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Pit Commando
G.I. Joe R.O.C. - Hasbro

G.I. Joe Pit Commando action figure by Hasbro


Alright, here's my dirty little secret - I haven't watched G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra yet. Yea, I know, I've sinned against my nerd brethren, but hey - it was a busy summer. And fall. And winter...

I do have the blu-ray on my Netflix list though, and I'll get around to it some time this month. But not seeing the movie hasn't hurt my appreciation of some of the toys Hasbro produced based upon it. I suspect it's even possible that not seeing the movie has been a good thing when looking at the action figures.

I've only picked up a few so far for myself and my son, but there's one that I've been hearing about over and over and over - the small scale Pit Commando. When I saw this supposed 3 3/4" version of action figure nirvana, I thought I'd snag him to see if he truly was the Second Coming, or merely just another false prophet.

You can buy the small scale Joes at every major, minor, and street corner retailer. As much as I despise Wal-mart, that's where I came across him (while searching for DCUC of course), and they have a particularly good price at $5 right now. Other stores like Target and Toys R Us are charging more in the $7 ball park.

Packaging - ***
I skipped the packaging photo this time - if you haven't seen these on the pegs, then you're living in a truly strange and unusual land. Big pluses are the small size, lack of waste, and decent character specific personalized text and graphics. They aren't particularly collector friendly, and the cards tend to take shelf abuse, but they do look good on the pegs until they do.
G.I. Joe Pit Commando action figure by Hasbro
G.I. Joe Pit Commando action figure by Hasbro
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G.I. Joe Pit Commando action figure by Hasbro
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G.I. Joe Pit Commando action figure by Hasbro
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G.I. Joe Pit Commando action figure by Hasbro
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G.I. Joe Pit Commando action figure by Hasbro

Sculpting - ***1/2
This guy is an army builder, pure and simple. As such, he doesn't have the most defined or unique face, but what he's got is certainly serviceable. And his mother loved him anyway.

In fact, with a little squinting and just the right light, he could look like just about any standard Hollywood leading man. My first thought was Ben Affleck, but your mileage may vary.

The best sculpting features are reserved for the uniform and accessories, where there's a ton of great detail. Considering the scale, they've done an excellent job all around.

He stands great on his own of course, and the sculpted hands, while a smidge large, work excellent with all the accessories. He's just a Zhu Zhu hamster's hair under 4" tall.

Paint - ***
Mass market figures = mass market paint. It's not atrocious, but there's not much here. Most of the accessories are merely cast in a solid color, most often black, and the few details that are here (his eyes and eyebrows, hair, camo) are decent but not exceptional.

Articulation - ***1/2
Joes have almost always been well articulated, no matter the scale, and the movie based line is no exception.

The true ball jointed neck has a limited range of movement, but you can get a little tilt out of it if you try hard enough. I had better luck with Shipwreck, so I suspect this is a figure by figure situation.

The pin/disc style ball jointed shoulders, elbows and ankles work quite well, and there are even two cut waist joints, one above and one below the belt. There's also cut wrists, a ball chest joint, double pin knees, and the traditional post ball joints at the hips. Just like Gramma, he has metal pins in his hips.

All these joints make him extremely poseable and tons of fun. I do wish that there was some sort of cut joint included on the thighs or in the hips to allow for rotational leg movement. If the knee could be posed outward from the plane of the body, it would open up the natural flow of wider stances, but it's a minor quibble.

Accessories - ****
Wowza! Now this is a well equipped soldier.

Let's start with the weapons - all four of them. There's a large rifle with attached light and scope (his renowned 820?), a smaller Uzi-style automatic pistol, and even smaller pistol with what appears to be a silencer, and a fourth medium sized pistol that has a round canister in back. It looks like it would fire either very large shells or small canisters.

All the weapons can fit neatly in the sculpted hands, and he's a force to be reckoned with when he's packing this heat.

The hats weren't going to be outdone by the guns though. Yes, hats. Or headgear in general, as the case may be. There's his floppy camo hat, as well as a riot control style helmet with plastic visor, a full gas mask (things can get pretty nasty in the Pit Tank on chili night), and a black hard shell full head helmet and mask. All of these pop on and off his head easily, and while a couple (like the floppy hat) look oversized on his tiny head, they're exactly the kind of accessory that really adds to the play and fun value of this figure.

Just to add a little spice to the headgear, there's also a monocular style lens on some straps that fits over the floppy hat.

There's also two vests. These can be put on and removed by popping off the head and opening a snap on the left side. One vest is a more traditional equipment carrier, with lots of sculpted pouches and a sadly non-removable small handgun. The other looks like a cross between a traditional flak jacket and a more modern bomb squad vest. Clearly the latter is intended to protect against heavier artillery than the usual small caliber rounds.

There's also a shield that he can hold in his left hand, with a small opening for him to peer through, or be shot through, depending on the marksmanship of his opponent.

As if that's not enough, there's also a heavily outfitted fully sculpted single piece back pack. This can be attached to him with a post that inserts into a small hole on his back. Thanks to small holes in the vests, he can wear this while wearing either of them.

Finally, yes finally, there's the dog tag shaped display stand. It has the character name emblazoned on the front lip, and can even be worn by kids as a G.I. Joe dog tag. How cool is that?

One of the nicer features of the figure overall are the details in the accessories. The eyes on the gas mask are clear plastic, not merely empty holes, the visor on the riot helmet flips up and down, and even his belt (along with the bottom of his shirt) can easily be unsnapped and removed. It's these kind of little details that elevate a good figure to great when it comes to the overall impression.

Fun Factor - ****
Fun? Oh yea. From the earliest days of action figures when the 12" Joes defined the term, this line has always been a great toy first, anything else second. The ROC series and this figure continue that tradition.

Value - ****
Like I said, I paid five bucks for this guy. With how many accessories? 13? Wow. Even at $6 or $7, he's a much better value than any other licensed line in this scale right now.

Things to Watch Out For -
Not much. I suspect that if you pop the vests on and off enough times, the little posts that hold them together will get worn out, but that's just the nature of play.

Overall - ****
While he might not have the most detailed paint ops in the history of action figures, and the sculpt may be a little generic, but this is one terrific action figure overall. He's an excellent army builder, and by coning with a plethora of guns, head gear and vests, you can mix and match a whole slew of them and not have any two look exactly alike.

I get what all the hoopla is about with this figure, and he's on my short list now for best of the year in this scale. With and amazing array of goodies, great articulation, and a whole lot of potential for fun, he's one of the better true toys I've seen this year. And all at bargain basement prices!

Score Recap:
Packaging - ***
Sculpting - ***1/2
Paint - ***
Articulation - ***1/2
Accessories - ****
Fun Factor - ****
Value - ****
Overall - ****

Where to Buy -
Check your local retailers, including Target and Toys R Us.


Related Links -
Back when the movie hit theaters, I checked out the nifty Shipwreck figure, and I've also had a guest review of a couple of the 12" figures.

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G.I. Joe Pit Commando action figure by Hasbro


This product was purchased for the review by the reviewer. Photos and text by Michael Crawford.

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