Leatherneck (1986)

I never had the interest to pick up this figure as a kid. Something about it just didn’t appeal to me. I think it may have been the head. It always seemed overly large. Maybe that’s just due to size of the hat. That thing is like a tent sitting on top of his head. I like the figure now, but when it came out, it held little excitement for me. I was more psyched for Serpentor. Before you throw stones, know that I’ve at least been consistent over the years in my questionable taste.

Leatherneck, for me, just wasn’t a fitting replacement for Gung Ho. Most of this was due to the prominence of Gung Ho in both the cartoon and comic. The cartoon portrayal of Leatherneck annoyed me to no end, especially when he was paired up with Wet Suit. Ugh.

Maybe I didn’t like the mustache. That’s a bit odd, since I really liked Mutt, and he sported a pretty solid ‘stache. I think this one is more of the Reynoldsesque variety than the rival Selleckstache. Who knows why I found the figure so uninteresting? Maybe it was the pants. What Joes at that point didn’t have their pants bloused around their boots? Now here comes Leatherneck, whose pants look oddly a little too tight around the calves. Did he not know how to properly launder them, and they shrank? They looked like pajama bottoms to me.

If the younger me could come up with a postive, it would have been the weapon. A nice M-16 with attached grenade launcher was a welcome sight, and more useful than Gung Ho’s grenade launcher. Molding it in grey gave it an interesting difference from previous similar rifles. Of course, that still didn’t convince young Rob to pony up three bucks for the figure. Sorry, Leatherneck. 


  • I remember getting Leatherneck as my interest in Joes was just beginning to peak. Wasn’t crazy about him either. Gung-Ho was the only Marine I cared about and this dude couldn’t match him for coolness. By 1986 it seemed that there were too many Joes with mustaches and that didn’t help my enthusiasm over the line very much.

    I did like Leatherneck’s camouflage colors and M-16 but both his comic and cartoon portrayals made the guy highly unlikable, which was probably the intent if you stop and think about it.

  • This was the first Joe figure I actually ever got. A friend of our family found him randomly left behind somewhere and snapped him up and gave him to me. That was really what first hooked me on Joes…I think I only ever had the figure, none of the accessories, but the poseability and sculpt just worked so well that the rest, as they say, was history.

  • The second Marine on the roster!

  • I didn’t get this one. My older brother had it. I got the Special Mission Brazil set, so my Leatherneck was desert colored, but I retired him because I realized that the Brazil set was rare even in the 80’s.

    He was a good figure. He could hold his gun well, which was a major plus. The character was a jerk, contrast to likeable Gung-Ho, which is a good thing, since too many of 1986’s crew seemed like replacements for earlier characters.

  • Steven B. Williams

    I had this figure, but the biggest turn-off for me was the card art, especially his mouth (he had a bit of a country bumpkin vibe, like he was going “Hauh?”). And maybe he was too to-the-letter in his general look while we had guys like Bazooka running around in a football jersey. Well, maybe not; Footloose looked to-the-letter. Maybe it was the bright green. I don’t know.

  • One of the few G.I.JOEs with a bracelet.

  • I still need his backpack? Anyone got one for sale?

  • The head, with ‘stache, is (was) a dead-ringer for former Hasbro designer Ron Rudat. But the hat really is too big. The camo is unprecedented and… odd, too. I’ve never been big on his legs, either. Is he carrying a flip-cellphone on his left thigh? The Special Missions comics saved the character for me, though.

  • I actually like the portrayal of Leatherneck on the cartoon–not to mention I’m a fan of the VA, Chuck McCann. I hope to get this version at some point, since I also have the ’86 Wet-Suit. Also regarding the pants–they’re tucked into the boots so that if he’s walking through swampland, the boots get most of the gunk. And that’s a walkie-talkie on his left thigh.

    His rifle is one of the most reused weapon molds throughout the newsculpt era–yet it didn’t even come with the Valor Vs. Venom Leatherneck.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.