Once in a while, you catch a goddamn break. 2019 hasn’t been the hottest of years so far, and I recently was trying to kill some time, so I went to the Farmers Market, which I know if I want to spend money on something G.I. Joe, I’ll have that opportunity, there’s at least one vendor that has G.I. Joe product. However today’s profile is about a piece of happenstance that makes very little sense to me, but also thrilled me.
I was walking by some junk booth that had typical flea market fare, DVDs, books, MOC hockey figures, and there was a small bowl with a sign that said “$4 or 3 for $10″ there was a bunch of Soldier Force and 90s Star Wars figures, and a couple miscellaneous McDonalds toys that were around 3 3/4” scale. I also noticed the distinctive 1982 G.I. Joe legs, so I went for a closer look and holy shit there was a Funskool Clutch. I knew it was Funskool by the off green and blue rivets. I immediately bought it, even before checking if he had both his thumbs and crotch, because well, the opportunity to purchase an early Funskool figure doesn’t come along very often, to do it locally probably shouldn’t ever happen.
As a figure, Clutch isn’t really all that different from the American release, I didn’t find the bright green Hawk headed figure, and he’s not mint so there is some colour fading, but he’s a completely different shade of green and brown. It’s a nice oddity. For some reason the early series Olive Drab Joes tended to use blue dyed rivets, I’m not entirely sure what the reasoning was, but it’s a quick tell to learn if something’s Funskool or not. The 82-83 Hasbro copyright on the figure’s behind is also missing. Funskool figures from the internet heyday weren’t known for their resounding quality, but the early figures are actually very good. I’m not sure if I’d say they’re equivalent to Hasbro, but they’re not cheap and they’ve got fairly sharp paint masks. The paint rubs fairly easily, and the plastic will discolour, but they’re not having lower arms fall off because of poor riveting, or frozen arm swivels.
I know I used a lot of my luck up, by finding this figure, but I’m glad I did. The early Funskool figures are quite nice, and I’d enjoy having more of them, but I wouldn’t enjoy paying market prices. How this figure wound up for sale in a Flea Market in Calgary, I’m not sure, I guess it likely came over with a child who came here from India. I’m not really sure of the release years for these figures, so I’m not sure what age range for Indian people having garage sales, I should be on the lookout for!
Disclaimer: I swapped his head in a few of these pictures, and if I were to sell this figure, I would place the original head back on the body.