Variations on a Theme – Part 3: Zarana With Earrings

If you read the previous entry in this ongoing series, you’re probably assuming that you have things all figured out this time around. And if that’s the case, then you’re in for a pretty big surprise.

Our contestant today is Zarana, the lone female Dreadnok from the fifth wave of G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero toyline releases in 1986. Once again, the most frequently seen version is on the left while the more difficult to find and valuable variant is on the right.

Zartan realized that his sister's plastic surgery addiction had gone too far.

As you can see, the earrings are just about the least of the changes that were made to this figure. Shortly after Zarana’s initial release, her rather original large head was replaced with a completely different, smaller sculpt with more feminine, delicate, and petite facial features. The difference is actually rather striking when seen from up close.

Zarana head sculpt comparison (from left to right): front, profile, back, overhead, and three-quarter views.

Exactly why this change was made is anyone’s guess, though I personally consider it an improvement. If nothing else, it bears a much greater resemblance to the character’s depiction in her own cardback art.

There's nothing sexier than a hot chick with power tools.

On a final note, I’ve noticed that Zarana is just one in a long list of action figures in this line that have extremely shoddy gold paint applications. What makes it especially bad in this case is that the variant of the day’s extremely large earrings sometimes end up being completely flesh-colored, making it look like she has stretched earlobes. Either way, she still fetches two or three times the price as her standard counterpart does, so maybe she’s getting the last laugh after all…

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