New concepts for an American Hero

Archive for the ‘Drivers’ Category

Fast Draw, R.P.V. Driver

It’s been a little while, but here we are with another driver for a vehicle that came without one, missile specialist Fast Draw driving the R.P.V. (Remote Piloted Vehicle), which launches a drone back before drone warfare become such a big thing. (Vehicle image comes from

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Grand Slam, SLAM driver

We continue the driver series with one that admittedly is a bit of a cheat. This design for original team member Grand Slam is based on his appearances in G.I. JOE #59, the first issue to feature the SLAM vehicle. (The vehicle image here is borrowed from the really great website.)

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Zarana, Dreadnok Cycle driver

Back to giving a bad guys’ vehicle a driver it never had, with a version of Zarana to drive the Dreadnok Cycle!  (Vehicle photo from

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Steeler, Armadillo driver

The next vehicle driver is the team’s original tank driver, Steeler, assigned to drive the Armadillo mini-tank. He’s looking a little less formal, wearing a hat from his hometown’s NFL team, the Pittsburgh Steelers.

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Wild Weasel, Flight Pod pilot

Adding to the list of drivers for vehicles that weren’t sold with them, we’ve got a new Wild Weasel ready to pilot the Cobra Flight Pod — aka the “Trubble Bubble.” (Vehicle photo from

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Spirit, Recon Sled driver

Another drivers-for-vehicles-without-them post, here is Spirit. And what better vehicle for a tracker than the LCV Recon Sled? One of the toy lines’ strangest but unique vehicles. And again, here’s a vehicle pic from!

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Torpedo, MANTA pilot

Continuing with giving drivers to G.I. Joe vehicles that didn’t come with one, here we have a version of Torpedo meant for the MANTA windsurfer toy, which was available through mail order only. Also, here’s a pic of the vehicle, borrowed from the great Joe website!

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Lady Jaye, Silver Mirage driver

Here we’re continuing with giving official drivers to vehicles that weren’t sold with action figures back in the day. Today we’ve got Lady Jaye, as the driver for the Silver Mirage motorcycle. This one has kind of a vintage look, but that’s nothing new looking at the classic era of figures.

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Airborne, Sky Hawk pilot

To get inspired to create new designs, it helps to try to come up with a theme. Here we’re starting something new. The premise of the next batch is giving drivers/pilots to some of the G.I. Joe vehicles that were sold without a figure, but to use existing characters. Starting with Airborne, Sky Hawk pilot. A new version of the little one-man aircraft did get a pilot (Tomahawk) in 2010, but here we’re talking about the original toy line.

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Tiger Force Clutch

Continuing our Tiger Force repaints, here is Clutch (along with his original design). The sub-team had the Tiger Sting, a repainted version of the Vamp Mk II. Who better to drive it?

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Tiger Force Steeler

Another action figure “repaint”, this time the team’s original tank commander, Steeler, gets a Tiger Force makeover. Here he is alongside his original design.


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Tiger Force Cover Girl

Returning to the series of “repaint” figures, looking at what if some other characters became part of the early sub-teams. Here’s Cover Girl in Tiger Force colors alongside her original look.


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Combat Keel-Haul

Here’s a new version of Admiral Keel-Haul, this time wearing something closer to an actual uniform you may find Navy officers wearing on a ship. I kind of imagine here the admiral has to quickly arm himself when Cobra boards his aircraft carrier.

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Crankcase – Slaughter’s Marauders

This “repaint” figure is another member of Slaughter’s Marauders. Despite having a few vehicles as part of the team, the Marauders had no official driver, so Crankcase has been given the job. Here he is alongside his original figure design.


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Cobra Tank Commander

Before the HISS tanks appeared, Cobra did have regular style tanks in the comic books. So, why not a Tank Commander based on the Cobra Stinger Driver mixed with a traditional army tank driver uniform?

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Clutch – Urban Assault Team

The newest member of the Urban Assault Team, Clutch. The original G.I. Joe driver seems like a good choice to be speeding through the city to backup the team.

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Updated Cutter

Today we have a sometimes-forgotten G.I. Joe character, Cutter, the team’s only member from the Coast Guard. Here his uniform is similar to the modern uniforms worn by the Guard.

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New T’Gin-Zu

The 1997-2002 era of G.I. Joe was not the only time straight repainted figures became new characters. Ninja Force included T’Gin-Zu, the operator of the Pile Driver vehicle and repainted Storm Shadow. This variation makes him more unique, muting the bright colors and mixing the ninja style with a more typical G.I. Joe driver design.

