email thomas

By Thomas Wheeler

Many of the latest Hasbro vehicles are very cool. One particular standout in the crowd is the new G.I.JOE JUNGLE STRIKE HUMVEE.

This is the first officially-licensed 3 3/4" G.I.Joe vehicle ever, dating all the way back to 1982. I am sure they worked this into their licensing agreement when they started producing the 1/6th scale version. However the important note here is this is the first real life vehicle produced in the 3 3/4" line.

There have been some cool G.I.Joe jeep-like vehicles over the years. The first one, the VAMP, released in 1982, saw considerable re-use as the VAMP MARK II, the COBRA STINGER, and several other incarnations, just recently being re-released in a Toys "R" Us special set, even though it wasn't based on any specific real-life military vehicle. The HAMMER, released in 1990, was probably intended to be a fanciful version of a Hummer or Humvee, but it was so implausibly large compared to most previous Jeep-like vehicles that a lot was lost in the translation in my opinion.

And, in fairness, other companies have produced 3-3/4" scale Humvees before. Clearly the company is not hesitant to license its vehicle provided decently accurate renditions of it are produced. For that matter, Hasbro has produced a Humvee or two for their 12" G.I.Joes.

But, the new JUNGLE HUMVEE is the first-ever official Humvee offered for the G.I.Joe Team. It was one of several new vehicles showcased at the G.I.Joe Convention at Walt Disney World back in July. And it attracted a lot of attention, and deservedly so.

You want an accurate rendition of a Humvee, suitable for 3-3/4" G.I.Joes from any era? You've got it. You want plenty of moving parts? You've got 'em. You want amazing detail and functionality? You've got it.

On this vehicle, the hood opens, all four doors open, the trunk opens and the back gate folds down, and the trunk actually has these simulated pistons or some such that really move. There's a rack in the back to place the additional weapons on that the vehicle comes with. It has a gunnery station in the roof, with a spring-loaded missile launcher (that managed to look not the least bit out of place on a licensed vehicle). And all four wheels roll on metal axles, and the tires are molded from a rubbery plastic for a distinct "real tire" feel.

The interior is as well detailed as the exterior. I once had the opportunity to investigate the interior of a military-use Humvee at an Air Force Base "open house" near me. Suffice to say it's definitely a "no frills" environment, and the inside of this G.I.Joe Humvee certainly looks the part.

The instructions for the vehicle are a little lacking in one respect, and maybe with this review I can save a few of you some trouble. The two little green rectangular pieces of plastic that come with this Humvee are the side-view mirrors. Snap one CAREFULLY into each front door on the driver and passenger side. Use caution, they're a little difficult to press into place, and you don't want to damage the doors.

The camouflage paint applied to the vehicle is an excellent military pattern. Arguably, this could be the most authentically military vehicle, even setting aside that it is an officially-licensed version of a real-world vehicle, ever produced for G.I.Joe.

About the only thing lacking, in my opinion, is that there are no G.I.Joe logos anywhere on the vehicle. I don't know why this is. Granted, there are no labels of any kind, and any markings are restricted to two small letter-number marks on the front of the vehicle, which have been painted on. I was a little disappointed that the first official G.I.Joe Humvee doesn't have any official G.I.Joe markings on it -- but I think I have some extra labels around here someplace.

The Humvee comes with a new-style G.I.Joe figure named ROLLBAR. Cool name, but even setting aside my dislike for new-style G.I.Joe figures, this guy is pretty dull. I suppose Hasbro wanted to produce a G.I.Joe figure that looked as authentically military as the vehicle he came with, and they certainly succeeded. The result is a disappointingly non-descript G.I.Joe figure dressed in a black-paint-smeared (a practice I REALLY wish they'd stop altogether) dark green uniform. He has a removable helmet. If you wanted to stockpile some generic troops for your newer G.I.Joe collection, this'd be the guy to do it with. Fortunately, the Humvee, as with all G.I.Joe vehcles, can accommodate any 3-3/4" G.I.Joes.

But that's the one and only down point in an otherwise truly excellent vehicle that I hope and expect will be one of the most popular G.I.Joe vehicles in quite some time. It cerainly deserves to be. And for those of you who recall that the Humvee actually gained its popularity as a result of Operation Desert Storm, worry not -- there have been pictures online that Hasbro is planning a very authentic-looking desert version of this vehicle.

Meanwhile, I most definitely recommend the G.I.JOE JUNGLE STRIKE HUMVEE! YO JOE!