I was just about to start writing this entry, telling you the origins of the Crimson twins and how they came into my possession when it occurred to me, you might not be familiar with grading day.  It had never really occurred to me until just now that some of you may not have been treated to grading presents.  During my youth there were 4 times a year I could count on getting new toys, Christmas, my birthday, a little something in my Easter basket, and Grading day.  Just as it sounds Grading day was the last day of school each year when I came home with my report card and showed my parents that I had indeed “graded”.  Grading day was unique in that my dad would take us out to the mall and tell us to pick out our grading presents.  Unlike the 3 other Toy events, no wait was required.  I didn’t have to sit on some old guys lap at the mall and then wait for weeks to see if he listened to me.  This was seeing something on the shelf at Toys R Us and saying “I want that dad” and he would buy it and I would be tearing into it on the car ride home.  Grading present day made the whole school year worth it.  I got lots of great toys for grading.  One year it was a lotsa-legs stuffed caterpillar that I was pretty stoked about.  My most memorable grading present of all time was Tomax and Xamot.  These were the new twin brother commanders of Cobra’s elite Crimson Guard.  These twins from Corsica were acrobats, mercenaries, and business men.  More often than not when they appeared in the comics and cartoons there were wearing 3 piece suits and acting as the CEOs of Extensive Enterprises, the legal face of Cobra.

The neat gimmick about these figures is they’re not quite identical twins, in fact they’re the mirror image of one another.  They part their hair on different sides, wear their uniforms in reverse of one another, and even their names are the the reverse of one another.  The only distinguishing feature is Xamot had a large scar on his cheek.  To show off the mirror gimmick the two figures were packaged together (a Joe first) with reflective angled “mirrors” on each side of the package.  It was such a great piece of packaging that I would love to find a carded set again to display now.

It's tough to see but Xamot has a scar on the left

The figures each came with an identical gun and cool skyhook on a sting that we used to tie to our bedposts to have the twins zipping back and fourth into battle.  The designs of the figures were kind of awesome and ridiculous at the same time.  They definitely stood out amongst the Cobra forces with those nerdy hair cuts and silly sashes but the detail in their cobra themed knee pads was pretty impressive.  As a kid I always wished Hasbro would’ve released a version of the brothers in their suits.  They did eventually but not until I was all grown up.  As a kid I actually didn’t have both of these figures.  Doug and I split it down the middle and I owned Tomax while Doug owned Xamot.  He still owns his original while I picked up a used Xamot years later.  These figures were a blast to play with and they rate very highly on my nostalgia meter.  Our Joe-verse was never the same after we added these two into the mix, just awesome.  10 out of 10.

Best packaging ever?


About mike's collection

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

Posted on March 5, 2012, in G.I. Joe. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. I tried to get my mom to buy me a power ranger for grading once and she was like “that’s stupid, you never get anything for just doing what your suppose to do in the first place”. Lucky asshole.

    • Maybe I got presents and you didn’t because I graded at the top of the class. Top of the kindergarden class, yeah that’s right. Although that theory goes out the window though when I remember my sister Katie always got a grading present as well.

  2. KansasBrawler.

    I appreciated that the 25th comic pack with Tomax & Xamot did the reflective foil in the packaging as a nod to the old mirrored card stock of the originals.

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