Monday, May 4, 2009

Takara Combat Joe WWII German Infantryman

The initial release of Combat Joe in March 1984 by Takara consisted of three 1/6 scale 12-inch figures: the World War II-era American and German Soldiers, and a modern American Soldier. Takara's aim was to give their figures as realistic a look as possible, so each of these figures wore very accurate recreations of their uniforms.

This was Takara's World War II Wehrmacht (German Army) uniform which was definitely more accurate and better than GI Joe's or Action Man's versions.

The German Stahlhelm helmet and tunic with the Hoheitsabzeichen ("National Badge" which was an eagle symbol) worn on the right breast of the uniform.

The German tunic details and belt with buckle. The buttons are a tad big but this was the closest to 1/6 scale then.

Takara Combat Joe World War II German soldier's trousers and marching boots or jackboots

The basic figure came with a Takra Combat Joe body of course. In fact Takara created two different heads for the Combat Joe figures, a brown-haired head for the two Americans and a blond for the German.

To arm these figures, there were the rifles of the Small Arms Collection, including a Thompson submachine gun for the WWII American, an MP40 SMG for the German and an M-16 assault rifle for the modern American soldier. These rifles were actually more akin to snap-together model kits than toys. Colored in silver plastic, these rifles could be easily built, and included features like removable ammo cartridges, cloth shoulder straps, and even a movable shoulder stock on the "Schmeisser". Though the rifles could be used as they were, Takara included painting instructions like those found in model kits to help collectors make these rifles look more realistic.

Included in the German MP40 SMG weapon model kit were german stick grenades

While the figures were fairly complete as they came from the box, the Accessory Collection gear Takara offered for the two American soldiers and the German soldier could be used to upgrade the figures by rounding them out with web gear, water canteen, ammo pouches, gas masks, shovels and the like. 

The upgraded Takara 1/6 scale 12-inch World War II-era German Infantryman

Another look at the eagle or "National Badge" symbol

I added the signaling torch as well. The colored slide buttons on the actual torch allowed red, blue or green acetate strips to be pushed up over the lens.

Amazing details on the belt buckle bearing the traditional Prussian motto "GOTTMITUNS" ('GOD WITH US') around the endorsed wing eagle and swastika emblem.

He also has the Infantry Assault badge and Iron Cross medal on his left breast pocket. Would have been nice if these were not are just decals but die-cast metal badges instead. Also shown is the MP40 triple-magazine pouch which goes with the MP40 (only Takara got it right where GI Joe and Action Man erred in this area).

The full kit of the basic WWII German Infantryman/soldier. It was from this set that I decided to upgrade my earlier Action Man German Stromtroopers.

Takara Combat Joe WWII German soldier is equipped with entrenching tool in leather carrier which also confines the M1884-98 Mauser bayonet and keeps it in place. He also has the M1930 gasmask canister which can be opened. He also has two M1924 hand grenades or stick grenades tucked into his marching boots or jackboots.

For his meals, he has his M1931 breadbag, mess tin and water bottle

Takara's Combat Joe WWII German soldier even has his gasmask with screw-on filter which could fit inside the canister - quite a feat for that time

The fully decked out Takara Combat Joe WWII German Infantryman

The very nice MP40 submachine gun with great details and foldable butt stock. This was one of the finest SMGs to appear during the war and was eagerly sought after by soldiers of both sides.

Other WWII Germans covered earlier: Action Man German Stormtrooper (link here) and 'Colditz' German Stormtrooper (link here)

Other Takara Combat Joe figures: California Highway Patrol (CHP) - link here and SWAT (link here)

Let's not forget the German-inspired Takara Kerberos Protect Gear Panzer Cop (link here)


Unknown said...

Apropos of nothing, but that head sculpt is a dead-on likeness to German actor Anton Diffring, a favorite to play German officers in many 1960's and 1970's WWII movies (most notably as SS Colonel Kramer in Where Eagles Dare).

alex teo said...

Thanks Bill for the heads up :)