It’s Part Five of my G.I. JOE Battle Pack feature and we’re in the home stretch with only two figures left. Today we’re looking at Gung-Ho which is a character that I always liked a lot, despite the fact that he has always given off a strong Village People vibe. As far as the figure goes, well unfortunately, 25th Gung-Ho has a lot in common with Duke. There is some superb sculpting at work here, but he’s got a couple of issues that hold him back from being as great as Scarlett or Snake Eyes.
Ok, first the good stuff. No, make that the great stuff. The sculpting on this figure is amazing. The use of a separate vest, with all the little pockets and a grenade, laid over the figure looks fantastic when coupled with all the muscles in his chest. It adds so much depth and credibility to the figure’s appearance. The trousers feature grenade rounds sculpted onto his left leg and a functional holster on his right hip. Even the portrait is superb and the cap is perfect right down to the tiny anchor insignia. If I had one gripe about this figure’s aesthetics it would be that the tattoo on his chest should have been a little more pronounced. Otherwise, I think Hasbro nailed this figure perfectly. The detail is just fantastic.
So, the biggest problem with Gung-Ho is his legs. The hip joints are so goddamn loose that he can barely stand up on his own, even when he’s plugged into a figure stand. You can hold him by the torso and shake him and his legs will flop all over the place. Too bad the Code Name Crazy Legs was already taken. Originally, I thought it was just a problem with my figure, but I own three Gung-Ho’s: Two from the 5-pack and one single carded. Every one of them has the same problem. Because the pegs are so far back on the figure stand, he’ll topple backwards and take the whole stand with him. You can flip it around to balance it out for some better luck, but Gung-Ho will still lean backwards at the hips as if he and Shipwreck had a little too much to drink on shore leave.
The articulation here is pretty much identical to Duke and Snake Eyes. Gung-Ho’s arms seem slightly better designed than Duke’s. The wrist swivels are a little higher than I would like, but at least they aren’t in the middle of the forearm. The elbow ball joints also don’t quite reach a 90-degree angle. Nonetheless, I’ve had less frustration getting Gung-Ho’s arms to do what I want than I did with Duke. Maybe it’s because I was more frustrated by him wanting to fall down all the time.
In addition to his personalized stand, Gung-Ho comes with three accessories. You get his backpack, an M79 grenade launcher and an automatic pistol. I really dig the grenade launcher, mainly because it’s actually hinged in the middle so you can break it open at the breech for loading and Gung-Ho can hold it fairly well in his right hand. The pistol fits snugly into the holster and he can hold it best in his left hand. The backpack pegs into the figure’s back right through the vest. It has a tendency to work its way out from time to time. I’ve been tempted to glue it into place, since I have a few extra Gung-Ho’s in case I ever wanted one of them to sit in a vehicle.
In the end, Gung-Ho share’s Duke’s pain, as he has that one unfortunate flaw that keeps him from being outstanding. I don’t know what causes that problem with his hips, but it seems like it could have been easily fixed because none of the other figures have it. Gung-Ho is an amazing looking figure that pays great respects to the character, and so long as I leave him on my shelf with the others, he does my collection proud. He’s also great for sitting in a vehicle. But as soon as I try to pose him the disappointment sets in. That’s probably why when I had my JOE collection displayed he was relegated to VAMP driver. Ah well. Tomorrow we’ll wrap this week up with a look at the final figure in this set, Roadblock.