1992 Wild Bill

1992 Wild Bill

Hey look, it’s the iconic cowboy’s second iconic figure, iconic GI Joe Wild Bill! …Some random fleeting sense of indignation towards a word I feel like I hear too much lately, though honestly I’m not sure I’ve ever heard anyone call this figure iconic. Maybe on Facebook, but who knows, almost every GI Joe figure has someone who insists on it’s profound design. This version of Wild Bill is a pretty well done toy, but I don’t have much nice to say about him just for the sheer silliness of the design.

When Hasbro started expanding the roster of characters they revisited to more than just Cobra Commander and Snake Eyes in the late eighties, it was generally to good benefit for some early Joes that were often made on smaller budgets. Say what you will about the First 13 being iconic, most of those toys were insufferably bland and benefited from getting more unique representations in the later part of the line. A few of the 90‘s redesigns don’t suit me so well though, with probably my least favorites being Firefly and this Wild Bill.

The original Wild Bill, wasn’t a perfect figure, but the design was close enough to a decent military fatigue with just enough cowboy paraphernalia to give him some flair. The worst thing about him, was that his head made him look like a King of the Hill character. Wild Bill V2 is the opposite, where the best thing about the figure is the head, and the rest of his outfit is made to look similar to an 1880 Cavalry uniform… Even then the sculpt is sharp and well done, but the look comes across to me as a militant cosplayer, which is a bit too kitsch for my tastes.

His colors are a little weird too. The card art shows him as having bare elbows, but the toy renders that part in yellow, also making them the only parts cast in yellow plastic. The rest of his yellow details are painted over the dark black and blue pieces, which bugs me a little as it makes the tone slightly different. Most would probably moan at the yellow being here at all, though on the “bright” side, it makes him a nice match with his contemporary Wet-Suit. Likewise, his other colors match up pretty well with Roadblock, and the complimentary colors are always a fun thing. I think oddly enough the black pants are what bugs me the most; They make the Cavalry uniform reference a bit weaker, but also make him look less like his Sunbow appearance, which the blue and yellow are a nice match for.

For parts you get a nice kit, including: a spring loaded missile launcher, a hat, a “Colt .46 side arm”, a knife and a backpack that holds it, all cast in light brown plastic (besides the launcher and hat). I’ve yet to determine what, if any real gun was the basis for his gun. I assume the file card labeling it a Colt gun is just a reference to the Colt revolvers that were famously used through the Civil War. This is certainly not one of those however, as it has a magazine feed in front of the action, as well, the entire gun is quite long and encased mostly in wood furniture.

A mint, complete V2 Wild Bill is worth about $15. Typically the knife is what’s missing, though he still doesn’t go for much in spite of that. There’s two other repaints of this figure, including the ‘93 version that just swapped the black pants for white ones. I somewhat assume this has helped inflate the number of accessories you find for him floating around. Currently, I find myself in a weird place with this figure, where I don’t really like him, but I don’t really hate him either. He’s almost perfectly mediocre, but maybe someday I’ll go for one of his repaints.

gi joe arah vintage wild bill 1992 cobra a real American herogi joe arah vintage wild bill 1992 cobra a real American hero

1992 Wild Bill Links:

Forgotten Figures

3D Joes

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3 Responses to 1992 Wild Bill

  1. A-Man says:

    Whenever they remade a character with reddish hair, they’d go full Ronald McDonald red. Ace, Deep Six and Wild Bill…

    It was nice to get a remake, especially since he got skipped over in Tiger Force.
    That said, it’s a bit too much cosplaying. I don’t get the yellow undershirt. Roll up your sleeves and show your long sleeved t? Long johns? Whatever.

    I never remember removable hats being oversized, but pictures add 10 pounds or 10 gallons?

    The Battle Corps repaint is so random. We are going to change just one color. Let’s make his pants…white.

  2. Sam says:

    Anyone else watch “F Troop” on Nick at Nite when they were kids? 92 Wild Bill looks like he fell off the set of that TV show.

  3. HitAndRun says:

    I feel like I always repeat myself when speaking about the early 90s figures but I have childhood connections and memories to many of them and they represent a very happy time in my life. Wild Bill was no exception, I remember getting him while my dad was stationed in Kansas so the whole cavalry officer design took on a little more meaning to me as a 10 year old kid who really was into that stuff as well. I certainly have some vivid memories of playing with this Wild Bill as a kid. One that really sticks out is when I would pair him with a horse from one of those cowboy and indian playsets I had. The scale wasn’t perfect but the beauty of being a kid was having an imagination that allowed me to work around those issues. On top of that I was very familiar with the Wild Bill character from the cartoon so getting my own version of this figure was a big deal. The figure design was very much a 90s update of the original figure, slightly over the top but still had elements of the original 1983 figure (also an awesome figure in his own right).

    Wild Bill also stuck out to me because of his accessories. Everyone familiar with the last few years of ARAH know that the accessories became slowly replaced the accessory trees and did not have unique and cool weapons and backpacks. Wild Bill came with a gun, removable hat, spring loaded missile launcher and backpack with a place to put a knife (which I always thought was the coolest thing as a kid).

    I did not understand the 93 release of the figure or if he was intended to be part of a subteam that was cancelled so he was released as part of Battle Corps. The 2000 version that came with the Locust (tan dragonfly) was also a nicely done figure.

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