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 8 of the Event, then join us after the break for discussion already in progress on the Cobra Island Forums!
Day 8: American Defense
US Forces Protector by Oreobuilder
Part of Remco’s US Forces line, Protector was a straight repaint of Defender, one of the original 8 American Defense figures. Numbered US-3, he is the US Forces equivalent of Grunt, my favorite GI Joe character. Since I already made both versions of Defender, I figured, why not make the ”third”’. The way I see it, this is the same character wearing his urban camouflage uniform. For parts, I replicated my previous recipe. For colors, I toned down the blue a bit, but kept the yellow to add some pop.
Head: DG Duke
Torso, arms: Retaliation Kwinn
Legs: Poc Steel Brigade
Helmet: 50th Dusty
American Defense Black Belt by Oreobuilder
“Silent weapons & night combat expert trained in stealth by a Ninja master”
Black Belt was one of the original 8 American Defense figures. Numbered AD-4, he was one of two martial arts experts on the team (Karate King was the other). When I started putting this custom together, I was surprised at how well this figure could be updated with existing parts. The Renegades Storm Shadow head is an almost perfect match for the original figure’s hooded look and the rest of the parts fell in place almost immediately after that.
Head: 50th Storm Shadow
Torso, upper arms: RoC Snake Eyes
Legs: RoC Cobra Commander
Feet: 25th Storm Shadow
Lower arms: 25th Flint
Hands: retaliation Storm Shadow
Belt: PoC Snake Eyes with 25th Storm Shadow added bits
American Defense Ramrod by Oreobuider
“Behind the lines infiltration specialist, enemies in awe of his incredible strength!”
Ramrod was one of the original 8 American Defense figures. Numbered AD-5, he was the bare-chested Rambo type. Ramrod seems to have had several variants back in the day. Some had all green pants, others had camouflage, and others had green pants with painted light green thigh pads. I decided to go with the camouflage pattern as it made the figure more interesting in my opinion.
Head, torso, upper arms: 30th Spirit
Lower arms: 25th Flint
Hands: RoC Pit Commando
Legs: RoC Duke