1991 Cleansweep

1991 Clean Sweep

Clean Sweep is, overall, probably my favorite figure from the entire Eco-Warriors subset. In the back of my mind, there’s always been this question as to why if he looks so much like Airtight, why wasn’t he a new Airtight? At the same time, one of his key characteristics that makes him worth remembering is that he was actually a new character, and not the second or third version of some guy from the line’s early days.

Speaking of which, I do think an area where 90‘s Joes lose out to 80‘s Joes, are the subsets. I think 80‘s figures overall are more memorable or distinct for the fact that novel specialties were represented often by one figure per year, instead of an entire carded assortment. This didn’t hurt DEF/Headhunters quite so bad, but most of Ninja Force is way more forgettable than the periodic Storm Shadow or Jinx. The same can be said for Eco-Warriors, where Clean Sweep and Ozone stand out a lot less well, just for the fact that you have Flint, Barbecue and Deep Six all doing essentially the same thing.

Getting back around to Clean Sweep, he’s a really well done figure. While I do like all of the Eco-Warriors, if I could only have one, it’d definitely be Clean Sweep. His yellow hazmat suit and it’s sculpted details come across to me as the most well-suited and appropriate looking of the lot, where as some of the others seemed like they were trying to find ways just to look different. It’s sharp and interesting without looking busy or like an X-men reject, which is something you can’t say for many of his contemporaries.

His colors are another one of his strong aspects. Sure, the green is quite a lot brighter than the traditional olive-drab, but it still looks good, and makes him cohesive with both Flint and Ozone. Having a mostly yellow suit in a nice medium tone is another thing I like, as this color really sells him as a hazmat guy, in a way that bright blue and ketchup red doesn’t do so well.

Probably the most integral accessory for Clean Sweep is his helmet. It’s weird, as unlike with the Toxo-Viper’s helmet and HEAT Viper’s missiles, Clean Sweep isn’t really ruined without it. Being a Joe, I can imagine a few play scenarios where showing his face off would be kind of fun, which is less the case with the other two. It’s also very nice that his helmet has a few bits of green on the trim and some light blue for his visor. I always appreciate painted helmets, since this really wasn’t standard for the vintage line, and I can think of plenty of contemporaries for this guy where having a painted helmet would’ve helped them a lot, like with Eco-Warriors Flint or DEF Shockwave.

Yet another thing I find to like about Clean Sweep is that all of his accessories are fairly well done, in addition to the helmet. Included is a pistol and a backpack with a control panel in neon green, his aforementioned helmet, and this huge, water-squirtin’ tank thing. I feel like Hasbro was still putting a lot more effort into the gimmick parts at this point, as opposed to the requisite and recycled launchers you more often saw in ‘93 and ‘94. I certainly don’t find this tank too captivating, but it was a nice pack-in, especially when you consider the fact that dumper vehicles like the Barracuda were available at around the same time.

Clean Sweep runs around $20 for a complete figure, sometimes a little more or less. Seems like a fair amount for what should be a very obscure character, but he looks good enough that if I ever wanted another, I wouldn’t be badly offended to pay that. Most of the Eco-Warriors come across to me as something nice for a change of pace, though Clean Sweep and Cesspool stand out as the must-haves from the lot. As the economy continues to crumble, you’ll probably see guys like this get a little cheaper in the coming months.

GI Joe Clean Sweep Eco Warriors 1991 Hasbro ARAH CobraGI Joe Clean Sweep Eco Warriors 1991 Hasbro ARAH Cobra

GI Joe Clean Sweep Eco Warriors 1991 Hasbro ARAH Cobra

Old photo from when I first started collecting. The embarrassing sharpie-marks on Mainframe’s computer were there when I bought him.

1991 Cleansweep Links:

Forgotten Figures

3D Joes

Half the Battle

Joe A Day

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3 Responses to 1991 Cleansweep

  1. Mike T says:

    This was a perfect example of a great figure who never got considered for a repaint in the 2000’s due to collector bias. Yet, this guy painted up in silver as an airport firefighter would have been an amazing figure. But, we all know it was never even going to be a consideration.

    He is, definitely, the highlight of the Eco Warriors. I do think, though, that he’s the only one who would have really stood on his own were he part of the standard carded line.

  2. Sam Smith says:

    His helmet and colors make him look like Homer Simpson at work.

  3. A-Man says:

    Ozone got the recolors but none for Clean-Sweep.
    Big ugly head under that mask…LOL

    His working name or error name in the catalog was Anti-Tox. I could imagine his file name being Andy Tocks.

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