HIT & RUN v.4 (2015)
In my last review I looked at Alpine v.6. The Joe team’s primary mountain trooper came in the 4th shipment from the G.I. Joe Collector Club’s third Figure Subscription Service (FSS). The figures ship out 2 at a time each month and Alpine’s shipping buddy was none other than the joe team’s secondary mountain trooper, Hit & Run.
The first Hit & Run figure was released in 1988 and it was a good one. He had cool climbing accessories and a really unique paint job that featured green skin with black tiger stripes. But no, he isn’t a half-man half-tiger character which is what Vanessa asked me when I showed her this figure. Hit & Run just happens to take camouflage seriously. I really liked that original figure but I never owned it, my brother Doug did.
I didn’t get my first Hit & Run figure until version 2 was released 21 years later in 2009. The 2009 figure was included in a 7-pack called “Assault on Cobra Island” which was the last gasp of the 25th anniversary line before the brand transitioned into the movie-based Rise of Cobra toyline. I thought that Hit & Run was one of the better figures in the pack despite being made-up completely of re-used parts including Airborne’s head. I still think that figure holds up pretty well so I saw no need for an updated version but some people did.
Hasbro first whetted Hit & Run fans’ appetite for a new & improved modern-era version of the character when they showed an unproduced prototype in a case of concept figures at the 2012 Joe Convention. The case was full of cool new characters and much needed updates of existing characters but Hasbro made no promises that any of them would ever see the light of day.
Hasbro did eventually release a few of them, like Heat-Viper, in the tail-end of 2014 as part of their 50th anniversary line. One of the concept case figures they haven’t produced is Hit & Run.
The Collector’s Club tried to appease fans desperate for an updated Hit & Run by including a Night Force version of him in their 2013 15-figure Convention Set. It seemed like an odd choice because the other 5 Joes from the set were established as Night Force member in the late 90s but Hit & Run had never previously been associated with the nocturnal sub-team. The Con Set figure was constructed well enough but the Club opted to not give him his signature face paint which I think was a bad idea. Why remove a figure’s most iconic characteristic? Especially when it made so much sense for him to keep it. Maybe if it was an arctic or aquatic version of the character I would understand but this was a NIGHT OPS version. Some black and grey camo would’ve been awesome but the Club dropped the ball on that one. I was so underwhelmed by that figure that I haven’t bothered to review it yet.
Not long after the Convention Set came out the Club announced that they’d be including re-decoed versions of those Night Force figures in their upcoming FSS 3.0, this time painted in classic v.1 colors. When the first images of the upcoming FSS Hit & Run were revealed fans were shocked to see even the Club’s 1988-inspired version, in all it’s green and black striped glory, was still devoid of the iconic face paint. This was an unforgivable faux pas. Fans cried foul and surprisingly the Club listened. The result is this figure.
Hit & Run version 4 is the exact same build as 2013’s version 3 but it has a spiffy vintage paint job. It’s amazing what a fresh coat of paint can do because I think this figure is WAY better than it’s predecessor. I couldn’t appreciate this figure in the Night Force colors but now I see what a well put together toy this is. All of the parts used to build it are from 2011 or later and in general those parts are far superior to those used from 2007-2009; when Hasbro was still working out the kinks of the modern construction. I still like my 2009 Hit & Run but it looks pretty meek when standing next to this figure. This Hit & Run is bigger, buffer, grittier, and more detailed. The costume is loaded with pouches, wrinkles and removable weapons. Even the helmet and goggles are light years better than the ones from 2009.
Hit & Run got his very own unique head sculpt in 2013. It was nice that he was no longer just a green clone of Airborne but I didn’t really like the 2013 head. The shape seemed off and it reminded me of Josh Brolin. But I think that same head looks great now that its been painted green and given some stripes. The best thing about the green face paint is that it looks like it’s actual green face paint. The 1988 and 2009 versions of Hit & Run basically had green skin; the head and bare arms were molded in green plastic. He could’ve been mistaken for a skinny relative of the Hulk. This new version’s head and arms was molded in flesh colored plastic and then the green paint was lightly applied so the flesh tone shows through. It looks much more realistic and pretty damn cool.
Another thing I like about this paint job is the stubble on his face. He’s got a bunch of black dots peppering the lower half of his face to give the impression that maybe he’s been out in the woods for a few days. The dots are applied extremely uniformly which does not look very true to life (more like stubble from an old comic book when everything was colored with dots) but I still think it looks neat. You really only notice the cartoonishness of it when you get up close.
For accessories Hit & Run has a display base, a helmet with removable goggles, 2 pistols and a knife that can be holstered on his body, a rifle, a pick axe, and a couple of grappling hooks with rope.
The Club surprises me yet again. This figure rules. 9 out of 10.