SURVIVALIST  
  Code Name: OUTBACK  
 

Outback just missed the boat in terms of appearing in the cartoon, coming out in 1987 but not being among the few figures from that series chosen to be in G.I. Joe – The Movie. He did manage a few comic appearances, though, notably as part of an ill-fated mission to Borogrovia or one of those other made-up countries. He also got a story centred on him in the Marvel Action Force comic, where the character was Scottish and also mildly psychopathic.

Toy-wise there have been two versions of the 25th Anniversary Outback. The first version followed the original colour scheme, but was only available in a boxed set with a F.L.A.K. anti-aircraft cannon for some reason, facing off against a C.L.A.W.-flying Strato-Viper. The figure was later reissued as part of the Assault on Cobra Island boxed set, recoloured to look like the 1988 Night Force version of Outback (plus an additional backpack). The latter is much more common, but I went for the 1987-style version eventually, after dallying with the Night Force version for a little while.

Quite why I went to that amount of effort I’m not sure. Outback’s a pretty boring character, both in terms of personality and look. Aside from his ginger hair and sloganised t-shirt (“SURVIVAL” is apparently an acronym for some Rangers mantra or other), there’s not much that sticks out. The scheme is simplified further by the legs being plain green rather than having the original figure’s camo pattern, while the green flak jacket (thankfully removable) just looks rather dull and uninspired. Even the construction is slapdash in places – the neck, for instance, looks too long, while the arms just don’t interact with the gun very well. The machine gun itself is faithfully reproduced from the original, but just can’t be held properly, it looks too chunky and it even looks silly slung over his back.

There are a couple of nice touches, notably the head cast itself, which is detailed and competent, the removable torch on the left thigh and the painted wristwatch, but overall Outback is mediocre and can be skipped without any real loss.

 


G.I. Joe Outback
G.I. Joe Outback
G.I. Joe Outback
G.I. Joe Outback