Eaglehawk (2013)

The Eaglehawk was a pleasant surprise when it was revealed earlier this year. The prospect of getting a shot at a new version of a classic GI Joe vehicle brought back good memories of 2011’s Skystriker release. Having the product in hand now, I can see more than one comparison to that remake of an old favorite.

I don’t normally talk too much about boxes here, but this one is worth mentioning, if not simply for the impressive box art. The The overt ninja motifs may not be to everyone’s liking, but it is a bold looking package. I find it more attractive than previous movie box art. Interestingly, though the art carries over the basic look, and some of the copy from the Retaliation packaging, the GI Joe logo itself doesn’t include a reference to the movie. The size of the box, and the way the parts have been economically placed inside, are reminiscent of the 2011 Skystriker release. The body of the Eaglehawk looks like it has been engineered to  fit inside the smallest box possible. Parts like the tail rotor and the side landing gear are now separate pieces that attach to the body proper.

When everything’s spread out, it’s apparent that there are a ton of parts crammed into the box. While the build process isn’t quite the model kit experience of vintage Joe vehicles, there is a fair amount of assembly to be done. When it all comes together, the modular nature of the Eaglehawk isn’t readily noticable. In general, much like the Skystriker, the Eaglehawk has a different feel from the old toy. Obviously, the plastic is different, and the vehicle feels at once both lighter and sturdier than its predecessor.

All of the old features are here, from the open rear cabin with seats and gun stations, to the opening cargo ramp, and even the working winch. All of the features have been reworked to some extent. The rear cabin seats are no longer removable, but the positions of the guns have been reversed. The machine guns are also now articulated, and can be removed. The winch is incorporated into the body, and the winding mechanism is located on the vehicle’s side. The winch’s rope however is disappointingly short, especially when compared to the amazing lengths of the zip-lines included with some of the Retaliation figures. Speaking of which, there are various points on the helicopter to which figures with rappelling lines can attach, including the back of the cargo ramp. Some new features have also been added, such as new interior details throughout the ship, hinged engine covers and folding rotor blades. Having replaced a few vintage rotor blades over the years, I have to say that is the single most welcome addition to the vehicle. The old Tomahawk had some great play features, but the improvements open up even more play possibilities.

Comparing it to the old Tomahawk, in addition to the assembly, the Eaglehawk is more than a remold, it’s completely retooled. From big differences like the more detailed cabin areas, to smaller changes like added panel lines, the Eaglehawk is a great update to a classic vehicle, and has really been fine tuned for the modern era. Even if you have a Tomahawk already, I’d recommend picking the new version up, if for nothing other than the improvements.


  • Well now comes the question–how much did this set you back?

  • Great, amazing “NEW” vehicle…YO JOE!

  • Mine cost me $45 and is sitting in mile pile of loot from BBTS awaiting shipping

  • I had a lot of fun putting this beast together last week. Yeah, assembly might not have been as intensive, but there were still a lot of fun stickers to put on. I appreciated that you could choose between either full color or black versions of the Joe logo and United States. I’ll agree that the winch kind of disappointed me, especially since I just discovered the original had a winch on it last when my brother and I were re-rotoring his original Tomahawk (and yeah, that’s a design flaw I’m glad they rectified with this one) and I believe the winch line is quite a bit longer there. One thing I do wish they’d done is given us a sticker for the pilot they like did on the Skystriker. I really enjoyed that on both the Skystriker and the 25th anniversary Ghost H.A.W.K. My only real complaint is that the seats don’t really have a good way to hold the figures in place. I know I’m not going to be putting it through his speed banking turns like my brother and I did back in the day, but I do like being able to secure my figures a little better in such open vehicles. Despite my few nitpick-y complaints I am really glad to have this baby in my collection. The Eaglehawk is an amazing piece of Joe merchandise and considering at Joe Con 2009 they said they wouldn’t be doing this vehicle anywhere in the future, it gives me hope that we’ll see some other awesome things they said don’t hold your breath on…though I’m still hoping that the next super update will be a classic large Cobra vehicle like the Moray Hydrofoil (I’m not a Joe boat guy and even I like that vehicle). Don’t get me wrong, I like the Skystriker and Eaglehawk, but the vehicles I had memories attached to were Cobra ones, not Joes.

  • Whenever my Grandmother would get me a model kit or Joe vehicle for an x-mas or gift back in the day she used to winge about it being in peices. I would always try to explain to her that putting something like a Joe vehicle or model kit together is half the fun. A couple of days ago i picked up the Droid tank from the phantom menace revisited line and man did i have fun putting that bad boy together. Almost changed my opinions of Phantom Menace

    i’m thinking of planning a trip to Sydney so i can visit a few of the comic/specialty collectables stores to see if i can find one of these. My V1 Liftticket looks a out of place on the shelf with all the other ’86ers

  • The problem with modern packaging is that there are few to no characters at retail that can help cross-sell the line. Artwork is all you have to go by if you want to help push the item. In the vintage era, you had at least 30 new figures each year to go with new vehicles and the boxes made darned good use of them, even ones who weren’t the most obvious choices to man a particular ride.

    I was going to ask about the seats because the other clear issue at hand with the modern line is the incompatible foot pegs and back holes. I noticed the seats didn’t even have belts to keep the figures from falling out. With an open rear cabin and machine gun bay, you’d think the design team would’ve come up with something.

    On the plus side, the copter is still a two seater and there are major improvements such as the folding rotor blades. Like Phillip, my Eagle/Tomahawk is also sitting on a BBTS POL until year’s end, most likely. I’m hoping that this baby will sell like hotcakes so Hasbro continues to revisit the classics more often from now on.

  • brandonixon808

    Very nice review. I found one of these just this week at TRU. Must say, I’m really impressed but I’m having a hard time deciding if I should use vintage figures or modern figures to display in it. Either way though, it looks great. I really hope Hasbro will follow this up with a W.H.A.L.E.

  • Man a WHALE would be sweet. This is just a phenomenal piece!

  • Given that it’s not easily available in the UK, it’s a little academic, but I’d have been more likely to track one down if it had a different camo to the Tomahawk.

  • Nice review,Rob. It seems with these moderen updates, not much consideration is used as far as ME figures and how they “fit” inside these vehicles. I can’t believe Hasbro didn’t put seat belts or at least properly placed back pegs on the seats which are non-removable? Not a deal breaker, but definitly a disapointment.On the other hand, I love the darker windsheild, and the sticker options. Hope to pick one up soon.

  • My real decision is whether to repaint my original, which is pretty beat, or this one. The Skystriker was a cool release, but the Eaglehawk is awesome! Dareisay, it paves the way for other, future retoolings of vintage vehicles (like the WHALE)?

  • Last hurrah. I don’t expect any larger vehicles until another movie or some other attempt at a relaunch.

    The non-removable seats are a step backwards. I’d have been enthusiastic for this vehicle 6 years ago, but the changes and ups and downs of the toy series burned me out. Maybe the club will do a Python patrol repaint and charge $100+ for it.

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