Joe Battlelines Top Ten



JBL members were asked “What’s Your Top Ten?” and you responded.  The lists were compiled and broken down to the ten most popular toys, and there were some surprises.  Then you were asked to vote on those top ten and you overwhelmingly responded with even bigger surprises.  So ladies and gentlemen let’s get right into it and as well see what some of you had to say;  


G.I.Joe Headquarters Command Center

Released in 1983 the Headquarters Command Center was G.I.Joe’s first base.  It could house your vehicles in one of its two bays, one featuring an elevating platform.  There was a jail cell for those captured Cobra Troopers, and a command center for your Joe’s.  As well as a storage place for your weapons in the back of the main base and for your file cards in the (tank) bay.  It made for countless hours of fun and a home for your Joe team when not in battle.     

 LordEd1976 said – “great playset.”    

pbarny said – “Nothing better than this thing. Garages, lifts, guns, cameras, computers, jails. Not even the lack of a ceiling or doors can detract from it.”  



This circular base was released in 1986 the Cobra Terrordrome was an update to the original cardboard Cobra Headquarters.  The Terrordrome featured repair bays, refueling bays, a jail cell, command center and the Firebat with A.V.A.C pilot.  The Firebat would rise up through the center of the base through a retractable dome.  It became a staple in the cartoon for Cobra’s main base of operations, and was even in the comic book series.   

 Red Sox said  – “It has it’s flaws (how do you get from the upper level to the lower level!?!?), but this is Cobra’s default base. It doesn’t win my praise just because there isn’t any competition though (let’s not even consider Cobra Mountain ). It’s got a unique and intimidating look to it and the two gigantic double barreled gun positions are very cool. I remember many a Joe vehicle being blasted to smithereens by those bad boys. Plus it also came with the Firebat which was a great vehicle in it’s own right. And AVAC which is a figure I really like with his great color palette of silver, red, and black.”  

pbarny said  “It is slightly cooler than all the other playsets combined because is it a fortress? Repair station? Plane launcher? Command center? Research station? It’s all that and evil too!!!”  



The Joe’s first jeep was released in 1982 the VAMP came with Clutch and has been a staple throughout ARAH history.  Even with the 25th Anniversary relaunch it was slightly retooled but retained its classic look.  The VAMP was also used to create the Cobra Stinger.  The VAMP had a hitch that could tow the Joe’s weapons into battle like the HAL, and with the 25th update it featured a removable shovel.

only1 said – “VAMP 1982—Again, the line has a great history of small vehicles and this was the start of it. I had this and played the heck out of it!”  

General Scarlett said -“VAMP Mark I-I’ll echo the sentiment of others, this is the JOE vehicle that everybody loves having-its a jeep for cripes sake!!”  



Mauler MBT Tank (Manned Battle Tank) 

Released in 1985 the Mauler came with driver Heavy Metal.  The Mauler could carry up to 4 G.I.Joe figures, had 2 forward speeds, featured removable engine covers, storage compartments, tow hook and more.  It was also featured in several of the G.I.Joe cartoons as the Joe’s main battle tank.   

Dusty Ayers said Mauler – “A great tank with a realistic look. I loved the MOBAT but the Mauler was simply a better toy. It was faster, could climb a higher obstacle and had two speeds. Awesome toy.”  


Cobra H.I.S.S. Tank (High Speed Sentry) 

This iconic classic vehicle was released in 1983, the Cobra H.I.S.S. came with the Cobra H.I.S.S. Driver, featuring a clear plastic canopy and rotating turret.  It could carry 4 figures (2 on back) and even through its several incarnation it has remained as thee Cobra Tank.  There has been several incarnations over the years but the original remains the favorite. 
General Scarlett said – “While I do like newer versions that allowed for transport, the v1 is still a sentimental favorite and will always be cool in my book.”
cmderinchief said – “Iconic Cobra vehicle.”


A.W.E. Striker
Released in 1985 the A.W.E. Striker came with Crankcase and featured a removable engine cover.  The front wheels could steer like a real vehicle allowing for realistic play.  The A.W.E. Striker was the Joe’s main transport in the cartoon, seeing as the cartoon was also one big commercial in itself.  I own one myself, the sound attack one (don’t laugh) and it is a really cool vehicle.  The mold was also used to create the All Terrain Cruiser in 1995 for the Stargate movie toyline. 
General Scarlett said – “Besides the vehicle being so cool, Crankcase is a solid looking figure with a freakin’ sweater vest!”
pbarny said – “While never owning one (hey, next round of what is missing coming soon), it had it’s place in the cartoon and has seen it’s share of releases. That probably attests to something.”
madmac41 said – “Because it brought me and my son together with G.I. Joe.”


