Sunday, January 1, 2023

Wrapping Up 2022: Dr. Mindbender from G.I. Joe: Classified Series by Hasbro

    Happy New Year! It might be 2023 but there are plenty of cool toys from 2022 that I just received over the last month which I still need to review. I've still got about five G.I. Joe: Classified Series figures left to review and today I'm looking at Dr. Mindbender. Originally released as part of the 1986 assortment of A Real American Hero figures, Dr. Mindbender became a successor to Dr. Venom, a prominent character in the early comics who never had a vintage action figure. While Dr. Venom was just a guy in a lab coat, Dr. Mindbender is... well, something else. Black leather boots. Purple pants. A silver harness. A metal codpiece. A cape. A mustache. A monocle. All of that and no shirt! He's out there and while Hasbro has updated his appearance in the traditional 1/18th scaled line over the years, for the Classified Series they went with his vintage outfit. He's a deluxe boxed figure who was available as an SDCC exclusive while also being pre-sold through Hasbro Pulse. Mine showed up at the end of November but there's been so much cool stuff around that I'm just now getting to him. Let's take a look
at Dr. Mindbender after the break...

The Facts:

Height: 6 3/8ths inches

Articulation: Swivel/ hinge ankles, boot swivels, double hinged knees, swivel thighs, ball jointed drop down hips, ball jointed waist, mid-torso hinge, butterfly pecs, swivel/hinge shoulders, bicep swivels, double hinged elbows, swivel/hinge wrists, balljointed neck base, hinged neck, and a ball jointed head.

Accessories: Cape, pistol, injector, prod, laser rifle, hose, generator, two canisters, two domes, zombie hand, brain, 2 piece skull, and four electrodes.

Non-Scalper Price: $42 dollars

The Positives:

* I've mentioned it in my reviews a number of times, but here's how I feel about updates in this line: Figures with a more outlandish look, like Dr. Mindbender, can definitely get away with fewer touches of modernization than can, say, a standard solider like Dusty. Dr. Mindbender was funky in the 1980s and he's funky now. Purple pants, metal suspenders, and no shirt are quite the look for a professor of pain. I'm not sure what the original inspiration for Dr. Mindbender was but he definitely stands out and Hasbro did a nice job of capturing the look and spirit of the vintage toy. Dr. Mindbender was a character who I had hoped that Hasbro would "classify" and innovate the design for, like they did in the Battle Corps. Joe vs. Cobra, and Valor vs. Venom eras, but what we've got is still a very strong figure. The suspenders are a separate piece fitted over his bare torso. This guy is ripped!

* The headsculpt is really good. Dr. Mindbender has a steely gaze, a wild handlebar mustache, and a really cool monocle. Seriously, that monocle is excellent and just looks fantastic on the figure. It even makes his right eye look a bit larger because of the lens.

* When I first saw this guy I thought Hasbro added these armored bracers to Dr. Mindbender's forearms but it turns out they're on the vintage figure, too (which I still own from childhood). They're far more ornate here, though, and look like they're provide some pretty solid protection against a melee attack.

* Articulation wise, there isn't a whole lot new to say: Dr. Mindbender has the standard Classified Series articulation which is excellent. He has a fantastic range of motion and he's a durable, fun figure. The Classified Series has been my favorite current action figure line since it came out in 2020 and it's because of the quality of the figures that I keep coming back.

* Since Dr. Mindbender is a deluxe release, Hasbro did include some nice accessories. He's outfitted with lots of unique gear and lab equipment that makes perfect sense for him. First up is his electrical prod. The vintage figure came with this accessory and it's largely unchanged, though here the tip gets a silver paint app and the hose is now a more detailed, flexible piece of rubber which attaches at the base of the prod and the smaller, portable generator.

* One of the doctor's new weapons looks like an old fashioned ray gun. Since Mindbender is a master of mind control, perhaps this is some sort of control ray? Or an experimental weapon of sorts. Or an electric firing gun. I love the detail and how it's able to plug into the hose and generator as well.

* The vintage Dr. Mindbender came with a massive generator but this one has a much smaller generator. It's portable and can attach to the back of his belt for easy storage, something the vintage generator couldn't do.

