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Given the way that Hasbro has neatly absorbed the former Kenner M.A.S.K. toy line into their G.I. Joe Real American Hero line I wondered how many other plausible 1980s franchises could easily be co-opted into the same kind of fate. They also recruited some Street Fighter II and Mortal Kombat dudes at one time but the 1990s don’t have the same goofy nostalgia for me so fuck them. So, because I’m bored and my flight is delayed and I’m too infant fatigued to focus on any real work, here goes some airport brainstorming.

Top 1980s Properties to be retconned as part of the G.I. Joe Real American Hero line:

The Karate Kid- The story behind this is that Cobra wants to brainwash the youth they recruit early on in their lives. They open a school under the supervision of karate instructor and covert recruiter John Kreese. The Cobra Kai Dojo (Coincidence? I think not.) churns out dozens of highly trained, ruthless young men per year who are eager to don the sea foam green of the Cobra Ninja Corps. To counteract this, G.I. Joe has established their own resident master, Mr. Miyagi, in the Los Angeles area. Though less prolific than Kreese, Miyagi turns out a higher quality of never-say-die recruit, perfect for Joe standards.

Joes: Four Pack of The Best Around including Mr. Miyagi, Daniel-San, Quick Kick w/ Blue Rising Sun shuriken sash and Hillary Swank as The Next Karate Kid, crane kicking beach post, waxing rags (on and off), fly catching chopsticks and Best of the Karate Kid cartoon series DVD

Cobras: Four Pack of Cobra Kai Dojo including Johnny, John Kreese, Cobra Ninja and the ponytail douche from III, body bags, mummy costume and More Best of the Karate Kid cartoon series DVD

Chances of success: Off the chain

TRON- As much as a Destro-headed Master CPU sounds pretty awesome, I have to deny this one. Mainframe and TRON riding laser cycles and hurling light Frisbees and jai alai balls at the Evil Red Program Sark and Dr. Mindbender just doesn’t sound- snap, you know what? I think I just talked myself into this one after all. Their mission is to defend an ARPA-net style network from Cobra espionage programs.

Joes: Four pack of TRON and the J.O.E.-Net Defenders, including TRON, Yori, the chick from TRON, Mainframe in yellow “hacker” circuitry and just because, Matthew Broderick from War Games, including light paddles, balls and Frisbees and a wireless keyboard for Broderick, and a TRON DVD

TRON Light Cycle Playset includes Blue Light Cycle and Bruce Boxleitner figure with blue cellophane “Light Walls”

Cobra: Four Pack of Cobra Net-Raiders, including Dr. Mindbender, the Evil Red Program Sark from TRON, Tele-Viper in green circuitry and a Destro-headed Master CPU figure, including red paddles, balls and Frisbees and a wireless keyboard for Mindbender, and a Behind the TRON Scenes special features DVD

Cobra TRON Light Cycle Playset includes Red Light Cycle and Red Guard figure with Red cellophane “Light Walls”

Chances of success: Incalculable

The Goonies– An all grown up squad of Goonies is recruited by the Joes for their past expertise to deal with Cobra’s newest recruits: The Fratelli Family!

Joes: Five Pack of The Goonies, including Mikey, Data, Mouth, Chunk and Pirate Sloth, with sword and pirate hat, boxing glove belt, skate shoes, half of One-Eyed Willie’s new treasure map, broken David statue and Baby Ruth candy bar, and Goonies R Good Enuff music video by Cindy Lauper DVD

Cobra: Five Pack Cobra Fratelli Family, including Ma, Robert Davi and Joe Pants Fratelli, the Headman and a Cobra Tele-Viper, with pistols, machine guns, half of One-Eyed Willie’s new treasure map and Girls Just Wanna Have Fun music video DVD, also by Cindy Lauper and also featuring Captain Lou Albano

Chances of success: Good Enuff

Mr. T­- This one is a little different. It has no Cobra counterpart because what could they come up with to be the equal of Mr. T? You’re damn right nothin’. He shows up when he’s needed in his van and he leaves when he feels like his job is done. Which is when everything is demolished.

Joes: Mr. T and the Toughest Van in the World Playset includes a Mr. T figure with welding kit, tool box, machine gun and the dog with a Mohawk wearing gold chains from the cartoon because that’s still awesome, urban camouflage custom van with machine gunner nest, DVD copy of The Toughest Man in the World

Chances of success: 100%, Sucka

Breakin’- My scenario revolves around Cobra’s scheme to close all youth rec centers, thus ensuring bored youths making trouble and becoming ripe for recruitment as juvenile delinquents. The Joes are forced to counter this measure with an equally goofy plan: to put their own troops in the streets to ensure that these rec centers are kept open. Mainly this stems from my desire to see a three pack of Turbo, Ozone and Special K who come with real parachute pants accessories.

Joes: Four Pack of Body Rockin’ Commandoes, including Turbo, Ozone and Special K with pop out parachutes in their pants and Snake Eyes from that episode where he busted out a breakdancing routine of his own, sheets of cardboard and figures with Pop-Lock Grip feature, and Breakin’ DVD

Cobras: Four Pack of Electro Rock Takeover, including Corporate Raider Tomax and Xamot (in suits), Poppin’ Taco and Breakin’ Machine B.A.T. with Cobra logo dance mat and Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo DVD

Odds of success: Wicked



  1. So I realize you specified Mr. T and not BA fro the A-Team, but if you went with BA (or even the entire A-Team), there actually is a Cobra counterpart for him/them. Though not on the show, there was a set of characters made into action figures by Galoob that were the “A-Team Bad Guys” and these four guys had snake names: Cobra, Rattler, Viper, and Python. You can see pics of the figures here:

    • Wow, that is a strangely perfect addition to the A-Team world for this purpose. I did not know about this.

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