U.S.S. Flagg
Surprisingly coming in at #4 on our list (which usually ends up at #1 on others), released in 1985 the U.S.S. Flagg Aircraft Carrier came with Keel Haul and remains one of the most sot after G.I.Joe playsets.  The Flagg was a massive 7 1/2 feet featuring a microphone and sound system, with support accessories that you would find on an aircraft carrier.  Finding one complete and mint will definitely set you back a pretty penny, being undoubtedly one of the most expensive G.I.Joe toys out there.
Red Sox said – “The grand daddy of them all. The ultimate toy playset. Not much more can be said about this that hasn’t already been said. It’s the stuff toy legends are made of and set the bar that all other playsets are measured against and inevitably fall short of. It came with Keel-Haul who is a very good figure too.”
General Scarlett said – “Again, need I say more?”
cmderinchief said – “Because you need a place to put your Skystriker…and everything else.”
(…and speaking of the Skystriker…)


Skystriker XP 14-F
The Joe’s first fighter jet was released in 1983, the Skystriker jet came with Ace, it featured movable wings and its two seats featured parachutes.  The Skystriker is a classic when it comes to G.I.Joe, it was seen in nearly every episode of the first season of the animated series, until the Conquest came in and made it obsolete.  Yet it still remains a fan favorite. 
only1 said – “ACCURATE vehicles. A staple of the line. It’s the early years that made the line great. Not that everything later was crap but there’s no way the line survived if it wasn’t for toys like this. EVERY kid wanted a SkyStriker… and those that didn’t have one had to pick it first when everyone was playing.”
LordEd1976 said – “the first and best of the Joe planes.”
General Scarlett said – “nuff said!”
cmderinchief said – “What Mark said”
pbarny said – “Definitely not much more to add.”
Dusty Ayers said – “Simply a classic. Fantastic look and a fantastic toy.”


Another surprise on the list, the Tomahawk was released in 1986, it came with Lift-Ticket and was the Joe’s air support troop carrier/rescue copter.  It featured 3 rotating blades, a rear loading ramp, and could carry up to 8 Joe’s or as many as you could cram into this massive helicopter. 
Red Sox said – “I loved the Dragonfly, but the Tomahawk offered a ton more play value. I loved the troop carrying capacity and I can remember many missions where the Tomahawk would have to swoop in with Lifeline and Doc to rescue some wounded Joe’s. Lift-Ticket gets grief for his smirk, but I like it. I think it gives him character.”
Dusty Ayers said – “Sweet toy with a lot of play value. It made for a troop transport and was heavily armed enough to provide the Joe troops with CAS.”
We now come to what you all voted Joe Battlelines #1 G.I.Joe toy, which came at a surprise bringing in most of your votes to just edge out the Tomahawk and beat out the Flagg.  That toy is….


Killer W.H.A.L.E.
You voted this as JBL’ers top toy, released in 1984 the Killer W.H.A.L.E (Warrior: Hovering Assault Launch Envoy) came with Cutter.  It featured rotating blades, depth charges, a recon bike, a launching sled and could hold up to 9 Joe’s (or more).  As an owner of a W.H.A.L.E. I can attest to how sweet this vehicle is.  The W.H.A.L.E. was used in 1988 as part of the Toys R Us Night Force exclusives.  In 1992 the Killer W.H.A.L.E. was available from Hasbro as a mail-in offer without Cutter.  Whenever the Joe’s needed a troop transport that could get them in close they used the W.H.A.L.E. and was featured in several episodes of the animated series.  It was also included in the short lived G.I.Joe TCG booster Armored Strike.
Red Sox said – “This is the only thing on my list that I’ve never had, but I just know this thing would be a blast. A big ass hovercraft with a ton of cool little details. Cutter wears a Sox hat. This is one vehicle the I absolutely must have someday.”
cmderinchief said – “Hovercrafts are cool!”
pbarny said – “This is one of the handful of vehicles that crosses the blurry line of is it a vehicle or is it a play set. It rolls, it floats, it’s propellers work, It can store/hold a crap load of figures.”
Dusty Ayers said – “I love this toy for all of the play value. It could hold a lot of figures and had depth charges, a recon sled, and a recon bike. I spent a lot of time with this toy as a kid.”
So there you have it JBL’ers your Top Ten G.I.Joe toys.  No surprise they all turned out to be vehicles, we may love our figures but what are they without vehicles to drive taking them over land, air or sea. 
So there you have it, JBL’s Top Ten as voted by you the members!  We’d like to thank everyone who took time to help and cast your votes.  A very special thanks to for permission to use images from their vast database, Thank You!  TCG image from 

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