2004 Urban Division Scrap Iron

Scrap Iron was one of the early COBRA Operatives, that didn’t get revisited at any point for 20 years, so because of that in the early 2000s people began clamouring for the character.  When Hasbro did a mold swap with Funskool, Scrap Iron might have been amongst them, but maybe not, as this figure is actually an entirely different mold. Hasbro wound up recreating a few molds for the 2004 releases, as Mutt and Storm Shadow (and later on Lady Jaye) were all re-creations. Since they had gone to trouble of recreating some of his body parts, they needed arms and legs, so the Thunder arms and COBRA Infantry Forces would obviously fit the bill, and that’s why figures like the Night Watch and Comic Pack COBRA Soldiers and Officers were given Roadblock v1 parts. Either way, despite being a pretty under the radar character, it was nice to see him reappear.

Scrap Iron is an interesting character, to an extent. I think the “Product Designer” aspect is something that makes him seem more important than he actually is. The figure is obviously designed to be a combat soldier. The line in his filecard about wanting to blow up the world, has always been the most interesting aspect of the character, to me. It makes him seem a lot more dangerous than he otherwise would be.

04ScrapIron
The overall colouring of this figure isn’t all that fresh, as it really harkens back to the original, which isn’t the worst thing that could be done, but it also leaves the mold with three different colour schemes that are all based around red body armour. While it would’ve been cool to see the Scrap Iron mold in a new light, the Urban Division Six Pack had little to no cohesion, so it’s not like some of the other choices used in that set would’ve been head and shoulders better than what we got. While the black and red isn’t all that different from blue and red, the detailing does give this figure a little extra presence. The brown leather boots and gloves are eye catching, and break up the fairly basic figure. The blue collar is a strange portion of colouring, but at least it’s a paint app.

One thing that this figure had going for it, was there was a fairly obvious nod to the Cartoon, with the use of grey on the figure’s helmet. I think that when doing repaints of figures, nods like this to past media is actually a positive. Honestly the fact it’s a cartoon reference was kind of surprising. Around 2002 there’d been plenty of talk by Hasbro of using the comics as the go to continuity. Thus we got Nunchuck losing his decent design to become a horrid Quick Kick rip-off, since there was a “No Dead Character” rule put in place.

The comic vs. cartoon divide in the fanbase, was interesting, because it always seemed like it was an all or nothing, argument. While I don’t think there was as much charm as Transformers, it was still nice to see the classic G.I. Joe designs brought to motion via Sunbow’s animation. It just seemed neither side could see the other as a novel example of G.I. Joe, which is pretty much the coolest thing ever.

2004 Scrap Iron

Perhaps the biggest failing with this figure is the included accessories. After the first few Toys R Us Six Packs, the accessory compliments stopped being relatively close to the original figures (or at least decent accessories), and became more and more “What did we overproduce?”. No figure was hit harder by that, than Scrap Iron who was given the 2002 Heavy Duty’s green Range Viper pack, and 2001’s Major Bludd gun and the Range Viper’s grenade launcher, without the chamber. So basically Scrap Iron didn’t get any accessories. Scrap Iron’s original accessories have never been particularly difficult to obtain, so luckily the figure could be outfitted with those, and look good, as the black and red matched the figure perfectly.

This figure isn’t perfect, and it’s not really superior to the vintage version in any way, but with how basic the colouring is, it’s easier to blend in with the vintage Joe figures, than a lot of repaint era figures wound up being. Actually taking the time to look at this figure, made me realize part of the reason a lot of the repaint era has trouble doing that, is there’s a large amount of them being done up in colours that don’t exist in the vintage line, so there’s such a visual shock that draws more attention to the differences rather than the similarities, between figures that’s molds were originally released in the same timeframe.

2004Scrap-Iron

 

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9 Responses to 2004 Urban Division Scrap Iron

  1. Mike T says:

    Scrap Iron’s original design was intended to be a Joe mountain trooper. (That’s why he had the pitons on his leg.) Oddly, though, I think it worked better for him as a Cobra engineer than it would have an earlier take on Alpine.

    Hasbro remaking his mold was odd. Why him and not V1 CC or Destro? Someone in the club or at Hasbro must have had a thing for him to get him through while other, more deserving, figures were neglected.

    This is a good figure. But, it offers you nothing you didn’t get in the original. Hell, even a crimson repaint would have been nice. Hasbro took too few chances in the early 2000’s. But, to be fair, the few they did take backfired horribly and created figs that nobody wanted.

    • A-Man says:

      Recall that GI JOE questionnaire that Hasbro did in 2002 or something? I’m not sure if or where a copy is online, but asked about interesting in themed packs, and one was Urban Strike, with listed Storm Shadow, Alley Viper and some other characters. I not sure Scrap-Iron was listed, but IIRC it did not list all six. But there was a sort of a promise there and that’s why Storm Shadow was in the set.

      The other possible reason was Scrap Iron only had one vintage mold, while they could cheaply reuse 1992 Destro and Cobra Commander again and again (never mind 1988 Destro mold was around! The totally-out-of-touch Club though no one like it based who freaking knows what.) But then why not choose another character? Why not Metal-Head or whoever? Maybe it was more of that 1982-1986 character focus.

      • A-Man says:

        I found part of what I was looking for, (No Scrap Iron) Hasbro’s fan choice poll 2003:
        Attention all GI JOE team members: the polls for our first ever GIJOE.COM vote are now closed. Though the competition was as fierce as a Dreadnok squirmish, all of your votes were tallied and the results are in!

        In the first question, it was your duty to pick your favorite GI JOE – A REAL AMERICAN HERO characters from the original series and vote to see them updated in an upcoming two-pack!

        20.3% DIAL TONE vs. SCRAP IRON

        23.4% ALPINE vs. MAJOR BLUDD

        20.2% LT. FALCON vs. WILD WEASEL

        10.0% GEBERAL TOMAHAWK vs. DESTRO’s general (Voltar)

        26.1% AGENT BAZOOKA vs. DREADNOK TORCH

        Of these choices the winner is AGENT BAZOOKA vs. DREADNOK TORCH

        In the second question, your mission was to choose your favorite theme from the list below that will appear as a possible figure collection or vehicle and figure pairing in the coming year. Your choices were:

        18.6% GI JOE Brazil Mission II (potential team members: FLINT, SHIPWRECK, LOW LIGHT, LADY JAYE)

        34.5% COBRA urban strike team theme (potential team members: STORM SHADOW, NIGHT CREEPER, ALLEY VIPER)

        33.5% COBRA crimson strike team support unit

        04.1% Arctic mission theme (potential characters: FROST BITE)

        09.3% Jungle mission theme (potential characters: RECONDO)

        Of these choices the winner is COBRA urban strike team theme (potential team members: STORM SHADOW, NIGHT CREEPER, ALLEY VIPER).

        Hundreds of people voted in this poll proving that exercising the right to vote makes each and everyone a REAL AMERICAN HERO. We thank you for your participation in the voting and your continued support of our toys. Yo Joe!

      • @ A-Man: Thanks for posting those survey results! I remember them, and voting for the Urban pack, but now I definitely regret doing that, the Mission Brazil II has a more interesting potential team members list.

        With regards Metal Head, his first mold got shipped off to India at the same time as 83 Wild Bill, Tripwire, Outback, Wild Weasel and Cross Country. I figure 1994 molds weren’t something Hasbro was thinking would do well, as they were fairly adverse to using those in the early 2000s, 90-92 were usually safe bets though.

    • @ Mike T.; Yeah, I remember reading the Joe Alpine trooper story before. I think your right the mold worked better as Scrap Iron, than an earlier Alpine. It also helps explain how military Scrap Iron’s flak vest is.

      Yeah, of all the molds they re-made, Scrap Iron is the most puzzling, based on legitimate popularity. I like both repaint era Scrap Iron figures, but if we didn’t get them it’s not really any form of loss. Like you said a lot of Hasbro’s attempts to take chances backfired horribly, but I’m still undecided if it was from the chance they took, or the lazy and haphazard way they attempted them.

  2. A-Man says:

    The thing that bugs me about the recast Scrap-Iron mold is that his arms no long rest flush by his side. It’s not due to Thunder arms, but a change in the torso. You also cannot put a vintage head in the torso, because of mods to the inside of the torso.

    Hasbro mostly ignoring the cartoon, some easy repaints were missed, FLINT being a big one, Serpentor in yellow being another, Baroness with grey details.

    Side note about some people getting copies of the set and swapping like Chap Mei heads onto Scrap-Iron (and FIrefly) to use as army builders. I never did. I only got two sets. I think it was less the inclusion of 3 characters and more that one was Ninja Force Storm Shadow, albeit in decent colors, I just dislike the mold. Plus there were a lot of army building options at the time.

  3. Yeah, the arms on this figure are pretty out of place. I like to think Scrap Iron has Invisible Lat Disease, and walks around like a body builder!

    The cartoon, could’ve been a source for some decent repaints, like you mention. Especially since the cartoon schemes weren’t ornate or anything, so it could’ve been a quick way to work out nostalgic colour schemes that were new and didn’t require a ton of paint apps.

    As for army building this set, it did come out on the heels of the TRU Infantry 6 pack, so that was a much better choice to army build, plus I think the KB Crimson set was out at the same time. Three CGs, a HISS and ASP for the same price was probably slightly more tempting instead of another Ninja Force Storm Shadow.

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