* Another new accessory is an injection gun. It looks like what you'd use to inject serums and fluids and stuff into your test subject. It's a simpler sculpt but looks like a piece of lab equipment. The little storage tank on top also gets a silver paint hit.

* The vintage Dr. Mindbender shared his thigh piece with Mutt, so there was a pistol sculpted on his right hip. He also came with a .45 caliber pistol as well. That's been recreated here and it's decent, although a more unusual looking pistol. It looks like the vintage accessory, which was always kind of hard to identify if it had real world roots or not.

* The pistol stores easily in the leather holster on Dr. Mindbender's right hip. It's attached to his belt and wraps around his leg, so it stays firmly in place.

* Those are some serious boots. They look like they're made of leather (the texturing is really good) and they've got buckles on them. He's also sporting a massive metal codpiece. The vintage toy has this bizarre design element as well and I'm glad it has been retained.

* If Dr. Mindbender gets released at retail, either as a standard figure or as a Retro Collection release, the odds are that we might see the previous accessories with him. The following stuff will likely be unique to this release. First up is a taller canister (about 1 3/4ths inches) with a translucent dome and a zombified hand inside. While the awesome Dave Rapoza artwork on the back of the package shows off the quest to build Serpentor, this piece doesn't seem like it's intended for Serpentor...

* The dome pops off to reveal a blue, zombified hand. Is this a reference to the Zombie Vipers and the Compound Z storyline from the 30th Anniversary line? I'm down with that. I'd love some Zombie Vipers again. The hand looks really cool and has some tubes in it, perhaps keeping it animated.

* Next up is a skull. It has some fabric wrapped around it, like funerary linens, and there's a crack in the skull.

* Open up that skull and you can find a brain. It's still in decent shape, too. Whose brain is it? It's pretty gnarly.

* The brain can fit inside the smaller canister. Just pop the dome on and you've got a brain in a canister for Dr. Mindbender to work with. There are even four tiny electrodes that pug into the outside of the canister for even more science fun!

* Dr. Mindbender has a cape. It's a separate piece and it's made from a couple different materials, with a pleathery looking bottom and a more traditional fabric mantle.

The Negatives:

* Unfortunately, the cape is the weakest part of the figure. It just looks off to me, and it's not just because it's missing the giant Cobra logo that the vintage toy had. It's just an odd looking cape and looks kind of cheap for some reason.

* It also has stained the figure. Right out of the box my Dr. Mindbender has back stains on his lower neck and the tops of his biceps. It must be something in the dye from the upper part of the cape. That's a real frustrating issue and it seems to have affected all of the figures from what I've seen. That's a real bummer.

   Despite the weird issues with the cape, I really do like Dr. Mindbender. No, he doesn't have a truly updated look, but his vintage work still works really well for the weirdo he is. That headsculpt is excellent and the accessories are really, really fun. I love stuff that kind of adds to the storyline of the property and the artifacts and science equipment definitely do. It's too bad that his cape just isn't as good as it could be. The damage is hidden, though, and I'll try to find a way to remove the staining if possible. He's still a Great figure, though he now seems to be completely unavailable. Hasbro wouldn't leave a character like this left a just a limited release, right?

If you're a fan of Dr. Mindbender I've also reviewed the G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero Battle Corps version of Dr. Mindbender.

For more G.I. Joe Classified Series reviews check out the following:


  1. I'm not really into GI Joe, but these outrageous characters like Dr. MindBender really tickle my fancy. Him and the Dreadnoks(noughts?) capture the craziness of the old line nicely.

    1. I'm definitely more of a fan of the more typical military characters, but , yeah, these crazy guys like Mindbender, the Dreadnoks, Raptor, and Serpentor definitely help give G.I. Joe it's unique flavor.

  2. Just nice to see you actually forking out the money like the rest of us who don't have bin stores. Unless SDCC is not a bin store...

    1. Haha. Yeah, I had to pay the retail price for this guy, just like the common folk. I did, however, recently acquire three brand new Star Wars Black Series figures there for $4 bucks each and a Python Patrol B.A.T. as well. Oh, and the latest series of Fortnite figures. It's amazing!

  3. Unless SDCC IS a bin store I mean

  4. Dr. Mindbender works out and eats right between his experimentations. If I was going to wear metal suspenders and no shirt, I'd make sure I was swole, too.


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