GI Joe Pit Commando
If you have read any of my other GI Joe reviews, you would know I’m a sucker for accessories. Frequently, my selection revolves around how full a blister is rather that the exact Joe character. Stalker was a cool dude, but a single rifle on the card didn’t appeal to me.
The Baroness figure from “GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra” has really grown on me. Yet, I hadn’t picked up any of the other movie figures. I’d looked at some and passed them over. That was until I saw this guy. He’s the GI Joe Pit Commando.
Why did I pick him? Yup, you guessed it, he comes with a ton of accessories. He also doesn’t come with one of those giant oversize missile launching pieces the rest of the line has. Which is a definite plus in my book.
But who is he? That’s just it. He’s the closest Hasbro has come to making a figure and calling it Generic GI Joe Trooper. It’s apparently fine for Cobra, but the Joes have always had names. Grunt was close, but Grunt was his code name. He even retired in the comic series.
This figure does draw some inspiration from the vintage line. The closest to a generic Joe Team member in the vintage line was the “Steel Brigade” trooper. That trooper was a mail away item that came with a dossier that was personalized to what you mailed in. In short, the figure was intended to be you.
Pure generic solider. That’s the best way to describe the underlying figure here. He’s just a dude wearing standard BDU’s. No techno doodads anywhere. And honestly that is pretty cool.
Now, on the downside the uniform is the odd blue grey urban camo pattern we’ve seen on other figures in the line. It’s not horrible, it just seems a tad too blue to me.
While not film accurate I’d love to see a couple of solid color repaints of this guy. One in solid grey and one is solid black. That would make a great starting point for generic tactical team. Mrs. Nerd confirmed this for me. When I was editing pictures, she looked over and said he looked like one of the team on “Flashpoint”.
Black boots and cargo pants compose the lower body. The jacket has a skirt piece that cover a good portion of the hip joints. Sitting poses are impossible, but they are hindered by this.
Overall, I’m impressed by the sculpting for this guy. Now, I’m guessing, that he shares a body with Zartan. That’s only a guess, but it makes sense.
The one thing that seems a bit out of place is the knees. There’s no camo pattern on them and no detail. A set of kneepads could have went a long way to improving that look.
One of the cool things about this figure is there are several options for altering his appearance. Two of the major pieces come in the form of two different vests. One of these vests is a standard tactical vest. It has lots of pouches and pockets sculpted on it, as well as a holstered pistol (non-removable.) On the back there is a back pack hole in the vest. However, a sculpted pouch prevents a pack from sitting correctly.
The second vest is more of a body armor piece. It has the pockets sculpted on it where armor plates would go. It has piece that comes down in the front that will protect his groin area in a fire fight. The nifty thing about it, is the connected shoulder armor pieces. They don’t look great in every pose, but they really give the figure a different look .
Both of the vests open at the side to get them on the figure. The tactical vest opens on the left and the armored piece opens on both sides. I found it easier to pop his head on and off to get vests on and off.
The other options for changing his looks revolve around head gear. There are a number of options here. Obviously, none is an option.
There’s a pretty good generic head here and the paint is well done. I was trying to come up with who he reminded me of, and I’m not sure. So, as a generic guy, he works.
The second generic option, is a full head helmet and mask that is direct update of the Steel Brigade figure’s head. The helmet pops on his head. I don’t have the original figure to compare him to, but the update seems very reasonable.
The other options are a helmet and a booney hat. These hats are prevalent in a good number of photos we see of troops abroad, so this is a good choice. The hat has a camo pattern and is sculpted with a floppy brim. It’s a well done little piece. Oddly, it is package with the night vision monocle on the card. It does work that way, it just looks a little strange.
The helmet is pretty much the standard GI Joe helmet. It’s even got two little holes on the side. It’s molded in a slight metallic tone that gives it a different look. I suspect this is a repurposed accessory, as it’s big on his head. Trying to get it to stay on his head is a challenge. With either of the vests on it, it’s a bit more complicated by their collars which tend to push the helmet up.
I feel like saying the old pitchman standby, “Wait, there’s more!” There are still more accessories in the blister. A couple of those items relate to the helmet. The first is the night vision monocle mentioned above. It has two pegs that engage the holes in the helmet. It definitely looks better here than on the hat.
The second item for the helmet is the one he comes packed with, the visor. On the card, I thought this was going to be a short clear visor reminiscent of the vintage figures, it’s not. The visor is more of a riot gear full face style. There’s a bit of black paint around the edge to give the look of a frame. As you can see from the card, it does a good job of giving the figure that swat team member look.
The last piece of headgear is a gas mask. I don’t think I ever had a GI Joe gas mask before. the piece is molded in clearsih plastic and painted black. The idea is cool but the execution misses on a couple of points. The first is fit. Gas masks are intended to have a snug fit, and this one does not cut it. the mask tends to just set on top of his head. I’m guessing it was originally intended for a figure with a bigger head or to go over something. The second issue is with the clarity. The lens are more translucent than clear. While not the end of the world at this scale, not the best I’ve seen.
There are two more pieces of gear for this soldier, a back pack and a riot shield. The backpack is a big one, with lots of kibble on it. I’m sure it’s based on a real world item, but it seems oversize to me. I’m not sure why somebody defending the command base would need this big a pack.
The shield is a riot shield seen on SWAT shows and in movie crowd control scenes. There is an odd hole in the front where his hand is exposed. There’s also and eye hole for peering through. I’d have liked to have seen this accessory a little bigger. It seems to be a bit under size to be useful. The shield has the new GI Joe logo on it. I was a bit bothered when I saw it in some of the pre-film press. After I thought about it though, it made sense. It’s a more realistic logo than emblazoning all your vehicles with red white and blue stripes with your unit name on them.
Of course every soldier needs weapons, and the Pit Commando comes with 4 of them. All of them are detailed enough for their scale. They do seem slightly flat to me for some reason, but nothing that detracts from them. It would have been nice to be able to remove the silencer from the pistol and the light from the rifle, but neither of those are big detractors.
If you hadn’t picked up on it, I really dig this figure. A great generic soldier to fill out the GI Joe ranks is a welcome addition. The fact that he comes with as much gear as he does is a huge plus. In today’s tight economic times, it’s nice to get a figure that you actually feel like you’re getting your money’s worth in the blister.
While some of the accessories don’t fit quite right, they’re close enough for what they are. The Steel Brigade trooper helmet is an excellent nod to the vintage line. Overall, I think Hasbro did a pretty good job with this guy.
I do have one slight issue. The name. Commando, to me, evokes a light assault trooper. This guy seems to be more of a defensive soldier. I suppose “GI Joe Cannon Fodder” wouldn’t have worked. But, I do think either GI Joe Infantry or GI Joe Pit Trooper would have worked just fine. They have to remember for the vintage folks, the GI Joe Commando will always be Snake Eyes. Well, until he became a ninja.
Engineernerd Score: 97/100