In May and June of 1981, Ron Rudat was sketching up a storm.
Cesspool started out pitched as a similarly eco-themed “Oil Baron.” I’m not sure if that was a codename (probably not) or a title, but the figure and his ilk evolved and we got Cesspool. Along the way, Cesspool dropped his earlier name, “The CEO,” and Eco-Warriors dropped its earlier monicker, “Eco-Force.” We met the Oil Baron here several years ago at A Real American Book!, in fact, another Kurt Groen drawing.
The “Cobra Assassin” post from earlier today had some factual errors, so I’ve taken that down and am putting up this one it its place!
Bill Merklein sculpted around 65 G.I. Joe action figures in the 1980s.
I often forget that half of the G.I. Joe line was vehicles.
Robert J. Walsh died last month. This is sad news.
I had the pleasure of meeting Rob for lunch in Los Angeles three years ago, and I’m going to jump to the middle of the story here for some levity and type three important words: Guitar-shaped pool.
But let’s start at the beginning.
From 1981 to about 1987, Ron Rudat was Hasbro’s G.I. Joe figure designer. This drawing likely dates to 1984 or 1985. As with the last two we’ve examined here at A Real American Book!, it’s Rudat figuring out the look of Cobra’s Battle Android Trooper. Here’s a production B.A.T. that I purchased in 1986: