1992 Headman

1992 Headman

There’s a lot you can say about “The War on Drugs” in hindsight. It was a huge propaganda push, and really an old corporate virtue-signal that amounted to good PR for toy companies, cartoons and video games. Though, kind of like with Eco Warriors (GI Joe was really preachy there for a few years), it’s a realistic part of modern warfare, and made for some pretty cool toys. Most of what you see going on with Headman is more on the extremely cool end, and only a little corny.

First, it should be said that Headman’s appearance more so than any other GI Joe villain pulls from an iconic visage that strikes fear into the hearts of many:

The suspicious man from neighborhood watch signs! Jokes aside, the corniest thing about Headman is that he wears a bandit mask and a silly little hat. The head sculpt itself is high-quality and has that late-ARAH sharpness that often goes underappreciated, but it looks super silly. I think they purposely tried to make his head look a little sillier, since if he looked like his DIC design, this would be a pretty drab figure of a guy in a suit (though, that probably would’ve been cooler).

The suit sculpt is really nice too. Hasbro’s later releases of Tomax and Xamot, as well as ‘04 General Flagg show how this mold had a lot of potential in it. A lot of later repaints didn’t look so good with 80‘s figures because of the sculpting changes that occurred between the beginning and end of ARAH, though I feel Headman is subtle enough that he doesn’t look so weird with some sculpts that are a few years older than his.

Headman’s suit is lined with gold pin-stripes that are incredibly delicate. I love how it looks, but sadly getting a mint example is not the easiest thing to do. The figure pictured in this post is my brother’s childhood Headman, whose gold paint is almost entirely gone. I wanted my own figure of this guy for a while, but eBay grief and other purchases always kept that at bay. Other than that, Headman doesn’t have much going on for painted details. The ’02 release shows off the sculpt better, though that comes at the cost of him being orange.

For parts, Headman included a G11 rifle, a free-standing rocket launcher, missile and a figure stand. The rocket launcher lights up like the other DEF launchers, which I always thought was a pretty cool gimmick, though I’m not sure there was really enough here to justify the higher price of DEF figures. Essentially including one launcher and a standard gun is pretty lacking when compared to the normal ARAH releases from the same year.

With that said, the rifle is pretty cool, and actually another great example of how much attention to detail was placed in GI Joe guns. For years I thought it was just some weird sci-fi contraption, but it’s actually H&K’s experimental G11 rifle. That gun has a long and interesting production history, but the point of it is that even in 1992, this would be a very unusual and very, very expensive gun to be toting around. It’s my assumption that it’s meant to reflect his tacky and posh nature as a drug kingpin, though that doesn’t explain why Battle Corps Mutt had it too. Oddly, the barrel area is more open than any G11 prototype I’ve seen, but maybe that’s a change that occurred once it became the filecard’s “mega-blast combat rifle”.

Getting a complete Headman is actually cheap and somewhat easy. Getting a mint Headman is a lot more challenging. A loose complete Headman in good condition tends to run around $20, but it takes a while to find one with even decent paint. Carded figures seem to float more around $50 at the moment. As is the case with much of Hasbro’s vintage gold and silver paint applications, it’s made of fairy-dust, and that’s bad for Headman since you essentially can’t touch the figure without rubbing it. Oddly though, there’s a lot more of Headman on eBay than I see for other figures (especially DEF ones), so I can only assume this guy was actually very popular back in ‘92.

1992 Headman Links:

Forgotten Figures

Half the Battle


3D Joes

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

One Response to 1992 Headman

  1. A-Man says:

    I think the open part of the G11 was maybe to avoid any legal things. Not sure gun makers are as lawsuit happy as vehicle makers, but who knows?

    Mutt had the G11 because Battle Corps Mutt got Headman’s now-electronics-free accessories instead of his net launcher. Why? Card space? Hasbro saving money? Or Mutt killed Headman and took it?

    The problem with the Headhunters were their familiar villain colors, lack of vehicles, and of course getting absorbed into Cobra in 1993 (unless you lived in Australia). Hasbro kept that in the early 2000’s. So much for drug dealers being the greater evil than Cobra.

    An early design for Headman had his with sunglasses like the toon, no hat and skintight shirt with skull and crossbones logo. https://www.flickr.com/photos/79952660@N02/45893305802/in/album-72157701679198474/

Leave a Reply

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