1993 Mudbuster

1993 Mudbuster

90‘s GI Joe figures are awesome; 90‘s GI Joe vehicles however, more often suck. I have some I really like, but it seems like in most cases, the good 90‘s vehicles are only “mostly okay”, while the bad vehicles are really bad, at least compared to the quality of the 80‘s line. The Mudbuster is one of the former, and is an overall, mostly okay party wagon.

The Mudbuster is essentially a pickup truck with a turret in the back, which I have to admit, feels pretty unimpressive for the world’s most daring anti-terror task force. Sometimes I rationalize GI Joe having more primitive equipment like this, by ignoring the code name and imagining a scenario where vehicles like the Mudbuster are pieced together on the job, from civilian vehicles found in third-world countries where a mission is taking place. At the very least, the Mudbuster gives my imagination something more to work with than the Battle Wagon, which is a similar thing but way worse.

As a basic truck-type toy, the Mudbuster is a lot of fun and a nice contemporary vehicle to a collection of 90‘s Joe items. As a kid, this was a go-to vehicle for me from my brother’s collection, with the only vehicles I really liked more being the Tiger Sting, the Lynx, and the Brawler. The Mudbuster is small, easy to play with, and can fit a generous number of Joes for what it is.

Overall, the Mudbuster feels pretty solid, at least when compared to something terrible like the Rat. However, 90‘s cheapness is apparent here, which is part of why I consider this vehicle less when compared to a similar 80‘s item. I very much dislike the emptiness of it’s interior, which does not feature a steering wheel like the VAMP. Despite this, the driver’s area is still somewhat cramped, especially for the beefy 90‘s sculpts that would be intended to sit in it.

The gimmicks feel pretty basic, there’s a battering-ram on the front bumper that works using a rubber-band and a button in the truck-bed. Personally I think it’s pretty lame, and the band won’t last too well either. Getting a figure to pose with the turret is a pain; it’s doable, but it also feels like a really good way to break a thumb or heel at this point. The launcher had some weird grappling-hook type thing that you could tie to the vehicle, and to be honest, I also think this is rather dumb looking, and a weak point to the vehicle overall. It looks better with the spare missiles that come with it, which is kind of neat: it includes three unique missiles that can all be stored in the back.

The Mudbuster’s colors are decent. Overall, the turquoise and blue is a good look and the vehicle isn’t as obnoxiously colored as something like the Badger. The only bad thing is that it’s still pretty incohesive, and the turquoise really breaks the feeling of this thing being a piece of military equipment. Then again, going back to my earlier narrative, it’s a little more believable if you contemplate it as a retrofitted civilian vehicle.

Mudbuster’s are super common, you can usually get a complete one for around $15 or less. I don’t have a particular obsession with trucks, but a lot of people, especially rural people, really love trucks in any capacity, and I imagine that translated into a strong-selling vehicle in ‘93. These days, the Mudbuster probably isn’t a must-have vehicle, but it’s a nice piece for display with it’s contemporary toys. If you compare it to the VAMP, it’s a much weaker toy, but without that comparison, the Mudbuster is good enough on it’s own.

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1993 Mudbuster Links:

Forgotten Figures

3D Joes

Joe A Day


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3 Responses to 1993 Mudbuster

  1. General Liederkranz says:

    The Mudbuster stands out to me as part of the last discernible wave of Joes–I remember finding the “class” of late 1992 at retail, like I had the classes of 1991, late 1991, and 1992. It all fit together, both figures and vehicles: like you, I thought Cross Country went with the Mudbuster, and Bazooka too, and the HEAT-Viper’s file card referenced it). After that, the 93 and 94 Joes came so fast and furious that they didn’t seem to have cohesive waves any more.

    I kind of thought of the Mudbuster as a civilian vehicle, too, and I recall using it sometimes without the missile launcher. I like the suggestion of it being “pieced together on the job” overseas–that was a nice plot point in Special Missions #3, for example. I think I might’ve used the spring-action bumper gimmick once and then forgotten about it.

  2. R.T.G. says:

    The 1990s vehicles are odd. I like some of them a lot (The Paralyzer was one I was really fond of, but the one time I took Joes elsewhere for a photoshoot, I left the damn thing there!), but there’s a definite quality downgrade.

    The Mudbuster looks fun, and most importantly looks like it scales really well with figures. The odd colour is passable to me, since it’s at least more down to earth than the Badger.

  3. A-Man says:

    Mudbuster was never bad, but yes, the cheapness of its day shows. The lack of steering wheel is a big stand out, especially since the Ice Snake has a molded steering device. The gas can is molded on the back, not a separate piece. Headlights are labels. Oh, and Cobra and GI JOE shop at the same missile launcher, roll cage and tire stores. The cage stands out most.

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