I remember way back in 1982 when the GI Joe line came out and the Original Cobra Commander was a mail order item. The first one I had broke and another was ordered to replace him. I remember when the new Commander arrived he seemed a bit off......
Can you tell any difference between the logos?
This is the original; commonly referred to as the "Mickey Mouse" logo because of the resemblance to Mickey's big ears on it. I remember thinking it was odd that it didn't match the logo in the comic but it didn't matter, as I was able to draw this one a lot easier so I was happy. My first Commander wreaked havoc for quite some time until he broke his thumbs and blew out his crotch ....... ouch !!
This is the logo that came with his replacement. I remember thinking that it was weird that it wasn't exactly like the other one I had. I did like that it was more in line with the comic and, of course, the Commander had functional hands and an intact crotch (No self respecting child would be caught dead with a homicidal maniac that had a gaping hole in his torso !). I couldn't draw this version of the logo on my Trapper Keeper as good as the other so that kinda sucked, but hey, I was 10, things like that were important then.
It is weird that a production change like this goes on and it affects a kid. You expect a certain level of continuity from your toys and it can be disconcerting for a child when he expects his terrorist commander to dress a certain way, then all of a sudden his logo changes. I honestly didn't become completely aware of this until I started collecting in my 20s and experienced on of those "Oh Yeah" moments learning about the history of the original.
Anyway, it did create a collectors item. The original logo is tough to find and can fetch a good price on eBay. The commander was released as a swivel arm later as well, so the straight arms can be tough to locate too, especially since thumbs can be problematic in the earliest versions.