2005 Major Barrage

2005 Major Barrage

The “New Sculpt” era of Joes is not remembered by a whole lot of people. I attribute that mostly to botched marketing, which also led to them not really reaching kids all that much. It’s sad that I preface most posts on these figures like this, but the 2000‘s were a lamentable time, especially for GI Joe. Now for a shock statement: Major Barrage is the best sculpt from this era, and if 1/18 scale Joe ever comes back, they should be based on this figure’s design.

As you may or may not know, Major Barrage is not constructed like a normal figure from the time. While most New Sculpt figures roughly copy the design of the post-‘85 ARAH figures, Major Barrage experiments with construction changes more similar to the 25th Anniversary figures that would debut two years later. Notably, he has a ball-jointed head that connects at the top of the neck rather than inside the torso, swivel wrists, and his elbow-joints are on swivel-disks, the same as the 25th figures.

The thing about this is that he really hits the best of both worlds with this design, being a small figure that’s fun (and easy) to play with, while also featuring some modernizations that make him a little more pleasing aesthetically. 25th (“Modern Era”) figures looked nice once they hit their stride around Rise of Cobra, but always suffered from being gangly and fiddly, not really fun to play with. Likewise, the New Sculpt figures were more play friendly thanks to them just parroting ARAH construction, but they also adapted that construction is often weird ways. Once the 1/12 fad flies over, I hope Joe goes to being something like this, maybe just with the waist-joint used on the Marauder’s Gun Runners figures.

So the figure is really nice and well made in my opinion, easily the best from his era, but Major Barrage himself doesn’t really click with me that much. Overall, his character design is really, really boring, just being some ratty lookin’ dude in camo pants and a tanktop. He has the same energy as some low-tier vehicle driver like Wild-Card, only with the added blandness of being a tough guy nerd’s self-insert character (for clarity, I don’t know that he is, but he looks like one). He has a file card that describes how how he’s the baddest dude since Big Brawler, but honestly, I can’t really care about his character just for the fact that GI Joe hasn’t had a good piece of media since Double Trouble in 1991.

For accessories you get a vest and two, pump-action shotguns. Yeah that’s right, Major Barrage is so badass he rocks two PUMP-ACTION shotguns akimbo, doing some John Woo movie stuff! I guess this dude’s so cool he racks the slide with his teeth. A shotgun could make sense if he’s in a vehicle, since he’s supposed to be an Artillery Commander. Jokes aside, the figure makes good use of the shotguns thanks to his swivel-wrists. I just find guns akimbo to be very dated and corny now, but we like corn here, so that’s alright.

Major Barrage doesn’t show up for auction so much, but BiN’s on eBay have sold between $20 for a complete figure and $30 for a carded figure. Likely, he probably just goes for that much since the figure isn’t the easiest to find anymore, and because the DTC packaging looks pretty good for carded collectors. I don’t think this figure should cost that much, but it’s worth noting that he is probably the best figure from his era, so maybe it’s not too crazy.

Major Barrage DTC GIJOE Hasbro 2005 Valor vs Venom Spy Troops Major Barrage DTC GIJOE Hasbro 2005 Valor vs Venom Spy Troops

2005 Major Barrage Links:

Half the Battle

Joe A Day

Joe Battllelines

Generals Joes

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3 Responses to 2005 Major Barrage

  1. Jester says:

    He’s actually almost a perfect G.I. Joe version of Major Allan “Dutch” Schaefer from “Predator.” Just wipe off that uber early-2000s facial hair and tattoo with a couple of drops of Winsor and Newton brush-cleaner.

  2. A-Man says:

    Yeah, the early 2000’s goatee look, Barrage feels like a cliched avatar for what many American guys of a generation wanted to be then: a muscled, goateed, anti-terrorist wrassler. Barrage’s home town is the same as Stone Cold Steve Austin’s. Also, he’s an officer, because GEN X comes of age. Sure, whatever,…

    I agree modern era/25th aren’t fun as toys…the mid torso thing rarely translates well on 4″ figures and hips get loose easily. But nusculpt got off on the wrong foot and never recovered. While Barrage himself is not really perfect, if they’d started out in Barrage’s construction style, we might not have gotten modern era. (Which would be okay with me seeing how little of it I got.)

    But I think 3 3/4″ GI JOE as anything but retro is dead and not coming back.

  3. Jester says:

    “But I think 3 3/4″ GI JOE as anything but retro is dead and not coming back.”

    The 1/12th-scale fad isn’t going to last forever any more than the 1/9th-scale fad of the 1970s did.

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