G.I. Joe Pit Commando
It seems like I've been waiting to get my hands on this figure forever, and then when I finally do, the floodgates open! The fact that I even wanted this one is sort of a head scratcher, considering I've never subscribed to the notion of "Greenshirts" in my Joe universe before, but with the movie, that all changed. Seeing a huge, mammoth underground Pit complex fully staffed with military operatives kind of made me realize what their place is in this new G.I. Joe mythology, and I'm glad to try and work some of this support staff in there.
But yeah, this figure has a lot going against it belonging in my collection...first of all, being a generic "Gray Shirt" if you will, there isn't much character or spirit here, which normally is a big mark against a figure for me. Combine that with the fact that this is essentially just a Dusty repaint from the Anniversary line, and I would have told you a dozen times over that I had no need for this figure. Heck, we even saw some early leaked eBay auctions (incorrectly labelling this figure as "Airborne") and I thought the figure looked pretty terrible there. But a funny thing happened...
Hasbro crammed like a hundred accessories in there. And it helped. It helped a LOT.
The original Dusty figure was a pretty good one, all told. The simple, yet effective uniform detailing, the somewhat non-descript head sculpt, and the added point of articulation at the waist all gave him a leg up over a bunch of his plastic peers. The range of motion in his arms is fine, though not exceptional. Without any gear, though, the figure just looks bland, so it's no surprise that Hasbro decided to add some stuff to him in package. What is a surprise, though, is just how damn much stuff they decided to add.
Now I can't possibly break down every piece of gear and every alternative set up there is for this figure, there are just too many of them. But I can break down the gear by type:
A choice of a boonie hat, night vision goggles (which also work with the hat or helmet) or a bomb squad type riot helmet give you a few different choices for operations you want this Commando to go on. Each part is very nicely detailed, and they all look good. Without the flip down visor, the helmet works well as a more standard combat helmet, and the scope is actually compatible with a lot of past and present helmets. Pretty neat.
Along with these, he also comes with a gasmask and with the very cool looking Steel Brigade helmet. The Steel Brigade helmet is especially cool because it represented an early G.I. Joe recruit back in the vintage days, so having it with the Pit Commando makes perfect sense, especially for someone who might be a G.I. Joe-in-training.
Each Pit Commando comes with an absolutely huge backpack to tote around all the extra gear that won't fit on the figure itself, and the backpack is surprisingly huge and nicely sculpted. Pouches, straps, buckles, the whole nine yards gives you a very authentic and imposing rucksack. They also come with bomb squad EOD armored vest and a more standard combat vest, and the combat vest is amazingly cool. A sculpted holster and pistol are the highlight to me (even though the sidearm is not removable) and overall, the vest looks excellent. Unlike the armored bomb squad version, there is only one clip at the ribs, so removing it is a bit more of a challenge, but in my opinion, it's a much nicer looking piece of webgear.
He also comes with a somewhat underscaled, yet cool looking riot shield that proudly displays the G.I. Joe logo. This is a pretty small looking shield, perhaps designed for more close quarter combat operations, but it looks neat, just the same.
Of course, no "Commando" is equipped without a selection of weapons, and the Pit Commando has some cool ones. He's got a great silenced "SOCOM" automatic which is cool enough, but also comes with some crazy looking automatic machine gun pistol. I believe it's meant to be a "Jackhammer", but it looks a lot smaller. The initial Jackhammer was an automatic shotgun, and I like that idea, just not sure it works in this smaller scale. He's got a smaller scale automatic pistol, too, which looks almost Uzi-like, but is not quite the same. A neat weapon, even so.
To me, the highlight of the weapons compliment is the smaller, more combat-ready G36 machine gun that comes with the Pit Commando. It's a bit smaller than the one that comes with Paris Pursuit Snake Eyes and it looks a lot more tactical in nature. A side scope, a front grip, and some other awesome little touches makes this a very cool looking assault weapon that makes for a perfect gun for the Pit Commando.
All told, this is a somewhat generic, bland figure with no character who ends up kicking a whole lot of ass. Hasbro has found a very cool, unique way to give us an accessory pack without actually labelling it as such. As a result, we end up getting a great looking generic Pit Commando trooper that I, surprisingly to even myself, find myself really liking a lot. I've always hated the idea of generic Green Shirts, but for whatever reason, this new Rise of COBRA universe as pulled me into their little universe of massively staffed underground fortresses for a worldwide paramilitary force, and I find myself much more acclimated to the idea of G.I. Joe cannon fodder. The result is an amazingly diverse and flexible figure that can give you all sorts of different ideas and concepts in one small package. It does lose points because of the Dusty arm articulation, which isn't bad, but it's not as nice as many of the newer Rise of COBRA offerings either. Since this figure specializes in holding weapons, I would have hoped he could bend his arms just a bit more, for a more accurate two-handed firing pose. Minor quibble, though.
I very highly recommend any Joe fans pick up this figure. Even for folks who aren't too into the Rise of COBRA story, he's got fantastic military gear, great articulation, and a nice urban paint scheme that should appeal to folks who don't even necessarily subscribe to the concept. A great figure for any Joe fan or any military fan, definitely give this one a whirl. Or in my case, six whirls.
Buy this figure at Big Bad Toy Store!