1982 Rapid Fire Motorcycle (RAM)

1982 RAM

The RAM is a very simple toy, but probably the best motorbike released in ARAH. It scales well, it has weapons, and enough detail to make it interesting. It’s also very iconic (hate that word, so overused) for how associated it is with the early Joes. Rock&Roll, Breaker, and Duke are all characters I see as being closely tied to the RAM, but it jibes well with figures that came a few years later too.

For a long while I really didn’t appreciate this year of vehicles. Partly, that’s because the 25th Anniversary line provided me with a very nice FLAK, VAMP and RAM, so with only a small collection of First 13 guys, I really didn’t see the point of going back for vehicles that for the most part seemed like downgrades. 15 years later and I still haven’t bothered with a VAMP or FLAK, but the RAM stood out as something that really needed to be with the figures it was designed for. The 25th mold is way more detailed, but big handle-bars don’t really mean much to figures that can’t dream of holding them. I think the added detail also alienates the newer mold a bit, as although it’s nice, it looks out of place with figures that are 25 years older.

The RAM is a really solid vehicle. GI Joe motorbikes tend to not be the most stellar items, from my own experience I don’t like quite of few of the others I’ve handled like the LCV Recon Sled, or the Ninja Lighting, and while I’ve never had one myself, from what I can tell the Silver Mirage is basically just a lousier version of this with copy-pasta missiles all over it. I think a major issue they run into, is that a good bike-ridding pose is somewhat difficult for articulated toys to achieve. Modern toys still struggle at this a bit, and classic o-ring joes especially struggle.

So the RAM sort of sidesteps some of this by having no handle-bars at all, figures just kind of hug it and play pretend. It’s a side-effect of being designed for toys that didn’t even have elbow pivots, but amusingly I think it works better in practice than some of the later attempts at bikes. The bike features a pair of removable saddle-bags, a kick-stand, and a removable gatling-cannon as it’s other features. It’s somewhat simple, but that’s really all it needs to be, so it excels at doing it’s job very well.

The only real flaw with the RAM is that it’s hard as fudge to find a mint one, which might be another way of saying it’s prone to damage? It has these little posts at the bottom of the bike, and I notice more often than not they’re cracked off (Semi-related: the box photos of the prototype depict these as pegs, but on the toy they’re wider.). The kickstand is also pretty fragile, and sometimes even the gun will have it’s connecting pegs snagged off. To me, it doesn’t really feel fragile, but it’s now upwards of 41-years-old, so I attribute most of this simply to time.

Which leads into pricing: Although the RAM is a very common vehicle, it’s also pretty hard to find a decent, unbroken one. $20 seems to be the average price for a good one, though something I found surprising is that plenty of ones that were broken would still hit around $20. My copy is a damaged one too, but I bought it on a whim at an estate sale years ago, mainly because it was in a vintage Matchbox case I wanted, with a handful of other small goodies for something like $5.

1982 RAM Links:

3D Joes

Joe A Day

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

4 Responses to 1982 Rapid Fire Motorcycle (RAM)

  1. Mike T. says:

    The RAM was my first Joe toy. I got it for my birthday in 1982 and didn’t get any figures to go with it. But, the next day, a kid who was sick for my party came by and dropped off a Breaker figure. And, with that, my obsession began.

    I still think the RAM holds up. Since it can hold figures from every year, it has a versatility that the VAMP and Dragonfly do not. I broke mine multiple times and super glued it back together so many times that the plastic, eventually, just melted away.

  2. Sam Smith says:

    In your last photo, what is the motorbike your Vipers are riding? I haven’t seen that before.

    • Nekoman says:

      I believe it’s the black version of a Power Team Elite (Click N’ Play) motorbike they sell in a few sets from that line. I got it loose, so for a while I didn’t know either!

  3. A-Man says:

    Yeah, actually the tabs that hold the sidecar gun on were always that fragile. A shame.

    It’s funny how the 1982 version has the barrel tip detail… the 25th version doesn’t and it’s sad that could do that. Modern gun just doesn’t look as good.

    I assumed the controls were under the front screen/guard whatever it is called. Not a motorcycle guy. So much that the 25th’s handle bars being so high and visible feels visually wrong to me.

    If we discuss realism, some have pointed out the force created by the minigun would be too much. Also, it would run out of ammo in about one second.

Leave a Reply

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