Sideshow Collectibles 12" General Hawk - A guest review by Chris "Mysterious Stranger" Polansky

Chris here with a review of Sideshow Collectibles 12” scale Exclusive General Hawk figure.  As a kid I never had the v.1 “greenshirt” Hawk.  My Hawk was the bomber jacket brunette v.2 figure and he got a LOT of playtime.  His head got swapped out onto everything from Wet-suit’s diver body to the Iron Grenadier.  He was a favorite of mine so when Sideshow announced they were bringing the original G.I. Joe leader into their 12” line I was exited.

At first glance it might seem like Sideshow has just done the v.2 look but once you get deeper into the figure you’ll see that you can create a decent v.1 Hawk as well.

One thing I want to discuss before delving into the figure itself is the packaging.  Sideshow has one of the best collector friendly boxes on the market.  From the magnetic side flap opening to the slide out trays this box is everything a collector could want.  And they aren’t just functional either.  Every side of this box is covered with graphics and text that make it a stunning piece that you won’t want to throw away.  From the standard posed figure picture on the front to the iconic G.I. Joe “explosion” backdrop photos on the sides and the trademark filecard on the back, it is really a great package.

Speaking of the filecard, one of the things that I think really captured the attentions of millions of boys in the 80’s was the story the filecards told.  In just a few lines and some military jargon Larry Hama created an entire universe that made the original ARAH figures more than just toys.  These were characters with history and personality and it sparked a lot of creativity in the mind of this particular collector for sure.  Sideshow has recreated that same feeling with not only the filecard on the back but built on that story on the inside “hinge” flap.  For this particular figure that story really inspires the figure.  Specifically I’m talking about the “he won’t ask them to do anything he isn’t willing to do himself” part which, in my opinion defines the character.  Hawk isn’t a lead from the safety of a command tent kinda guy.  He goes out there and gets shot at just like all of his soldiers and this figure captures that aspect of his character perfectly.  How so?  Well read on dear friends.

Probably the most iconic version of General Hawk is his version 2 figure.  Sideshow has created that look here really well and it shows off the “man in charge” side of Hawk’s character.  The one piece that defines this look is the bomber jacket.  I’ll admit I initially had reservations about this jacket when the first images appeared on Sideshow’s site.  The suede material used didn’t look like leather and that felt like a cheat to me.  But after talking about it with one of the designers at San Diego Comic Con in 2011 I realized that a more leather like material just wouldn’t work at this scale.  After having this figure for a few weeks the suede is really growing on me.  No it’s not what I would ideally like but it works a lot better in person than I thought it would.

The other really stand out feature of this version of Hawk is the shoulder holster and hand gun.  Sideshow really did both of these items well.  The pistol, a giant .357 hand cannon looks really cool.  It comes with 2 speed loaders which ups the realism factor by a few points.  The holster is made of a black leather material that contrasts with the suede of the jacket nicely.  Usually with small items like the holster I worry about the fasteners tearing or breaking.  But Sideshow went smart on this one and instead of a traditional snap or peg and hole design they used a magnet which is ingenious and whoever thought of that deserves a raise.

I picked up the Sideshow exclusive version which includes the alternate portrait of Hawk in his cap.  The cap looks really nice and has his 2 stars (when did he get promoted?) and a classic Airborne patch that really looks like a fabric patch.

I should note one thing before continuing.  In some of these photos you’ll see Hawk with a salute hand.  That does NOT come with the figure but instead comes from the Sideshow Red Ninja.  I snagged a couple loose on the aftermarket because I think it works really well and I wanted to display this…

… on my shelf.  That’s the exclusive Beachhead I put together with loose aftermarket parts.  Just another showcase of the customizability and various display options of this line.


The other side of Hawk’s personality is that of field commander.  He likes to be on the front line with his troops and Sideshow gives us the option to display that version of Hawk with a simple removal of his jacket and the addition of some gear.

Now I can talk a bit about the uniform itself.  You may not have noticed but aside from the jacket, .357 and holster and the head sculpts, everything from the neck down on Hawk is reused.  Now this might seem like a cheap thing to do on a $130+ figure but it really works.  I’ve spoken about this before in another review so I won’t rehash it all here.  Just know that it all makes sense and with a few color changes and some personalization of accessories you get a whole new figure.

The standard portrait is very much General Hawk.  You can see in his eyes that he’s seen a lot of action but it hasn’t hardened him.  And yes he’s a brunette instead of blonde but for the figure it works.  Though I am quite tempted to get another of this head sculpt and paint it blonde.

General Hawk comes with the standard arsenal of weapons and accessories that I’ve come to expect from Sideshow.  Hand grenades (smoke and fragmentation), goggles, dogtags, ammo clips, a great backpack with pouches, water bottle, knife with sheath, helmet, belt with pouches, lots of velcro patches for his uniform and a great hand radio that I forgot to photograph.  He also comes with a very detailed rifle (the same that came with Duke) and the standard G.I. Joe “cartoon” rifle.

Overall I’m quite pleased with Sideshow’s General Hawk figure.  While it’s not everything I’d like it is beyond what I could have hoped for.  Lots of display options and a great addition to any collection.


General Hawk 12-inch Figure

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