Toys "R" Us Exclusive Quick Kick

I have a confession to make. I hated Quick Kick. I mean, I really, really hated him. When I first bought him, I fell in love with him within minutes, just by reading one of Hama's infamous file cards, but shortly after that joy was over, I realized I had just bought a shirtless dude in bare feet, and the luster quickly wore off.

Somewhere I suspect Larry Hama had a similar viewpoint as Quick Kick never got a whole lot of play, and pretty much his one and only face off against Storm Shadow ended in him having his ass handed to him, and then his next duties were to be captured in Borovia, and executed in Trucial Abysma. Probably not the most esteemed career.

But something funny has happened over the years. I've slowly learned to appreciate the Sunbow history within the G.I. Joe fandom, and have been able to grasp the campier parts of Joe history a bit better than I did as a kid. When I was younger I was really into the hard-edged military atmosphere of the comic, and Quick Kick had no place there. But as a stuntman turned covert operations specialist in the cartoon, running through the arctic in his bare feet...well, he at least had some memorable moments in the cartoon, and he was a pretty essential part of the history of G.I. Joe from that perspective.

Quick Kick's entry into the 25th Anniversary line was something that the fandom had been clamoring for, and Hasbro honestly hit it out of the park. A fantastic representation of the Joe martial arts specialist, and a very detail-rich homage to his original roots...yet still he was a barefoot guy in a sash who really has no place on a military strike force. For the Pursuit of Cobra, Hasbro designers took lots of elements from the "kung fu" feel of Quick Kick, made him a bit more functional, and cranked up the easter eggs. The result is a pretty neat update to the character, though still a bit dubious with how he fits in a military sense.

Quick Kick uses the distinctive head sculpt and torso from his 25th Anniversary version, but borrows his arms from Resolute Storm Shadow, and his legs from the various Rise of Cobra Storm Shadow figures. Immediately you will notice a great homage to Bruce Lee once you take off the bulky martial arts tunic, with the well defined musculature and scarred flesh, not unlike how he appeared in Enter the Dragon. The face sculpt is purely Bruce Lee as well, and I love it.

In fact, even though it even further separates him from a military aesthetic, I think I prefer his shirtless "training mode" look compared to the Resolute Storm Shadow secondary that beefs him up, but isn't all that exciting.

When it comes to the deco for this particular figure, it certainly appears like Hasbro had some fun with it. First the overall color scheme of the figure is very reminiscent of the Cobra Kai Karate dojo from the Karate Kid. Of course, it's also the opposite color scheme from Bruce Lee's infamous yellow and black track suit. On his chest, Quick Kick also sports the proud logo for "Kung Fu Grip" a popular theme from G.I. Joe's heyday. Like so many other figures in the Pursuit of Cobra line Quick Kick is full of some great 80's tributes, though I will admit the end result is a figure that doesn't excite me a whole lot.

Quick Kick's accessories are decent, and make sense, but definitely not as plentiful as other Pursuit of Cobra figures. He sports the aforementioned Resolute Storm Shadow vest, the same nunchuks that he had in the 25th Anniversary line, and a nice ornate sword with sheath repurposed from one of the many past ninja figures. The coolest addition to this guy are the training gloves, which were initially slated to come with a "Training Duke" figure from Rise of Cobra that has since been scrapped. They fit Quick Kick's hands well and I really like their look. Again, not so military, but in a training mode, the figure has some cool potential.

Along with these other hand-to-hand weapons, Quick Kick also comes with a silenced Mac-10, which is very cool in its own right. The reason I love it so much is because one of Quick Kick's earliest operations to Cobra Island in the Marvel Comics (in fact, I believe it was his first one, if I'm not mistaken) he is carrying along a Mac-10. A nice homage, and a cool submachine gun to boot.

But honestly, even though he carries a firearm, the overall look of the figure is not conducive to military operations. Sure, the track suit pants and sneakers are a far cry better than his sweat pants and bare feet, but all in all, he still feels somewhat shoe-horned into the Joe training staff, and not suitable for field ops.

For what he is, the figure is neat. As I've said, I prefer the shirtless look (hopefully you don't hear that too much in these reviews), and he does look great as a G.I. Joe training specialist, but eventually I wouldn't mind getting a version of Quick Kick that's battle ready, and this one isn't it.

Not a bad exclusive, it certainly pales in comparison to Spirit, but it reuses some parts well, has some nice tributes built within, and obviously was the result of some creative design work, it's just not quite as functional as I like my military toys to be.