GI Joe Mercury Astronaut – Random Toys
Last week I showed off the Shuttle Astronaut from GI Joe’s Classic Collection Astronaut Assortment. This week I thought I’d show off the other figure in that assortment, The Mercury Astronaut.
The box is similar to the Shuttle Astronaut’s box. The earth is now on the right side of the box, it’s still a velcroed flap that opens the main flap cover. Some history about the Mercury missions is printed on both flaps. The back has some other examples of GI Joe Classic Collection figures in the other assortments.
The interesting bit about the Astronaut Assortment boxes is that if you set the Shuttle Astronaut and Mercury Astronaut boxes next to each other, it creates a full space scene showing all of planet earth
Now on to the figure itself, at first glance the Mercury Astronaut appears to be a reproduction of one of the variations of the vintage GI Joe space suit, but there’s been a few different improvements. The Oxygen Chest Pack has been replaced with a more accurate portable ventilation unit. There are now rubber boots. The gloves are still mittens, but they and the suit itself is more of a silver covered thread than stitched foil like the vintage version.
Also unlike the vintage version, the two zippers that go across the chest connect by the right hip to allow the suit to split apart into three main pieces (that are still all connected together) This makes the suit interesting to take off, but adds a nice look overall and eliminates the zipper up the back many of the vintage versions had.
Another new addition to this figure is the small plastic parachute harness with a concave mirror. Astronaut Gus Grissom was the first to wear one of these. The mirror could be used to reflect the instrument panel back to the astronaut observer camera mounted above said panel. The figure has a nice NASA patch on the suit along with a GI Joe Name tag since this figure doesn’t represent a real live astronaut like the Shuttle Astronaut did.
The helmet has a flip up visor and Com Link cable. The cable used to plug into the Oxygen Chest Pack, but now there isn’t anything for it to plug into unless you have a Space Capsule for the Astronaut to sit in. The suit collar is elastic and fits around the Helmet’s plastic collar.
The head sculpt is pretty generic since this is a GI Joe and not a real life astronaut. He has his trademark scar and short cropped hair. The Mercury Astronaut is definitely a fun one for space travel fans. The suit holds up better than the vintage versions, but I would caution that there can still be problems. This particular figure I have was still sealed until last year (18 years) and stored in an attic for all that time. The plastic parachute harness had started to leak plasticizers (the gummy stuff you see on old He-Man & Ninja Turtles figures sometimes) and the small rubber bands that were wrapped around the helmet had disintegrated and melted to the helmet a bit. All of that can be cleaned up with some alcohol or windex, but in doing so I noticed some of the silver on the suit flaking away slightly.
Even though it’s a newer figure with the Classic Collection level of articulation, it fits very well in the vintage Space Capsule and makes for a great addition to any other Mercury styled Astronauts you have. This was one of my must have styles of GI Joe when I started collecting the 12″ figures and I’m very thankful to my Mother In Law for giving me the one she had stored in her attic.