Here we are. Number one. My most requested, most admired, and most longed after item that we saw in the Concept Case at the 2012 G.I. Joe Convention. I will admit something, though. If we’re talking about being impressed by a specific item itself, I would have to admit, the Coyote was probably the most impressive toy that I saw, standing on its own. But with the thought in mind that we will likely never see this thing at retail, I wanted to place the number one moniker on a more realistic goal. A figure with some new tooling (but not too much), and a figure of a character that I have loved for a very long time.
1 – G.I. Joe: 30th Anniversary Hit & Run
In 1988 I was just starting high school, and trying to figure out what I wanted to be “when I grew up”. I bounced between being an artist, being a writer, and pretty much as far away from Information Services flunky as you can get. Back in those days, well before I ever heard the term “fanfic” I explored my writing by diving into the G.I. Joe universe. With it being 1988, and the last Sunbow G.I. Joe adventures being behind us, it felt kind of like a new start, even though I was a devout comic fan, and the comic was still going strong. One of the first figures I bought from the 1988 series was Hit & Run, and I was immediately blown away. As a 14 year old kid, I was especially impressed by his background on the filecard, involving the death of his parents, and it immediately gave the character an immense depth in my mind.
My own personal G.I. Joe universe developed over the next couple of years, and in 1990 I really dove into my writing, which involved the Joe team picking up the pieces after a massive battle had eliminated much of their leadership team. Stalker was the new commander, Bullhorn played a key communications role, and Hit & Run earned his spot as the trademark “lone wolf” being rather anti-social and angry at the world because of his rocky upbringing and his inability to stay in one place for too long. As a big fan of Wolverine and The Punisher back then, the whole lone wolf mentality was fresh in my head, and the character was without a doubt the focus of my entire G.I. Joe universe. He wasn’t a ninja like Snake Eyes, but he was fast, awesome with a weapon, and he just didn’t care about anything but killing Cobra.
The character has just always resonated with me, and continued to when I wrote my fanfic The Price of Peace (which is pretty different than what I was writing in 1990, but still had some of those elements in place), and then when I moved over to my Dio-Stories. Hit & Run has always remained a constant, and even as I’ve watched several other characters evolve through new designs and concepts, my trusty ’88 Hit & Run has maintained his place. Yes, we did receive a 25th Anniversary update in the Attack of Cobra Island boxed set, which both surprised and impressed me, but the end result, unfortunately, didn’t really give the character justice in my mind. I wondered if a new version ever would.
Turns out that yes. A new version could do the character justice. Justice in a huge way. As I walked to the Concept Case up ahead, after grabbing my parachute figures from the Sales floor, I had already heard the whispers of people milling around. No less than four people walked up to me in the 20 minutes I was in line, a couple of them practically jogging, to excitedly tell me there was a Hit & Run in the case. I almost couldn’t believe it.
After waiting in line I rushed over, and there it was. A newly tooled head, with the necessary green facepaint and camouflage. Lots of borrowed parts, but parts borrowed from as of yet unreleased figures (upcoming 3-Pack Firefly torso, upcoming 3-Pack Agent Mouse arms) and using the fantastic parachute rig that was never included with Lifeline…essentially the figure looks all new, but with lots of borrowed tooling. Parts choice was perfect, the weapons used were simply fantastic, and the new head, helmet, and goggles simply topped the whole thing off. This figure is freaking gorgeous. Gorgeous. Not only does it look amazing, but it does a perfect job of taking one of my all time favorite characters, as obscure as he might be, and planting him firmly in the modern era, capturing all of the old school spirit, yet making all of the right updates. If I was allowed to make the perfect update to Hit & Run myself, this figure would be the end result. I love this figure so much, I’m desperately trying to not imagine a world where it is never released. I’m trying to convince myself that fan demand will somehow prevail and this figure will end up at retail or as some sort of online exclusive somewhere, some time, and some place. I don’t care when, I don’t care how, and I don’t care how much, this figure must happen.
Hit up the Concept Case Survey and help me do that. 🙂
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Oh, by the way… VOTE HIT & RUN!