1992 Dice

1992 Dice

A minor quibble I have with 90‘s GI Joes, is the point where the majority of Cobras became somewhat redundant, faceless mooks. Don’t get me wrong, I like army-builders as much as the next guy, but the distinct personalities tend to stick in my head a bit more compared to some specialty oriented Viper. It’s mostly a ‘90 and ‘91 problem, but 1992 suffers a lot for it too, just because there were fewer figures released that year. Anyways, Dice stands out a lot just for being a unique 90‘s Cobra, at a point when the line needed a little more of that.

In many ways Dice could almost pass for one of the coolest Cobras made since the 80‘s, though he suffers a fatal flaw as a gimmick oriented Ninja Force figure. I’m not averse to gimmicks inherently and I think the designers at the time were being fairly wise to keep with trends and expand their audience a bit. Armor Tech for example, is usually viewed as an abomination to Joe’s classic construction, but as a very small child I actually liked those better, they struck me as something similar to Duplo blocks for their toddler friendly simplicity. So at face value the different construction is mildly respectable, but I think it’s aged poorly in a major way: There’s no way to change this figure’s o-ring besides cutting his torso in half, and thirty-two years later that makes all of these suck pretty hard.

Back to Slice- I mean DICE (Really, I’d never keep them straight if it weren’t for the orange Slice repaint.), he’s a fun character, and one that I find sad to have become an obscurity. His design is really solid, and on that front him and Slice probably are the best Cobra’s of the 90‘s. The dragon mask is interesting for the way that it hides most of his face but still shows a lot of skin around his mouth and exposes a nicely detailed bandana he wears under it. I like that since most of the Cobras by this point didn’t really show much of their faces, which is cool and all, but also makes a lot of them less memorable. His colors are nice too, being mostly dark purple and black with some silver.

It’s also nice that his gimmick doesn’t hamper him too much. He’s one where you twist his torso and then he slings back, like T’Jbang. Because of it, he has no waist joint, but comparatively that’s not so bad when you look at Snake Eyes or Scarlet’s t-crotches, or the Night Creepers who can barely do anything with their arms. The proportions also make it out nicely unscathed by his gimmick, Dice looks bulky and muscular but not exaggeratedly so. I think some people dislike the relative lack of a waist, but I think it looks like a combination of muscle and maybe some bulky protective gear.

For accessories, you get a simple silver axe and halberd (or bo-staff, as the filecard calls it). If you like living risky, you can get some fun two-handed poses with the staff, though I’m personally beyond testing what remaining plasticity his thumbs have left. Naturally, you don’t get any kind of backpack for him since none of the Ninja Force figures had peg-holes for them. It’s odd too, since Armor Tech figures still kinda had them, but I guess for the ninjas there just wan’t enough room. I like his little axe, but forgot to ever take a picture of him using it. His job is “Bo-Staff Ninja”, so it always feels weird to pose him with anything else.

As a random piece of trivia I thought I’d document, I have both a domestic American Dice and a Dice that was released in Mexico if I recall. The Mexican figure is no different as far as I can tell from the American one, and even the card back is the same, just with stickers placed over the English text. The only thing I can say is that figure came to me MOSC with some unusual wear: one elbow is cracked like an ’88 figure, and only one half of one thigh is slightly discolored. So it’s not an interesting foreign figure or something like that, just something that appeared cheap a decade or so ago. I only bother talking about it since I’ve not seen anyone even mention such a figure existing, so now you know.

The price on Dice might make you think twice… or not, just rhyming. Decent examples still go for less than $10, though on bad days he seems to run for a little more than that. It’s not a hard figure to find at all, and one that’s pretty durable with only two large parts to keep up with. Ninja Force lots tend to run pretty cheap too, though that’s probably because most of the lame-o’s like Dojo are just dead weight on a more desirable figure like Dice.

gi joe 1992 1993 ninja force snake eyes dice night creeper

Mexican Dice

gi joe 1992 1993 ninja force snake eyes dice night creeper

American Dice

1992 Dice Links:

Forgotten Figures

Attica Gazette

Half the Battle

3D Joes


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

3 Responses to 1992 Dice

  1. A-Man says:

    Purple isn’t realistic, but that second to last photo shows how dark purple with black and silver can look quite cool, whereas Ninja Force Night Creeper is a walking gender-reveal party.*

    I made this post just for that bit.

    Dice was cool, maybe the best of Ninja Force, and it’s a shame he lack traditional construction. Bonus for the skin tone, implying non-Europeaness. Hasbro shy about non-white baddies back then. I never saw Cobra as racist.

    *And possibly just as dangerous as those parties.

  2. Mike T. says:

    Slice and Dice are rare figures who can look at place among 1985 figures or 1994 figures. They have the classic colors and excellent sculpting but are limited by the non-standard articulation. But, they aren’t nearly as back as the 1993 figures and you can mingle Slice and Dice among earlier figs with no visual interruption.

    I wasn’t buying toys when they appeared in the comic. Slice, though, was almost cool enough for me to go looking for him at the local stores. I never got around to it, though. When I finally broke down to buy some toys in December of 1992, the wall of newness was overwhelming and I have no specific memory of seeing either Slice or Dice on the shelves.

    Now, though, I think I might like Dice better. The purple is a fun color and he has the more interesting sculpt. Though, I still like Slice’s head. I still wonder why Dice didn’t return in the repaint era. He and Slice would have been a better match for the Ninja Strike set than either the Vypras or the Stormshadow. But, the errors of that era will never escape me.

  3. HitandRun says:

    I had Dice as a kid and he certainly played a role in my 90s Joe verse. I always thought his main weapon was awesome and his design was great as well. As an adult collector I have avoided all Ninja Force figures outside of Nunchuk (an awesome figure in his own right) due to the construction and lack of ease for repairing o-rings.

    This figure design though is great and it really works. The colors, cool mask, accessories, mold all have really held up well IMO. A strong figure but not one I feel any urge to add to my collection despite my childhood ties to the figure.

    I do love the photos you posted. I will say the original Night Creeper figure (1990) was a favorite of mine but to me he was less of a ninja and more a commando type figure. On the other hand I look at the Ninja Force Night Creeper in another photo, another figure I had from my childhood that I did really like but now he’s an easy pass because of the colors used. It’s rare that I ever criticize 90s Joes for designs/colors as I strongly identify my collecting with 1990-1994 but Ninja Force seems to be the one subteam that I can never get fully invested in.

Leave a Reply

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