MASTER OF DISGUISE
Zartan came with a black pistol, a chest shield, two knee pads, a face mask, and a black backpack.
The backpack opened up like a briefcase and his mask fit inside.
Zartan also came with a sheet of heat sensitive stickers - they were placed on the chest piece and each thigh pad. The stickers turned maroon when cold, aqua at room temperature, and blue when hot. These stickers are very fragile and many collectors will consider Zartan complete even if these stickers are missing.
Alias: Too numerous to list
Zartan can alter his skin color at will to blend in with his environment. He is also a master of make-up and disguise, a ventriloquist, a linguist (over 20 languages and dialects), an acrobatic-contortionist and a practitioner of several mystic martial arts. Very little is known of his background and origins, but most security agencies agree that he must have had European military academy training (probably St. Cyr).
Psychological Profile: Extreme paranoid schizophrenic. Grows into various multiple personalities to such an extent that the original personality becomes buried and forgotten.
There are two versions of Zartan's filecard. The first version references Zartan's schizophrenia and multiple personalities. After complaints that the filecard was misleading people into thinking schizophrenia and multiple personality disorder were one and the same, Hasbro changed the filecard and the second version does not mention either one.
Also, there are two versions of the heat sensitive stickers. The early version has color changing characteristics on only one side of the stickers. Later versions had color changing characteristics on both sides.
Zartan's body mold is entirely original and not made up from previous molds.
Zartan's head was re-used to create Zartan (v3) (2001). Zartan's upper arms and shoulder pieces, just above the swivel arm point, are also shared with Zandar (1986) and Zarana (1986).
Zartan's skin was made of thermal sensitive material that would change color in sunlight and heat. When Zartan's chest and arms were placed in direct sunlight, they turned blue. After removing him from sunlight, the color faded and returned back to its normal skintone. This same kind of material was used with Zandar (1986) and Zarana (1986).
An unusual side effect of the color changing gimmick is that Zartan's torso is welded shut. Ordinarily, the two halves of a G.I.Joe figure's torso are held together by a screw in the figure's back. However, the two halves of Zartan's torso are sonic welded together. Removing the screw has no effect on the figure.
Note that the figure's head only turns left and right - it does not allow the head to look up and down. The heads only turned left and right until the the swivel ball head that was introduced in 1985 (Series Four).
Zartan was sold in Europe boxed with the Chameleon in Action Force packaging. Later, Zartan and the Chameleon were sold in Europe in G.I. Joe packaging.
In 1986 in Japan, Zartan was released individually carded. For several years, it was the only country in which he was packaged without the Chameleon sled.
Funskool then released their own individually carded Zartan in 2001.
Reference InformationThe below information contains information about references to various collector's guides, Hasbro references, original retail prices, and other reference material related to Zartan (v1).
Original Retail: $4.20
Hasbro Product: 6064
RAHC/Rank & File: n/a
Lee's Guide: GIJ-84057
Desimone Guide: #60
Tomart's Guide: #GI5273 (filecard version 1), #GI5275 (filecard version 2)
The Ultimate Guide: Pg. 40 (1st Ed.), Pg. 61 (2nd Ed.)
Action Figure Archive Guide: n/a