G.I. Joe: ARAHC - Gung Ho

Semper Fi! It’s been too long since I’ve seen a Gung Ho I REALLY got excited over, but there’s a first time for everything, right? Gung Ho was one of my favorite characters as a kid, and even though as an adult I think he got somewhat overused in the media that he was established in, there is still a soft spot in my heart for this particular character.

The ’84 version was cool enough...cool weapons, a great, classic look. The next Gung Ho, 1987 was very cool as well, but not useful at all in a battle environment. The dress blues looked snappy, but were not effective for the combat zone. Then we got another great couple of Gung Ho’s, the ’92 version and the Mega Marines version. Lots of folks find faults with the Mega Marines, and bash the later stuff even without giving it a chance, but these two Gung Ho’s were GREAT! Despite his mysterious moving (and shrinking) tattoo, these figures are testament to the fact that even in the twilight of Joe’s original life, Hasbro was giving it all they had.

After those two, things went somewhat south. We had the Battle Corps version, which was just a worse repaint of the original, and we had the ’97 version which barely deserves mention. Now, nearly a decade later, Gung Ho is great again.

He screams "Jarhead" all the way to me. His large muscles and bald, headbanded head are synonomous with the crazy Marine that was Gung Ho. That feeling is still alive with this figure today. They used the mold from ’92 which was a terrific mold, and only made it better, with the great subdued greens and browns, but retaining all of it’s original coolness. This Gung Ho is the definitive Gung Ho to me, replacing the ’92 version which had been up until this point.

His weapons are also great throwbacks to that ’92 version. He comes with the HUGE machine gun and cool, simple backpack that the older one was clad with, and is only missing the American Flag. It is unfortunate that the flag was not included, especially with America’s devout patriotism these days, as I’m sure that would have been a large draw to kids and parents alike.

All in all, Hasbro does with this figure as it has done with the past series…retained the classic greatness of the older versions, yet added enough new twists and colors to make it interesting. Awesome work as always, Hasbro, I’m looking forward to Wave 5.