ARTILLERYMAN  
  Code Name: THUNDER  
 

Along with Tollbooth and Grand Slam, Thunder was one of those early Joes that no-one really remembers. He was in the cartoon a little bit, and in the comic a little bit too (where he was killed off in that S.A.W. Viper's not at all contrived Massacre of Discontinued Vehicle Drivers Who Hadn't Been In The Comic For A Year Or More; see also Crankcase, Heavy Metal).

The original was packed in with the Slugger SPG, not one of the more famous vehicles, and was never really likely to get a 25th Anniversary figure. However, like Monkeywrench, Leatherneck and Heavy Metal, he cropped up in the Rise of Cobra line, of all places. Sgt. Thunderblast came with the Armoured Panther (basically the venerable Armadillo with, yes, spring-loaded launchers).

Despite being cobbled together from existing parts, Thunder is actually something of a success. The figure is largely a recolour of the Resolute version of Duke, and therefore looks quite unique lined up with non-Resolute figures. There's a new head cast (which is very youthful, but not distractingly so) and a resuse of the helmet included with the tan version of Steeler. While it was a disappointment with the latter, it fits Thunder nicely, even if his weird antennae aren't replicated.

Despite not really knowing who he is, or what to do with him (he tends to take my spare MOBAT), Thunder looks great with his brown leather jacket, flak vest and black fingerless gloves, and I've really grown to like him.

 

 

G.I. Joe Thunder
G.I. Joe Thunder
G.I. Joe Thunder
G.I. Joe Thunder