G.I. Joe: ARAHC - Leatherneck

First of all, let me start by saying I do not consider myself a narrow minded Hasbro cronie, but to me, there is one continuity in the Joe world that cannot be contested, and that is the continuity of the toys. That is the only common denominator out of the whole Joe fandom. Sure we all add our twists and turns, little side stories here and there, but when it all comes down to it, the toys are a constant.

Where is this all going? Well, this is Leatherneck. That’s who Hasbro says it is, so that’s who it is to me. I have seen some terrific ideas for different characters, and support them all heavily, but in my personal universe, what Hasbro says, pretty much goes. Does that mean Cobra La exists here? Well, heck no, but I’m not gonna use those figures as other characters, I just won’t use them at all.

So, will I use this Leatherneck? I’m torn at this point. It’s a very tough call. If the original Leatherneck wasn’t so dang cool I wouldn’t have to think twice about it, because this is a very, very cool figure. But as it stands, I’m not sure if this new version of ole Wendell is good enough to usurp the original, which is one of the best of the line. Time will tell…

So why do I like this shameless Duke clone so much? I really do not know. Even though he is merely recycled parts and a new noggin (or modified Crossfire…it’s really tough to tell…) he just seems really cool to me. Same as Crossfire being a great addition to the Joe team, I see Leatherneck as one, too. That’s why it is especially unfortunate that they chose him to be this particular character, because as anyone else, he would shine in my Joe world, but as Leatherneck, he may not get much (if any) air time at all.

Now for the reasoning: His mold is great. He’s got the ’92 and ’01 Duke chest, which is a terrific body part. I don’t see why if Duke has it, that means no one else can use it either…how many elite troopers do you see that where completely different uniforms? The legs, taken from the original Roadblock and Double Blast are also plain enough, but good enough to work. The color and mold compliments the torso just fine and I see no issues with these parts either. All in all, the recycled parts work here as they did with Crossfire. The loss of the moustache does bother me slightly…simply because that would have been a great link to the original. I wouldn’t have minded had all of the other parts been the same, but with the new parts, new head, and no moustache, this being Leatherneck is just hard to swallow. I will swallow it, but it could have been better.

As for his weapons, MAN…I wish they’d given these to Duke!! I LOVE this gun…it’s a great weapon! The knife is cool and the backpack (another leftover from RB and DB…)works well enough, I suppose. All in all, this figure is very cool, and may have made it even higher on my list, except for the fact that he is supposed to be a certain character, and that does not allow me the freedom to do what I’d like with him.