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A Joe in the Sights: Snow Job

I hate to start this article off with an obvious one, but I am being sincere when I ask: how cool was Snow Job?

I know, but it’s true.

Snow Job was the G.I. Joe team’s first cold-weather specialist. The Joes liked to employ members who were exceptionally useful in certain environments, but completely useless elsewhere. Snow Job wasn’t going to be of any use in the desert. Snow Job sucked in the jungle. Snow Job’s sole function was to deploy into freezing situations and kill as many Cobra operatives as he could while staying relatively warm inside of his combat parka. “Combat parka” probably isn’t the technical term, but you just know he called it that.

What made Snow Job’s action figure so cool was the skis. Snow Job came with a set of skis that plugged onto his feet, and a pair of ski poles. On the surface, you might not think that’s cool. “Big deal, your toy can ski,” you are probably saying, possibly while vaping and wearing an ascot. But it was a pretty big deal, because at the time of Snow Job’s release, which was 1983, very few of my toys could ski. As in, absolutely none of my toys could ski. Nobody in Star wars skied. There were no Masters of the Universe figures that could ski.

I’m as surprised about that as you, now that I think about it.

But Snow Job came with a bitchin’ pair of skis. If you set up a large white blanket leading from the sofa down to the living room floor, you had an excellent snowy combat scenario for your brand new Arctic Trooper to shoot the bejeebles out of your Cobra troops.

That was cool because of James Bond.

Back in the 1980s, (and 60s and 70s and most of the 90s) ABC used to show a movie every Sunday night. They called it the ABC Sunday Night Movie, because the guy that named things was a damn idiot savante. They would show random movies, many of which were actually decent, but not good enough to let me stay up past my bedtime for, because my parents were bedtime tyrants. Also because trying to get me up on a Monday morning was like trying to wake up Rip Van Winkle after he dumped a bottle of sleeping pills down his throat.

I caught the first ten to fifteen minutes of so many movies, you guys. Like, I was a twentysomething before I knew what happened after the big rock chased Indiana Jones.

But there were a handful of movies that there was no way some arbitrary notion like “bedtime” was going to rob me of watching. Those were the Holy Trifecta of Star Wars, Superman and James Bond. Since we wouldn’t have a VHS player until George Sr. was in office, the only chance I had to watch movies like this was on the ABC Sunday Night Movie.

Therefore, James Bond.

And Roger Moore.

Roger Moore’s James Bond skied. He skied and shot the bad guys. And it was so damn cool. It was so cool that getting an actual toy that had skis and could shoosh his way down white blankets while pretending to bust a cap in Cobra forces was the coolest thing ever. Snow Job would shoosh this way and that, doing flips and all sorts of badass things that would probably lead to the agony of defeat on the Wide World of Sports, but in my living room meant victory.

Snow Job was so awesome that I had to get the Battle Bear, which was an armed and dangerous snowmobile, just because he was on the box art driving it. Even if he didn’t technically come with the Battle Bear, it was his and his alone. Nobody else could drive the Battle Bear down the snow-sovered sofa, because nobody else was properly dressed for the occasion. But Snow Job was.

Snow Job made a handful of appearances in the comic and cartoon, but was never a major character. If it snowed in the cartoon, Snow Job was usually there, along with Alpine. If it snowed in the comic…well, there weren’t a lot of arctic missions, to be honest, but on the off chance there was, he was there.

But none of that mattered, because it’s the living room battles where the toys really come alive, and Snow Job was unique. Nobody else could wear those skis. Nobody else could drive the Battle Bear. And if it snowed in real life, there was only one Joe that could traverse the makeshift hills and valleys of snow that could be made in the backyard.

Snow Job.

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