Perhaps the strangest year for the G.I. Joe line, was 1987. From a design perspective, Hasbro managed to both progress and regress at the same time. Hasbro’s 1986 series was a major shake-up to G.I. Joe, as pretty much everything was updated, the logo became 3D, the card art had a digital explosion, and the figure sculpting began to be softer and rounder than previous years, the figures also began to be painted in much more vibrant colors.
1987’s figures still have the vibrant colors, but one step back, was the greens used tended to go back to drab of the 82-85 era, which was probably the best decision, as figures like Tunnel Rat, Falcon and today’s subject, Fast Draw would all be laughing stocks if they’d matched up with Hawk v2 and Leatherneck’s green.
Fast Draw is probably the definitive 1987 figure, everyone has him, nobody really cares about him, and looking at the G.I. Joe figures of that year, he’s the middle ground of the two styles they made figures in; “Realistic Green Figure” such as Falcon or Chuckles and “Guy With a Helmet and red highlights” such as Sneak Peek and Crazylegs.
Plus he has one of those god damn, breathing tubes that were so popular for the 1987 series.
Fast Draw is mainly notable because has a lot of accessories, though they’re not really all that good. The Rocket Launcher backpack is a cool idea, but isn’t executed well, since it’s not really big enough and the hose connectors are in a bad spot. The hand controls are kinda cool, but the accessory hose doesn’t attach to the backpack well.
Truthfully, these are accessories that would’ve benefitted from either an earlier release, when Hasbro was aware of their limitations, or a later release when they’d figured this kind of set-up out. I guess Fast Draw is the learning curve required for Hasbro to learn how to do things like Sub Zero’s accessories.
Most G.I. Joe things after 1984 aren’t really my cup of tea. I appreciate the rest of the line, but it’s not something I have any desire to own, though a figure like Fast Draw is a figure I like having around, as he’s still a well done action figure, and he’s possibly the plasticized epitome of late 80’s era where G.I. Joe is lost like lizard in the snow, as the quality is there, but the magic isn’t.