Grunt (1983)

The first Joe vehicle I bought was the Falcon glider. I had received $10 from my grandmother for my birthday and so on the way home, I bade my parents to take me to Montgomery Wards so I could spend the tenner that was burning a hole in my little pocket. After hemming and hawing far longer than any nine year old has a right, I settled on the Falcon glider.

Here begins my fascination with repainted figures. At a time when the most colorful Joes were Flash and Grand Slam, tan Grunt was a real standout. With his desert themed color, you might consider him the first environment specific Joe.

Most of the early drivers didn’t include weapons, and Grunt is no different. I usually armed him with Snow Job’s laser rifle, since it was featured so prominently in the cartoon. Better yet, the accessory pack included a Grunt backpack in the same shade of tan.

I’ve wondered about the difference in placement of the sleeve pockets on the ’82 (side of the arm) and ’83 figures (front of the arm). I’m guessing it’s something to do with the swivel arm and shoulder cuts. Another difference to point out between the two years’ figures–the waist. The original was quite bulky with a simple ‘H’ belt buckle, while the later version was more streamlined ad added the familiar Hasbro ‘house’ symbol to the belt. A neat little touch.

Grunt’s file card art was used as key art for many items at the beginning of the Real American Hero line. If anybody was the “face”of GI Joe in those days, it was Grunt.


  • I love Grunt. He shouldn’t have been dispatched from both the comic and cartoon given how Hasbro licensed his card art on so many products. I used to give this figure his tan backpack and an extra M-16 too. I wonder how many parents tried to return the Falcon glider after it broke on its maiden flight. LOL. I also liked the new sleeve pockets and waists a lot better on these guys. Those crotches were pretty sturdy compared to later figures and adding the Hasbro symbol was indeed a great touch.

  • Nice write up. The Falcon glider was little before my time, so missed out on it completely. I didn’t get into Joe until 85/86, and the only Grunt figure I ever had was the angry ’92 figure.

  • Pingback: Joe A Day » Storm Shadow (2002)

  • Whaaat? The belt buckle IS the Hasbro logo! I never realized this before. Mind blown.

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