Who doesn’t love lists? Imminently useful for things like shopping, or getting things done, or planning a vacation, their most important feature may very well be their ability to allow us to tell the world just what we think about a particular set of things. Best TV shows, worst movies, best dressed, places to avoid eating if you want to avoid getting a bit of plague, the internet is chock full of orderly ranked lists. We here at Geekade are no different. Our top ten articles are some of the most well done sections of our site, particularly that TurboGrafx-16 one (fantastic), and in that spirit a challenge was laid. (to be fair, I challenged myself but you know…) Each month, on the last day of the month, a brand new top ten list will hit your screens ranking the best, and worst, of some of the most beloved toy properties of all time. And while the focus will be on 80’s and 90’s toys mostly, you can rest assured that eventually we will get to more recent toy lines and start a whole new debate. So, without further ado, allow me to present the Top Ten Worst G.I. Joe characters of all time.
#10. Quick Kick: You know who’s awesome? Snake Eyes. Snake Eyes is awesome. You know who else? Storm Shadow. Two of the coolest martial arts themed characters in pop culture history were already a part of the Joe line so Quick Kick wasn’t really needed. But, if you were going to, maybe try a bit harder? Look I love Bruce Lee as much as anyone else but Kicky here is about as bad a Bruce Lee rip off as possible. I’m sure there are plenty of people who love this guy and have already decided that this list is complete and utter horse shit but I stand by it. Quick Kick sucks and is only narrowly the second worst martial artist the Joe’s ever produced.
#09. Hardball: Eww. For some reason, football themed characters worked in G.I. Joe. (mostly…) But baseball? Not so much. Perhaps it’s that baseball just doesn’t seem like it would turn out that many good soldiers. Or maybe it’s that a failed baseball player would most likely have other, more useful skills to contribute to the team unlike Hardball here who uses a grenade launcher to shoot, well, hard balls of death at COBRA. Why is he baseball themed? Why is he wearing a white jersey? Why does he have shotgun shells on his leg when he uses a grenade launcher?
#08. Scoop: Make no mistake, though it might say “Information Specialist” on his card, what they really mean to say is “Propaganda Specialist” because that’s what Scoop was. Scoop’s job was to film the Joes in battle and then to use that footage for training purposes. And what I want to know is, who gets to make that call? Who gets to say, “This footage we use, this we make sure never sees the light of day?” Because you know some shit went down. It had to have. This was constant global war. Tensions were high. Every second could have been their last. Decisions were made, most likely rashly, that resulted in some not so flattering footage. And there was Scoop, capturing it all, turning it into training and recruitment videos like some second-rate Nazi. And we here at Geekade think Nazi’s are pretty shitty. Because really, there’s only one side to that coin 😉
And what do you do Sci-Fi? Well, I’m the Laser Trooper so you know, I shoot lasers.
Doesn’t every Joe shoot lasers? Well I mean yes but… I’m the laser TROOPER, do you see?
Fuck you Sci-Fi.
#06. Capt. Grid Iron: Remember a few places above this one where I said that football themed characters worked mostly? Well here’s one that didn’t. Capt. Grid Iron is an all around disappointment. It’s probably the reason he signed up for the Joes to begin with. Capt. Grid Iron is that guy from school that you see now and it’s super awkward because all he does is talk about how awesome he was on the field back in high school. He makes references to the “BIG GAME” as if some rinky dink football game played on a Friday night in some nowhere town, probably in Texas, was a life changing event for anyone ever. And you almost feel bad for him but then he tells you about how much you sucked as an athlete back then and makes you want to punch him right in the nose. Capt. Grid Iron is such a tool that his grenades look like footballs. He is so insecure that he made someone manufacture football shaped grenades so he could kill people by throwing “bombs.” I hate him.
#05. Airtight: I almost feel bad putting him this high on a list such as this because really, it’s not his fault he’s so terrible. I mean look, anyone who is good enough at cleaning up after people to be the cleaning up after people specialist in a military unit must be really damn good at cleaning up after people. And what sort of life must he have led to get to that point? What sort of fucked up childhood did he have that he became the top cleaner upper? The mind reels at the, frankly, disturbing possibilities, nay, probabilities. On the other hand, his job is to clean up after a military skirmish. That’s it. Not help, not plan, nothing. So… number 5 on the list.
#04. Dee-Jay: Oh Deej… where to begin? The first place, obviously, is the gray things on your legs. It’s like you took on of those plastic whirlydoos that kids spin around to make a high-pitched noise, cut off the top bit, painted them gray, and then inexplicably stuffed your blue space pant clad legs into them. AND THEN decided a silver cod piece would be a swell idea. And a giant tube thing from your head to your back/shoulder for some reason. All because the higher-ups at Joe command thought it would be the very best of ideas to take a radio DJ from Boston with no military training, and shuttle him off to space. (see what I did there?) Bad form.
#03. Tollbooth: I’m not quite sure what it is, exactly anyway, that makes Tollbooth so awful. It’s possible that it’s his hard hat. It could be his name, which doesn’t really work with his job as a bridge-layer. It’s probably the fact that this dude came with traffic cones as an accessory. He’s funny in a sad way. What really adds to it though is that this guy looks like a construction worker and also has a gun. I’m sure that there are construction workers that carry guns, maybe even some who actually need them. But seeing this makes me think all construction workers carry guns. And that’s not cool. Those guys and gals have a pretty terrible job and that, combined with ready access to a weapon, isn’t a great mix. Whatever it is, he’s terrible.
#02. Ice Cream Soldier: Now, this has to make the list, even though he is kind of awesome in an oh so terrible way. Most other lists put him as the worst but c’mon, dude is called Ice Cream Soldier and has a flamethrower as a weapon. That’s so batshit insane that you have to at the very least respect it and kinda be a lotta bit scared of it. I can only imagine the Cobra intelligence operations telling their ground troops to be careful of the fearsome Ice Cream Soldier in a snarky as hell way only for him to show up and melt them. I mean, it is a really stupid name and a terrible costume and cements the fact that Hasbro was plain out of shit at this point. But he’s not the worst.
#01. Banzai: Look at that. Look at it! Do you know what that is? That is a ninja, a fucking NINJA!, dressed in leather pants, boots, a bright pink bandolier with way too many sharp things almost killing him every time he moves, a bright pink hockey mask that seems impossible to have peripheral vision out of, no shirt because fuck shirts, and oh yeah, his dumb blonde ponytail is sticking out of the mask being insanely long for someone who is supposed to be a NINJA! Find a history book, find some shit about ninjas, and find where it says that one of their trademarks was their long blonde ponytails. You can’t because Banzai is an asshole. Eww, gross, blech, blergh, fuck. Just awful.
So now you know. And knowing is half the battle. The other half, best characters, will be next month. Until then…