Hit and Run
If you'd told me when the Anniversary line hit in 2007 that two years later I'd be doing a review of a Hit and Run figure as a part of that line, I would have said you were nuts. No way did a character that obscure belong in the ranks of the "big guns", even if he is my favorite Joe character out there. But here we are...classic characters like Low Light, Footloose, and Airtight still wait in the wings, but my boy Hit and Run is front and center as he should be. :)
I don't even remember exactly when this character struck a chord with me...I do know that I messed around with writing as young as 15, and in one of those early stories, written way back in '88 or '89, Hit and Run took center stage as one of the new recruits. Back then I think it was just the look...camouflaged head to toe, bad ass machine gun, the whole nine yards. But as I grew more familiar with the character, I think it was his backstory that really appealed to me. Larry Hama had that knack of bringing characters to life using only a few paragraphs, and Hit and Run's story of being orphaned by a drunk driver, and just "running and running and running" was pretty intense for a kid's toy. He just seemed to have the perfect mix...he looked awesome. He had awesome character potential, yet was still a veritable blank slate.
Unfortunately, though, as cool as Hit and Run is, I'm afraid to say the figure doesn't quite measure up. It's SO damn close, but the one flaw it has is fairly glaring, and it negatively impacts my opinion of the entire toy. And as usual with the Anniversary figures, it's the articulation that kills me.
You see, Hit and Run uses General Hawk's arms. For a desk-sitting General who only shoots a pistol, a lack of mobility in the arms isn't really such a big deal...but for a light infantryman, who's specialty it is to run, shoot, and otherwise move his body, having arms that barely bend at the elbow just does not work. He comes with Sgt. Airborne's absolutely kick ass automatic weapon, and he cannot hold it in a remotely realistic firing position. Argh.
The paint apps are great. The other parts choices work perfectly well...and he comes with Airborne's accessories which are all awesome! But this one glaring issue with his non-moving elbow joints almost completely ruins the figure for me. Granted, he still looks pretty cool standing on the shelf, but I like my Joes able to move a bit more than he can.
As I've already mentioned, his gear is fantastic. Airborne's helmet, backpack, rifle, and harness are all picture-perfect for Hit and Run, and I'm thrilled he got them. The chest straps from the Best of the 80's Duke is a very interesting choice, too, that approximates his straps very nicely. No complaints whatsoever about his gear.
Thus, I'm torn. I'm thrilled that Hasbro thought enough of Hit and Run to give him his own figure. Not only that, but they gave him a bunch of stuff from Sgt. Airborne, one of my favorite figures in the entire line. His paint apps are great, and he comes so close to being a perfect modern era update to one of my favorite characters, yet falls short. The long sleeves aren't accurate to the original, but more than that, they're immobile and non-functional...and I buy my toys to pose them, not just sit back and look at them.
There's so much to love I have to at least give the figure a decent grade, with the thought in mind that a minor adjustment would have improved him drastically.
Buy this set at Big Bad Toy Store!