Gung Ho (2005)
Sometimes I break out an old figure and I’m surprised by what I find. Of course, that surprise could be positive or negative, but I’m most happy obviously to find a surprise moment of joy. Such a thing happened with 2005’s Gung Ho. I had forgotten he’s a pretty solid figure. Overall it’s a more toned-down version of the Joe team’s big Marine, compared to his 1980s version. Some folks may miss the Corps chest tattoo, but I don’t mind changing things up a bit for the older characters. You can always pretend it’s still there under his shirt.
This particular design of the character was released a year earlier with Action Attack feature, a dial in his back that when moved gave him “punching Action.” It also resulted in the lack of an o-ring construction. Of course, collectors were bummed. Luckily Hasbro refitted Gung Ho the next year and the result is pretty nice for its time.
The accessories and some build innovations are what impress me. The weaponry is much better this time around, with a grenade launcher and pistol. The usual Valor vs. Venom oddities are still included, and I don’t see GH using his anti-venom paintball gun or wrist doohickey very much at all.
Like the earlier figure, Gung Ho has a removable hat and vest. Unfortunately the vest still retains the telltale dial slot. The 2004 issue also featured a closing holster, and this thing actually works without danger of breaking off. Finally, you’ll notice a lack of shoulder rivets. This was introduced with several figures in the 2005 VvV assortments, and was a precursor to 25th anniversary construction.