Gung Ho (2003)
Oh, to return to the days of an incorrect facial hair color being the biggest problem in collecting new GI Joes. The presence of blond and brown haired Gung Ho figures was my most most vivid memory of this figure from its time on the pegs. Well, that and its weird proportions. His top and bottom halves appear as if they came from different figures–weird. But by the second year of the relaunched line, I had resigned myself that such was the style of these new toys. I hoped that things would change, but overall I was happy to see the brand back at retail. As a collector, I was more excited about the possibility of a vintage styled o-ring pack here and there, especially Cobra army builders. But that’s a conversation for another post.
Gung Ho here isn’t exactly his old self. In fact, he’s always appeared quite a bit younger to me in this iteration. He looks more WWE Steve Austin than animated Sunbow/Marvel comics. I presume his trademark tattoo lurks beneath his padded vest.
On a positive note, GH comes equipped with a removable cap. This one more resembles the classic fatigue caps of the 60s era than the specific Marine design of the 1980s figure, but it is nice to be able to remove headgear. The only issue here is the fact that it doesn’t stay attached very well. Other removable gear (a precursor to the 25th line?) included a nicely detailed web vest, which bulks him up a bit too much, but adds some visual interest.
IIRC, the blonde hair version disappeared pretty quickly and was rather tough to find. Not that anyone really cared. But, this whole wave kind of disappeared quickly due to the huge demand as 2003 ended.
You could use this guy as a whole new character, with that distinctive set of facial hair and its coloring.
On the subject of facial hair. I grew a moustache in the hope of looking like my namesake. But as I need glasses, I’m often mistaken for Ned Flanders instead
The colors do seem a little mismatched; I wonder why they added that blue vest? Was that some kind of characteristic for Gung Ho? This isn’t a terrible figure, but it’s not very interesting either.