Custom G.I. Joe “Super Sea Sled” Converted From (Hasbro Rival) Mattel’s R/C “Terrain Twister”

Toy manufacturers may be missing a big opportunity to take advantage of Hasbro's extended lull in offering 1:6 scale products for  its flagship brand, GIjOE. While they wait, fans and collectors have turned to cannablizing and customizing products from other manufacturers, such as this customized RC Terrain Twister from Mattel. (Fantasy ad: Mark Otnes)

Toy companies are missing a big opportunity to take advantage of Hasbro’s extended lull in offering 1:6 scale products for its flagship brand, GIjOE. Fans and collectors have increasingly turned to “cannibalizing” or customizing items from other manufacturers to satisfy their appetite for new products, creating such innovative concepts as this “Super Sea Sled” custom based on a Mattel RC “Terrain Twister.” (Photo and fantasy advertisement: Mark Otnes)

Welcome to the first of our new, “What If?” series of articles, where we’ll ask the simple question, “What if…?” followed by whatever supposition strikes our fancy. In this first entry, we’ll take a look at the intriguing question… What if Mattel made products for use with GIjOE? 

Think about it… What would happen if Hasbro’s main competitor exercised its manufacturing muscle and created new, original products for use with GIjOE (not using the name, of course). The answer? They would usurp an entire market segment of toy buyers and collectors (i.e. YOU) that Hasbro is currently allowing to sit idly on the sidelines.

superseasled1For this initial “What If?” case study, let’s use a custom vehicle (recently created by yours truly) as our example. I based this concept on one of those wild, RC “Terrain Twister” vehicles from Mattel. Their shape is very similar to (and was likely inspired by) the classic 1960s Hasbro Sea Sled. The resemblence got me to thinking…a dash of paint here, a windshield, sonar bubble and gauge decal set from PoP there—and voila! I have an exciting, all-new “Super Sea Sled” for my scuba GIjOEs!

This closeup reveals the addition of a windshield, decal set and gauge bubbles from Patches of Pride. Cool! (Photo: Mark Otnes)

This closeup reveals the addition of a windshield, decal set and gauge bubbles from Patches of Pride. Cool! (Photo: Mark Otnes)

Clearly, if an individual such as I can “dual-design” a new use for an existing, off-the-shelf product, so can the big toy companies. It just takes a little creative thought! And with Hasbro squatting on their big behind, Mattel (or anyone else) has an opportunity to steal their thunder. All they have to do is mark it “1:6 scale-ready” and we’ll know what it’s for.

Bottom line: The answer to our first ever “What If? question is…“It’d be COOL!” Sure, these are just the ramblings of a 50-something Joehead who spends WAY TOO MUCH time thinking about such silly things, but if you’ve read this far, you’re probably thinking about such silly things too. HA. And yes, the Terrain Twister was also made in YELLOW for your Adventure Team. To watch a video review of the “Terrain Twister” on YouTube, go HERE.


5 thoughts on “Custom G.I. Joe “Super Sea Sled” Converted From (Hasbro Rival) Mattel’s R/C “Terrain Twister”

  1. It’s an interesting thought… But this doesn’t take into account anything about how Mattel does business. Hasbro may have let most of the 12 inch market go by the wayside, but when it does put out product, it tends to be top notch and affordable.

    Mattel conversely, tends to put out products that are riddled with flaws and QC issues and they usually run 10-20% more than their competitors in terms of pricing. Look at Mattel’s DC Infinite Heroes line in comparison to Hasbro’s Marvel Universe line. Which would you rather have?

    I’ve asked Mattel before about bringing back Big Jim for a special anniversary product, but they have no interest. Even if they did, it’d be on MattyCollector and probably be very costly.

    Mattel won’t even make a Batmobile for it’s 6 inch figures. It’d take a complete turnaround in their philosophy for them to make 12 inch vehicles and accessories. Of course, I realize you’re just playing the Devil’s advocate here and doing a what if, but still, it seems so very unlikely even in the best of scenarios.

    The last thing Joe collectors want would be for Mattel to somehow start making Joe stuff. Would it be neat if they made compatible stuff? Sure, but there’d have to be a market for that stuff for Mattel to even consider it. And if there was a big market for Joe vehicles, I suspect Hasbro would get back into the ballgame as well.

  2. kneonknight says:

    Hmmm…I’m thinking a “mudcrawler” done up in Cobra colors. It seems like the kind of oddball thing the Cobra Commander and destro would cook up. Of course, that fits right in with repurposing a vehicle for a prticular group by simply changing the color scheme and logo.

    You are a bad influence, Mark. I’m eyeing my daughter’s Barbie stuff with evil intent….

  3. Walter Cooper says:

    HA!! That is Too cool !! Walter

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