Project: No Joe!
The Corps, American Defense, Sgt Rock, Bronze Bombers, US Forces, Ninja Strike Force, Commando Force, there were several 3.75’’ toy lines that competed with GI Joe in the 80s and 90s. We all had at least one figure like that in our childhood collections. Most of us have had that feeling of disappointment when we ask for GI Joes for our birthday only to open a Corps figure given to us by a well-meaning Grandparent.
Bucky and Oreobuilder have been talking about making customs based on these lines ever since they started their first Resurgence project in 2014. They opened that can of worms with last year’s ‘’Retro Toy Chest II’’ project when the whole PHX gang made some customs based on these characters. That gave the team the momentum to continue with their project. This time, HypnoHustler joins the squad! He has demonstrated his love for these lines by making several kick-butt customs of various Remco figures. They’ll revisit a couple of those customs as well as show off a bunch of new ones.
The first step was to scour the web for good reference pictures. That is easier said than done. There are a few sites that have character lists with pictures, but none are exhaustive, so the PHX Customs Team were always finding figures that were not on one site or another. They started by making a master list of all the characters we could find. They then each picked their favorites and went from there.
Over the next two weeks, they’ll show off what they came up with. With that, we present Retro Toy Chest 3-Project: No Joe! Enjoy and happy Custom Celebration XII! Bucky, DanoftheDead, Dusty79 and Oreobuilder, with Special Guest Star Hypno Hustler!
Read on to check out Day 10 of the Event, then join us after the break for discussion already in progress on the Cobra Island Forums!
Day 10: American Defense from Remco
”American Defense… the very name strikes terror into the hearts of the enemies of freedom! American Defense… the elite secret troop of specialized fighters in Defense of Freedom! American Defense… headed by the Super Eight Attack Squad… America’s best Defense!” – Taken from back of 1986 packaging.
American Defense was a line of 3 ¾’’ military toys sold exclusively at Kmart in the eighties. The line started with Galoob’s A-Team molds and Remco grew it from there. It was later produced by different companies and ended up in dollar stores and discount outlets. Similar to GI Joe, it included a wide variety of colorful characters. However, without a cartoon, comic or any marketing to back it up, the line rode GI Joe’s coattails for a while and then disappeared.
***FLASHBACK to 2015*** American Defense Slugger by HypnoHustler
American Defense The Fish by HypnoHustler
The Fish is the S.I.T. team’s frogman, presumably Swamp Man’s arch-nemesis. An Aqua-Nut for freedom according to his filecard, I wasn’t sold on him until I started piecing him together. You wouldn’t think black, 2 shades of blue, and neon green would play well together, but I quite liked it when all was said and done. I appreciate that the design is flexible enough to work in either land or water as well. All the removable gear on this figure is inspired by the original figure, so that versatility has always been there.
Head: Star Wars Jodo Kast
Torso and Arms: RoC Breaker
Legs: RoC Hawk
Prof Slanders (Kaido from Bikin) by bucky
Made back in 1990 by the manufacturer “Bikin” from Belgium, “Mission Kaido” is a G.I. Joe-like themed action figure toyline. This toyline was short lived and sold only in a few European countries, most if not all came with a sonic weapons sound making backpack of some sort. I’m not 100% certain, but I think the line, or some of it, was sold in the states under a different name. While researching the figure, I came across another (named Zorgev, but different color scheme) that I know I received as an Xmas present in 93-94.
Poc Spirit head
American Defense Mac Tough by Oreobuilder
”Raw guts, gumption and common sense make him one of America’s best!”
Mac Tough was the second of the original 8 American Defense team members, numbered AD-2. Remco repainted Mac Tough a few times to make different characters. Among them was Commando Hank, which Bucky had previously made a custom of. When I built my custom, I wanted to use different parts to give Mac Tough his own look and identity, so I started with a large body Roadblock as a base. That instantly set him apart.
Head, helmet: DG Duke
Torso, arms: retaliation Roadblock
Legs: 30th BBTS Red Dog
Holster: 25th Steeler
Weapon: Resolute Cobra Trooper