2001 Sure Fire

2001 Sure Fire

I’m not sure what to say about Sure Fire. Objectively, I think he’s a really good toy and I like him a lot. Yet at the same time he’s connected to a member of the GI Joe deep-state as a homage to David Lane, and that’s a one-way trip to the #GroanZone nobody needs. I slept on that factoid for many a years and enjoyed the figure more before I knew though, so perhaps in favor of having fun, I’ll mostly ignore that and just talk about why Sure Fire isn’t a bad time.

The ARAHC Joes outside of the ridiculously rare Serpentor wave have always floated around as some of the most worthless figures on the aftermarket. That’s not a knock against them, just an observation. When I was a kid, I only encountered them once, and the only set I ever saw was the Cobra Commander (Battle Armor) and Chameleon set. That came a little too soon after the ‘97 Cobra Command set, so I never wound up getting any figures from this line until the late 2000‘s, when their cheapness became more interesting as a way of bolstering my smaller collection from back then. Somewhere along the way I ended up with one of these Sure Fires.

For the most part, this figure is almost a total repaint of ‘92 Shockwave, just with a new head. The new head is… fairly undesirable. It’s not in that Big Brawler territory of sheer misery, but it has that cheap and generic look that the other sculpts from the time were prone to, in a way that I can only think to describe as feeling more Chap Mei and less GI Joe. None of this is really anything that ruins the figure though, as I feel like the figure comes across the strongest as an army-builder FBI mook rather than a real GI Joe. V3 Shockwave has slightly brighter colors that make him seem more in-line with his 90‘s-neon DEF buds, but Sure Fire is in this really dull navy-blue color that makes him seem like much more of a generic by comparison.

Gotta be honest though, for me a lot of the appeal of this figure comes from my view on Shockwave. I love commandos in balaclavas, so despite being a solid figure I can never like DEF Shockwave more than V1 Shockwave. When I want to see a bunch of 90‘s contemporaries at the same time, the DEF mold comes out. Most of the time though, ‘88 Shockwave is the only Shockwave for me. This leaves a pretty cool sculpt mostly unexplored in my Joe world, so Sure Fire helps me rectify that. The character’s complete junk, but when you put that aside he can become a much needed Joe-mook who’s not a Steel Brigade. Plus, just giving him some headgear from Marauder’s goes a long way towards making him fully generic.

I feel disappointed by the fact that I can make a “how’s the figure degrading now” paragraph apart of my standard format when I’m talking about 2000‘s Joes. Interestingly, V1 Sure Fire seems to be holding up pretty well 22 years to his release, which I honestly did not expect for something that features blue plastic. The next release of the mold (and character) is fairing less well with the greens on his legs in particular turning dark on many copies. It’s sort of interesting the way that discoloring is so random on these figures now, where certain releases will seemingly all turn uniformly bad at once, but then a repaint of that figure that may only be a few months newer or older is perfectly fine.

For accessories you get ‘91 Dusty’s pistol in black, ‘87 Law’s uzi in silver, and a solid black version of Law’s helmet too. These accessories are nice, especially if you deemed Sure Fire appropriate as an army-builder. The silver uzis are distinct and look nice to pass around, and the black helmet fits nicely on a good number of classic figures too. I really don’t know why the ‘91 Dusty pistol became the weapon of choice during the 2000‘s, but it’s usable and better than some alternatives. Really, these accessories aren’t anything to write home about, but they do the job nicely and reinforce the image I have in my head about him just being a generic.

He’s a little less common than the ‘02 repaint that can be found in excess abundance, but ‘01 Sure Fire is still only worth around $10, $15 if you feel lazy and just go for a BiN. Back in the day, you could get left overs from China for $3 a piece or so, I didn’t take much advantage of that, but in hindsight I wish I had seeing how thirsty I am for o-rings now.

2001 Sure Fire Links:

Half the Battle

Joe A Day

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3 Responses to 2001 Sure Fire

  1. Mike T. says:

    It’s fun to remember when the Sure Fire guy posted pics of himself and adult film stars on the official G.I. Joe fan club page. It’s also fun to remember that he faked a letter from a law firm on Hasbro letterhead and sent it to Zartan’s Domain because ZD was drawing like 100x the traffic of the sorry club site. Those are the just the ancient transgressions.

    I’ll have more on this tomorrow on my site. But, my real issue with the 2000’s era figures is that they completely sucked the soul out of Joe. The figures were…fine. But, they lacked the flair and panache that defined the line right from the outset. And, I think a big part of that was due to the club’s influence and simply not having the ability to realize that their consumption of the brand is rather banal.

  2. cyko9 says:

    Sure Fire as an individual doesn’t do much for me, but this figure is super useful for generic SWAT troops to back up v1 Shockwave. A single SWAT guy on his own is a tough job, and while you could have a bunch of random Joes back him up, the urban camo look is lost. I’m not crazy about this figure’s vest extending down over his belt, but when they were cheap enough, I’d grab them.

  3. General Liederkranz says:

    Great pics, especially with the urban backdrop! Sure Fire was totally forgettable when I first got him, and did nothing but sit on a shelf, ever. He was never Shockwave–Double Blast was definitely Roadblock, Gen. Tomahawk was Hawk, but I never thought of this guy as Shockwave. But then, I don’t think of this guy as Sure Fire either. I like the green and brown version, with a very different head, and to me THAT is Sure Fire, a GI Joe CID agent who’s a little more of a detective instead of SWAT type like Shockwave.

    You make a good point about using this guy as a non-Joe army builder, FBI or DEA or ATF or something. He’s perfect for that. I should start using him, and maybe even get a couple extras. I’m not a fan of how the helmet looks on him but he’s…ok…without it.

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