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Sinbad – Great, Great, Great, Great, Grandfather of the Adventure Team

Adventure Team Sinbad – Legend of the Seven Seas represents a rare confluence of needs between Hasbro and DreamWorks.  DreamWorks had a new boy-targeted animated film they were creating. Also at the time, Hasbro was courting DreamWorks to produce a GI Joe movie – which later was made through Paramount Pictures.

DreamWorks often worked well in advance of films to entice toy companies to buy into a new property and would even give advanced presentations to major retailers like Wal-Mart and Toys r Us to build enthusiasm.  In this case, DreamWorks commissioned a model of a GI Joe version of Sinbad along with a large cyclops to battle it.  This helped Hasbro see the potential fit of Sinbad into GI Joe.  DreamWorks also suggested the positioning of Sinbad as the original Adventure team member, which seemed a good fit since Hasbro has just relaunched the Adventure Team name.

For those of us who grew up watching the Classic Ray Harryhausen films such as “The Seven Voyage of Sinbad,” “The Golden Voyage of Sinbad,” and “Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger,” Sinbad was definitely an adventurer.  The stop-motion monsters were the best part (….besides the hot, scantily dressed women).

The original model from DreamWorks was highly detailed and much more realistic. Look at his crossbow grappling hook launcher and scimitar! This version of Sinbad even wore ancient Middle Eastern camouflage pants. However, for the final figures, they aimed it a more animated look with flatter colors.

The head was the primary part that skews the look towards animation.  If you have not seen the sculpting, check out this image of the original wax head.  It is very fine work.

As with many GI Joes and to offset the extra overhead of a license, we used as much existing tooling as possible to be able to afford tooling the new monsters that Sinbad would be fighting.

GI Joe Sinbad vs Roc

One of the issues in creating these figures, entailed not only designing to a price point, but also to be able fit all the parts into the package.  Package sizes are predetermined for assortments early, so if Sinbad was to fit in as part of the Alpha and Bravo assortment refreshes, he had to fit the packages.  That is why each of the concept models was shown it the correct box proving up front it would fit.  Getting the monster to be the right size was a tricky balance to make it as large as affordable, but still fit.

Many times in conversations or panels, I have had people cringe when explaining how we made a concept model from preproduction parts or destroyed another concept model to make a new one. If you look carefully at the wings on the Roc, they were preproduction, unpainted wings from the Princess of Power Swift wind.  (I can already hear the groans). I used those clear wings to help show we really needed to shoot the bird in clear and add paint over the top to obtain that icy look.

The original model had the full parka and cape of the animation but both were replaced with the molded sweater torso for cost. We included knives to be used for climbing the ice as added fun.

GI Joe Sinbad vs Serpens

Finally, GI Joe had a big enough snake to wrestle. The one has a wire inside to wrap him around Joe.  There is also gaping jaws and slashing claws to avoid.

To give Sinbad and edge, I gave this figure as many weapons as I could afford (Yes, I slipped in a groaner). He carries two ninja sais – like our favorite turtle Raphael. These came from the very first Action Man Ninja. The sword is the Marine saber from the Hall of Fame Gung-Ho. There are three throwing stars made for GI Joe Nunchuk, which were later used in a few Action Man sets. General George Washington donated the telescope. More parts were originally included but removed for cost.

GI Joe Sinbad vs Scorpius

This was the only Bravo price point figure in the set.  It has an appropriately larger monster in it also.  The scorpion type monster was engineered very well in production retaining the posable tail and limbs I fought to keep.  This is another example where I worked hard to lower the rest of the cost to give a reasonable size monster to truly threaten Joe.

The weapons and armor for this figure came from several Action Man sets. The staff and cutlass came from Action Man Ninja Kick.  The Sword and grieves came from Action Man Power Arm Ninja.  The Belt/holster came from Action Man Jungle Dart. The chest piece came from Action Man Ninja. However, there were some real GI Joe parts: the boots from GI Joe Nunchuck, and the arm guards from Hall of Fame Karate Chopping Snake Eyes.

Even if you were not a fan of the Sinbad figures, at least let your shelf of true Adventure Team Figures have fun with these monsters. Who knows, the Commander could spontaneously shout, “The Adventure Team is needed in the Middle East,” or “I’ve got an icy assignment for you!” and, of course, “The Adventure Team has the Scorpion controlled!”

How many of you played Sinbad with your 1/6th figures in your youth? (I did!)

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