GI Joe Shuttle Astronaut – Random Toys
This week’s Random Toy is from the 1997 GI Joe Classic Collection, The Shuttle Astronaut!
The box for the Shuttle Astronaut has a nice space scene covering it with half of the Earth on the front that wraps around the side of the box. The back of the box continues the space theme but has a few selected figures from the other Classic Collection series that were offered at the time (World War II Forces, Astronaut Assortment, Modern Forces, Holiday Figure & Historical Commanders)
The Earth on the front of the box is a velcroed flap that can open up. There’s a blurb written on it that talks about the origins of the Space Shuttle Program. Once that flap is open, you can open the main front of the box to show the figure in a window. One the back of the main flap there’s a bio for Robert L Crippen, the first Space Shuttle Pilot and the real life Astronaut this figure is based on.
The 12″ figure comes decked out in an orange Space Suit with white Helmet, Air Tanks and a long rubbery hose connected to a Ventilator. The great thing about GI Joes is that the outfits are very accurate to the real life gear as you can see comparing the figure to this picture of John Young & Robert Crippen.
The helmet has a tinted visor that can be moved up to show the clear visor underneath. That visor can also be slid upwards or the whole helmet can be removed. Due to the shape of the head and helmet, I’ve found it easier to turn the figure’s head to the side, then lift the helmet up to remove it. The suit’s collar has a velcro closure at the front and may have a bit of elastic in it to help it stay tight around the helmet collar.
The Shuttle Astronaut uses the “Classic Collection” body which started in 1996 and is a massive improvement over the Hall of Fame body that was previously used (and used the same year as this figure in the Corp. Hicks vs Aliens set I showed off last month) All the joints are visible now and have a greater range of motion while the arms are a bit thinner and easier to fit into clothing.
Speaking of clothing, the Shuttle Astronaut space suit is a full one piece jump suit with a vest piece sewn to the top. It utilizes velcro, a zipper and a hooked strap to be fully closed. The mittens work surprisingly well, even if they are inaccurate to the real life suit. The boots could have been basic styled boots but even they are sculpted accurately to the boots Astronauts wore back then.
The suit includes printed “patches” on it for Crippen’s name, the NASA logo, American flag and the Columbia Mission Patch. The outfit also has 4 pockets. The pockets work well, but the figure doesn’t come with anything small enough to fit in them.
Since this is a GI Joe figure, he’s got to come with metal dog tags! One of the tags has the classic GI Joe logo on it like all 12″ GI Joe figures came with, while the other dog tag has a NASA logo etched into it. I’ve never really been a fan of these oversized dog tags, but the NASA logo one is pretty cool and a nice touch for this figure.
The Airtanks have a clip on them to attach to one of the two rings at the figure’s waist. You can plug one of the two yellow hoses from the helmet into a small hole on the Airtanks. The Ventilator fits in his hand and the hose can be plugged into a port hole on the space suit.
This is the 90’s 12″ GI Joe at it’s best. You have a multi-posable figure that’s constructed well with good proportions in a very accurate and highly detailed outfit, holding some cool gear. The Ventilatior and gloves are about the only things not very accurate (the Ventilator is more like the ones used in the Mercury missions instead of the larger ones used in the Shuttle missions) but those are small details that can be overlooked for me. If you like Astronauts, this is one of the figures you should definitely get.