Search for the Radioactive Satellite


In 2004 Hasbro announced that there would be no new Adventure Team sets other than two store exclusives. Meijer, a store chain in the northern US area, would carry two Timeless Collection Adventure Team Joes. These were to use the 40th Anniversary bodies, flocked, with reproduction uniforms of the original Adventure Team Joes. Each would come with the AT shoulder holster and dog-tag, and would have Kung Fu Grip. Each would be packed with reproduction Adventure Team gear, and to top it all off, each would come in a reproduction coffin box like the original Joes. Not enough for you? How about they would be priced at $15.00

Sound too good to be true? It's not.

One of these sets is Search for the Radioactive Satellite.

The problem then became, for most Adventure Team fans, how to get them? eBay was one way, but they were selling for two, three, sometimes four or more times the retail price.

The GI Joe Collectors' Club struck a deal to sell these for a little more than the retail price and shipping, which, for those who didn't have a Meijers nearby, was a pretty good deal. But their supply was limited.

Eventually I got a pair of each figure from a fellow poster on a non-Joe-related forum, for which I'm very grateful. These sets may be quite valuable in future because of how difficult it is to get into the hands of collectors. But for me the value lies in having them, never selling them.


The Figure

This is the first series of the flocked Timeless Collection to use the 40th Anniversary body. Grayer, wobbly at the hips, this figure's head sculpt is the least like the originals since Hasbro began creating the Timeless Collection. The faces seem leaner, mis-shapen somehow. And the flocking resembles the newer Adventure Team figures, (thinner, shorter) rather than the reproduction figures from other Timeless Collection figures and from the GI Joe Collectors' Club Exclusives (which had far superior flocking.) The flocking of this figure is very short in comparison to original AT Joes.

Also, the eyebrows in yellow just look wrong. The original Air Adventurer's eyebrows were brown, though his hair was blonde. For some reason it looked better. The yellow paint seems to disappear into the skin tone making him almost appear eyebrowless.

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The figure, like other Timeless Collection AT reproductions, has Kung Fu Grip, which means he can actually hold things, unlike the original GI Joe hands, which were inexplicably useless. (What is inexplicable is how a toy ever shipped with such a useless feature.)

The figure is dressed in reproduction Sea Adventurer blue jeans and light blue jean shirt with AT logo at the chest. He wears standard short black GI Joe boots and shoulder-holster with six-shooter pistol, and plastic repro dog tag.

The mystery here is why the Air Adventurer (the blonde, bearded AT Joe) is wearing the Sea Adventurer's clothing and is obviously involved with a sea adventure. It is most likely due to the fact that the GI Joe Collectors' Club Exclusive figure for this year is the Sea Adventurer done right, so flocking this guy in red would have stepped on the toes of the club.


The Gear

The gear with Search for the Radioactive Satellite is much more cohesive than Danger Pass's mish-mash. Not to mention the satellite and recovery arm are coveted items for those who collect GI Joe and need those parts for their Mobile Support Vehicle and other sets.

The set comes with the scuba tanks, spear gun and dagger of Danger of the Depths (#7412).

The divers' mask was originally seen in reddish-orange in Missile Recovery (#7340), as are the yellow flippers and the lost radioactive satellite.

The recovery arm, seen in yellow in two prior sets, is first seen in silver in Buried Bounty (#7328-5).

The map case and map are seen throughout the Adventure Team history, but is first seen in silver in Infiltration (#7372). The map appears as shown here:


And as a highly desirable feature, this set comes packaged with a very nice reproduction coffin box, with depictions of other classic AT sets on the side.


The Box

This box differs from the previous four TC AT sets. It's much like a widened version of the previous ones, done in green, it's most similar to the Eight Ropes of Danger set from the previous year. The right-hand window-box features the Joe and his gear. The left is reserved for the coffin box which, in my opinion, is worth the price of the set alone.

The back of the box has a gorgeous depiction of six classic Adventure Team paintings from vintage packaging: Black Widow Rendezvous, Fate of the Troubleshooter, White Tiger Hunt, Underwater Explorer, Drag Bike and Jaws of Death. It's a beautiful tribute to the vintage AT era.

