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A Joe in the Sights: Pathfinder

Pathfinder came with a weed-wacker. A WEED-WACKER. My man found a path, all right. He found it right through Cobra’s face.

GI Joe figures came with all kinds of instruments of destruction, from heavy machine guns to missile launchers to whatever insanity Heavy Duty carried at crotch level. There were swords and knives, machetes and spears. But Pathfinder came with a Weed-wacker.

Sure, you could say that it was only to keep with his jungle clearance shtick. His file card was all about how he liked making trails. To do such a thing, you need a strong industrial grade weed-wacker.

You know what else you need a strong industrial grade weed-wacker for?

Wacking through Cobra trooper’s helmets, fool.

And that is what he did.

But wait, there’s more!

Not content to mow down Cobras like the weeds they were, he also had a pair of hip-mounted belt-fed machine guns. I guess he took a page from the Predator handbook and used machine guns for foliage clearance as well as the weed-wacker.

Pathfinder was a 1990 Joe, which was the year I started collecting Joes again after a very brief year-long cessation. He had a very unique look among a ton of unique-looking Joes. His “camo” pants are very vivid, with vibrant turquoise and orange. He’s got a safari hat like Recondo, sunglasses, a completely unsubtle orange vest, and hips of doom.

I’m pretty sure I didn’t know anything about Pathfinder when I got him, so it was more than likely the fact that I was drawn to his hip-mounted machine guns. Sometimes cool weaponry was all it took to ensure a purchase. But as cool as the hip-guns are, it was his Weed-wacker of Neverending Pain that ratcheted up the cool level to heretofore unreached apexes.

Pathfinder came out at the right time to show up in the DiC version of the GI Joe cartoon. The DiC years were a little raggedier than the Sunbow years. They were still enjoyable but there was a noticeable dip in writing quality. I’ve only watched the DiC years once. I don’t remember Pathfinder weed-wacking a Cobra’s face off, but I might have missed it.

Pathfinder’s unique look managed to set him apart from the rest of the 90 Joes, and despite the fact that I’d only be collecting the line for another year or two, proves that the character creation wasn’t losing its spark.

1 thought on “A Joe in the Sights: Pathfinder

  1. ‘90 is a fascinating year in that it felt like this bizarre, ephemeral return to form for the brand before getting once more pulled into exaggerated, over-designed ridiculousness. Pathfinder stands as a great example, but the whole roster was fantastic for the year. Except Sub-Zero. His hood looks stupid.

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