GI Joe

Mission Space

Second of the Disney Theme Park Exclusive GI Joes for 2004

The Ride

I was at Disney in August of 2004. At Epcot my daughter and I rode the Mission Space ride. I have to recommend it highly. It is basically a centrifuge which spins you around in a cockpit with four crew. Each person gets a role in the mission and has to push two buttons at specified times during the ride when the CapCom (Gary Sinise) tells you. It begins with the powerful X2 Rocket being lifted to the launch gantry, then launch. I have to say, the launch was quite realistic. You pull a few Gs easily. The skin on your face does pull and you really feel like you're lifting off. Then you clear the Earth's atmosphere and you experience zero G. You fly past the International Space Station at 0G and then you slingshot around the moon for the trip to Mars.

After the slingshot around the moon (a great effect) you go into cryo-sleep for the five month journey. When you wake up you are in the middle of an asteroid storm. Getting out of it, you are faced with the surface of Mars right in front of you. A strong engine burn and you're down into the atmosphere. Then you put the wings out and cruise the surface of Mars towards your designated landing site. At this point you have to take manual control. Through a twisty canyon and up and out to your landing strip which you overshoot in snow. You land again, but the snow falls away to reveal you're at the edge of a canoyon. The ship rocks forward... "Don't move a muscle!" Then you rock back and you're safely down. Mission over.

The ride takes you out into a store where they sell the new GI Joe Mission Space figure for $40.00. (Incidentally, you can also get the X2 rocket there for $22.00)

I thought this one wouldn't be out until later this year, but by some stroke of luck it was available while I was at Disney so I picked it up.


The Figure

(Click for larger image)

Astronaut and Equipment
(Click for larger image)
Astronaut Rear
(Click for larger image)

This astronaut comes in Caucasian and African-American versions. I got the AA. The space suit is a polyester material with huge sleeves to accommodate the hockey-gloves. I think I would have preferred the sleeves to go inside the gauntlets of the gloves but the sleeves have small plastic panels that make this difficult. The suit has black zipper sections on the torso. A nice touch. And red stripes. The helmet looks new but may be a re-hash like the boots (which were most recently used in the Real American Hero line on the figure Heavy Duty and appear here in white) and gloves (from Buzz Aldrin only in black) are. The chest gear has the logo of Mission Space on it and looks quite good. The right shoulder has the ISTC logo (International Space Training Center) and looks good.

The astronaut comes with oxygen backpack, two hoses to connect to the helmet and nine pieces of equipment. One is the remote tracker from the Adventures Of GI Joe - Save the Tiger. The others are digging implements, pokes and other gear all of which has pegs and holes that allow you to put the pieces together in ways you decide.


The Box


(Click for larger image)
(Click for larger image)

The box depicts the X2 rocket on the back in a painted montage in space. The text reads:

From before the time of Galileo we have been fascinated by the stars in the night sky. For thousands of years, writers, artists and poets imagined amazing unknown worlds, inspiring us to dream of exploring the universe. John F. Kennedy finally answered the call to reach for the stars with these four simple words: "We choose to go."

Since that time we have gone deeper into space than our ancestors ever imagined. In the span of a few short decades, we pierced the atmosphere, orbited our own planet, walked on the moon, and captured images of planets and galazies we thought we'd never see. International teams of astronauts worked tirelessly for years to build a space station that would serve as a port to greater discoveries.

Now, well into the 21st century, mankind is ready to explore the farthest reaches of space. At the International Space Training Center at Epcot®, GI JOE goes through a rigorous training operation to be one of the first to go. On his mission in space, GI JOE will endure extreme rocket speeds, intense gravitational forces and deep hypersleep on the X2 Rocket. At the ISTC, simulation training exercises will prepare him for the challenges of traveling hundreds of millions of miles through the solar system. Aboard the X2, GI JOE will lead a team into the greatest adventure in the history of mankind: the exploration of space.

My assessment of this figure is that it's a lot of rehash for a lot of money. I collect astronauts so it's a nice thing to have. However at $40.00 this is about double what I would have paid for him if he was available in stores.

I would much rather have had a vinyl suit, not this polyester stuff. This is Lanard quality, not Hasbro. The boots are rehashed from other sets, only molded in white. They are large, bulky, and do not have left/right boots which always makes a figure's feet look just - wrong. I would have liked to have had the buckles painted silver or red to accentuate those colors on the rest of the suit. As it is, they are completely white which doesn't work well. I do like the zipper segments, though.

The gear is interesting enough, but it doesn't hold well in the huge gloves whose grip is so open they can't really grasp anything in this set.

The backpack is a little too sharp-edged and lacks interesting detail. I do like that the two hoses connect easily to the helmet, which I actually like.

If you're not an astronaut fan or if you haven't personally ridden the Mission Space ride, this figure will probably not be for you. I think he's a good addition to my astronaut collection but he's not one of the best in that collection.

Astronaut figures hold a special place in my heart mostly because of my history of following the space race. Two days after I found this figure I took a three-hour tour of the historical launch pads on Cape Canaveral at the Kennedy Space Center.


Overall Rating


GI Joe

Go To ToysGo Home

e-mail Sean