Sometimes I think I’ve been a little too harsh on the modern styled GI Joe figures. I think I’ve alternately called them less playable, and even gone as far as calling them statues. Granted, in many cases, I still stick with those assessments. But there was a time, at the beginning of the Pursuit of Cobra line, when I was totally jazzed by the new offerings. Have I changed my opinion on the modern style? Not really, but moving through a bunch of the first series PoC figures looking for blog subjects again has tempered my feelings a bit. As much as I like to be curmudgeonly about recent action figure offerings (and not just GI Joes) in the hyper-articulated style, I had to say, “Hot damn!” when I broke out this Beachhead.
I was mightily impressed four years ago when it was released, and it still makes me smile. There’s a real presence of the old Beachhead here, attitude and all. There are enough of the old hallmarks still around, from the texture on his mask, to the color of his pants, to take me back to 1986 while grooving on a high-tech update. I know next to nothing about modern military hardware and gear, but this guy evokes the kind of “near future” aesthetic that the 80s Joes maintained for their first few years.
Surprisingly poseable when compared to the older 25th anniversary versions of the famous ranger, Beachhead is the beneficiary of articulation improvements that began in the Rise of Cobra line. The hands hold the rifles pretty convincingly, and the vest, though it restricts movement, is fitted well.
Like the first version from the old days, Beachhead is festooned with gear and weapons, and includes an arsenal of weaponry to rival the more recent Retaliation Duke figure. He’s even got a bit of stowable gear in the form of his flippers that handily plug into his back. Hey, play value! There’s no mistaking who this figure is, and at the same time, it isn’t a slavish recreation of the original 80s predecessor. That’s something the Pursuit of Cobra line accomplished on more than one occasion.