Distribution and exclusives issues aside, Hasbro’s new GI JOE line has been delivering tons of goodies and we’re still in the initial months of its launch. I honestly did not expect this many figures to be hittinig the pegs so soon. Yeah, I’m still hunting for a Baroness, Beach Head and a couple more Cobra Troopers, but that’s cool. They will be mine eventually!!! And so without wasting any time, let’s dive in and check out the newest addition to the JOE team, everybody’s favorite gumbo-slurping Jarhead… Gung Ho!
The packaging looks just as good as ever. It’s colorful, it has some wonderful character art, that cool iconography-based skill list on the side panel, and it’s all collector friendly if you want to save these. And much like Hasbro’s Star Wars Black Series, the figures are numbered, which means you absolutely have to buy them all. YOU HAVE TO!!! I was excited to see Gung Ho was teased so early in the line, as he was a favorite figure of mine in the Real American Hero series.
And I’m equally excited to see that Hasbro hasn’t messed around with his iconic look too much. This Marine from the Bayou still dons his camo pants and wears a tactical vest with no shirt, allowing him to show off his guns and his chest tattoo. The vest features some great sculpted detail, which includes pockets, reinforced plates, a brace of grenades on the left shoulder, and some cool texturing. He also has that silver and blue gizmo on his right shoulder that a lot of the JOEs have had. When I first saw this on Roadblock, I thought it was some kind of tool for adjusting his machine gun, but apparently it’s some sort of ID? Maybe?
In addition to the vest, Gung Ho has a few other separately sculpted pieces worn on him, including a trio of canister grenades strapped ot his left thigh, a silver arm bracer on his right forearm, and an elbow pad on his left arm. He also has some armor pieces on his lower legs, but these are sculpted as part of the figure. Overall, I like the deco on this guy. The camo pants and darker green jacket give him that appropriate military look while the metallic silver paint add some pop.
Gung Ho’s head sculpt is fantastic! It takes the portrait on the old figure that I know and love and gives it a dose of realism. He’s sporting a stern expression, and the sculpt and paint on that handlebar mustache is on point. The hat is removable, and to be honest, I had to apply a little blue-tack to get it to stay on. I was surprised when it came off to see Gung Ho sporting a little mohawk patch up there, which is also perfectly sculpted and painted. This guy just looks like he was born to piss in Cobra’s cornflakes. I’m glad he’s one of the good guys, because I would not want to mess with him.
The articulation here is every bit as good as I’ve come to expect in this line. Gung Ho’s arms feature rotating hinges in the shoulders and wrists, swivels in the biceps, double-hinges in the elbows, and he also has the added shoulder crunches, which I was not expecting as these are concealed by the jacket. His legs have those double ball-joints in the hips, swivels in the thighs, double-hinges in the knees, and both hinges and lateral rockers in the ankles. He has a ball joint in the waist, an ab-crunch hinge under the chest, and his neck is both hinged and ball jointed. Gung Ho is a lot of fun to play around with, and with his vest off, he looks like he’s ready to go a few rounds with Cobra’s toughest customer in a cage match to the death.
Gung Ho comes with a pretty big backpack, which is capable of holding all of his weapons. Well, technically it is. The side clips work well, but the clip on the bottom, not so much. But that’s OK, because he can hold that weapon and still manage to carry everything he comes with. As has been the case with previous figures, Gung Ho’s weaponry have a decidedly science-fiction flavor to them. In some cases, I don’t mind this so much, as long as there’s still a real world element to them. Let’s see how these guns turned out!
First off, he has what I presume is supposed to be a grenade launcher. I think this was a great choice, as I seem to recall his 25th Anniversary figure coming with an M-79 grenade launcher. This one has a revolver-type cylinder and a top carry bar. Like all the weapons here, it’s molded in a sort of gray plastic, which seems to hold the sculpted detail pretty well. This baby fits my criteria as looking fairly convincing in its overall design and I dig it a lot.
Next up, we’ve got what I’m calling a shotgun. Yeah, it has some kind of vertically orientated beam emitter on the muzzle, but the foregrip looks like it’s meant to pump. Maybe you pump to charge it and it blasts out a spread of energy? Maybe I’m over-thinking it. Either way, it looks like it has what is supposed to be a telescoping stock and there’s a rail on the top to fit a scope or light or whatever else he wants to throw on top of it. So, this one isn’t quite as convincing as the grenade launcher, but I don’t mind it.
Finally, Gung Ho comes with a carbine, with a rear mounted magazine. This has some similarities to the shotgun, as the muzzle is basically the same and it also has a rail on top for customization. This looks like it would be a pretty good gun for when you’re boogying through the jungle and need to blast any Cobra that happens to pop up out of the trees.
And so, Hasbro delivers another great figure in this new Classified line up. Gung Ho keeps the trend going of taking a familiar design and tweaking it just enough to make it feel fresh and new, while still being faithful to the original character design. I’m sure there are plenty of purists out there who will scoff at the armor pieces and the sci-fi weapons, but I’m finding that I really dig these new looks. As I’ve said before, it wouldn’t have been my first choice, but I can’t deny that these are great looking figures and above all loads of fun!