Dana Chicca was a Sr. Engineering Designer and worked on G.I. Joe from 1989 through 1994. As an engineering designer, it was his job to do research and ensure that the product functioned the way it was intended by the designer. Some of the vehicles Dana worked on included the Retaliator, Invader re-issue, Techno Walkers, Mudbuster, Ice Snake, Monster Blaster A.P.C. , and Barracuda. Dana shared that his favorite character is Sgt. Slaughter because not only was he a popular and notorious wrestler back in the day, but that his wide shoulders and drill instructor’s hat made him a challenge to fit into the Barracuda submarine that he was working on at the time.
Dana shared that everyone who worked on Joe had vehicles and figures on display in their offices set up in action poses. He recalls coming back from vacation with his figures re-arranged in various compromising positions….all in-house fun between himself and his co-workers!
What were some of your favorite moments working on G.I. Joe?
“The camaraderie. It really felt like we were working on something larger than ourselves.”
What is your greatest accomplishment with the G.I. Joe line?
Who is your favorite figure? Why?
“Sgt. Slaughter. He was a popular and notorious wrestler at the time. His wide shoulders and that drill instructor's hat made him a challenge to fit into the Barracuda submarine that I was working on at the time. I kept him around as my reference. I drew a ‘MOM’ tattoo with heart and arrow on his left arm with red and black Sharpies!”
In your opinion, what characteristics made the G.I. Joe brand team successful?
Who is your favorite vehicle/playset? Why?
“We just happened to be working in the right place, on the right product line, at the right time. It was very exciting for me as a young engineer to be able to see items that I helped to develop on shelves in toy stores.”
“G.I. Joe Mudbuster because was the first Joe product that I was in charge of engineering and releasing to production.”