Grunt (GI Joe Falcon Glider Version)
Grunt was one of the original straight arm GI Joe figures. Out of the that group he was the one that was probably most like a generic soldier. I also remember passing on him as a kid due to accessory math. The thing that lost it for him? No visor.
Grunt was recolored and used as a pilot for the Falcon Glider. Now, I’m not quite sure if my Falcon Glider exists in a box somewhere or not. I can tell if you it does, it’s in rough shape. The glider was made from the same foam as any dollar store glider and I would imagine quite few never made it past a few flights.
Here’s something that doesn’t make a lot of sense. The Falcon Glider was a hang glider done in Green/Black camouflage. Grunt? Khaki. Why? If he’s gliding into an area where a green glider won’t be seen, why is he dressed in a sand color? Don’t get me wrong, he’s a cool variant, I just don’t understand the choice. What makes the choice even a bit odder, is the fact this figure is from 1983. That’s before Desert Shield. America at the time wasn’t known for fighting wars in deserts at that time.
A number of the original Joe figures shared body parts and this one is no exception. The mold is an entire re-use of the first issue. Just done in a different color. The body part are almost all used some where else, as well. The Hasbro house logo belt buckle turns up on a number of figures, for example.
The Head of this figure reminds me a bit of the classic 12″ Joe figure head with his helmet on. I almost wish they had tried to pull off the scar. With his helmet off, he looks a bit older. The hairline looks receded quite a bit, giving the impression of a veteran more than a young combat troop.
I remember as a kid thinking the GI Joe team always looked a little futuristic in design. The helmets weren’t the steel pots that I was used to seeing on soldiers. The boots are not the classic combat boots that I knew. Ironically, modern 21st century soldiers look more like Grunt and less like the 12″ GI Joe figures that he was based on.
The paint on this figure is minimal, but crisp. The web gear and knife are well done, as are the arm pouches. The only thing that would have made the paint on this guy a little better is a different color for the grenade and knife handle. They would have been perfect in the green of the arm pouches.
Well going by just the figure, and not including the glider, Grunt is an okay soldier for the Joe squad. I suspect since he never got much play in the animated series, Grunt was probably cannon fodder in a number of young boy’s play scenarios.
Now, I haven’t mentioned it up to this point, but Grunt didn’t come with any accessories. None. Nada. Zip. The way I’ve chosen to display him for this review is with accessories from Accessory Pack #1. The pack is colored to match the figure and M16 is the weapon the original came with as well. I really thought it was clever how these packs match the tan Grunt and Clutch.
What about the helmet? This is a bit of an oddity. The Falcon Glider Grunt was suppose to come with a tan helmet. Mine didn’t. Looked everywhere when I got it, no helmet. Now, I would have taken it back, back then not so much. So, my Grunt has always worn a brown helmet from the accessory pack.
One thing this version of Grunt has going for it over a number of the green ones is that it is has the “Swivel Arm Battle Grip” bicep articulation. Those two extra points add quite a bit to figure that gets put into combat poses.
In general, Grunt is about the average for the initial group of GI Joe figures. He’s not a stand out in the crowd, but he definitely fills the role of generic soldier fairly well. The tan “every soldier” filled the desert combat troop role long before Dusty. After writing this part of me is wishing for a “Pursuit of Cobra” desert update for this average Joe.