1985 Tomax & Xamot

1985 Tomax & Xamot

“They don’t fight with steel and claw, backed with muscle and honest sweat…The chase you with paper, wound you with your own laws and kill you with the money you loaned them.” In a lot of ways, there’s something interesting represented by the Crimson Guard Commanders, Tomax and Xamot. Mind you, I’m not overly fond of these two, mainly just for the fact that a: they’re a little corny and b: they’re fairly hard to use. Despite that, Tomax and Xamot are an interesting pair, both in execution, and in cannon.

I knew of Tomax and Xamot since I was kid because of their prevalence in the Sunbow cartoon. I thought they were neat, but they also didn’t interest me very much relative to other characters. When I had the chance to get the 25th figures back in ‘08, it excited me, but only so much before I lost interest in them. Then at some point around 2011, I got the original Crimson Twins, took one photo of them, and forgot about them just like with the 25th figures. For some reason, these guys just don’t stick in my mind the way other (and often, more obscure) Cobras do.

They are very cool characters however, it’s just that it’s part of what makes them hard to use. Re-reading their filecard, I find the references to the Algiers putsch and their involvement in the bush wars to make them a lot more interesting. Other than that though, they’re basically high-ranking corporate thugs. Which is interesting, but maybe not the most intense role for an action-figure terrorist.

The whole twin angle ranges from being reasonably fun to incredibly hokey depending upon what you watch or read. Probably part of why I found them to be corny in Sunbow, was the whole “feeling each other’s pain” thing. It was okay, but it also brings them a lot closer to the silly side of Cobra like with Raptor or Big Boa. Then again, they’re certainly a lot better than Zandar and Zarana, the twins from next year over.

The figures themselves look very nice, and display some very ornate sculpted details. There’s a lot of silver armor all over the figures, and while it’s prone to wear, it looks very nice in contrast to their Cobra-blue outfits. The only thing that really bugs me about them, is that they really aren’t identical. Xamot’s face is noticeably more chiseled than Tomax’s, especially when you look at his chin. I guess it’s the best they could do, but it’s always bugged me a bit.

The accessories are another area where the Crimson Twins are very weak. Included are two of the same gun (one each), and a hook they share. It’s okay that they’re light on accessories, but the gun included here was sadly one of the weakest sculpts in the entire line. Frankly, I really don’t know what it’s supposed to look like, and it just looks dumb with them (and worse with anyone it was later included with). It doesn’t hold the figures back too much, but compared to everything around them, these were some really bad parts.

Tomax and Xamot seem to be heavily affected by the current wave of anything-goes pricing. Some sets will sell for upwards of $60, others will barely muster $17, complete and in fine condition. At least it’s not as bad as the 25th figures, which are now routinely hitting $100… Back on topic, my Xamot’s actually pretty rough, so someday I might replace him since the prices on incomplete twins aren’t too bad, some of the time. But for now, he suits my needs for what he is.

crimson twins crimson guard commanders gi joe vintage 1985 hasbro arah

crimson twins crimson guard commanders gi joe vintage 1985 hasbro arah


1985 Tomax & Xamot Links:

Forgotten Figures

3D Joes

Joe a Day

Half the Battle: Tomax, Xamot

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4 Responses to 1985 Tomax & Xamot

  1. Mike T. says:

    I’m not a big fan of the circus in general. And, as Tomax and Xamot look like they stepped out of Ringling Bros, they simply haven’t held up in my collection.

    But, as a kid, I did love them. They were a great villain. I had them share pain between each other, with it diminishing each time it transferred. So, they would be down for a minute after an injury, but quickly shake it off. I did explore one of them dying and the other then transferring all of his pain to his dead twin and becoming somewhat indestructible. But, that was shortlived.

    I wish the 2002 figures had been in different colors. There was a dumb rumor of white uniform twins from Europe. (It doesn’t exist and was based on a blurry picture with some customs in it.) But, the twins in either white or green would have been awesome while also being different.

  2. R.T.G. says:

    The Crimson Twins are kind of like Zartan, in that they’ve got a strong enough design, that a lot of the sins of the figures and characters are forgiven. Of course they’re not as good a design as Zartan, so they still catch flak, but less than pretty much any other goofy COBRA (IE: Most named COBRAs that came out after them!)

    I like the Crimson Twins, as they’re strange enough that you can do some fun stuff with them, but the financial background, as well as the fact they were pretty hardcore mercenaries gives them other potential uses.

  3. A-Man says:

    I’m fine with the Twins as characters. They show their faces, their Eurotrash yuppie faces we can see with contempt. Faceless, masked Cobra characters became too common. Their psychic twin connection is based on The Corsican Brothers by Alexandre Dumas (GI JOE was sooo original, eh?). The Sunbow series used them better overall than Hama did, who didn’t seem to like them or know what to do with them. They appear then disappear for large stretches of the comic. Interestingly it wasn’t uncommon for them to appear sans the Crimson Guard they supposedly lead in both the toon and the comics.

    As figures, they have problems. All that silver paint rubbing off. At some point, I acquired a used pair of the twins that were stunt doubles to save wear on my originals. Sounds absurd, but the paint was too delicate. This affects aftermarket prices because the duo should be quite common, as they were available for years via Hasbro direct.

    And that’s a little odd, maybe. Overstock from the Action Force relaunch in Europe? But why them and not so many other figures that could’ve been overstocked?

    The first oversized pistols of GI JOE. Not great, but they could hold them at least…if not looking that cool what with the large size and trigger guards.

  4. DJV says:

    Excellent review, and your feelings on them are very similar to mine. I find the “financial manipulators and former down-and-dirty mercenaries” characterization interesting, but the psychic connection a little cheesy. And the costumes don’t quite work for their characterization. But it does look “Cobra” enough and and also armored enough to work for their battlefield gear, I guess.

    I only have the 00s repaints of these guys, which I got very cheap from a Chinese seller on eBay. They are good enough for me.

    I think their pistol works really well for Star Brigade figures, but kind of falls flat other than that.

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