1993 Star Fighter

1993 Starfighter

The Star Brigade line overall made some really solid choices in molds to reuse for a space-only themed GI Joe line. The ‘87 POGO getting turned into the Invader, a spacecraft, was a good example of a pretty lame idea being reinvented as something a little more fun. For the Joes, you had the Starfighter, which was a retool of the Stellar Stiletto.

As a kid, and as a kid going into adulthood who never stopped buying toys, I tended to find myself frustrated with a lot of 90‘s items like this. There was always that feeling of knowing what you had was a repaint of an older toy you wanted more, which often made me feel a tad cheated with toys like this. Of course, I haven’t always known about the Stellar Stiletto, so before that point, I was sort of disinterested in the vehicle for thinking it looked cheap.

To that end, there’s elements of the deco I think cheapen the look of the vehicle. I tend to dislike the bright white plastic used for the main hull, it makes me think too much of an unfinished scratch-build made from generic styrene. Of course, nothing screams cheap more than the paper decals that were endemic to all of the post-’91 vehicles. It still makes for a decent space vehicle despite that, but apart from the Star Brigade, it’s not too impressive looking.

As I mentioned, the vehicle has actually been altered from the Stellar Stiletto in several areas, which is interesting. The first and most obvious change, is that the nose-gun has been replaced with a missile-launcher. Second, the entire nose-cone has been changed, and now has been replaced by a piece made from very soft plastic. Third, the tail-wing has been shortened considerably.

Compared to the Invader, I think this repaint has a lot more going against it, and even risks feeling somewhat phoned-in. Despite that, the Starfighter has some good qualities going for it, that make me relatively fond of the vehicle. It’s unique as being the only aircraft/spacecraft in the Star Brigade line, which strikes me as a bizarre and glaring omission. Even when Hasbro introduced new vehicles in ‘94, your choices were Armor-Bot and the Power-Fighters. I think that had a lot to do with the fact that the first year was comprised of cheap repaints, while the second year featured new items that seemed to be unreleased carry-overs from prior years (In the old live-action Battle Corps ad, you can clearly see Duke and Destro fighting around a blue Armor-Bot). Either way, it’s a strange distinction that belongs to the Starfighter, which I think makes it a more important piece in a Star Brigade collection for that reason alone.

Oddly, another nice thing about the Star Fighter is that it actually included a driver. I’ll save my comments on Sci-fi for a day when I do a post specifically on him, but it’s curious he was included at all, as this was at a point when vehicle drivers were increasingly rare.

The Starfighter is not very expensive, nor very rare. A complete one can be obtained for about $25, and ones missing a few parts can be had for even less. The missiles are often missing, but are easy to find from dealers sold on their own. I probably wouldn’t recommend this vehicle to anyone who’s not a Star Brigade nut, but it seems almost inseparable from that group given it’s their only spaceship.

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1993 Star Fighter Links:

3D Joes

When It Was Cool

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5 Responses to 1993 Star Fighter

  1. Mike T. says:

    Not a huge Starfighter fan. But, it was decent enough. I bought 2 boxed versions back in the ’90’s when they were cheap and opened one to put together. Sadly, it got dumped in the purge. But, the bagged Sci Fi remained. Still have the other boxed one out in the garage. Been thinking about opening it up as I do miss having a space ship around.

    I just got a loose Sci Fi (first loose one I’ve ever had!) yesterday. He’s getting hard to find without discoloration or severe dirt staining. He might be enough to get me to open the other Starfighter.

  2. Erick says:

    “Compared to the Invader, I think this repaint has a lot more going against it, and even risks feeling somewhat phoned-in.”

    I’m so glad to know that I’m not the only one that felt this way about the Starfighter.

  3. A-Man says:

    What did you want a 3rd shuttle release? Something that made sense?

    Star Brigade was rushed out to discourage Hasbro’s in house rivals at Kenner from relaunching Star Wars. (They delayed it by two years, I guess.) I remember being quite surprised by them as they were not in 1993’s product folder.

    Sci-Fi as a pilot, but actual pilots Payload and Space Shot were carded.

    I like how in Europe, the Invader also included a pilot…Star Brigade PAYLOAD aka CARGO. He defected for some reason. It’s not even the version with black and blue which looks more cobra like, but the common black and green. But at that point faction colors were all over the place.

  4. R.T.G. says:

    On one hand, the use of the less than Stellar Stiletto mold was nice to see, as it was a space ship, I still think Star Brigade would’ve wound up being the best place to put the SHARC mold to use.

    I do like that the Star Fighter fits in with the blue and white Space colour scheme that Hasbro had been using on and off since 1989

  5. DJV says:

    Your thoughts on this toy echo many of my own. It’s definitely phoned it, but it’s the only Star Brigade spaceship you’ve got. I had it as a kid and kinda liked it, but I didn’t love that it only had a missile launcher (no guns) and that Sci-Fi was the pilot. Even as a kid I couldn’t see the laser trooper as a space pilot.

    But, taken on its own merits, it’s a pretty fun toy and it looks good in photos. So my overall opinion is pretty positive.

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