Action Figure Appreciation: Dreadnok Torch (1986)

For this second entry into the Action Figure Appreciation files, I’ve chosen to highlight a figure from the G.I. Joe: A Real American hero line. G.I. Joe always was, and probably always will be my favorite action figure line. Hell, not just action figures…probably of any toy line. My older brother had a few Joes, but wouldn’t let me play with them. All I could do was sit and watch him play with them and drool with envy. But once I got my own Joe and Cobra figures, the battle started raging and has never stopped.

I was one of the lucky kids who had a LOT of G.I. Joe stuff through the years. Not as much as my friend Aaron, but still more than most kids I knew. While I loved them all, the Cobra side of things seems to contain more of my favorite figures than the Joe side. And within the ranks of Cobra, the Dreadnoks were my favorites.

Their antics on the cartoon was always one of the highlights of any episode they were in. Besides the “Dreadnok” aspect, Zaartan was a figure I really wanted due to the color-change and costume features. And while having Zartan was pretty cool, I instantly wanted his Dreadnok lackeys as part of my collection. For some reason, while off on a trip with my Dad, my brother brought me home Torch, Ripper, and Buzzer to go along with the Zartan that I already had. I’m sure my Dad was actually behind it, but it was a cool gesture on my brother’s part anyway.

Maybe my Dad saw in the Dreadnoks one of the things I saw in them…that they looked and acted like my uncles…Dad’s brothers. But he wouldn’t have known of their antics or attitudes having not watched the cartoon with me. Ol’ Torch here in particular looks like my uncle Randy. And was crazy like Randy now that I think about it.

But as for the figure itself, it’s hard not to love him since he sports shaggy hair, a bandana, and shades. A look that I myself have been known to sport from time to time. Hell, I even sported the same facial hair for a while back about ten years ago. Maybe this is where my inspiration came from, I don’t know. Add in the fact that he carries a flame thrower and isn’t afraid to use it doesn’t hurt his case either.

I thought everything about the Dreadnok figures was cool, and Torch always ended up playing the role of second-in-command of the Dreadnoks behind Zartan in my world. While the others all had to pile into the Thunder Machine, Torch always had the distinction of riding solo on the Cobra Ferret.

This Torch figure got more playtime than most figures in my collection at the time and has earned his featured spot in this Action Figure Appreciation post.

Action Figure Appreciation: Jitsu from Masters of the Universe (1984)

Oh, how I wish I still had all of my original MOTU figures. One of the great crimes I’ve committed in my life is letting all the toys from my childhood go by the wayside in various ways. But I’m slowly working to rectify that situation, and am tracking them all down again. This Jitsu figure is an example of this, as this is not my original figure, but one I got from eBay.

I had more than my fair share of MOTU figures back in the day, and I’d put Jitsu in my top ten at least. He may actually be high on the list, but I’d have to sit and think about what order they would actually go in. That may have to be a post sometime in the future. But anyway, what I liked about this figure was the big golden judo chop hand he had. That thing was just so cool, and in my world, that hand could destroy just about anything with two exceptions. It could hurt He-Man, but not put him out, and it couldn’t destroy the iron fist that Fisto had. As a matter of fact, when Jitsu’s hand met Fistos fist, it was like what happened in The Avengers when Thor’s hammer struck Captain America’s shield. Yeah, they waged some hellacious battles in my bedroom through the years.

In my playtime, Jitsu was right up there in the ranks of Skeletor’s favored minions alongside Beast Man, Trap-Jaw, and Tri-Klops. He was there to take out any weapons that the Masters had on the field. Just get him close enough, and that golden judo chop could take out anything. Probably every time Skeletor was able to breach Castle Grayskull in my world, it was because Jitsu chopped the door down with ease, and not even the magic of Grayskull was strong enough to stop him.