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New Vypra, Cobra courier

Another of the “clone” action figures released in The Real American Hero Collection of 1997-2002, Vypra has appeared a few times since, always as a Jinx repaint. That includes a 2015 release. Here, some earlier Vypra elements remain, but most ninja elements are gone.

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New Rumbler

Wow, two updates in two days! Today’s concept is for an obscure character that came with the remote control Crossfire vehicle, Rumbler. I don’t think he ever showed up in any stories (the Marvel comic incorrectly used his code name for Armadillo instead), and he’s just a cobbled together figure. This is somewhat inspired by Rumbler being the latest Joe featured at This new Rumbler is based on a NASCAR driver, combining those colorful logo-covered outfits with some military details.


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New Thunderwing

Wow, three posts in three days! Today is another of the redesigned clones from 1998, the Thunder repaint, tank commander Thunderwing.


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New Cover Girl

Continuing with Joes that debuted in 1983, here’s a new version of Cover Girl armed with a rocket launcher and a wrench — both useful when your tank breaks down. Her original filecard refers to her as a mechanic, too.


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Ace and Cold Weather Wild Bill

Continuing on with making some new versions of the 1983 Joes, here is a new Ace, and Wild Bill ready for cold weather.

Ace-NEW-BG Wild-Bill-ColdWeathe-BG

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The complete new original 13

A while back I posted new designs for the first 13 members of G.I. Joe. Just for fun, here’s a group shot.


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Raven (G.I. Joe)

Several times here I’ve gone back to the old Sunbow cartoon for inspiration. This time we go back to the second season episode “In the Presence of Mine Enemies”, in which Slip-Stream is stranded on a dangerous island with a female Strato-Viper, code named Raven. The two join forces to survive and in the end Raven rips the Cobra insignia off her uniform. Slip-Stream even suggests she may be a recruit. So here she is, Raven as a G.I. Joe in a more vintage-style uniform.


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Arctic Major Bludd and Ace (?) from “The Spy Eye”

A two-for-one post today. First up we have Major Bludd in Arctic gear which needs no explanation. Then we have a character design from the front cover of the 1983 childrens’ book, The Spy Eye. I am guessing it is supposed to be Ace since he is the only other Joe character in the book besides Hawk, Steeler and Flash. It’s just as possible it’s not him since the outfit doesn’t match the interior art which has Ace in a non-specific uniform that better fits with the 1982 Joes. Click here to see the whole book on

MajorBludd-Arctic  Ace-TheSpyEye

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Unproduced Bombstrike and Hollow Point

A while back the site posted a number of designs based on concept art revealed by Sam Wells on this page at Here are a couple more from there. First is “Cadet Bombshell,” an early name for Bombstrike, and a slightly different version of Hollow Point from the Built to Rule toy sets.

CadetBombshell-concept  HollowPoint-concept

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New Clutch and Flash

Next up for the new original 13 redesigns are Clutch and Flash. (Don’t forget to leave a comment, if you have something to say.)

Clutch-NEW  Flash-NEW

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New Scarlett and Steeler

Here are two more new designs for the original thirteen Joes. This time it’s Scarlett and Steeler. Scarlett’s black beret (used by Rangers in the 1980s) is appropriate, since her filecard mentions she was in Ranger School.

Scarlett-NEW  Steeler-NEW

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Honda Lou, Transport Specialist

One of those unusual characters who crossed paths with G.I. Joe in the cartoon days, Honda Lou West was inside a truck when Cobra stole one of her food-hauling convoys. Here, I’m seeing Honda Lou joining G.I. Joe’s support staff, and I guess she’s kind of like a female Wild Bill.


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Frostbite and Pythona

It’s been a few days, so here are two more characters. First, it’s another cold weather G.I. Joe ready for warmer climates, Frostbite. And from a more obscure corner of G.I. Joe, here’s a new version of Pythona. This design is maybe a bit more human, and it’s more like she may have appeared in a modern comic book, instead of a kids’ cartoon.

Frostbite-infantry Pythona-A

1995 Ace (?) and Footloose

Here are two more designs based on unproduced figures, one definitely part of the proposed Battle Rangers series, the other comes from wrapping paper of all places. The first unnamed character looks like a version of Ace, the other is Battle Rangers Footloose. See them here and here at These more recent creations are much bigger than the Baroness image, so click to enlarge.

Ace-1995  Footloose-1995

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