Quick Kick (1985)

On this Memorial Day in the US, I thought I’d remember another GI Joe team member who met his fate in the pages of the Marvel Comic. One of several Joes who were killed in action during the Trucial Abysmia mission, Quick Kick was among those who survived the SAW Viper’s murderous onslaught, but was killed when the Cobra Rage that he and several others captured exploded after being fired upon by Cobras. That particular incident, as well as Quick Kick’s previous months long imprisonment in a Borovian gulag, showed the stark contrast between the comic and the cartoon’s depiction of the GI Joe characters. I’m probably in the minority, but honestly, I get a lot of enjoyment out of both. With deep, continuing storylines and even character deaths, the comic could take the Joes and Cobras places that cartoon couldn’t.

However, the Sunbow cartoon had its own charm, and Quick Kick was charming as well. From his initial appearance, he was instantly likeable to me. Some folks may not appreciate the outright humor he brought to the show, or may find him grating, but I thought he was entertaining and refreshing. Witness the following for a taste of the brilliance of Quick Kick:

The figure is pure unadulterated action figure fun circa 1985. Yes, it’s true that the Real American Hero was moving into more fanciful territory, but to a kid like me at the time, adding things like a martial artist/stuntman to the mix was head explodingly cool. I was watching Kung  Fu Theater every Saturday afternoon, as well as Lee Majors’ The Fall Guy, so this figure was right up my alley, and it saw a lot of use. I was more than a little bummed when I lost his very unique sword and nunchaku, especially since they were never remolded for any later figures. An amazing thing, considering the amount of martial arts weapons used at the end of the line.

Yeah, he’s not wearing shoes. Don’t care. Quick Kick is awesome nonetheless.



  • Not to mention he was voiced by pre-“Lost” Francois Chau.

    It is possible to replace Quick Kick’s sword–it came with the Funskool Big Brawler.

  • Dreadnok: Spirit

    To me, this is a classic and iconic Joe figure. This is the definitive version of Quick Kick.

  • I don’t know why, but this figure honestly never really appealed to me growing up. I enjoyed Quick Kick’s appearances in the cartoon, but for some reason, I never really felt the need to have him in my collection. I always liked the ninja stuff, but it just didn’t quite extend far enough to hit Quick Kick for some reason. He’s a nice figure but for some reason, it wasn’t one that grabbed me hard enough to want him.

  • Dreadnok: Spirit

    I forgot to mention something. Even though he’s obviously based very much on Bruce Lee (especially with the whole martial artist/actor/stuntman thing), on the cartoon, I always thought he resembled Bolo to a certain degree. Well, I guess I didn’t always think that. Not until I learned of Bolo and later on made the connection between him and Quick Kick. 🙂

  • I like him because he’s NOT a ninja.

  • I thought he was cool. I wonder if they were inspired by The Karate Kid being a big hit in the Summer 1984. While I know people hate him because he’s almost unarmed (the whole never bring a knife to a gunfight trope), but I thought the point were (besides the sword & nunchaku) his feet *are* his weapons and how kung fu/karate stars in kung fu movies are so powerful despite being unarmed, easily taking out armed people. We have to remember Quick Kick was conceived and produced in 1984 sometime (or Jan 1985).

    At the time, Quick Kick seemed big, perhaps because kung fu movies (along with cheesy kaiju Japanese monster movies) were fairly common on tv, perhaps because he seemed a natural rival to Storm Shadow (karate vs. ninja). Once that practice waned, once The Karate Kid franchise ended (not sure why everyone hates the fourth movie with Hillary Swank. It may not be great, but it doesn’t seem to merit the kind of hate it gets. There are so many far worse movies for that), he seemed to become one of the more forgotten members of 1985 alongside Airtight & Footloose. Kinda weird. The Dinobots in Transformers were also capitalizing on a fad in other media (dinosaurs) and yet they remain fairly popular (also 1985).

  • I loved the Fall Guy. And I too love the cartoon and the comic for different reasons. They all add to the universe in wonderful way IMO.

    Characters like Storm Shadow, Snake Eyes, Quick Kick, Jinx, Ninja Turtles, and kung Fu Theater led the way for Power Rangers to take over in the 90’s.

  • A reference to Kung Fu Theatre! You are the man for that one!

  • Quick Kick was always one of my favorites. I had a heck of a time acquiring one back in the day.

  • I,ve got a lot to say about this one.
    1: Why did Quickkick have to die? He was a far better character than the all powerful Snakeeyes!

    2: When i was six years old the only Joe episode i had was the 1988 home video release of Laser in the night. For the better part of twenty years i hated Quick kick because of that one lame Chairhead Chipindale-esque episode. Then i read the comics and i thought Quick kick was pretty cool.
    The only Transformers episode i had was Hoist goes hollywood and it had the Powermaster commercials at the start and the Dreadknock cycle, motor battle packs, SLAM, SEA RAY and Cobra wolf at the end of it. The commercials were better than the episode. But since 2007 i have appreciated the irony of an episode based on a director who couldnt care less about robots that turn into cars:)

    3: @Littleboa Check out the review for him over at Counterx.net. The guy who runs it thought the same thing between Quick Kick and Karate kid
    And as hard core transformers fan, i have always hated the Dinobots [especially Grimlock] and hope they will just die forever

  • I also used to watch The Fall Guy as a kid, mostly because of Heather Thomas and Markie Post. I also remember in particular the episodes with Elvira and ex-TV detectives Mannix, Cannon & Petrocelli.

    I always thought it was ironic that Quick Kick survived the gulag only to die during the Trucial Abysmia massacre. I’m still wondering if Larry Hama was making a point about war (sometimes you live, mostly you die) or if he just threw in Quick Kick in his dead pool list by mistake.

    The figure was very popular back in the day due to all the reasons mentioned here. I only found one on closeout around 1987. Francois Chau brought a lot of charm to the Sunbow version and that made up a lot for the oddball manner in which he was introduced. (I could understand the file card explanation, but the Arctic scenario was a bit too wacky for me.)

    Didn’t know about Chau being in Lost. Great to know his career continued to prosper after the cartoon was over.

  • The character is charming, but I always feel forced to use the figure. A martial arts master would’ve seemed more important if the Joes hadn’t been able to hold their own in every hand to hand combat situation they faced.

  • I have the so-called “inferior version” the one with the baggy.I’ve never seen both of ’em side by side to notice what the differences are. I always thought he was more of a PT/combat instructor who occasionaly went out to the field.Too bad Storm Shadow went through him like he wasn’t even there.

  • The G.I.JOE without the shoes!

  • @troublemagnet: The plastic on the bagged version is more of a peach or orange hue. It was made in Brazil instead of China. The carded version has a fleshier, more Caucasian-looking tone. The painted details on the carded version look sharper, particularly on his face. The sword that comes with the bagged version is also softer than the one packed with the carded version.


    I believe Quick Kick might have proved a more realistic character as a martial arts trainer for the Joes rather than an actual field agent. That’s how I pictured Sgt. Slaughter when his mail-in figure was announced: I figured he would be more of a Pit-based drill sergeant rather than the “real life” superhero were were given in the cartoons.

  • Quick-Kick seems overly mocked by people holding onto childhood dislikes or by fans who think that every GI JOE member should be Beach-Head.

    He was never a favorite of mine, though.

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