1987 Pom-Pom Gun

1987 Pom-Pom Gun

Happy April Fools nerds, and in the tradition of this blog I highlight something goofy, but in earnest. So here’s the Pom-Pom Gun, part of the Motorized Action Packs. Somewhere between a vehicle and an accessory, each each Action Pack had a wind-up gimmick, where you give it a good few twists and let it do whatever it wants. Most of these look incredibly silly, hence why I chose it for today.

motorized action pack pom-pom gun gi joe vintage arah cobraIn spite of that, the Pom Pom Gun is only mostly silly? It’s basically just a little motorized gun emplacement, so there’s really nothing terrible about that at face value. About half of the Motorized Action Packs were pretty neat like this, with the real comedy-gold being the Motorized Vehicle Packs from 1988. So there’s sillier things to write about, but I’ve never sought out any of these, and only own this Pom-Pom Gun by chance. Before resellers took over the market, something I used to love about lots was the typical acquisition of some oddity I’d normally never pursue.

It operates in two forms: On the ground with the handles turned backwards or on a figure’s back, connected via a standard backpack peg. On a figure’s back it looks pretty uncomfortable, and I can’t quite imagine anyone firing it this way. Of course, it’s comically heavy even in action-figure form, so good luck getting a figure to stand with it. Hasbro tossed around figure stands so much back in the day, but didn’t seem deem one necessary here.

Deployed to the ground, it actually looks okay. Unfortunately the aforementioned backpack peg faces the front, which is a bit distracting. A figure is required to hold the gun up in a firing position, which makes using it somewhat of a balancing act. The grips are also thicker than I like using, but it might be a little more stable if I wasn’t scared of breaking a thumb on a novelty item 37 years from it’s release.

To the best of my knowledge, these were priced about the same as a figure when they came out: a little less than $3. You don’t get much here for that price (in eighties money, it’d be okay now of course), and it’s odd when you consider that something like Zanzibar with his Air Skiff was only a dollar and a half more. Other decently sized vehicles were only a few coins more expensive than this. For me, it’s pretty hard to imagine a kid going into Sears or wherever and choosing any of the Motorized Action Packs over one of their contemporary vehicles, just for the sheer difference in size. It’s a poor upsell, which I presume is why they opted to start bundling similar items with premium priced figures in the 90‘s (Sonic Fighters and DEF).

If you wait for an auction, you can get one for less than a dollar. If you want one for whatever reason and can’t wait, they sell for around $6. Suffice to say, these are the GI Joe toys nobody ever wanted, not when they came out, and certainly not now. Personally, I might add a few more to my collection; they do have a very nice retro feeling to them, and break up my often stagnant Joe world for a low price. Though, I’ll probably forget I said that in a week or two and never make good on it.

motorized action pack pom-pom gun gi joe vintage arah cobra

There’s No Other Content with This Thing, so Here’s my Other April Fools Posts:

2004 Dreadhead Joe-Bob

2001 Big Brawler

1993 Dinohunters Dinosaur

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4 Responses to 1987 Pom-Pom Gun

  1. HitAndRun says:

    Last fall I purchased pretty several of these motorized action packs and I have to say I got rid of some as fast as I got them. I did keep a few of the more useful ones such as the Pom Pom gun. I like the idea of having a portable machine gun nest for the dioramas I plan in my head but have yet to get to in real life.

    As a kid I remember having the Anti-Aircraft gun and Cobra Machine Gun nest and I did use them a decent amount as heavier weapons during my battles. I was also obsessed with the helicopter, rope crosser and Cobra Gyrocopter but did not get my hands on them until last fall. I certainly appreciate them for what they were and my inner child was admittedly excited for like 15 minutes after finally getting my hands on them.

    All that said this certainly was not a bad topic for April Fool’s Day LOL

  2. Sam says:

    Fun post! 🙂 My favs from this era are (1) the Cobra earth borer bc it looks like something I saw in the Sunbow cartoon; and (2) the gi joe radar station bc it looked like a TV from the 1960s…or maybe something from the Jetsons.

    Odd little sets. But cool nonetheless.

  3. A-Man says:

    The Action Packs were poor sellers in the USA. The first year’s 8 were especially peg warmers around the USA, some into 1993 at odd places. I think Kiddie City had them when they went out of business.

    I skipped them after getting the Cobra rope crosser and being disappointed by its instantly breaking loops on the tan “Seat” piece. Yes, much rather have a figure for the money. I didn’t have the pom pom gun until the early 1990’s. As I was older then, it never was a factor in play.

    I’ll give the action packs this, none were outrageously colored…even as the vehicles or parts of them got brighter parts in 1987-88.

    In Mexico, the Pom Pom Gun came with Storm Shadow V1. Because a ninja a double barreled machine gun make sense.

  4. R.T.G. says:

    I’ve always wanted to get more than just the Earth Borer, but I never bother to.

    This one looks pretty fun, and as a backpack looks like the baddest Astro Viper backpack around. I guess that could give it a tad more use, but then again how much use does the Astro Viper get?

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