Gung Ho (1983)
Gung Ho was one of the first GI Joe figures I obtained, not from buying in a store, but from a trade with a school friend. I had made many such trades over the first few years of my childhood Joe collecting, and I’m pretty sure I had to trade more than one Star Wars figure for him. In our little group, Star Wars was the weaker trade currency.
Looking back, I think this figure is the source of the fascination that I sometimes have with Joe figures’ trousers. More specifically, Gung Ho struck me because he was the first figure I saw that didn’t wear a matching shirt and pants, and the pants were camo at that.
There’s a kind of magic about the earlier Joes and the application of their camo patterns, especially on the waist and legs. It seems to be designed not just to appear to be a pattern, but to work with the scale of the figure. The pattern is asymmetrical yet balanced, and brilliantly simplified. Bon pantalons, Etienne.