Perhaps the biggest criticism of the 1982 G.I. Joe line, was how similar everyone looked. On the surface that does appear to be the case, but there are nuances between figures that tend to override that opinion the second you look at all the figures as a group. Though there is one exception, the Mortar Soldier; Short Fuse
Short Fuse is definitely the most bland 1982 Joe. He’s probably in the top 3 for bland Joes in the history of the line. Short Fuse is pretty much the same figure as Hawk, but with Zap’s torso (and brown boots). Hawk was a boring figure, but he at least had unique silver highlights. Short Fuse had a character, that of rage-a-holic, hence the codename, but that didn’t even get him much use in the assorted Joe media. Though in G.I. Joe #1 he was a Patriotic rage-a-holic.
Maybe Short Fuse was boring as hell, because he was loaded with accessories. His two-piece mortar, is a fairly cool weapon, but there’s not a lot of fun to be had playing with artillery in the action-packed world of commando adventures. He also had the ever popular clear visor, and a missile backpack. The early Joe line did specialty specific accessories very well.
There’s three variants to the Mortar; Closed Handle, Thick Handle and Thin Handle. I’ve never seen a Closed Handle in my life, but I’ve seen both the Thick and Thin variants. The Thick Handled one is a thumb destroyer if I’ve ever seen one, especially when paired up with the Straight Arms. A Thin Handled Mortar is useful enough, as it can actually held by Short Fuse.
Short Fuse, is a depth character and figure. The G.I. Joe line was built on depth. I personally look at Joe from a dio perspective, so figures like Short Fuse really come in handy. He’s a solid enough figure, who is plain enough, he can be used as a stand in as a vehicle operator/passenger or computer operator, and the 1984 Battlefield Accessories are also good options for Short Fuse. Nondescript roles for nondescript figures!
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