A lot of folks widely disdain the 90’s figures while saying that the 80’s were the “Golden Age” of G.I. Joe, but in my mind, 1987 was a potentially “off year” for the Joe line in general, and I’d almost argue it was the worst year of the entire classic line, being the biggest departure from what people had become used to, especially in stark contrast to the 1986 line that was pretty straight-laced military.
The most infamous inhabitants of the ’87 series were of course COBRA La, but even when you don’t consider those strange components of Joe lore, the rest of the line was somewhat shaky as well…in fact I would take pretty much any year in the 90’s compared to the ’87 series.
That’s not to say the entirety of ’87 was crap…far from it. While characters like Croc Master and Raptor get pretty widespread scoff, I actually really liked both figures and both characters, and thought they accomplished their tasks well. Crystal Ball was another one who most people laugh at (except for one of those really bizarre individuals who decides to army build him…some serious mental issues going on there… ;) ) but I didn’t mind that character either. As a kid, while I loved the Renegades, and the above mentioned figures, others like Jinx, Psyche Out, Sneak Peek, Fast Draw, and the Dress Blues Gung Ho really left me cold. They seemed to have some bizarre physical characteristics or very limited functionality, which did not suit my uses in the least. Other strange figures like Gyro-Viper and Sea Slug also did not excite me.
However, there were some nice figures in 1987 as well…and the one I’m reviewing here is one of the nicest, in my opinion. It’s really strange how Hasbro can produce some really strangely attired figures, but then we get a really nice officer-themed figure like this one. W.O.R.M.S. has gained much notoriety over the years for his cool uniform nicely adorned with medals and other officer-like trimming. Personally, I think the figure is well worth the praise he gets, somewhat strange helmet and all.
The figure’s proportions are pretty spot on, as they usually were back in the day, with a pretty simple non-elaborate mold that had limited detail, but each detail put in there was critical to the figure’s success. His head sculpt is a straight forward “COBRA facemask” look, with a determined stare and pretty normal looking face, which works perfectly.
His torso and arms are nicely bulky and muscular, typical of a mid-late eighties figure, and the realistic detail is well-placed and flawlessly executed. From the wrinkled fabric of the nicely sculpted jacket to the black leather chest strap and medals, the figure looks great and realistic. The collared part of the jacket is very nicely done as well, and to add a nice, crisp, COBRA-esque flair, he’s got some yellow forearm-length gloves, too.
In fact some of the best parts of this figure involve really minute details that aren’t immediately noticeable, but make a big difference when you get the figure close in hand. His silver skull belt buckle…his tall jackboots…the aforementioned medals and gloves. It’s all very nicely done and really compliments the figure perfectly.
As far as accessories go, W.O.R.M.S. is very lightly adorned, but they’re great as well. His helmet is downright strange, but very appealing. It’s a wide, round helmet that’s almost skull-themed with the large gaping eyeholes and thin “tooth-like” applications at the bottom of the face. The COBRA emblem on his forehead and the easily-lost antenna are nice final touches to the helmet, and while the figure looks neat enough without this antenna, he just looks perfect WITH it. Finding a W.O.R.M.S. complete with helmet is no tall order…but finding one for a reasonable price WITH the antenna can be a near-impossible task. They’re out there, but they’ll usually run you a pretty penny.
Honestly, I have one complete W.O.R.M.S. and a few incomplete ones, and while the complete one looks the best, obviously, the ones with just the helmets are nice enough compliments that it does not make for a big deal.
1987 was a questionable year when it all came to a head…but there were still a number of gems throughout the series, and the W.O.R.M.S. is easily one of the best. If you don’t own one, I recommend you try to track at least one down, and if you’re like me, you may want a few…though I don’t know if I’d recommend trying to find a few complete ones, because that could get pretty expensive pretty quickly.