G.I. Joe fans are probably familiar with this guy:
After Ron Rudat’s design for a G.I. Joe action figure was approved by his boss in Research & Design, he would photocopy the drawing and color up to 20 variations for consideration. He and other people in R&D would hone it down to one. Some of these color mock-ups have made it out into the wild by themselves, and that is a little unfortunate. Without context, an observer might see such a piece and exclaim “Barbeque was almost yellow!!!!!” No, that was merely one of many ideas. A few near-complete or complete runs of such color options are in the hands of collectors, and these provide a proper view of the thinking that went into each figure. I’ve seen nine different marker on photocopy color options for Tomax and Xamot and 14 for Mutt, for example. But even still, a lone color comp for a vintage Real American Hero figure is an exciting find. Here’s one idea for the 1985 Barbeque figure, drawn and colored by Ron Rudat.