|Code Name: DIAL-TONE|
As with a couple of issues of Action Force convincing me Airtight and Barbecue were a double act, the Himalayas battle in G.I. Joe - The Movie completely convinced me Dial-Tone and Mainframe were a two-man band as well. Sadly, unlike Mainframe, Dial-Tone has yet to receive a 25th Anniversary update - a Dialtone (sic) was included in a Troop Builder pack for the live action movie line, but the fatigues-clad Joe was heavily modelled on the female character of the same codename from the Resolute animation.
The preceding overlong sentence should probably have been updated to reflect that there has been a 25th Anniversary edition of Dial-Tone. However, as this was a G.I. Joe Club exclusive that currently fetches around £200 on the secondary market I'm doing my best to pretend it doesn't exist lest I go mental and buy one.
So, the original mould is the only real choice. It was given several lurid recolours, but I stuck with the original, and I rather like the chap. The neat uniform is peppered with nice details, while the head cast captures the cartoon version's slightly pedantic, nervous personality perfectly. On top of that, Dial-Tone has possible the best backpack of the original line, a massive computer communications array that curves and tapers behind the head pleasingly, and has a little movable mouthpiece arm that moves down to Dial-tone's head in a satisfactory fashion. Plus his submachine gun is great too.
While it's unfortunate that Dial-Tone is getting ignored and/or subverted and/or out of price range for a proper update, the good news is the original 1986 version isn't bad at all.