1997 Baroness

1997 Baroness

The Baroness is one of the best characters in the GI Joe franchise. If I could only have one female GI Joe character, it would be the Baroness, without hesitation (most other female GI Joes irritate me in some way). With that in mind, there’s been some good toys of the character, and more really bad toys. None compare as well to their contemporaries as the original sculpt, and in this case, it’s very strong repaint from the 1997 line.

The ‘84 Baroness sculpt is a good one. The biggest detractor to most female GI Joes, is that their toys are butt-ugly. The only exceptions to this were Baroness and Lady Jaye. Generally speaking, the sculpt and in particular the head both look very nice and serviceably feminine. I think the introduction of the two-part head piece, with her hair being a separate, glued on sculpt, improved the look and sharpness considerably over prior figures like Cover Girl and Scarlet.

This ‘97 repaint is also among the better Baroness recolors, and is probably the only blue one worth having. It looks pretty close to how she appeared in both DIC and a few other places, which makes the blue look pretty reasonable for Baroness. I also really like the Cobra symbol on her chest, which is unusually detailed. The only thing I don’t really like about the colors here, is that her skin-tone is very pale and sick looking.

Like all of the 1997 releases, the quality is the biggest detractor to this release. She has oversized rivets, which can cause the shoulders to crack apart. I would comment that the plastic also has a suspect feel to it, but 24 years later and these figures don’t seem to be breaking badly besides at the shoulders. Another irritating feature of the rivets is that they’re unpainted, which is very uncommon on Hasbro figures.

The entire Cobra Command set came with some pretty lackluster part options, and Baroness is no exception. All she has is her classic riffle and a figure stand, while the backpack from the ‘84 figure is MIA. It’s pretty strange too, considering that the old backpack shows up again with ARAHC’s Chameleon, but it’s probably just another indicator of the hectic production of the ‘97 line.

And now it’s time for the part of the post where I tell you about how stupidly expensive obscure and niche figures have become. Except, to my surprise, this Baroness still isn’t all that expensive. A lot of chumps will try to pass this figure off for $40+, which is absurd, and certainly not warranted for this toy. Auctions tend to only fetch between $10 and $15 however, which is a far more fair price. Usually you can save a few dollars if the figure is bundled with the Cobra Commander and Destro from their set, which is a decent option to consider given that both of those figures are solid repaints.

cobra trooper the baroness marvel gi joe hasbro vintage 1997cobra trooper the baroness marvel gi joe hasbro vintage 1997

1997 Baroness Links:

The Dragon Fortress

Forgotten Figures

Half the Battle

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3 Responses to 1997 Baroness

  1. Mike T. says:

    The 1997’s were hated upon release. They pegwarmed and collectors hated them. Yet, they (and the ’98’s) were the cream of the repaint era crop. In many cases, the paint apps were convention figure level or better. Figures like this Baroness showed that Hasbro was kind of trying at that time. Why they stopped caring just a couple years later was due to staff turnover who hated the vintage style Joes.

    This would be a great Baroness if they got her skin tone right. I wonder how a Chameleon head would look on this body?

  2. R.T.G. says:

    I have no recollection if I ever owned this figure or not. She provides something different from the original, without having what made this version unique, get re-used by later versions. I’m going to have search one of these figures out sometime.

    It’s amazing how much improvement had come about on female figures in the short span of time between Scarlett and the Baroness. I like Scarlett v1, but she’s definitely numerous rungs down the ladder in quality.

  3. A-Man says:

    She’s more interesting than the comic pack Baroness, but they still never really tried to get her 1982-83 look right. Both times new tooling was made…it was for head sculpts! That’s the least different aspect of her original vs 1984 look!

    I do miss the days of affordable figures found in stores. Be they reissues or nusculpts…even modern. I’m tired of preorder modern collecting and retro packaging fetishism. I have a hard time divorcing nostalgic packaging from the rise of prices and the increase of scalping.

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