In 1978 during the height of the Cold War, Stewart (Slappy) Malloy devised a television series for kids that dramatized the fighting forces of the United States against those of the Soviet Union.  Motivated by a frustration toward the Carter administration’s apologetic posture and what he deemed a weak foreign policy, Slappy Malloy proposed a television show called “Sam Force” that would promote patriotism and restore pride in the armed forces.  Every week “Sam Force” was to fight “The Red Thumb” a proxy Soviet empire.  The show never made it beyond its pilot episode, and in 1979 Slappy Malloy was recruited by Hasbro to revitalize the wilting GIJOE franchise.


Above is the front of a proposed trading card.  It features Natasha Plotnikova, a Red Thumb villainess.  She is an agent skilled in the passive aggressive arts.  The back of the card lists her weapons as pouty lips and a sullen expression.  Furthermore, she makes her enemies feel guilty almost at will.  Plotnikova appeared briefly in an interrogation scene during the pilot episode.

Ah, what might have been.

In the words of the Sam Force Theme Song:

The Sam Force forever, hurrah, boys, hurrah!

Down with the traitor, and crush the red star.


Published by Zach

I'm a writer and illustrator living in Creedmoor NC.

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  1. Her name should be Plotnikova, as she’s a woman. Plotnikov could be her husband or brother 🙂
    Like, you know, Petrov and Petrova for man and woman or Korolev and Koroleva.

    And the painting is great 🙂

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