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Crazy Legs

GI Joe: Pursuit of Cobra
by yo go re

Hasbro may struggle, from time to time, with getting GI Joe the shelf space and distribution it deserves, but you gotta admit, they really take some fan-friendly chances when it comes to updating old characters. I mean, really: Crazylegs? They're updating him?!

Crazy Legs is a classically trained organist. The Airborne Rangers, however don't care how perfectly you can play bach's Toccata and Fugue in D Minor; they're only concerned with your willingness to jump out of a helicopter into a hot landing zone with nothing but a rifle and some grenades. Crazy Legs is, of course, Airborne Ranger qualified and has been cross-trained as a forward artillery observer.

Back in G1, Crazylegs (yes, it was one word then, not two) was named David Thomas; the modern filecard identifies him as D. Oliver Thomas. Could it possibly be because today the name "Dave Thomas" makes people think of Wendy's? Even if it's not, that's a good kayfabe reason for him to start going by his middle name. In any case, it's a roundabout reference to pianist David Thomas Roberts - thus the line about him being a world-class organist. Larry Hama loves him some obscure references!

1987 Crazylegs looked like a middle-aged guy, and the character portrait on this figure's card follows suit - it could even be based on the old toy, it's so similar. The new toy, meanwhile, is a young guy. He's a softy, a babyface. The old one could easily be his dad. The helmet is less bulbous, despite being removable, and he's wearing a stocking cap beneath it.

As is the case with most G3 figures, Crazylegs is cobbled together from existing pieces. The legs are from the Snow Serpent and the torso is from "Version 3" Snake-Eyes, but it's amazing how much like the old toy the combo looks. In particular, the diamond pattern on the torso does a great job of standing in for the quilting on his old jacket. The arms are from Lift-Ticket, with padding sculpted on the shoulders to match the chest, and there are red stripes painted down the insides of his legs. He's wearing a tan parachute we've seen on several figures before, and though it would usually count as an accessory, there's no way to get it off him without disassembling the figure.

As far as actual accessories go, he's got a Carl Gustav M/45 submachine gun with a folding stock, an FN SCAR with a removable flashlight mounted on the side, and a small pistol with a laser sight under the barrel. He doesn't have any sort of holsters or other ways to carry the guns, and you can't hold two rifles while you're trying to work a parachute. That seems like poor planning on somebody's part. The helmet has goggles on the forehead - not sculpted, removable. Incredible!

Crazylegs wasn't one of the major characters in Generation 1 - he showed up in the comic a few times, but mainly as a scene-filler, recognizable by his distinctive uniform more than anything else. Still, there's probably somebody out there who counts Crazylegs as their favorite, and for them, this is a great update, with reused pieces that do a surprisingly good job of matching the original.

-- 11/11/11

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