Recondo (1984)

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.


  • Couldn’t agree more! Such a great figure.

  • Easily among my Top 5 Joes of All Time. While 1984 is remembered for the sheer number of awesome figures offered, the only drawback is choosing just one. Being more of a Joe than Cobra fan helps shorten the list, but for me it’s an even match between ‘Condo, Blowtorch, Ripcord, and Mutt.

    Recondo takes the prize for his coolness factor and versatility. Nearly every incarnation of G.I. Joe has given us at least one memorable Recondo-centric story arc. I loved his boonie hat so much that my dad ended up ordering me an actual one from his Banana Republic catalog and I still own it to this day.

    Recondo is both an iconic figure & character and quite deservingly so!

  • I’ve come to really like the figure, ever since I got one at my local flea market. Now I’m trying to both fix him and complete him–anyone got a spare right leg, right arm, waist, and rifle?

  • I agree with the adventure vibe to his character. Who else in tv/movie history wore their hat like that, with half of the brim bent up? It looks familiar but I can’t place it. Looking at the hat and moustache, it conjures up images of 1940s adventure serials or movies. He has perhaps the creepiest card art though. He looks like a raging psycho. Would one expect that to be the card art for a Joe or a Cobra?

  • Over here, He was renamed Dingo [because he looks Australian] and came with a Kangaroo. Because every member of the Australian army has an animal side kick.

    I dont know why the toy componies thought he needed to be Australian. He isnt wearing a slouch hat. I was half expecting them to give him a six pack [beer] and a boomerang but there was a CORPS figure who beat them to that punch [at least with the boomerang]

    I also understand there were a few variations with his pants. If you see action fogure therapy you can probably see why he needs to change them so much

  • @Little Boa: Actor Christopher George as Sgt. Troy wore similar headgear (a slouch hat) in the late 60’s WWII TV series “The Rat Patrol.”

  • I always find it odd seeing Recondo carded because in the UK he was boxed with a canoe!

    • @Phillip: That is a very boss take on Recondo! The idea itself even predates the U.S. kayak which came with the ’89 Stalker.

  • Definitely a favouruite character of mine and I think the characterisation in the Marvel run really helped define the character. I also had the Action Force version with the canoe which was really cool. That Recondo was listed as an Australian, probably because the hat was similar to the Australian Jungle Fighter from the 1982 range. I kept my Recondo as an Aussie too and often pitted him against Major Bludd for that reason, years before American Elite did the same thing.

  • @ Acer: I have lots of spare Recondo parts.Email me @ I made my own Starduster using the Recondo chest.My favorite verdion of Recondo is the Tiger Force version.

  • Recondo is a solid figure, and yes, great pants. I don’t think any of the newer figure versions of the character have topped this version. Great headsculpt, distinctive uniform without being too different from the rest of the team. Unfortunately, I’ve never owned this guy but now you’ve got me thinking…
    A few years ago I was passing through the Seoul airport and while relaxing and reading in a coffee kiosk I looked up and was surprised to see Recondo himself looking back at me from a stencil-style red and black sticker, amongst hundreds of other stickers from around the world. Action Figure Therapy indeed. Rock on Recondo.

  • One of my favorites as well, when I got back into the vintage stuff a few years back he was near the top of my list of must haves. And yes, those are some mighty nice pants

  • Dak the Knomadd

    The most unfortunate aspect of all of his subsequent iterations is that none of them ever got that baadasssss lip-ferret right. Those great pants were approximated well enough in his 25th version, but that ‘stach just did not get it’s due & proper.

  • Recondo is an awesome figure, one of my childhood favourites! And it was an fantastic canoe…

    He will always be Australian to me!

  • I prefer Tiger Force Recondo!

  • Yea, this was an awesome figure (still is), although my favorite at the time was Mutt and Junkyard Recondo was my second favorite (84 era joe). I remember when I first got this figure he took a header off my desk and the tip of his hat broke off, luckily I could replace him rather quickly. Yo Joe!

  • My favorite figure that I never had. And no wonder… That card art is the shit! Who would mess with that badass coming out of that card?

  • Rob, I feel the same as you about this one. This figure made me such a Recondo fan that I persuaded my parents to buy me a Recondo-esque back-to-school outfit that became instantly regrettable the second I stepped into sixth grade.

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  • To this day, I have been trying to acquire Recondo for my personal collection. He, along with a couple others, have alluded my grasp for years. I don’t want to overpay for him, but he always seems to be super popular on ebay. I’ll get him one day, and when I do, I’ll take him out to the backyard for an adventure in the garden!

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