Valor Vs. Venom Wave 4 - Gung Ho

Toy name: Gung Ho
Assortment: Valor vs. Venom Wave 4
Price: MSRP $7.99
Availability: September/October 2004

So this is Wave 4, huh? Call me crazy, but I haven't seen a more widespread praised wave of Joe figures in a long, long sculpt fans especially seem to think this most recent wave is quite simply the greatest thing since sliced bread with nary a disappointment in sight.

It's odd, too, because most new waves are greeted with as much disapproval as approval and as much disgust as satisfaction. Perhaps I'm not visiting enough online communities, or perhaps the folks who don't like the wave are just being quiet, but it seems that the fans not wild about these figures aren't being very vocal this time around.

I find myself somewhat mixed. I will say that I think this is one of the best waves of the year, without a doubt, and the one I was most looking forward to myself. Hasbro's marketing protocol seems almost on target this time around, too, with the figures starting to hit just over a week after the movie's been released...with a good portion of the movie's main cast evident in this wave (Duke, Link, Hawk, Overkill, Venomous Maximus, Stormy, Snake Eyes, et. al.) and the fever for seeing a new Joe cartoon hitting, I think these figures will do very well. I'm actually kind of one's really mentioned it, but this wave has very few really "new" figures in it, actually. There are a good number of action attack-turned o-ring figures (which might as well be new, I suppose), a few repaints (Night Creeper, Wild Weasel,Snake Eyes) and really only a few brand new figures. Link, Hawk, and this figure, Gung Ho. Normally a wave with only three brand new figures in it would be blasted, but these figures being re-released with o-rings, and done in some pretty cool new paint apps really makes a difference, I think.

Unfortunately, Hasbro doesn't seem quite able to escape the Action Attack trap as of yet. This Gung Ho seems to have a pretty neat military-oriented overall design that is fairly true to his Marine roots, and yet the figure is again held down by a t-crotch design and limited articulation.

Figure Mold

Now let's start with what they did right...for once, the head sculpt looks great. They finally took away Gung Ho's goatee and gave him a big moustache as he's always had in time past. The moustache is a lot more "Fu-Manchu" now but I think it works for Gung Ho, and the overall head looks pretty accurate.

His torso actually is sculpted pretty nicely, although the action attack pretty much ruins it. He ends up looking blocky and stocky, mostly due to the silly trigger mechanism inside, and his arms are flimsy and definitely not the large, powerful arms Gung Ho should be sporting. His torso is sculpted almost like a standard dress shirt; with the removable tac vest over it, it doesn't make much sense, but looks pretty cool...this looks to be the first rubberized, removable vest Hasbro is releasing with a figure, and it looks to me like they did a bang up job.

His legs sculpts are small and unremarkable, but they pretty much have to be to work in the action attack mechanism and the t-crotch construction.

All in all, the figure does actually have potential to be a decent version of Gung Ho...I just hope Hasbro has time to retrofit the figure to an O-Ring construction platform next year to take full advantage. There doesn't really seem to be anything overly nice or interesting about the mold in general, but with the tac vest, the nicely sculpted rubber holster and other small parts here and there, it could be decent, if we get a "real version" somewhere down the line. Even the action attack function itself seems strange. He's got a spin-wheel on the back, and when you press it, his arms flop around. By the looks of the holster, it could be a "gun drawing action", although the package proclaims it a "knife slashing action"...then you look at the instructions and it calls it "punching action". Who the heck knows what it's supposed to be, but it's pretty much wrecking my G.I. Joe figures, and I'm happy to see it fading far, far away.

Paint Applications/Color Choices

They seem to be staying with the classic Gung Ho theme and using gray/blue colors on the majority of this figure. It's somewhat successful, I suppose, although definitely nothing dramatic. The camouflage pattern on the legs is effectively produced and the dark blues make for a different color, although still realistic and military-oriented. There are no drastic color choices or serious contrasts...the color pallet is just kind of there and does nothing to really add or take away from the figure. I do like how the legs closely resemble to look of his original legs, but they would work a lot better were they not t-crotch.


This is the figure's real shining point, and one that I think most of the Gung Ho's of the world will be sacrificed for. Even though the figure is lackluster, he comes with a great removable hat, vest, and potentially a removable rubber holster (with a little exacto-knifing). He has a pistol, machine gun and enough gear to almost make him worth while if only for stripping for parts.

Final Comments

Well...maybe not THAT worthwhile. As an action attack figure, Gung Ho just plain stinks. He falls into the same catagory as Duke, Slice, and Kamakura that would almost be worth buying if they were normal figures. As this one stands, though, I see no redeeming qualities. He does come packaged with a pretty neat Wild Weasel, but personally, I like the black version that came with the Night Adder more, so I can think of no reasons to recommend a purchase here. Most of Wave 4 are stellar figures, but this pack falls pretty flat on its face and can be safely left on the pegs, unless you REALLY want some decent scrap accessories.

Ratings (out of 10)

Character: 5
Mold : 2.5
Paint Apps: 4
Value: 5
Overall score (not an average): 3.5


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