GI JOE Military Dog Handler action figure
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1984 GI Joe Military Dog Handler Action Figure | Mutt & his dog Junkyard

GI Joe Military Dog Handler Action Figure

Did you know that military dog handler GI Joe’s existed? Well, they did and they’re awesome! They date as far back as 1984 when they introduced Mutt and his furry companion, Junkyard. 

Dog Handler Action Figure background

Mutt is GI Joe’s first dog handler action figure. 

He was first sold in 1984. He was also available in 1985 but discontinued in 1986 and he did not have a replacement that year. However, in 1987 we got Law and his dog, Order. Law was a military policeman and a dog handler. He was sort of a replacement for Mutt. 

Mutt was the first GI Joe figure to come with a dog companion but he was not the last. In 1985 we got Snake Eyes with his wolf, Timber and again in 1987 we got Law with his dog Order.

Mutt has on a tan tactical vest over his green Army uniform and some tactical accessories on him. If you look close you’ll notice he has on a dog handlers glove, which doesn’t make much sense. Why would he want his dog Junkyard to bite him in combat? I think its just for show and not very practical. 

Mutt's variety of accessories

mutt and graveyard military dog handler gi joe
Looking at this figure overall, it has remarkable detail for a 1984 GI Joe action figure. And he is loaded with accessories. Wow, what a lot of accessories! It’s hard to think of another figure that had more accessories than this guy did. He was also part of a trend that started in 1984 of introducing animal companions for some of the figures. Another figure that came out in 1984 with an animal companion was Spirit. Of course he had an eagle rather than a dog but they started a trend here to get a lot of animal companions with our GI Joes.
Mutts mac 11 silencer pistol

Mac-11 with silencer

Starting with his weapon the contents of the card on which the figure was packaged with is called a mac-11 with silencer. Which is actually a real-world weapon. The mac-11 with a suppressor a fairly accurate representation of the real-world weapon. The mac-11 has been know to fit very loosely and it wants to fall out so that’s something that you do have to be careful about. This is a fairly small accessory and it could be lost very easily.

mutts nightstick military dog handler

Nightstick

His secondary accessory is this nightstick. It has a loop so it can loop around his wrist and that I like. It’s nice that he can carry the weapon even if it’s not in his hand this nightstick has minimal detail although it does have a little bit and it is fairly short for a nightstick. The length is long enough to pull a “Tonya Harding” tell me someone remembers who Tonya Harding is. Similar to the mac-11, the nightstick does not fit very firmly in his hand. It can slide right out. I usually just loop it around his wrist and leave it that way.

face mask

Mutt’s third accessory is his face mask. The face mask buckles in the back allowing it to be removable. It’s a separate piece, it is not part of the helmet. It’s not too easy to get on and not too easy to get off. The strap is barely long enough to go around the helmet. 

The face mask looks a little bit like a dog’s muzzle, which is kind of weird. Why would the dog handler wear that? Maybe it’s a gas mask? It doesn’t really look like a gas mask though. I’m not sure exactly the purpose of this thing. It’s an extra accessory and it looks kind of cool on the figure but as far as functionality goes I’m not sure what that’s supposed to be.

mutts black helmet military dog handler with goggles

Helmet

Next we have his helmet. He has a black helmet that has goggles. There is a variant of this helmet out there some have little holes in the side like the old classic GI Joe helmets did. This one does not. I really like this helmet it’s very cool-looking, it’s got some nice detail, some goggles looks like an old-school motorcycle helmet. This is a very cool helmet and may be one of my favorite accessories.
mutt's dog leash flexbile military handler gi joe

Dog leash

Number 4 on his accessory list is the leash. The dog leash fits nicely around Mutts wrists and it loops around junkyards head. It doesn’t have a buckle or anything like that you just kind of have to pull it over his head. The material it’s made out of is a soft flexible plastic. It does not tend to break this very easily. This is a pretty robust accessory. It has some minimal detail on it but not very much. There is a faint texture pattern on there that looks like it’s supposed to be leather.

Junkyard the dog

junkyard the military dog gi joe 2 black rottweiler

Finally, we get to the number 1 accessory, Junkyard, if you consider Junkyard and accessory. He is Mutts dog companion. He is molded out of a single piece of plastic and is not articulated in any way. The posture of Junkyard is kind of frozen in an angry, ready to attack posture. 

Junkyard is a Rottweiler and he’s a very nicely sculpted representation of that breed. He has a brown paint wash on his belly which is the only detail on him. There’s no other paint application, his teeth are not painted or anything. It is very simple yet very effective. He makes as a really awesome animal companion and a great accessory. 

Junkyard has a “bob” or docked tail which is actually illegal to do in some countries. Now he takes his name from a junkyard dog which is just a really aggressive dog that guards a scrap yard or a junkyard.

missing accessories?

One thing Junkyard is missing is his own accessories. I think it would be a whole lot cooler if he were to have his own tactical dog vest. Whether it be painted on or an actual removable accessory. He could of also had tactical patches or badges with his name on it. Being a GI Joe Military dog handler, you would think the dog had some accessories.

GI Joe comic book

In the GI Joe comic book, Mutt was portrayed as irritable and frustrated while his dog Junkyard was portrayed as very smart and endearing. He was so smart in fact that in one issue he was able to trick and trap some enemy Cobras. In the various GI Joe media I think sometimes Junkyard was portrayed as being a little too smart. He was treated similar to Wonder Dog from Superfriends. 

I think it’s important to keep in mind that even though Junkyard is a very smart dog and very highly trained he should be portrayed as a real dog not a cartoon dog. Mutt and Junkyard would best fit the role of a guard or a sentry but they weren’t really portrayed that way in the GI Joe comic book. They went on missions like any other GI Joe team member. I would place Mutt and Junkyard in the top tier of figurines that came out in 1984 and that’s saying something because a lot of great figurines came out in that year.