1990 Topside

1990 Topside

Topside always struck me as one of the most generic figures in my collection, even as a kid. That’s not bad, in it’s own right, but the lack of distinctive characters was a change you saw GI Joe experience in the 90‘s compared to the 80‘s. He’s not a bad figure for being plain, but it’s hard to think he shares the same general release period with figures like Captain Gridiron. In fact, if it weren’t for the sharpness of his sculpted details, I might have mistaken him for a Corps! figure in the past.

The sculpt is fairly okay on him. The figure’s overall design is rather plain, which in some ways is a nice change of pace from the typically more busy 90‘s styles. His sweatpants with the drawstring hanging out has always irritated me, although his plastic is the exact same color as ‘86 Roadblock, so it can be switched for a small upgrade. The sculpt looks fine enough overall, but I feel he looks a little lacking compared to any version of Cutter.

Topside’s deco is mostly good, with the exception of his head. One of his most irritating features is his yellow eyes, which are the same color as his hair. It doesn’t stand out very well, and makes his face look kind of undefined. He has some text across his vest, which nicely adds some visual interest to the figure, but like with Outback, it’s fragile, and tends to be worn a lot of the time.

1990 Topside gi joe hasbro vintage action figure cobra ARAH

I was sure before I wrote this I knew where his helmet was…

Topside’s accessories are an area where the figure really shines. He comes with an SMG, a helmet, and a missile-launcher backpack, that doubles as a free standing launcher, with three removable missiles. It’s a nice and simple selection of gear, and the backpack works well without looking too silly. The SMG (MP5K? Not sure.) is a nice sculpt he can easily hold with both hands, and it’s interesting for being mostly unique to this figure.

You can get a mostly complete Topside for around $15 with some regularity. I say mostly, because almost every Topside you’ll find is at least missing the third missile. Besides that, the NAVY text is prone to wear, and he discolors fairly often as well, so you might hunt for awhile before you find a nice one. At modern prices though, that’s not too much to pay for a relatively nice 90‘s figure.

1990 Topside gi joe hasbro vintage action figure cobra ARAH1990 Topside Links:

Forgotten Figures

ARAH Gallery

Half the Battle

Joe a Day

3D Joes

This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to 1990 Topside

  1. Mike T. says:

    I found one of those DeSimone books at an antique market in 1996 or so. I looked through it at all the ’90’s figures that I had no knowledge of. Topside stood out the most to me for some reason. I really wanted one. The advent of Ebay allowed me build a modest army of them. He’s an exact match for the Funskool Cutter figure, too. So, you can get a similar team if you want.

    Despite this, though, I’ve never used him all that much. For some reason, aquatic figures have fallen by the wayside in my collection and Topside has never gotten a good deal of use. I’m disappointed in my photos of him and haven’t really tried to find a way to use him in a long time.

    I put him on the Alpine/Airtight plane of figures where, when you need him, he’s damn near perfect. But, you don’t really need him all that often.

  2. A-Man says:

    So few Navy guys in the line, especially non-divers, so Topside was a needed addition even if he’s an “assault seaman” *snickers* .

    The eyes and the drawstring pants are the worst parts. I agree.

    Funny. the Locust package art shows him flying the Locust. Not Freefall, but the new navy guy, (Well, Rampart is also USN).

    I guess with differently painted hair they could’ve made the figure Shipwreck V2, but that argument can be made for much of 1990’s characters with familiar specialties.

  3. R.T.G. says:

    I like Topside, and think he’s a solid figure, but he’s got the curse of 1990 on him, where no matter what the quality of the figure is, he’s so bland and lacking of a distinct personality that he’s impossible for me to care about.

    I got to say, the goofy rope for a belt detail on the figure is something I’ve always liked. I like to think that Topside is a complete cheapskate or something, and isn’t going to buy a damn belt. That’s a fun personality quirk, but not much that makes me actually want to use Topside.

  4. DJV says:

    Great review! I love that boat in the last pic.

    Like RTG, I think the fact that Topside uses an extension cord for a belt is hilarious.

    I had this figure as a kid and he confused me just a bit for a couple reasons. The figure has a pretty full beard, but the card art showed a dude with some stubble. Also, he was the first figure I’d ever seen with non-black eyes so it kinda weirded me out. He still got a lot of use as a background character.

    Now I like him quite a bit more. It’s nice to have a Navy guy that isn’t either a shipwreck or a diver. Or a both. I tend to use him as a boat gunner, or use him to man any other sort of station on a watercraft. One of my good friends is a career Navy dude and Topside is one of his favorite Joes because “he’s just a shitty sailor, like me and most of the guys I hang out with.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *