REVIEW: G.I. JOE 12" SNOW JOB
In 1983, the G.I. Joe team gained its first arctic trooper. Named SNOW JOB, more because he was a good-natured con artist than for any specific snow-related reasons, Snow Job was the first of a new group of G.I. Joes, part of the second year of figures that would expand the team well beyond the horizons of the first year when pretty much everybody dressed in olive green and shared a lot of common body parts, even including heads.
Snow Job had a distinctive design, wearing a thick white coat with a hood, white trousers and boots, and black goggles over his face that only left his lower face with its signature red mustache and beard exposed.
Snow Job turned out to be a very popular character. Hasbro would soon learn that arctic toys and characters sold very well. This was a little difficult for me to relate to personally -- living in Tucson Arizona -- but a fair portion of the United States does see a snowy winter for at least a long enough period of time for them to take their arctic-based toys outside to play with in an appropriate environment, and hopefully not lose them in a drift until the spring thaw.
Snow Job received a fair amount of attention in both the comics and animated series. For a couple of years, he was the ONLY arctic specialist on the G.I. Joe team. He was a prominent character in the story that first introduced him in the comics, which also introduced second-year characters Gung-Ho, Wild Bill, Doc, and others. This made sense, as the story took place along the Alaska Pipeline, which Cobra was attempting to sabotage.
Snow Job would soon become one of a fair number of arctic-dedicated soldiers assigned to G.I. Joe, including Frostbite, Iceberg, Sub-Zero, Windchill, Blizzard, and others. But something odd happened. As the years progressed, Snow Job seemed to fade from prominence.
More recently, Hasbro just decided they've got a perfectly good arctic trooper and Snow Job has since turned up in the 25th Anniversary line, more recently in the movie line and, as this review will discuss, a very nice 12" version, too!
According to his original file card, Snow Job is one Harlan W. Moore, born in Rutland, Vermont, which certainly makes him abundantly qualified for arctic endeavors. His military specialties include Arctic Ski Patrol and Rifle Instructor. And those aren't his only qualifications. His file card continues:
"Snow Job was a major Olympic Biathlon contender. He enlisted initially For the special training and support privileges that the Army gives to Olympic champions. However, to the consternation of the army PR flacks, Snow Job volunteered and was accepted into the G.I. Joe Team! Qualified Expert: all NATO long range sniper rifles, XMLR-3A Laser Rifle."
Yeah, Snow Job came with a bit of advanced hardware there, a laser rifle whose name made it sound even more advanced than the one carried by Flash, the Laster Rifle Trooper released just the year before.
Snow Job's -- personality quirks were outlined in the second paragraph on the file card:
"Submitted by Rock 'N' Roll: 'You think we call him Snow Job because he does his job on skis? Negative. He's a con artist, pure and simple, except when he picks up his rifle -- sure as heck, something's gonna fall down."
Concurrent with the 25th Anniversary line of 3-3/4" G.I. Joes, and really, without all that much fanfare, Hasbro turned out a set of 12" G.I. Joe figures based on many of the more popular 3-3/4" characters. This wasn't the only time this has been done. It's been off-and-on since the early 1990's. However, this most recent effort marks the first time that Snow Job has turned up in this larger, more classic size.
So, how's the figure? Really superbly well done. The body uses what I call one of several "Classic Collection" bodies. This was a new version of the 12" G.I. Joe developed in the mid-1990's, which had a healthy run for quite a few years in several versions. This was an updated version of the original G.I. Joe -- no code-names, no "vs. Cobra" or anything -- just as straightforward and as realistically military as a toy permitted. And the body design was excellent.
In later years, to save some clothing expense and final cost, a couple of "clothed" torso and arm designs were developed, within the design of the Classic Collection, to give the figure the appearance of wearing a shirt or other article of clothing that was in fact molded as the figure's torso and arms. One of these was a sort of corduroy-looking sweater. These molds have been used to great effect with the latest incarnation of 12" G.I. Joe figures based on 3-3/4" characters, and that includes Snow Job.
The figure's torso is the "sweater" version, molded in white. The figure's hands appear to be wearing grey gloves, also molded as part of the hands. Snow Job has white fabric trousers, and grey boots. The boots are interesting for their level of detail, especially on the bottoms. They seem to have soles specifically designed for the sort of snowy, rugged terrain Snow Job would be likely to face. He is also wearing a back plastic belt with black fabric and plastic suspenders.
