GadgetReview’s Top Ten G.I.Joe Vehicles From Back In The Day (1982-1986)

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Updated June 27, 2022

Anybody born in the late 70’s grew up with the awesomeness that was 1980’s GIJoe toys.  In an attempt to capture some of this resurging nostalgia (this summer’s movie), I have scoured the internet to find pics of my favorite GIJoe Vehicles of yesteryear’s past.  It was easy to notice that as the years went by the design got less contemporary and more flashy with the use of brighter colors and an overall lack of plausibility.  My choices in this top ten list are mere reactions to my memories as how I felt about these toys then.  Please enjoy.

10.  GIJoe RAM

This way one of the more simpler but highly remembered vehicles that I know I had.  Released in 82′ it was only $3.  I definitely got my money’s worth and this instantly hit me as soon as I saw the picture.


9. GIJoe APC

Arriving on the scene in 83′ for $9, the GIJoe APC [Amphibious Personnel Carrier] was another simple but effective design in jarring my memory.  Pushing around the living room I imagined barren tundras and sparce landscapes.  I think I might have also brought it to the beach and or the bath tub.


8.  GIJoe BridgeLayer

1985’s BridgeLayer had special meaning to me because my Grandfather had driven one in World War 2.  While I can’t actually remember if he ackowldged me having it, I had a great time making gaps out of stacked books for it to lay bridges across.  This went for around $10.


7.  Cobra ASP

Arriving in 1984, I think I liked this due to it’s intense midnight blue color and the fact that it looked like it set up shop and just blew things away.  I noticed that the designers were really trying to stretch acronyms out of these earlier toys.  This one stood for Assault System Pod and cost only $4!



Back then, if it was offroad it was cool.  82’s $6 VAMP [Multi-Purpose Attack Vehicle] was the Hummer before the Hummer.  Easy to hold in one hand this was of my favorites to take with me outside of the house.  Having very few small parts also made it robust and easier not to worry about it breaking.  Like I thought that then.


5.  Cobra NightRaven

This thing was awesome.  As one of my bigger toys at the time, 1986’s Cobra NightRaven had a definite place by my bedside so I could see it first thing every night and morning.  This was about where I maxed out as far as bigger GIJoe toys got.  My dad must have loved throwing this one away.  Back then it cost around $20.


4.  GIJoe SnowCat

So if it was off-road and snow worthy is was a must have.  The GIJoe SnowCat looked positively fantastic and performed well in all of my rigorous play scenarios.  I loved the colors and the rear treads and just imagining it raging through field of snow.  Strong flashback indeed.  Hipster word: Indeed!  The SnowCat came out in 1985 and cost around $7


3.  GIJoe ssault Copter Dragonfly [XH-1]

1983.  This was it.  So sleek and refined and it came with that wily scallion Wild Bill as the pilot!  What a cool dude he was too.  I think this had to be my first GIJoe vehicle that could fly.  It was ready to go right out of the box and it must have given me weeks of enjoyment before I wanted something new.  Nine dolla!


2. GIJoe Hovercraft Killer W.H.A.L.E. [Warrior: Hovering Assault Launch Envoy]

First released in 1984 for a price of $18, I must have bugged the s**t out of my parents for this one.  I can’t remember if this floated or not but I must have tried.  I know I had it!  If only I still had all this stuff!


1. GIJoe Aircraft Carrier U.S.S. Flagg

At a whopping $90, I thought this was the greatest toy ever made.  I only saw it once at some kid’s house and I wanted to sleep on it.  It was the coolest thing I had ever seen and I was stupified by it.  It took up the whole floor in this kid’s room.  The year was 1985 and I was somewhere in the San Francisco area.  I would still probably fall to my knees if I saw this today.


Honorable Mention:

GIJoe Defiant: Space Vehicle Launch Complex

I had grown out of GIJoe at this point but I can still recognize how awesome this was.  It was actually ten dollars more than the aircraft carrier at $100 and came out in 1987.  Mad cool.