Marine (Code Name: Gung Ho)

The 80s team’s original “big man”, Gung Ho was in my universe a hard-nosed and super powerful brawler. I had him delivering two-handed punches that rivaled the power of Superman. In contrast to this superheroic strengthening were the size of the figure’s arms in relation to the comic and cartoon. By 1985, GH looked puny in the guns department. His arm size increased by the 90s, but this remains my favorite version of the character.

Gung Ho has been a star character in media since his introduction in issue 11 of the Marvel comic and the first Sunbow mini-series. My favorite moment from the MASS Device came from his double-hug knockout maneuver at Dr. Vandermeer’s farm. Maybe this is where I got my Superman Gung Ho. In the Marvel comic he was even more crazy strong at times, famously demolishing a small car single-handed. That’s almost as impressive as Sunbow Storm Shadow ninjutsu-big a tank to pieces.


  • Past Nastification

    The bulky backpack is easily forgotten now in terms of size, but the first wave of figures had comparatively dainty backpacks. The arms certainly aren’t as shredded as later figures had, but they still work well with the figure.

    The new photos are great, too. They capture the atmosphere of the early product catalogs.

  • ”I was never really a fan of Gung -Ho.Being a Marine,(Gung -Ho), always reminded me of someone who wanted to start a fight with the first person , they thought they could, bully around.I don’t dought it that Gung-Ho,Leatherneck(1986), and Sgt.Slaughter(1986),hung out together ,with their other fellow Marines, at Parris Island Boot Camp, or a favorite bar to soak up a few suds, and have a game of pool.-I imagine Dr.Mindbender wanted to experiment on a few Marines and put their DNA into a few Jurrasic Dinasours ,and create some sort of Super Reptile solder for Cobra.”

    • The only marine I’ve known well was my sister’s ex-husband and he was the nicest guy. He did have this odd nostalgic glee for the more sadistic elements of boot camp, military life, etc. Maybe that’s why he married my sister, he enjoyed suffering. LOL.

      Most depictions of Gung-Ho he seems fairly even tempered unless he gets ticked off. Leatherneck was the jerk.

      I was never sure if Gung-Ho was totally bald or shaved his head.

  • My brothers and I loved this figure. But serious question here: Can anyone explain the light aqua color of his uniform? In the early years, before the Neon 90’s, Joes had more subdued and realistic military colors. Was GH’s uniform a really faded olive drab? Was this color ever a particular camo pattern? I’ve always wondered but never saw anything about this.

  • And thus began GI JOE’s courtship of alternative lifestyle jokes and YMCA references lol.

    Jokes aside, this guy was so cool on the toon and the comics. I wanted this figure so badly and then one day i got him and realized he looked really puny next the the later year sculpts lol.

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