The white sweater has the name "Snow Job" imprinted on the front, and the G.I. Joe insignia imprinted on the upper right arm.
The headsculpt is excellent. The head and neck are molded in white, and Snow Job appears to be wearing a protective white headpiece. His face is readily visible , including the trademark reddish mustache and beard. He comes with removable black giggles with darkened transparent lenses, making him look that much more like his smaller ancestor. The figure also has a removable pale grey helmet.
Now, I'll admit, the figure looks a little like he's running around in long thermal underwear, and has remembered to put his arctic trousers on, and protective headgear, but has forgotten a decent coat. Okay, there's a perfect solution to this for those who want their Snow Job to look a bit more authentic. Back in the days of the Classic Collection, one of the G.I. Joe figures released during that time was called the 10th Mountain Trooper, or some such. He was an arctic specialist. And he was wearing a superb, white, arctic coat. If you can find that figure's coat through the secondary market or some such (and for all I know, there might be other 12" G.I. Joe arctic coats out there, this was just the first one that came to mind), you can really complete Snow Job's ensemble quite perfectly.
Snow Job comes with a nice assortment of accessories. One of the things people really liked about the original, 3-3/4" Snow Job was that he came with a very cool set of little skis. Well, Snow Job is still a skier, and he still comes with the necessary equipment for it. This 12" Snow Job comes with a very impressive pair of white skis, measuring 11" in length, and with attachments to secure them to the boots. He also has some really impressive ski poles, as well as a large rifle with a spring-loaded missile launcher. Guess he decided to trade in his laser rifle for something that would make a little more explosive noise.
Of course, the figure is superbly well articulated. Snow Job is fully poseable at the head, arms, elbows (including swivel), wrists, finger groups, waist, legs, knees (including swivel) and ankles.
Although the figure doesn't have a "Clip and save" file card on his package per se, there is some background and mission data on the character. It reads as follows:
Cobra built a base in a northern polar region where the severe climate and rough terrain make it almost impossible to launch a successful attack using standard assault tactics. Snow Job prepared a strike force with the unique skills and specialized gear to tackle extreme cold, snow, and ice and still be ready to fight Cobra forces who were used to those harsh conditions. The base fell to the G.I. Joe team in record time.
Commander's Notes: Loves a challenge, whether it's a winter blizzard barreling down on him or an onslaught of Cobra troopers. In fact, if he can have both situations at the same time, he'd consider it a perfect day.
Let me add this about the package design. I've been very impressed with it this time around. The G.I. Joe logo has been given some computer enhancement to really make it stand out, the green modern camouflage design is the perfect backdrop, and the photo-illustration of the figure on the back of the package, with an angled version of the G.I. Joe logo in the background, is especially impressive.
Notably, each figure has a distinctive backdrop within the package, and Snow Job's is extremely cool -- no arctic pun intended. Colored in dark blues, it shows a dark, snowy landscape, with mountains in the foreground and background, "Northern Lights" in the sky, and a mysterious and rather sinister-looking base of some sort, complete with a rather futuristic dome, set in front of the mountains. And what might Cobra be up to inside of there...? Really, it's an amazing piece of work in and of itself.
My only regret is that you don't get to see the backdrop all that well until you've opened the package and extracted the figure. But do so carefully. The backdrop is a keeper. I can see any number of diorama builders being pleased with it, for either 12" or 3-3/4" use.
So, what's my final word here? Hey, this is a cool figure. These particular 12" G.I. Joe figures never got a lot of fanfare, and they've become increasingly difficult to find, especially since the movie, which had its own 12" detachment. However, a good collector knows there are more resources out there than just the standard retail outlets, and if one wants something badly enough, it can be found. One of my trademark sayings when it comes to toy collecting is -- if it exists, it's not impossible to find it... sooner or later. And I've applied that comment to things a lot tougher than this.
Really, whether you're a 3-3/4" fan. or a 12" fan, or even better, a fan of both. As long as you're a fan of G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero, you'll like this figure. Snow Job remains the first arctic trooper ever assigned to the G.I. Joe Team. That will never change, even if the character was de-prioritized for a while there. I'm glad he's gotten a little more modern attention. In this case -- in a big way.
The G.I. JOE 12" figure of SNOW JOB definitely has my highest recommendation!