I think like any true nerd does, I love crossovers. There’s nothing better than having two characters you love cross paths. Actually I should clarify, there’s nothing better than having two characters you love cross paths in a well told story. God knows I’ve seen some horrible crossovers in my time. I was one of those people who always hoped to see the Aliens battle the Predator on screen after the tease of seeing an Alien skull on display in Predator 2. It took a long time to happen and when it finally did…blech. Then they tried again a couple years later and the result was even worse. Those were such horrible crossovers that they have forever tainted two excellent franchises. I’ve seen Freddy battle Jason, Spider-Man meet Superman, Batman team-up with Spawn, and countless other crossovers over the years. One of my favorite cross-over events is anytime that the G.I. Joes hang with the Transformers. It’s pretty standard practice now but the first time that these two properties crossed paths it was a pretty big deal.
In the 80s Marvel published both the G.I. Joe and Transformers comics. They were the two biggest brands in boys toys at the time so it seemed a no-brainer to have the two groups meet. Marvel published a 4 issue mini-series where that exact thing happened. It didn’t go well for poor Bumblebee when the Joes blew him to hell for assuming him to be a threat. There were a few crossovers in the 80s cartoons as well though they were a bit more subtle than having Bumblebee’s guts sprayed all over the place. For example there was a human character that appeared in the Transformers cartoon on a few occasions named Marissa Faireborn who was supposed to be the adult daughter of Lady Jaye and Flint of the Joe team. The Transformers cartoon took place in the future so they were able to make sense of it.
Nowadays IDW holds the publishing rights to both properties so like Marvel did in the 80s they’ve had the two properties cross-over a couple of times. My favorite Joe/Transformers crossovers took place a couple years back when Devil’s Due published the Joe comics and Dreamwave published the Transformers. The two companies managed to sort through the red tape that usually prohibits these sorts of things and they produced annual crossovers for 3 years until they lost the licenses. Those were some really fun reads and I encourage you to track them down. In one of the crossovers Devils Due imagined a world where the iconic Joe vehicles like HISS tanks and Rattlers were actually the Transformers characters we love. Check out my GEARS review for a pic of him as a Cobra trouble bubble from that series.
Despite all these cross overs it wasn’t until the 2011 San Diego Comic-Con that the Joe designers first merged the two properties in toy form. They gave us a Joe Skystriker in Starscream deco. I thought this was amazing. It included a Cobra Commander pilot that even had a Megatron gun that fit in his hand. In 2012 I feel they did one better by making a Shockwave HISS tank complete with a Soundwave tape deck accessory. I can’t wait to see what they come up with for 2013.
Now while both of those toys fell under the G.I. Joe banner it was technically the Transformer designers that produced the first amalgamated Joe/Transformer toy a few years earlier. This here is the Decepticon Snow Cat. This is the only Transformer toy that I own that doesn’t have ties to the Generation 1 continuity. I pretty strictly collect Transformer characters from that period (1984-1991). I have no interest in Beast Wars, the live action movies or any of the other stuff that has come since. I do occasionally buy figures from those newer lines like this Soundwave from Transformers: Prime but at least he’s a new interpretation of a G1 character. Snow Cat comes from an anime inspired version of the Transformers called Transformers: Energon that was around back in 2004. I’ve never seen the cartoon and know absolutely nothing about it. Though when I saw this character online one day he immediately caught my eye. He might’ve slipped right past me if not for the name but this guy’s alt mode is clearly that of a G.I. Joe Snow Cat.
The Snow Cat is a fictional vehicle piloted by the Joes in Arctic missions. The first Snow Cat toy was released in 1985 and it included Frostbite as it’s driver. I thought it was totally awesome that Hasbro would sneak this homage to a classic G.I. Joe vehicle into the Transformers line without any acknowledgement of doing so. This was a treat for fans in the know. It took me a while to actually get my hands on one of these but I eventually scored one at Giant Robot Comics.
I quite like this toy but he stands out like a sore thumb on my Transformers shelf, at least to me, because he’s the only non-G1 character on there. His build and construction is different from all of the Classics and Generations figures that I have on display. I like his design. He’s built solid and he stands up on his own without problem. The face is pretty cool looking and the colors are nicely done. What I don’t care for is his beer gut. I feel there must’ve been a better way to design his robot mode that wouldn’t result in him looking like,…well me. I also find it weird that they would lend this design to a Decepticon character as opposed to an Autobot, seeing as the Snow Cat was a “good guy” vehicle.
The vehicle mode is a pretty decent representation of the Joe vehicle right down to the windshield wiper. Though I wish he had the yellow missile launcher on the back which would have absolutely cemented the connection to the original vehicle. Belly aside, this is a cool piece of cross-over toy history that largely went unnoticed. 7 out of 10.