Monday, October 17, 2022

31 Days of Toy Terror X: Dr. Mindbender from G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero: Battle Corps by Hasbro


   It's fun to mix in some random stuff during 31 Days of Toy Terror and Dr. Mindbender seems like a great inclusion. This version of Dr. Mindbender is from 1993 and is the second version of the character released. Dr. Mindbender was actually killed off in the Marvel Comics series but this figure tells a story of him rebuilding himself with cybernetic parts to cheat death. By 1993 Hasbro was using brighter colors for G.I. Joe figures and outfitting them with multiple weapons, especially in the Battle Corps subline. While I had (and still have) the classic Dr. Mindbender, this one was actually my favorite as a kid. He seemed more ready for battle and looked less like a weird professional wrestling gimmick. Let's take a look at this mad scientist who is back from the dead after the break...

The Facts:

Height: 3 3/4ths inches

Articulation: Hinged knees, balljointed hips, O-ring waist, swivel/hinge shoulders, bicep swivels, and a balljointed neck.

Accessories: 2 rifles, 2 submachine guns, pistol, knife, missile launcher, missile, and stand.

Year of Release: 1993

Original Retail Price: $3-$4 dollars

The Positives:

* While classic Dr. Mindbender was shirtless, wearing only purple pants, silver suspenders, and a cape, this version of the master of mind control is outfitted in yellow cargo pants and a purple shirt. He's also covered with gear that's vital for his life support systems. The detail is excellent here and while there aren't many colors used, most of the techy details on Mindbender are painted yellow to standout from his purple shirt. 

* The headsculpt is good, too, though it actually kind of looks like Gung-Ho, too. His head and right eye have been augmented with all kids of gear, making Mindbender look kind of like a Lobot 2.0. 

* His wrists are also covered with miniature computers and control panels jam packed with gadgets and gizmos. 

* Like pretty much every other vintage G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero figure, Dr. Mindbender is quite well articulated. Other than the O-ring waists (which can be easily replaced), most vintage G.I. Joe figures are fairly durable expect around the crotch piece and the thumbs. While they're not truly comparable to modern figures, it was pretty impressive back in the day how poseable G.I. Joe figures were. 

* The Battle Corps figures came with multiple reused weapons on a plastic sprue or weapon tree, so Dr. Mindbender comes with a small arsenal of goodies. First up is the laser rifle that originally came with Deejay now molded in yellow. It's an unusual looking weapon but it does kind of fit Dr. Mindbender's technologically advanced persona. 

* Next up is the same suppressed Uzi that came with Snake Eyes v3, though here it's molded in yellow. While yellow is a strange choice of color for some weapons this is a really nice weapon sculpt. The hood on the back is cool if you want to make a sling or something for it. 

* Mindbender's second laser rifle is a yellow remold of the one that came with Sci-Fi version 2. I like this weapon when it's attached to a laser pack, like Sci-Fi, but it's an odd looking weapon on it's own. The sight on top is cool, however, as is the vertical front grip. 

* Voltar's submachine gun is also included here in yellow instead of gold, giving Dr. Mindbender another more realistic weapon. 

* This pistol was originally included with the Iron Grenadiers in red, so I'm assuming this is a M.A.R.S. specialty. It does fit the cybernetic, technologically augmented personality of Dr. Mindbender. 

* I do really like this knife, too. The packaging calls it a "customized lightning dagger" and it seems like a pretty nasty tool. This knife originally came with the Hydro-Viper but it was recolored and reused many times.

* Most of the Battle Corps figures came with a missile launcher of sorts and Mindbender's is the "Driller" gun. It looks like a combination missile launcher with a small Gatling gun mounted underneath. It's large but not overly large where the figure can't hold it. 

* It comes with one missile that really fires quite strongly. Mine still works great and I've had it since it came out. There's also a clip on the back. At one point I thought it was supposed to clip on Dr. Mindbender's arm but considering he has large devices on his wrists, that can't happen. I actually believe it's supposed to hold the missile for when you're ready for battle. It fits in securely. 

* Last up is a standard battle stand, also in yellow. I do love that Hasbro started including these with most figures in 1992. Prior to that you usually only got them with accessory packs and such. 

The Negatives:

* So...Dr. Mindbender does come with a lot of stuff including five firearms, but the fact that they're molded in yellow plastic does make them a little less cool. Sometimes it's cool when a character has a uniquely colored weapon, but yellow seems weird for most weapons. It works for the lightning knife, though. 

* The handles on most of these guns are quite thick and it definitely takes some work to get an accessory into the hands of a figure. Remember the crushing feeling you got whenever a G.I. Joe lost their thumb? If there was a weakness with these figures, the hands were it. My Dr. Mindbender is fine but it still feels like I was rolling the dice when I put a weapon in Mindbender's hand for taking these pics. 

   I've always really liked this version of Dr. Mindbender and while his weapons are bright yellow, he sure does come with a lot of them. He's a very cool redesign, something that the Battle Corps subset did do well. The colors were odd to tie in with the early 90s passions for bright color schemes and neon, but the designs were excellent. Plus, it adds a little something else to Dr. Mindbender's story after his presumed death. He's back from the dead with a vengeance. This is a Great and a 1/2 figure, though it's a variant that has yet to be revisited in any other G.I. Joe line. 

This is the first figure of Dr. Mindbender I've reviewed on the site. For more G.I. A Real American reviews check out the following:
General Hawk v2 

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