G.I. Gary Classic Toy Review- 1987 Raptor, the Cobra that’s always in Halloween Costume!
1987 is a love it or leave it year for G.I. Joe. Many fans feel it left behind the military aspect for fantasy. One of the examples commonly pointed to is the Cobra character Raptor. Being that it’s Halloween, and this guy is in a bird costume, perfect time for a review!
As a figure, Raptor comes with all that you see above. He’s got his backpack/wings and his falcon. The wings are cloth and they are sandwiched between plastic to form the backpack. The falcon has claws that are designed to clip on his wrist. The figure has lots of details in the mold with feathers all over the backpack and shoulders and upper arms. He’s got mean pecs and abs and a silver falcon codpiece in case you hadn’t guessed his fetish from the rubber bird hat glued to the head. A silver pistol molded to the left leg is a nice touch, but really no replacement for an actual pistol that he could be holding. The sculpting is pretty intricate, and shows that a lot of work went into the molds. The details are many, and they do diminish with heavy play.
Aside from the usual G.I. Joe frailties, there a couple things to watch out for with him. Silver paint likes to wear off, especially the cod piece and the little claws on the boots. The wrist holes on the wings can be torn, and the fabric attracts dirt like a magnet. His rubber bird hat can eventually come unglued. Finally, the falcon’s claws are commonly busted or missing. There is a good side to Raptor, though. Nice, complete examples are cheap. Because he’s unpopular, very easy to score him under $20 shipped, even maybe under $15.
Code Name: Raptor
File Name: Unknown
Raptor was a yuppie tax consultant who took up falconry as a pastime and soon became obsessed with the avian blood-sport. He discovered that by breeding bigger and stronger birds and equipping them with steel-tipped talons, they were capable of attacking much more profitable game. Caught poaching on a Cobra mink ranch by DESTRO, Raptor joined the ranks of the Cobra legions and began work on developing a bird of prey strong enough to attack a G.I. Joe.
“Raptor doesn’t have any delusions about what he is even if he dresses up in that bird suite of his and spends most of his time in a giant bird cage. Those are means to an end, and the bottom line for Raptor is his non-taxable profit margin”
Now lets talk about the character. A quick look at his filecard gives you a sense of a guy in a mid life crisis. The filecard reminds you that this became an obsession for him, as if the whole outfit wasn’t clear enough. When you get to the end, you find out he spends most of his time in a giant bird cage, which takes an over the top character and it elevates to the next level! However, it’s interesting to note that he’s a former tax consultant concerned with profit margin. These concerns would make him at home with the Crimson Guard and the Crimson twins, Xamot and Tomax, but I’m sure the obsessed Raptor is out on the fringes for that crew. Destro needs to rethink his recommendations, though. All the Joes need is some bird shot in their shotguns to take care of this guy.
Raptor missed out appearing in the cartoons debuting in 1987, not making it into the movie. However, he did have limited exposure in the comic. He’s notable there because he was with Fred VII when Fred shot Cobra Commander in the back and helped dispose of the body (issue 61). When the Commander returned in issue 98, Raptor was thrown into a landlocked freighter and buried alive with others that the Commander labeled traitors.
The falcon is perched in his hand, wasn’t about to risk snapping that claw on the wrist!
So overall, is this a must have figure? Certainly not. A minor character in the mythos, and an outlandish design, he’s better for the completionist rather than the casual collector.
Until next time!