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REVIEW: ERNIE PYLE G.I. Joe

My father was a newspaperman when that occupation still had a decent reputation, before the present days of leftist, special-interest-group-motivated, corporate-owned "news" reporting. I suspect he would've been impressed with this newest G.I.Joe action figure. I know I am.

The G.I.JOE ERNIE PYLE figure is part of the D-DAY COLLECTION, which also includes the likes of a British Royal Marine Commando and an Omaha Beach Army Infantry figure, among others. I'm really not sure how good a likeness the figure is of Ernie Pyle. If the painted illustration on the package is any indication, then frankly it's an acceptable but not superb likeness. But I'd want to see a photo of Mr. Pyle to be certain about that observation. There have been a few comments online that the figure looks more than a bit like Patrick Stewart, and it's a good chance to make a 12" Captain Jean-Luc Picard with better articulation than Playmates' version. Frankly, there is a resemblance.

The background profile on Ernie Pyle reads as follows: He was a friend to the common soldier, and the eyes and ears for millions of readers back home. Ernie Pyle was born to a farming family near Dana, Indiana on August 3, 1900. He attended Indiana State University but left before his senior year to become a reporter. Working for the Scripps-Howard newspaper chain, he wrote
the country's first aviation column, then traveled the continent as a
roving columnist. But Pyle is best remembered for his columns on World War II, which he covered in England, North Africa, Europe, and the Pacific. His warm, friendly style read like letters from a good friend or family member, capturing the human side of the war and endearing him to his readers. While other reporters covered the broad events, Pyle wrote about the common soldier. Quiet and unassuming, Pyle talked with G.I.'s, dug ditches with
them, shared their meals, and dove for cover with them when enemy planes flew overhead. He captivated readers with the deeply personal and compassionate way in which he wrote about small moments and ordinary events. The soldiers loved him, feeling that he was the only one who understood what they were
actually experiencing. He won the Pulitzer Prize in journalism in 1944, and his columns were collected into books, one of which became the basis for the movie, The Story of G.I.Joe. His admiration for the infantry is legendary - he described them as the "mud-rain-and-wind boys" and said that wars could not be won without them. On April 18, 1945, on the Pacific island of Ie
Shima, Pyle was killed by an enemy machine gunner. Millions of readers, who had come to think of him as their friend, were stunned by his death. The soldiers he admired honored their fallen comrade with a plaque that reads, "At this spot the 77th Infantry Division lost a buddy Ernie Pyle 18 April 1945."

Some online reviewers have noted that it was Pyle who coined the term "G.I.Joe". I personally don't know if that's accurate or not, but I'll state it here in the review. There was also a recent History Channel special on Mr. Pyle, entitled ERNIE PYLE: THE VOICE OF G.I.JOE.

The figure is very well made, and comes with some truly superb
accessories! Obviously there aren't that many military accessories. Rather, there are the tools of a journalist from the 1940's. There is a tall bench which doubles as a table, an astoundingly well-crafted typewriter, a camp stove, and a small
newspaper that if you want to take a magnifying glass to it actually
reproduces one of Pyle's columns. Other accessories include a helmet, goggles, field cap, personalized M-1910 entrenching tool (known outside the military as a small shovel), and more.

Overall, I am very impressed with the G.I.JOE ERNIE PYLE figure. It is a fitting tribute to a respected journalist who brought the war home to readers at a level not covered by most other newspapers. I most highly recommend this figure!