In 2021, Greg Brown of Cotswold Collectibles put together a new set for GI Joe – except this one held a bit of a twist. He had been working on ideas for Super Joe, a 9-inch figure that Hasbro produced after the 12″ GI Joe line petered out. Super Joe was not quite as world-popular as the original GI Joe line, but people did enjoy the figures and the wonderful gear sets that were produced at the time.
Greg’s idea was to continue the Super Joe idea, but in 12″ scale.
So he had planned an Arctic Set, partly surrounding a blue Arctic dragon-like monster creature from Safari Limited.
The set would include a figure with flocked hair, a white snow suit with blue striped accents and fur-lined parka hood, white Kung Fu Grip hands, white boots, a white mask against the sheer arctic cold, a futuristic rifle. The box art was by David Howard.
He also wanted a revival of my Communication Backpack, which was repurposed from a metal Lowe’s Gift Card holder, that I had done some time earlier. Only this time it would hold a drone. With it, he wanted the extended Wrist Cuffs I had made for a space set some time before.
I also provided a blue clear resin eye piece for the face mask, which had no visor, but was open, which for an arctic set, was less than ideal. I can’t fault that mask, though. I’m not sure who made it, but it was very nice.
Mattsquatch Customs made the rifle, and a clever twist was that each boxed set would come with a randomly packed futuristic rifle, from, I believe, 3 options.
Greg wanted a drone to fit into a backpack, and he wanted the backpack to be a slight revision of the Lowe’s Gift Card pack Communications Backpack we had done a year or so earlier. He and I both had a small stock of those backpacks left, (and Lowe’s was no longer selling them) so we thought we would use the remaining stock in this set.
The original: This one came empty and was used only to store gear.
First, I needed a new drone. I wanted a new version that had fewer parts and was easier to assemble, as well as, I was kinda getting tired of the old one.
So I created this new drone and tried a few sizes:
It turned out that the biggest one was too large, the smallest one, but as is often the case with stories, the middle one was just right.
To make this fit into the backpack, I created an insert that would fit the drone, but also the two antennas that slot into the top of the backpack have slots for storage too.
I created a new cover for the Lowe’s logo at bottom right (here, covered by a widget), and made a screen for it.
A problem with the last batch of Communicator Backpacks always bothered me. I tried gluing the harness braces to the back of the aluminum pack, but I always worried it would not be strong enough to hold permanently. Experiments with Super Glue and Binary Epoxy both yielded iffy results. It may never be an issue, but I was able to pull them off with some force. Likely no one else ever has, but that’s just me.
So I went the extra step of updating those braces to hold a rivet. And I bought a rivet gun, rivets and rivet washers, to make damn sure these would never come off. In addition to the Super Glue (which was actually quite strong) I riveted the upper and lower braces onto the box.
The top one here is covered by the standard Huxter Labs harness, but you can see the rivet in the bottom brace. Both braces are identical parts, flipped.
Greg saw a cuff I had made previously for an Astronaut set I worked on. I extended the arm cuff to contain a screen that fits over the back of the hand. We used this for the Drone Control Cuff for this set, rather than going with the original.
With this equipment, the Arctic Danger set was complete.