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Battle Corps Rangers Shipwreck
"We've all lamented the loss of the 1995 Battle Corps Rangers line over the years. The more militaristic slant and return to some fan favorite characters certainly looked to be some of the nicest pieces offered in the 90's era GI Joe lineup."
- Article and Photos by Kevin Watts
In the last several years, more material on this era has been surfacing. While the line certainly looked fantastic from what has been shown, Hasbro would have continued to use many of the same tactics and methods present in the previous Battle Corps years. Rampant repaints and parts reusage would have been prevalent, with some seemingly distinctive molds used to represent multiple characters, similar to examples from the modern line (Spy Troops Chief Torpedo to DTC Low-Light immediately springs to mind).
The classic Battle Corps Rangers poster art, with Footloose and Flint charging uphill and the Vortex in the background, has become the "sigh" of internet fandom when we think of what might have been. In this particular case, we can show that the Footloose mold would have also been used for another character, a new version of Shipwreck, in less traditional colors of beige and neon orange.
Shown in this article is both a 2up (double sized, same as the original sculpt), fully painted, resin bust of the proposed Shipwreck figure, and an image of the artwork that would have appeared on the cardback for the figure upon it's release. Also shown is a comparison of an original 1:1 resin prototype of the Footloose/Shipwreck mold.
Now, the 2up representation shows only the head and chest because at this point in time, Hasbro was reusing a lot of original parts from older figures to keep costs down. This was evident for the previous 2-3 years of the battle corps line, and is nothing new here. He would have been painted in somewhat standard Battle Corps colors, earth tone with a splash of neon, and shows a distinct departure from the previously shown Footlose artwork. It looks as though the Shipwreck would have reused the 1991 Dusty arms and the 1989 Scoop legs, judging by the cardback image.
The cardback image is a fully painted image of the figure, in an exciting action pose, and clearly shows the colors, parts and accessories Shipwreck would have come with. This image is further legitimized by its appearance in a 90's era Licensee Style Guide, on a 1995 cardback that is similar to the later 1994 cardbacks. Images from this style guide have been floating around for several years, as there is at least one known to be in the hands of a prominent GI Joe collector.
The 1:1 version of this unpainted sculpt has been copied and circulated over the years by several custom casters, but an original Hasbro in-house resin is shown here to illustrate the difference, both in quality and execution. The original Hasbro resins have metal rods in place of the aligning tabs in either flank of the figure. Also not often seen is the sheer size difference between a 2up and a standard sized figure. Saying "double the size" is one thing, but a 7 inch tall version of a GI Joe figure really is cool beyond words.
Surely, we all would have wanted the vintage Real American Hero line to go on forever. But all good things must end, and being able to find and archive interesting items like these provide a great addendum to an already legendary line, and keep our collecting interests sparked.