Gung-Ho (2003 Built to Rule)

Despite being pretty much a flop, and not well remembered even among a less popular era of GI Joe, I found the Built to Rule series fun, especially the vehicles. Among the figures released, a few were quite memorable. My favorite was Firefly, covered some time ago on the site. Gung-Ho was another figure that impressed me, if for no other reason than being a departure from the norm for the character.

Who would have expected the Joe team’s most famous marine to make an appearance with a buttoned up jacket? Not only that, but a double buttoned jacket with funky chest straps and a popped collar. Beyond the weird shirt, it’s a fairly plain looking outfit. As usual for a new sculpt figure, the shoulder joints are quite large.

You can’t get away from these BTR figures without mentioning the gimmick, which was not only the Lego-like vehicles with which the figures were included, but also the pegs molded into the forearms and legs. As goofy a concept as this is, some credit must be given for the way it was worked into the figure. Those pegs are actually integrated into arm and leg bracers. There are even little sculpted straps that appear to hold them on. That’s a cool little touch, despite the inherent ridiculousness of human-sized Lego-like brick pegs.

The head doesn’t really scream Gung-Ho to me, aside from the baldness, but the look is close to his then current apearance in the GI Joe vs. Cobra series. He’s sporting a goatee instead of the epic ‘stache of his 80’s counterparts. I’m not too bugged by it, though throwing in his old hat would’ve been a nice touch.

The plastic used for these figures was even softer than the regular line releases, and some of the limbs have a tendency to bend sideways, especially if stored in bins and the like. My Hollow Point figure has legs so bowed, he looks like an old cowboy.



  • Not a Lego fan, too much goatee use, absurd shoulder proportions. Add it all up and this was not my favorite Joe era. I do remember being slightly psyched about the Blowtorch figure which showed up around then until I realized that it was going to be “Lego-similated.”

  • I plan to, when I acquire some of the BTR figures, re-fit them with much better parts and accessories (though I will keep the upper arms and legs). These figures will be, in addition to the Gung-Ho featured here:
    -Hollow Point

  • I don’t know why, but I always kinda liked the look of this guy. I wouldn’t have used him as Gung-Ho but he still looked cool. I just never picked him up because while I liked the figure, his BTR vehicle was really lame. The Assault Quad and Land Luge modes were both weak in my opinion and I could never justify dropping the money on the set just for the Gung-Ho.

  • The JOE B.T.R stuff was certainly better than the transformers sets.

  • I have and like Hollow Point of that line!

    • Yeah, I think Hollow Point is one of the best BTR guys they made. I think his set was the first one I picked up…I might have even paid full retail price for it, I’m not sure.

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