From the 1980s on, the G.I. Joe franchise has been built on a unique combination of military and sci-fi design sensibilities. Even so, plenty of Halloween-appropriate elements tend to slip through the cracks. In keeping with the spirit of the season, here are 10 of the spookiest G.I. Joe figures to ever hit the toy aisles.
While not inherently scary outside of the mildly King Diamond-esque eye makeup, Zartan is Halloween personified. He's all about dressing up in disguise, a function often represented with super-convincing mask accessories. Oh, and let's not forget the weird color changing skin gimmick!
Nemesis Enforcer was sold in a Cobra-La 3-pack alongside the Royal Guard and Golobulus, a wacky half snake-man. This guy is the winner of the bunch thanks to his bat-wing and tentacle backpacks. He'd feel right at home in some funky vampire anime from the 80s.
Serpentor takes the whole "Cobra" thing pretty seriously. The central theme of his armor is snakes on snakes, with even more snakes thrown in for good measure. I was always creeped out when this dude was around.
Croc Master: crocodile trainer by day, underground BDSM clubber by night. That's really all you need to know.
Overkill may as well be the prototype for Uber Jason from Jason X. As one of the Talking Battle Commanders, you can have him yell out cute, friendly little phrases like "Destroy!" Oh, and the accessories turn his arms into full-fledged torture devices. Yeesh.
Sci-fi horror was pretty big in the 90s, and the Toxo-Zombie is a shining example. One look at this guy and you just know something's gone horribly, horribly wrong. With damn-near neon colors and some of the best card art you'll ever see, this is one of my favorite Joe figures by a mile.
What the hell? Okay, I'll admit Carcass tips way over into the "goofy" spectrum. Still, he's a horrific space creature with exposed guts. Plus, that "BENDABLE MONSTER ARMS!" package-blurb is an instant classic. If you need further qualifications, it doesn't hurt that he's bright friggin' orange.
The internet exclusive Inferno B.A.T. rocks a translucent blood orange deco and an exposed rib-cage hologram. It'd be easy to dismiss this figure as just another android trooper, but the Halloween vibes are in full effect.
Evil green armor. Skeletal helmet. Grabby techno-organic vines! I'm not sure how intentional it was, but the Nano-Viper is pretty damn creepy. Rise of Cobra was fairly meh-inducing, but at least its toyline had some gems to offer.
Here it is. The 30th Anniversary Zombie Viper is the pinnacle of G.I. Joe's flirtation with horror. The shambling re-animated troop builder was all the rage in 2011, and for good reason. With excellent sculpt-work and perfect accessories, this is one of the top examples of how bad-ass Joe figures can be.
Honorable mention has to go to the Blind Master. Some of you are likely confused right now, but hear me out. There's no way I can look at this figure without being reminded of RZA's acting in G.I. Joe: Retaliation. On those grounds alone, this may be the most terrifying G.I. Joe of all.
Yeah, so there's an awful lot of Cobra dudes up there. But hey, that should come as no surprise. The bad guys are almost always a bit further on the spooky side of the spectrum, and that's a huge part of what makes them so much fun. It goes without saying; that's what Halloween is all about.
If you dug this list, you might also want to check out 10 Transformers To Display For Halloween and 5 Of The Freakiest Original Ninja Turtle Figures from last year. And as always, you can check for future Castle Geek-Skull posts by following along on Twitter & Facebook!