Lot # 5: 1983 G.I. Joe: Cobra Commander EXPLOSION BACK AFA 85 (First Release)

Category: Platinum Lots

Starting Bid: $2,500.00

Bids: 13 (Bid History)

Time Left: Auction closed
Lot / Auction Closed

This lot is closed. Bidding is not allowed.

Item was in Auction "2024 Summer Premier Auction",
which ran from 6/28/2024 5:00 PM to
7/14/2024 5:00 PM

In 1982, following a six year hiatus, Hasbro revived the G.I. Joe toy-line with 3.75-inch action figures, branding it: A Real American Hero.  The relaunch was wildly successful becoming what many consider the most iconic toy-line of the 1980’s.  Thoroughly embedded in popular culture, the ARAH brand and it’s characters remain popular to this day.

To collectors, there is no carded figure more coveted than the ever-elusive Cobra Commander.  The anticipation for the release of the Cobra Commander figure dates back to 1982 when Hasbro affixed his likeness on the face of all nine original carded G.I. Joe figures offering him only as a mail-away loose figure.  It would not be until the following year that the carded version of Cobra Commander was released at retail.  Quickly selling out of stores across America, kids ripped open the carded package so that they could play with their favorite villain. 

Veteran collectors know that locating a 1983 “Explosion Back” version of any carded character is exciting enough, but to discover the Cobra Commander version is almost unimaginable.  Hasbro released the “explosion back” cards in extremely limited quantity.  These cardbacks featured “coming soon” images of several characters.  The “explosion back” cards were quickly replaced by the standard 20-back card that displayed all twenty characters, eliminating the “coming soon” images.  Very few unopened “explosion backs” have survived.

Presented is a first-release Cobra Commander carded action figure.  Its rarity is unquestioned: only 16 “Explosion Back” examples exist in the AFA Population Report (I.E. only 16 Explosion Backs graded by AFA in 20+ years). Condition here is remarkably fine, with vibrant colors and a gloss to both the card and figure that supplies a factory fresh sheen to the aesthetics.  The figure stands perfectly upright.  No movement in the waist but there was movement in the legs when tested. Remarkable piece! Following the collectibles formula that states desirability times scarcity equals value, one can certainly understand why records may fall when this treasured piece hits the auction block.  Encapsulated by AFA (85, 80-85-85), #11013802


Estimate: $10,000 -$20,000

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