1987 Fast Draw

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.

 

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8 Responses to 1987 Fast Draw

  1. mwnekoman says:

    1987 is a real hit-or-miss year for me. Seems like half of the figures are great and the other half are just kind of okay. You make some really good observations about the colors choices from that year, I never really thought about how much more drab the greens were compared to the ’86 guys.

    Fast Draw is a figure I’ve ignored and not cared about for the longest time, though ironically I was trying to bid on one last week. Looking at him here makes me wish I’d tried a little harder, as he’s actually a pretty cool figure, at the very least he’s better than Knockdown and Raptor!

    I bet Fast Draw would be slightly more popular if he’d been in the Night Force.

  2. I found uses for him as a kid: mostly as a gunner for the SLAM or HAVOC. But, beyond that, he was pretty limited.

  3. The Green Meanie says:

    1987 is my favorite year in the whole line’s history. Yes, the things you said are valid, but the line overall that year was just so much FUN. 1988 was a good second place, but ’87 will always be my favorite.

  4. A-Man says:

    Yes, his gear was too awkward. The mask hose was irritating, popping. But like the character design. The art work is great, but then so is Spearhead’s.

    He’s also a two-shot guy. Bazooka at least had 3 reloads and was a lot more agile than Fast Draw in his padded suit. Did I just rationalize Bazooka at the expense of Fast Draw?

    Seems like every year needed at a least one Joe in a covered head to-toe (close to it) in some sort of padded, armored or high tech outfit. Some sort of variety requirement from Flash to Ice Cream Soldier.

    Most people forget or don’t know that Fast Draw was reissued without any of his gear as a 1993 mail in with the pocket patrol pack and night force Repeater and Shockwave. Strange.

  5. We’ve talked about this before, but I really like 1987! Jinx, Chuckles, Falcon, Law, Techno-Viper, Outback, and my all time #1 dude– Tunnel Rat!

    I don’t have Fast Draw, but I’ve always thought he looked really cool with his mask/visor. I don’t love the missile system (mostly for reasons A-Man listed… he has two shots and then he’s done), but I could find other uses for him. Plus he has a great code name.

    I am constantly vexed by excessive breathing and/or helmet hoses. Does the god damn Range Viper really need a hose going from the back of his head to his backpack? No. It makes no sense and just gets in the way. Unless it’s connecting a weapon or tool to a power source, like Sci-Fi’s rifle, I just don’t like it.

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