One of the great things about G.I. Joes that really made them stand out from the pack of other toys back in the 80s was the inclusion of a file card on the back of every package.  These file cards were nearly all written by the same guy, Larry Hama who also happened to write nearly every issue of the G.I. Joe comic book.  Larry infused each character with a unique personality in just a few quick paragraphs.  The file cards included the character’s real name, their primary and secondary military specialty, their birthplace, a blurb about what lead them to the G.I. Joe team and finally a quote from a ranking officer.  Frostbite here for example’s real name is Farley S. Seward and he hails from Galena, Alaska.  The reason I bring up the file cards on Frostbite’s review is that I think they should make a change to his military specialties.   His primary is listed as Motor Vehicle Driver and his secondary as Armor when I would say that master of disguise is clearly his calling.  This is the 12th and most recent version of Frostbite and he has gone through more changes over the course of those 12 figures than other Joes who have had 40 versions released.  The first version of Frostbite that I got in 1985 featured a thick black beard and a friendly smile.  He reminded me of a guy my Dad worked with who used to come by the house now and then named Bob Bilodeau who also sported a thick black beard.  My brother Doug had a G.I. Joe named Breaker that had a brown beard like my Dad so we used to imagine sometimes that we had unofficial action figures of my Dad and Bob.  I’m not sure what became of Mr. Bilodeau as we moved from Ontario to Nova Scotia and I never saw him again.  Nor should he ever have crossed my mind ever again as I was a little kid and he was basically a stranger but because of this figure I will always remember his name.  Anyway, the second time Frostbite was released in 1988 as a member of the Joe sub-team Tiger Force he was a ginger all of the sudden with a thick orange beard.  By the third release he had a brown beard and then for 4, 5 and 6 he lost the beard completely and just changed up the color of his uniform.  For version 7 he got a complete facelift as for some reason Hasbro slapped the name Frostbite on a figure that is clearly Snow Job, another one of Joe’s arctic troopers.  The beard comes and goes again a few more times and then we end up with this fully masked bad ass looking dude who other than the fact that he’s dressed warmly looks nothing like the Frostbite of old.

Despite all of the sloppy naming and lack of consistency by Hasbro that preceded it we actually ended up with a pretty cool figure here.  It’s true that he doesn’t harken back memories of Bob Bilodeau in the slightest but he is wearing a full mask so we could imagine that there’s a thick black beard under there I suppose.  This figure is comprised of the body of Arctic Snake-Eyes with the head of Beachhead.  Both of those were cool figures to begin with so mashing them together works.  I like the fact that he has green pants as there have been many Arctic Joe troopers over the years and most of them get stuck in head to toe white.  The green gives him some much needed color but avoids being garish and retains some realism.  This version of Frostbite came packed with the Ice Dagger which is a pretty cool vehicle but I wish he came with at least a pistol of some sort.  Frostbite had zero accessories, the gun in the pic was added by the photographer.  One pro of these fully masked Joes is that you could use them as standard troops and army build them instead of using him as Frostbite at all.  I’m still hoping for a modern version of Frostbite with his classic 1985 look.  6 out of 10.

1985 Bob Bilodeau version


About mike's collection

I'm a dude that collects toys and writes. I figured I'd combine my hobbies.

Posted on January 24, 2012, in G.I. Joe. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. I had Frostbite in Tiger Force form, I believe with a vehicle which was quite awesome. Frostbite was never a favourite, but I think I liked him better bearded than with the ski mask. The masked guys tended to look cooler and be favourites, but what kept them cool was that there were normal scrubs like Frostbite with their fatherly beards.

    • I’ve liked most of Frostbite’s looks. I think he looked coolest in the mid 2000s during the new sculpt era when he was beardless. The thing is though without the black beard he’s just not Frostbite to me. Fatherly beards represent.

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