyline), as well as an awfully bland design style.

    G.I. Joe is successful because they look cool, and they’re dynamic. This is sort of cool looking, but also almost too devoid of personality. I think the designs for the secondary and tertiary characters were almost too blah on purpose, to not divert attention away from the primary Duke/Snake Eyes/CC tier of characters.

  2. Mike T. says:

    The 2005 VvV figures were actually kind of hard to find at retail. The ’04 figs kind of died on the vine and it took the holidays to clear them out. So, the ’05’s didn’t show up like the ’04’s or even ’03’s did. I’d wager that the late waves of VvV are among the lowest produced retail Joes. But, like you said, no one really cares.

  3. A-Man says:

    He comes with a “riffle”?

    The paint ball gun had something to do with delivering the cure for the V-Troops Cobra was using since they were abducted civilians, IIRC.

    I wish this Frostbite had been in GI JOE vs Cobra wave 1.

  4. John says:

    People give the New Sculpt line a bad rap, and while it certainly had it’s flaws, they were working the kinks out. But that’s consistent across every 3 3/4″ GI Joe.

    People look at the RAH line with such rose colored glasses, but if they’re objective, that’ll realize that the 82′ and 83′ figures weren’t that great. You had iconic characters with iconic looks, to be sure, but the figures themselves?

    Scrawny, under detailed and sharing far too much sculpting, to the point that Marvel and Sunbow took a lot of liberties to make the characters a bit more distinctive. Some couldn’t even hold their accessories in a realistic way.

    The same thing was true of the modern figures. Looking back at the 25th Anniversary and movie lines now, you realize that most of those toys don’t hold up well. Odd proportions, hindered articulation, figures not able to hold their own accessories.

    But in both cases, the vintage and modern figures were given a chance to outgrow their awkward stage and get better. By 84′ the vintage line was beginning to really hit it’s stride, and so too was the modern line as it got into Pursuit or Cobra.

    The New Sculpt line was just getting there when it was axed. Compare figures like either 2002 Snake-Eyes to the 2005 VvV version. 2002 Scarlett and Baroness to Bombstrike or Cover Girl. Spy Troops Roadblock and Heavy Duty to Major Barrage.

    I think that if the line had been allowed to continue, it would have gotten much, MUCH better. But it never had a chance.

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