What do we have HERE? GIjOE walks up to examine the latest animal addition to his owner’s collection. It’s a “Morgan Foal” from Maison Joseph Battat Ltd. (Photo: Mark Otnes) Click to enlarge.
Hungry Horsey? The feed box that comes with this set is perfect for use in GIjOE’s stable or barn. (Photo: Mark Otnes)
Unexpected 1:6 Scale “Find” Made at Target
In an era when Hasbro is no longer making anything for collectors of 12-inch G.I. Joes, fans now find themselves seeking to satisfy their 1:6 scale “fixes” elsewhere, often discovering things that they can use with their collections in the unlikeliest of places. Today’s intriguing “find” was found recently in a store that the staff of The Joe Report rarely frequents anymore—Target.
It’s true. Ever since Target stopped carrying GIjOEs and Formative’s “Soldiers of the World” figures and accessory sets, we’ve had little to no reason to darken their aisles again. And that’s a shame. We used to thrill to “the chase” and “the hunt” for 1:6 scale within their stores. Many a memory was made as we anxiously drove from location to location, searching for the latest 1:6 product releases. But alas, those exciting days of “Joe Hunting” at local Targets are now over.
So… it was completely by coincidence that we wandered into Target late last night. We were looking for a small area rug to fit in our guest bedroom. Nothing more, nothing less. It was going to be a quick “in and out” shopping mission. But, old habits are clearly hard to break, and I soon found myself perusing Target’s toy aisles for the first time in many years, blithely inspecting the chain’s new “gender neutral” decor (yes, it’s all trimmed in “bland tan” now (see that story HERE).
Joe moves in for a closer look and notices that his new equine friend’s mane is made of real hair (wrapped tight in cello) and not painted-on like Johnny West’s, “Thunderbolt.” (Photo: Mark Otnes)
Vintage MARX Horses— An original Thunderbolt (l) and a custom painted version (r). (Photo: etsy)
As expected, I was disinterested in the toys I found and was just about to return to the home furnishings department when I spied ONE lone horse standing in the (formerly pink) doll aisle that appeared to be in 1:6 scale. I went back; picked it up and it immediately reminded me of Johnny West’s faithful steed, “Thunderbolt.” A quick study of the newer horse revealed that it was not as well-sculpted as ol’ Thunderbolt, nor was it articulated like the high-end (i.e. expensive) horses produced by Dragon. I did notice that he/she had real hair and numerous accessories, so I decided to study it more carefully.
Instant Diorama— The horse’s packaging doubles as a diorama, enabling you to make either a single stall or to simulate a larger corral. More than enough for a child’s imagination! (Photo: Mark Otnes)
Target’s new “Morgan Foal” is clearly a younger horse, yet its size/age is more akin to an adult mare when viewed in 1:6 scale. It’s muscularity and facial features are softened and its legs appear a tad longer than that of a more mature equine. These physical differences will matter more to some collectors than to others and depends largely on how one intends to use and/or display the horse.
Freed from its cardboard corral, the Morgan Foal waits as Joe calmly approaches. Note its detailed bridle and lead, as well as real-hair mane and tail. (Photo: Mark Otnes) Click to enlarge.
For example, if you were to add some custom horse armor, army blankets, fancy bridles or saddlery that cover up the horse’s head, etc., then its youngish appearance would diminish and matter little. Personally, I was about to leave the critter on the store’s shelf and walk away, but then I saw its price—only $17! WHOA, Nelly! At such a low price point, this honey is well worth picking up.
Easy girl, easy now— Proportionally speaking, the man-to-horse size ratio looks pretty good here, but the longer you study it, the more you realize this horse is a foal, not a mare. But no matter, if you added some more details (a blanket, saddle, etc., the differences would become much harder to spot. In other words, the trained eye of a good customizer could easily “age” this horse. (Photo: Mark Otnes)
The water bottle looks a tad big for Joe, but not by much. (Photo: Mark Otnes)
A simple review of this product shows that it comes in a box that opens up and makes an instant, albeit small, corral for the horse to stand in. That’s fine if you’re a little kid, but adults will likely discard all of the cardboard pieces. As for the other accessories, you’ll also receive an accessories bag, 2 booklets, a slightly oversized brush and water bottle, and a (perfectly sized) little red “feed box” you can fill with oats or hay.
Apples appear to be the main design theme here, which makes sense since this toy is targeted to children, primarily little girls. Value-wise, the set and all of its accessories are a great deal. Quality-wise, it’s also impressive. Everything fits together nicely and looks to be well-made. While it wasn’t designed for us 1:6ers, with a little imagination, it can surely be used and absorbed into our collections.
Accessories Abound— Here are some of the accessories that come with Target’s Morgan Foal. 1:6 customizers will look at that horse coat and realize it provides a perfect pattern. (Photo: Mark Otnes)
Scoop it Up— The scoop that comes with this set is also a tad large, but in a barn setting where Joe is feeding large animals, it may actually be appropriate. (Photo: Mark Otnes)
Target’s Morgan Foal is clad in a warming blanket with velcro closures and a red plastic harness with lead. Customizers can go either way with these items. Some may not care about the “applely” appearance and will opt to keep them as they are; while others may want to “reverse engineer” them as sewing patterns so as to create their own replacements.
The hairbrush, water bottle and food scoop are all a tad oversized, but when placed in their usual large settings (barns, corrals, etc.) they should look just fine. If you’re a stickler for 100% accuracy, then buy a Dragon horse or some stock in Hot Toys or Sideshow. Otherwise, these are great for most 1:6 dioramas. Take a look:
Right side view— We like the look of GIjOE on this horse. Even though he doesn’t have a saddle, we can imagine how cool he’d look once it was fully geared up for action. (Photo: Mark Otnes)
Ride ’em, Doughboy— Joe looks great on the Morgan. With some minor detailing, they should get along “down the trail” just fine. (Photo: Mark Otnes)
Don’t be a Horse’s A**— Ridin’ horses sure beats walking! How about adding a “U.S.” brand on his hind-quarters for more realism? (Photo: Mark Otnes)
Bottom Line: C’mon, for $17, you can’t beat this horse with a stick! It’s simply a great value all around. If you’re a customizing perfectionist, feel free to repaint and/or even resculpt some of its features first. The price point is SO reasonable, you’ll find little financial reason to deter you.