Tiger Force Hit & Run (1991)
I was out of Joe collecting in 1988, the year of the original Hit & Run’s release. As such, I didn’t have a strong connection with either the character or figure. In fact, I probably didn’t pick up his first version well into my Joe re-buying days of the 90’s. The paint scheme seemed boring and the camo pattern looked too simplistic and blobby. The overall look of the figure just didn’t hold a lot of interest for me.
My interest in the mold was piqued however when I first heard (via the awesome Mike’s Forgotten Figures) of the European Tiger Force releases. As a fan of the odd and unusual, I found a lot to like about Tiger Force Hit & Run, with his bold color scheme. It was like looking at a new figure, especially without the original’s face camouflage. When I picked up this version, I also took the time to check out the accessories, which I hadn’t done before. I discovered that the accessories and their integration into the figure and his specialty (light infantry and mountaineer) are fantastic. The climbing rig built into the duffel bag (which also stores his knife and works with his waist harness) makes him a more functional mountaineer figure than even Alpine.
With both versions, I’m still a bit disappointed about the lack of a removable helmet. Other 1988 figures like Lightfoot and Blizzard had them, why not him? It’s not a big deal, but it would have been nice. Since picking up the Tiger Force version, I found myself with a new appreciation for the original. This figure serves for me as a reminder that with a second look you can often find a gem in your collection.