1985 Bazooka

1985 Bazooka

Bazooka is a character I almost entirely associate with the cartoon, which I think is probably a common notion. For me, it’s partly because I’ve still not read the comic issues he would appear in, but I don’t think Hama did all that much with him anyways. The Sunbow cartoon doesn’t play a big part in my Joe world; I think it’s well made and I really liked it as a kid, but the comics are way better generally. That preference aside, there’s a lot of things I associate with Sunbow and keep with me, like Cobra La, and probably the Sunbow portrayal of Bazooka, too.

Going through my old photos, something that surprised me is just how much I’ve used V1 Bazooka; he’s in a ton of my photos either prominently or in the background. Partly, I think the reason for that is because he shows up well. While bright red figures draw the ire of realists, as a toy there’s some practicality to it. The V1 HISS tank and HISS Driver are great examples of this, where the entire toy is built around making the driver more visible, which enhances the play value. Bazooka’s similar to this, because the red shirt let’s him be seen basically anywhere, and contrasts really nicely with green, a staple color among GI Joe items. For a kid that’s fun, and for my photos I like adding bright colors like this into the background to make the depth a bit more interesting.

Plus, I do think the bright red jersey and baggy pants just look pretty cool. This figure really benefits from the simple design sense of the early line with just enough absurdity to make him a fun action figure. Maybe it’s my late-millennial tastes showing again, but Bazooka’s design seems like something you’d still see in a modern video-game or comic, in the way that it’s silly, but also doesn’t seem to date itself as hard as the more Village People look’n characters. Speaking of music, Bazooka looks like Freddy Mercury, and that guy’s pretty timeless too, so that’s another appeal. According to Ron Rudat, the #14 jersey is a nod to Steve Grogan of the New England Patriots, cool but I don’t know anything about physical movement games.

I love his accessories, which include his signature bazooka, backpack, and a helmet. He doesn’t come with a ton of crap, just the standard three accessories, but I feel the quality of these are particularly high. The bazooka itself has a handle, so that makes it way less cumbersome than Footloose’s. The sculpt on his helmet and backpack are also particularly good: the little fabric folds are nice and sharp, which makes them a tad more interesting than some of the gear from the same year. I’m also glad that between Bazooka and Footloose they added in some smaller, LAW-like bazookas into the line. I watched Death Wish 3 as a kid and always think of that movie’s final scene when I see a LAW like this.

People like swapping Bazooka’s bazooka with Footloose’s. For variety, I like swapping them every now and then too, especially after the strap broke on Bazooka’s proper weapon (it was cracked when I bought it). Though, for a long time I did it as a reference to a variant of Bazooka, that I can no longer find any evidence to ever having existed. Was this a thing? I thought some Bazooka’s legitimately included Footloose’s weapon, but this seems to be another case of the Mandela Effect. It sucks because I always thought this was cool to do, but I guess I should be glad my trivia got retconed in return for the world not ending: John Titor told us about some bad stuff that happened in the other time line, which I guess got subverted when all of those Bazooka’s disappeared from existence. Dang time travelers.

To my surprise, complete Bazooka’s go for a pretty fair amount, usually around or a little more than $20, with some examples surging way past that. There’s no real reason I can think of for this besides that he’s popular and from the best year, which I guess is reasonable. Still, it stings when I go back through my eBay feedback from years ago and see how little I paid for so much.

gi joe hasbro arah v1 alpine bazookaGI Joe 1986 LCV Recon Sled Beachhead Bazooka Hasbro vintagegi joe hasbro arah v1 alpine bazooka

1985 Bazooka Links:

Forgotten Figures

Half the Battle

Joe A Day

3D Joes

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4 Responses to 1985 Bazooka

  1. Mike T. says:

    YoJoe used to have an entry that Bazooka could include either the Footloose launcher or the Bazooka launcher. So, you’re not crazy! I always believed it was an error leftover from early days when people made mistakes and some things were erroneously documented to keep some high profile guy’s feelings from getting hurt. I’ve never seen any evidence that Bazooka included anything other than his weapon. The white numbers figure, though, is still something I haven’t ruled out as a legit variant. But, I’m not convinced, either.

    I’m not a big Bazooka fan, either. But, like you mentioned, he’s great for photos and appears in way more of mine than a far superior figure like Crankcase. He’s one of those figures the line needs, though. For a lot of guys, he’s really important. For others, he’s irrelevant. But, he’s the type of character that can work in either situation and that’s what made the Joe line so strong.

  2. Joey Wyatt says:

    I loved Bazooka, but I really loved the cartoon and always wished a Bazooka figure would include the neat looking weapon he always had in it instead of the traditional one he came with. I was the same way with Lady Jaye. I wanted her to come with a spear like in the cartoon, not the javelin launcher the figure had.

  3. A-Man says:

    I disliked Bazooka. Not a football fan. He looked dumb and I guess the cartoon writers felt that way, too. But they made him sympathetic in his not-so-brightness. If he’d been some alpha male douche, it would made his jersey schtik worse.

    So I skipped Bazook’ since my older brother had one anyway. Then I later got the mail away or Tiger Force. Maybe TF first.

    There should be a lot of Bazooka V1’s out there, just due to the mail in offer and of course, the European release.

    One funny footnote, the Lanard CORPS Large Sarge figure came with a much enlarged, strapless version of Bazooka’s launcher.

    For some reason the 25th line decided Bazooka was a big dude. I never got that impression.

  4. HitandRun says:

    Can’t go wrong with Bazooka – he always seemed to be a popular figure and one I was always a fan of as a kid. The figure photographs really well too as seen in your shots above. The red really pops and although it’s not a realistic figure design the football jersey still works for the character. Also, it’s great seeing him paired up with Alpine just like in the cartoon. From an action figure perspective his design is pretty versatile as he looks great next to one of the most realistic figures in the line Footloose or driving the LCV. He’s really a quintessential representation of the mid 80s in action figure form.

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