Jungle Trooper (Code Name: Recondo)
There are a few GI Joe figures that have passed beyond the realm of simply being well made and memorable to the die hard fans. Figures like the original Cobra Commander, Storm Shadow and Snake Eyes I think are recognizable even to those who only have a casual knowledge of the toys. Then there are others, who may not be as universally remembered as easily, but who still hold a strong memory. The original Recondo has always been a solid figure that still maintains his cool factor. He’s not a star of a Duke or Snake Eyes caliber, but whenever there’s a new iteration of GI Joe, fans eventually wish for a new version of their favorite jungle trooper. Recondo was present for the relaunch era, and heck, the man even showed up in Sigma 6.
Recondo quickly became one of my favorite figures in 1984. That’s a pretty impressive feat, considering the same year saw release of some amazing Cobra figures, including Storm Shadow and Firefly. At the time, however, as much as I liked those villain figures, I was much more into the Joes. I absolutely wore out my Recondo figure by using him in nearly every play situation. Even though he’s a jungle fighter, I didn’t feel that Recondo was hemmed in by his specialty. He could function alongside any other team member in any given situation.
Recondo has a lot of personality in his look. From his distinctive hat, to the mustache, to the unique and detailed accessories, there’s no mistaking him for anyone else. He had a decent amount of exposure in the comic or cartoon, but made his mark for me mostly based on the quality of his action figure.
Recondo could also fit into an adventure as well as military setting. The adventure aspect of his look is something that didn’t really hit me as a kid, but it’s an aspect of him that I can appreciate now. The boonie hat, the uniform and wrapped rifle wouldn’t be out of place in the old Adventures of GI Joe era, the transitional period sandwiched between the original military Joes of the 60s and the Adventure Team of the 70s. He’s even wearing a shoulder holster similar to those old guys.
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention his fantastic camo pants. They helped him stand out among his brethren, and are still a big part of what I like about the figure. The unique aspects of Recondo as a toy engendered a lot of interest for me, and he remains a favorite.