1988 Repeater

1988 Repeater

Repeater is one of those figures who was never a collecting goal for me, and whom I’ve rarely had much interest in using. He’s a fairly popular figure and I’ve personally held that the toy is for the most part somewhat overrated, however, there’s some objectively good things about him. In fact, he’s probably among the upper tier of late-eighties Joes, it’s just that he doesn’t appeal to me that much personally.

Right away, one of my biggest issues I’ve always had with this figure is his head. His head looks super ugly to me, to the point it almost feels hard to take him seriously. The rest of the sculpt comes across as being nice, but somewhat average, with the best part probably being his chest. The chest sculpt featured a really nice vest with some sharp details on it. It could have looked great mixed in with some other parts on repaints later on, but that wasn’t to be. I may rectify that in my collection with some customs at some point, but GI Joe customs tend to be a drag to make.

His colors are really nice though. The figure is mostly a khaki color, with brown camo and green and black accents. The camo patterns on these late-eighties figures were very nice and distinct, very similar to digital camouflage though I don’t think that was being used at the time. Most of the guys from ‘88 are fairly colorful and bright, so Repeater with his grounded colors stands out as a nice change of pace.

The accessories are one of the most distinct elements of the figure. Specializing as a “Steadi-Cam Machine Gunner”, he indeed includes a steadi-cam machine gun… which isn’t real, but looks pretty neat. His full kit is a green backpack, the machine gun, and hip-mount stabilizer for it. The gun isn’t too unrealistic, as there’s been a few real-life attempts at making a gun with similar ergonomics, but kind of like with this toy, they’ve never been very practical. Repeater can’t really pose or hold his gun very much while mounted to the stabilizer, which renders the set-up useless to me. If you want to get a two-handed pose with it, the best you can do is balance the gun on the stabilizer. While mounted, there’s barely even room for his thumb to hold the gun’s receiver. Putting that aside, the gun and backpack do look very nice though.

Besides the Night Force repaint, this guy got released in Brazil twice, once as Retaguarda and again as Urzor. I’ve always wanted Urzor, namely because he includes a BEAR, but not enough to pay the absurd prices those figures go for. Heck, even the Night Force repaint commends a price far more than he’s worth, which really leaves us with this figure being the only version of the sculpt that’s decently accessible. Given, I think it’s also fair to say that the ‘88 release is the best version too, seeing as how the Night Force repaint has no camo and fewer painted details.

Repeaters are thankfully still cheap on a regular basis. Typically a complete Repeater will run around $8, which isn’t much to pay for a figure that’s relatively so nice. My main gripe is that his head’s ugly and his gun is cumbersome, but everything else about the figure is well done. In an age where collectors are willing to pay $100+ for obtuse, common items, I’m always a little stunned when a decent figure like this one doesn’t go for much.

1988 Repeater Links:

Forgotten Figures

3D Joes

Half the Battle

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4 Responses to 1988 Repeater

  1. Mike T. says:

    Repeater falls into the “Alpine” category of Joes for me. He’s a figure you don’t really need. But, he looks good enough and he’s great as either a supplement or just something different than Rock and Roll and Roadblock as your standard machine gunners.

    The mold is nice. The gear looks cool, even if it doesn’t make a lot of sense, and his colors are solid. Overall, he’s like a lot of the 1988 figures in that he’s not bad, but he’s not spectacular.

  2. Josh Z says:

    Repeater’s “steadi-cam” gun is a direct lift from the movie Aliens, where that exact weapon was used by a couple of the Colonial Marines two years earlier.

    Calling it a “steadi-cam” machine gun is pretty silly, as “steadicam” is a filmmaking term for a camera on a stabilizer mount (literally a “steady camera”). Using those cameras is how James Cameron came up with the idea for the gun in the movie (where it’s designated an M56 Smartgun). Calling it a “steadi-gun” would have made more sense, but then I suppose it would be awkward to list Repeater’s job description as “Steadi-Gun Gunner.”

  3. R.T.G. says:

    I really like Repeater. I’m not sure why, but he’s pretty high on my list of the 87-88 figures. He’s got solid sculpting, and I feel his head sculpt is somewhat decent in portraying him as some old dude. His card art kind of makes him look like Lee Marvin.

    The 88 figures all tend to suffer from the solid colour torso, but Repeater escapes that, even though his design would’ve made the lack of colouring a little easier to stomach than Budo or Shockwave.

  4. Jester says:

    “The chest sculpt featured a really nice vest with some sharp details on it. It could have looked great mixed in with some other parts on repaints later on, but that wasn’t to be.”

    I’ve often wondered about that vest, since it appears to be the type specifically designed for carrying M203 grenades, and Repeater is notably *not* a grenadier. Perhaps it was originally intended for his fellow Class of ’88er, Hardball, who actually *does* wield a 40mm grenade launcher?

    “If you want to get a two-handed pose with it, the best you can do is balance the gun on the stabilizer.”

    It’s possible to get a good two-handed shooting stance without detaching the gun from its mounting, but you need to turn Repeater’s left forearm 180 degrees from its normal position (so that the elbow is pointing skywards), thus bringing his hand into position to slide up the foregrip.

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