Gung Ho (2004)

Much was made of Night Force this year, with the convention exclusive set focusing on the popular GI Joe sub-team. Believe it or not, Night Force got a little bit of love during the second o-ring era. First there was a two-pack during the Spy Troops series, then a second set within Valor vs. Venom.

Gung Ho is an interesting choice to put on the team. He’s a well recognized name within the Joe team, and brings a unique element to the Night Force, being its first Marine representative. The colors aren’t too reminiscent of the classic Night Force, but the pants bear a certain color resemblance to the same year’s Night Force six pack, albeit in a more traditional camo pattern.

Both Gung Ho and his pack mate, Grunt, were decorated with face camo, a feature unique to the Night Force of the 2000s. Where the six pack figures produced in the same year were painted with simple face stripes, Gung Ho and Grunt had more elaborate two-color paint sprays. Gung Ho’s pattern is interesting, as it almost looks like he’s been wearing goggles.

He’s more than a bit on the diminutive side, which is unfortunate, considering that he’s always been portrayed as one of the Joe team’s more hulking members. It’s too bad they didn’t wait a year, when a more appropriately sized mold was available. With this figure’s short stature, wide shoulders, bald head and beard, I’m reminded of Puck from Marvel’s Canadian super hero team, Alpha Flight. Not the best comparison to draw for the Joes’ most high-profile Marine.


  • Dreadnok: Spirit

    This looks like a generic Joe figure to me.

  • Yeah, I could use him as a new guy, actually. I just need to get his vest, knife, and pistol. Truth be told, in these colors, I don’t find the figure that bad.

    And say what you will about Puck–he may be short, but he’s one tough guy. Just ask Wolverine.

  • I never saw most of the latter run spytroops stuff down here. I think maybe due to the earlier waves shelfwarming badly. I was working in a toystore at the time. Kids just ignored everything that wasnt a Japanese card game

    “This willy canadian was once member of alpha fight” [Toyfare magazine blurb from the Wolverine/Covergirl picture in the gi joe ultimate price guide]

  • I do like this color scheme on him compared to its original release. That being said, both choices for the Night Force set were pretty generic-looking. I wasn’t a fan of it, but after Dreadnok: Spirit mentioned his genericness, I honestly could see squad building these guys a bit and making a pretty nice night ops team.

  • That face sculpt looks more like something produced by Lanard than Hasbro. It’s way too bland. Goatees were very prominent during the new sculpt era, to the point where characters like Gung Ho and Wild Bill got saddled with ’em instead of their traditional mustaches.

    The thing I’ve never understood about Night Force is how little black was used on the paint apps. I’d have expected black and gray or a similar color, maybe something closer to what the Iron Grenadiers ended up sporting during the vintage years.

  • @Acer: Puck is an awesome character. It’s a great time for him in toy form thanks to Hasbro releasing both Universe and Legends versions in their Marvel lines.

    @Skymate: The toy store where I once worked at held Pokemon tournaments and they brought more kids in than any toy line we sold. I sort of blame them for killing off action figure sales over the past decade.

  • @Clutch. My one got rid of all there model kits so they could have a Yu-gi-mon [or whatever it was] tables. Several of the old vets who loved their modeling where pretty irritated about that.
    I honestly cant remeber the last time i saw a kid get excited about action figures

  • Alpha Flight started off as a good book’ til Byrne killed off Guardian.I just can’t get passed this era’s proportion issues. I have almost no Joes from this time period.Why are the shoulders so bulbulous and prominent?

  • The shoulders were too big because they didn’t want to use metal rivet construction and didn’t develop a better all-plastic arm joint system until just about the time the “new sculpt” era ended. Figure proportions ruined the era for a lot of fans.

  • Nice little Gung-Ho!

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