Unproduced: Towed Artillery Missile System

Unproduced G.I. Joe vehicle concept, TAMS, 1984

Sorry for the delay in posting.  School starts and trips accrue in September.  To get back into it and take a break from “The Rotten Egg” and my exciting internship today we’ve got Rich Rossi’s color rendering of a vehicle concept, the Towed Artillery Missile System, which I’ll call the TAMS for short.  In all honesty I don’t know anything about it, so we’ll play the reasonable assumption game.

Concept art for Unproduced G.I. Joe vehicle, TAMS, 1984

Drawn in ’84, it would have been pitched for ’86 or ’87.  But often concepts would get shot down, only to resurface later, or inspire a later idea.  In 1988 a different vehicle showed up, the similarly monikered RPV, or Remote Pilot Vehicle — boy did the names not flow for these two.

G.I. Joe RPV vehicle 1988 catalog scan

I don’t wish to draw a straight line between them, that one inspired the other, but it’s safe to say they both filled a specific price point, play pattern, and concept.  But notably the TAMS seats no driver and carries no figure, even by precarious foot peg.  And to further differentiate it from the RPV, by ’88 scale, detailing, and concepts were getting exaggerated and moving away from strict military realism.  The structure of the TAMS more resembles the detailing on earlier vehicles like the FLAK and the ASP, shown here.

G.I. Joe catalog scan details FLAK and ASP

There’s a stronger sense of parts and bolts and hardware, whereas the late ’80s styling smoothed out edges and surfaces.  Since these catalog scans aren’t too enlightening, here are links to much nicer photos of each, from the fine folks at yojoe: the FLAK, the ASP, and the RPV.

One thing’s for sure — Real American Hero had no shortage of small artillery accessories.  These were great for populating a small-scale battlefield with variety, even if they weren’t as much fun as “regular” vehicles like Jeeps and tanks, or as story-driving as a headquarters playset.

6 Comments

Filed under G.I. Joe Behind the Scenes, Toys and Toy Art

6 responses to “Unproduced: Towed Artillery Missile System

  1. I think your reasoning is sound. At the time, marketing didn’t like vehicles that wouldn’t hold a figure, or that needed the purchase of another vehicle to use. It helps explain how the motorized trailer “Road Toad” passed but a solid piece like this did not. The supports and wheel structure remind me a lot of the Mountain Howitzer, did Rossi design that one too? Regardless, beautiful art, Tim.

    • Thanks, Kevin. I don’t know who designed the Mountain Howitzer, but if I find some art with a name, I’ll let you know. Thanks also for the bit about vehicles with or without a figure, I hadn’t heard that, but it plays out in the product line itself over time.

  2. This is very cool, I really enjoy preproduction and unreleased joe items!

  3. Jester

    I think the design may actually have been adapted for another 1988 small vehicle, the Cobra Adder: http://www.yojoe.com/vehicles/88/adder/

  4. Rooster3D

    I’m a little late, but I wonder if it has any influence on the Joe’s tractor trailer in the TYCO GI Joe Electric Trucking set.

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