TRANSPORTATION  
  Code Name: FROSTBITE  
 

Frostbite was basically The Other Arctic Guy (well, before he was followed by a string of progressively less memorable arctic Joes, such as Iceberg, Blizzard, Sub Zero and Cold Front), never really escaping from Snow Job’s shadow. Originally the figure was packed in with the (much more recognised) Snow Cat arctic assault truck, and even wangled a couple of appearances in the cartoon, where he was possibly the fattest member of G.I. Joe. Being a 1985 figure, he also got a couple of decent roles in Marvel’s Action Force comic, hence meaning I’ve always had a soft spot for him.

Since then, though, it’s been an ignominious 25 years for the character, who’s basically been reassigned to all sorts of arctic troopers often bearing minimal resemblance to the original, ranging from the 1992 version (which looked like Shipwreck), a trio of slight variations in 2002 (which were among the figures which dispensed with the O-ring in favour of a leg design more like Lanard’s awful The Corps series, and looked dreadful – the cheap superhero mask not helping matters), a straight repaint of Snow Job and, most recently in Rise of Cobra, Beachhead’s head stuck on Snake Eyes’ body. I’ve often meant to look at making my own version, which considering the array of bearded heads and arctic bodies available in the Generation 3 lines would be possible, but have never quite got round to working out a way of doing it so that he didn’t just look like Snow Job with a black beard, so for now the original has to suffice.

It’s not a bad figure, actually. Arctic soldiers have a limited amount of variation without getting unrealistic (though this didn’t stop Hasbro in later years), so that they managed to make this guy much different from Snow Job in the first place is something to be thankful for. Touches like the cap and driving goggles make the distinction of someone who works in relatively enclosed conditions, while the fur collar and shoulder holster give him a bit of visual distinction too. And I love that head cast – Frostbite has big, cheerful grin which doesn’t go too far, suggesting someone who enjoys his job rather than someone mentally retarded (Roadblock, I’m looking at you). Articulation is the bog-standard mid 1980s stuff (he was from the first year that had a ball-jointed neck as standard) with all that entails, and the only real problem durability-wise is that some of his paint applications tend to wear easily (notably the goggles).

His gun isn’t brilliant, though – a great big sniper rifle that he can’t really get both hands on, or aim convincingly, but then that’s a bit of a minor consideration considering he drives the Snow Cat most of the time – I suppose we should be grateful that a) one was included in the first place, considering he was a vehicle driver and b) that at least the thing isn’t inexplicably white. In final evaluation, he’s nicely done, if not really anything to get hugely excited about, and probably works best in tandem with his assigned vehicle rather than by himself.

G.I. Joe Frostbite
G.I. Joe Frostbite
G.I. Joe Frostbite
G.I. Joe Frostbite