The back of the box also has a brief description of the life of a member of the Adventure Team, and the story of Search for the Radioactive Satellite. This story calls on familiar Adventure Team themes of recovering lost radioactive satellites.


The Story

The story on the back of the box again mentions the Black Dragon organization, once again up to no good. GI Joe has to find a lost radioactive satellite before the Black Dragon organization can find it for their own nefarious uses.

The GI JOE® ADVENTURE TEAM® boldly leaps into the unknown, grappling danger with the full strength of the KUNG FU GRIPTM! To be a member of the ADVENTURE TEAM, you must have nerves of steel, laugh in the face of peril, and be willing to test your courage against insurmountable odds. Giant sharks, secret spies, menacing asteroids, and monsters of mythical proportions... just a typical day's work for these intrepid heroes. Springing into action at a moment's notice, the ADVENTURE TEAM stands ready to deal with any problem, any time, anywhere.

The Russian satellite "D. Pisani 04", a relic of the Cold War space race, is scheduled to re-enter the Earth's atmosphere and plunge into the South Pacific. Only a few people know that the fuel cell powering its core is made of Plutonium 244, a rare isotope used to power long-range laser weapons. Unfortunately, the BLACK DRAGON® criminal gang has discovered this information and wants the satellite for its own corrupt purposes. THE GI JOE ADVENTURE TEAM® is given this mission: retrieve the satellite before the BLACK DRAGON gang can! The heroic ADVENTURE TEAM scrambles an AT jet and zooms toward the South Pacific location, as the gang of thieves heads for the same target. It's a heart-pounding race between good and evil in THE SEARCH FOR THE RADIOACTIVE SATELLITE!


Not for the first time, Hasbro has immortalized one of our own. (Barry Kay's name is printed on the computer in Danger of the Depths). In this story, the Russian satellite has the name D. Pisani 04, a flattering and envious homage to one of the more productive and prominent collectors out there whose AESOP stories have inspired many, myself included, to do more with the hobby.

The side of the box highlights the Timeless Collection theme. The other side has a list of contents.

Bed Head

This figure has a problem when removed from the box. These days it's fashionable to place an action figure's head in a formed piece of plastic that will hold the head firmly in place. This is usually not a problem for most figures, but when the figure has flocked hair, it can be a disaster.

In this picture you can see where the plastic form pressed down the flocked hair. It is not terribly visible from the front, but from any other angle it's just awful.

But stress not! There is a fix!

Boil a kettle. While the steam is pouring from the spout, hold Joe's head directly into the steam. Not too close, but close enough to get the heat and water on his head. His face should look like it's sweating profusely. Hold it there for a while, removing it from time to time (so as not to fully melt the glue holding the hair in place.)

After a few minutes you should notice the flocked hair standing back up to attention. DO NOT TOUCH the head while doing this.

After the heat goes down a bit, you may prod the hair a little, gently, with a soft toothbrush, to help it stand up. But this should only be done if you're experienced. You can remove the flocking easily this way if you're not careful.

However, with care and patience, you can end up with a perfectly good head with no "bed head".



This set has several problems for collectors:


That said, this set is a collector's dream. Even with the shortcomings mentioned above, this set is wonderful. At $15.00 (and I got mine on sale for less than $10.00 each) the price is so low as to make anyone want one of these. I'm hoping that kids (in the area around Meijers' stores) pick these up and find out just how wonderful GI Joe can be.

The Kung Fu Grip was a good idea. The old hard hands are useless and Kung Fu Grip with this new, resillient plastic, far outdoes the original KFG which used to break way too easily.

The outfit and gear are excellent if you wish to fill in a hole in a vintage collection or just want the feel of vintage at a great price. And for those who are looking for repro coffin boxes, this set pays for itself even without the figure and gear.

It's great to see the AT logo on the figure again (though I'm mystified why it wasn't used on the box like the past four Timeless Collection series.)

I have to say that if I was designing this set, the only things I would have changed would have been to add the logo to the box, use the older TC body, and flock the hair thicker.

In assessing this set, I must weigh price in and at that price, the set is well worth 8 out of 10.

Overall Rating


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