Snakes… Why Did It Have To Be Snakes?
March 24, 2009

In what could only be called a massive disappointment, Hasbro launched a new line of action figures based on characters from the Indiana Jones movies last year. The manufacturer was disappointed in lackluster sales that quickly resulted in retailers pulling their support. Collectors who enjoyed the toys were disappointed in the line’s quick demise. Others were simply disappointed in the figures themselves, seeing them as substantially inferior to other lines in the 3¾" scale. Count me among that final group. While my local Wal-Mart can’t seem to give these away at $1.00 each, I found a way to actually make use of something from this now defunct line.

Out making the rounds on the first night these were unloaded from delivery trucks in my area, I wanted to like them. At the very least, I was going to pick up an Indiana Jones for my collection. Upon seeing them in person, however, I couldn’t bring myself to buy any of it. Sloppy paint applications ruined what looked like decent sculpts shown in photos from Hasbro’s display at the 2007 San Diego Comic-Con. The final result was a selection of Indiana Jones figures that bore no resemblence to the actor whose likeness they were intended to capture, and they certainly didn’t live up to what I have come to expect from Hasbro. It’s not like this was the company’s first attempt at producing a figure based on Harrison Ford. What started off with so much potential ended up being something I still won’t collect for a buck.

But then came the G.I. JOE Collectors’ Convention in Dallas last July, and I spotted a Cobra cargo truck (as seen here). AFI forum member Primetime told me it was one of Hasbro’s customs, a repaint of the truck from the Indiana Jones line. It was intriguing, and when Target cut the prices of the Indy toys late last year, I bought one of them to bring home for a paint job. Mine is a bit different from Hasbro’s effort shown at JoeCon, but here’s the final product. Oh, and please excuse my total lack of artistic ability.

I took apart the truck, painted the chasis blue, used some silver on the "metal" pieces and the wheels, and then went back over that with some black to make it look worn. I also painted the gray tires black and then used some brown to give them a dirty appearance. Put it all back together, add some Cobra decals from and these Cobra crates submitted by HELLJESTER on JoeDios,  and voilà! You’re ready to roll. Of course, I did have two extra screws when I was finished, but I’ll keep my fingers crossed. Hopefully my Cobra Troopers will treat it better than Dr. Jones did in Raiders Of The Lost Ark.

So although the Indiana Jones line isn’t even something I’d want to collect for a dollar, I did manage to get something out of it. Now I wish I had bought two of these when they were on sale, but I haven’t seen another one at retail for months. Never know what you have until it’s gone. But if you collect other 3¾" lines and want something different for your displays, try some of the Indiana Jones vehicles and accessories, especially now that the prices are so low.

Jon "Caped Crusader" Edwards
Born in April of '77, Jon quite literally grew up with STAR WARS. His mother took him to see it barely two months later and started buying him the figures before he was even old enough for them. G.I. JOE and Super Powers came along in the '80s, and an action figure addict was created. The moment he decided he was "too old" to play with his toys, he started to collect carded figures, beginning with Super Powers. No longer in possession of the toys or comics of his childhood, he rediscovered collecting with The Phantom Menace, and has moved on from STAR WARS to JLU, DC Direct, G.I. JOE, Marvel Universe, and various characters from movies, television shows, and comics.
Read other articles by Jon "Caped Crusader" Edwards.





  • ZAXILLA2 says:

    Looks cool, thanks for sharing! I too can’t bring myself to purchase the Jones figures for one dollar. I did pick up a single indy figure last year, but that’s it. thanks again!

  • Danny Cantina-Dan says:

    That’s really sweet, CC! Good job on the custom.

    I agree with your comments related to the Indy line. All I’d add is the figures did get better with subsequent waves. The TOD Willie is actually a pretty great figure with a good likeness. And the temple guards are rockin’ figures. But the first couple waves were completely disheartening.

    You’ve made lemonade out of lemons!

  • Yeah, I’ve seen some of the later figures, but it was too late by then. If they couldn’t deliver a quality Indy, there was no point for me. Another film release is the only thing that could get Hasbro back in the 3¾” game with this property, but I hope someone like McFarlane or NECA does a 6″ line at some point.

  • kevfett says:

    Nicely done! That looks like something Cobra might use early in the Marvel run. Which happens to be my favorite era for GI Joe.

    • Yeah, the Marvel run is easily my favorite version of G.I. JOE. In fact, my entire army of Cobra Troopers consists of the comic-style figures from the Cobra Legions five-pack.

  • Howard the Duck says:

    Yes, while most of the Indy figures were junky and inferior, the Last Crusade wave was very good, and the final wave, Temple of Doom was supremely awesome.

    Hasbro has yet to take any sort of blame with this line’s demise. They blame us collectors and the kiddies who didn’t want to buy inferior and substandard product in the first place.

    • Well, I don’t think Hasbro is ever going to come out and say, “Boy, we sure mucked up these things, didn’t we?” But even if the earliest figures had looked as good as the later ones, I still think it was too ambitious of a line. It was too big to be exclusively collector-driven, and I don’t think there was ever a chance of it being popular with children. That’s why I’d like to see a smaller company acquire an affordable license for limited releases in 6″ scale.

  • fresh monkey says:

    Nice job Jon. Do you still see any of those $1.00 Indy figures floating around? If so drop me a line ( I’m still looking for a few of them and could use the help.

    • They still had some last night, but the only remaining figures are Raiders Indy with no jacket, Cairo Swordsman, “Monkey Man”, Mutt Williams, René Belloq, and Ugha Warrior. I think those are the early releases, and most likely stuff anyone interested in the line already has. If you need any of them, however, I’d be happy to pick them up for you.

  • Nice job. If Indy vehicles were available here for less than $25 I might consider grabbing one and following suit. My TRU still has dozens of the figures on ‘clearance’ for $5.

    • Yeah, Toys Я Us has them for $5 here, too, and the “exclusive” set they have is still full price. I suppose they’re content to let them hang there for the next couple of years.

  • Hellpop says:

    I’ve seen the ROTLA (is that the official abbreviation?) based on the opening of the movie, and have been sorely tempted to pick that up. It’s a shame, because I think some of the vehicles were actually pretty neat. But I think you’re 100% right in that they overestimated the market for Indiana Jones (and I’m including George Lucas and Steven Spielberg in that!).

    • Banking on children for sales with this line was a huge gamble, and Hasbro lost. I’m part of the collector market they had hoped to attract, and Hasbro couldn’t draw me in with early releases they rushed into production to have merchandise at retail prior to the film’s opening. Of course, even if every collector like me had been blown away by the toys, it wouldn’t have made a bit of difference, because kids generally weren’t interested in the property. Retailers love a movie line, though, so if Spielberg, Lucas, and Ford make another one, I’d expect to see this line return, despite whatever lessons should have been learned.

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