DOC v.2 (2008)
Doc was the G.I. Joe team’s first medic. The original Doc figure was released in 1983, the second year of the Real American Hero (RAH) toyline. I always liked Doc but since he wasn’t a combat figure he didn’t see much action in my bedroom floor battles. When I look back at my old Joe figures now though Doc is one of my absolute favourites. The 1983 figure is perfect in its simplicity. The tan uniform has a very old-school vibe about it. It looks like a toy my dad could’ve played with when he was a kid. Doc never got an update later in the RAH line and he never got a new-sculpt figure in the early 2000s either. Since the ’83 original was the only Doc figure ever released I felt the character was long overdue for an upgrade by the time the modern-era of Joe figures kicked off in 2007.
This second version of Doc was released in 2008 but it was never available in stores. The only way you could get him was through a mail away offer called “Operation: Rescue Doc”. You had to collect proof of purchase stickers from 6 specific action figure 2-packs and mail them to Hasbro along with $4.95. I bought all the 2-packs but I wasn’t eligible to rescue Doc because I live in Canada so I had to turn to the dreaded secondary market that is ebay. I can’t recall what I paid for Doc but it was certainly more than $4.95. I actually don’t think the price was too bad, maybe around $30, but I would’ve paid whatever was necessary in order to get him. Doc is too important a character, at least to me, to not have in my modern G.I. Joe collection.
I’m very glad this figure didn’t cost me an arm and a leg though because it kind of sucks. I hate when Hasbro screws up any character but it especially pisses me off when they mess up one of my favourites who isn’t likely to get another update for quite some time. Doc v.2 was created using the torso, arms, waist, and upper legs of Duke v.23, one of the very first modern-era figures released in 2007. Those parts haven’t aged well but truthfully they weren’t good to begin with. Duke’s arms were reused multiple times in the early years of the modern era and they became the bane of many collector’s existence. The dreaded Duke arms suck because the bare lower arms are a separate piece from the rolled up sleeve they’re connected to and every time you try to bend the elbow the bare arm comes off. Overall I find the Duke body to be too lean and the newly sculpted legs only add to the lankiness. I could probably forgive the body issues if the newly sculpted head was a success but I really dislike this head too.
The head is tiny; it’s like a little pea head. The fact that it has sculpted sunglasses doesn’t help because it amplifies how close together the eyes are. It may not look too bad to you in these pictures but when displayed with other Joes it’s immediately evident that this guy’s head has been shrunk. What really sucks is Hasbro reused this head on another one of my favourite characters, Short-Fuze, later that year.
All is not lost. There are a couple of redeeming qualities about this figure. I think the colour choices are great. The tan is a bit darker than the original but it looks realistic and appropriately drab. It has a few dabs of red and white paint that indicate this guy is a doctor and he even has some colour on his helmet which the original lacked. His accessories are also pretty good. He has a flare launcher and a stretcher like the original but he also has a flare gun that can be holstered on his leg and a satchel.
This isn’t the best Doc figure but it’s done an adequate job of filling the Doc requirement on my shelf for almost 8 years now. I’m hoping to be able to relieve him of duty soon. I just placed a parts order from Marauder Gun Runners the other day and I hope the pieces I ordered will allow me to build a superior Doc. If you’re not familiar with Marauder you need to check them out. They used to just make and sell G.I. Joe sized weapons and accessories but last year they branched out into their own figures. Check out my review of one of them here. I ordered the tan body and helmet, african-american head, green goggles, and some white and red pouches which I hope will come together to make an excellent Doc. I’ll share pics when my order arrives in a few weeks. Until then, Doc gets a 6 out of 10.