Review & pics by: Fred Meyer
G.I. Joe 50th Anniversary Eagle's Edge General Hawk
There’s an old saying that applies to the 50th Anniversary line: “what’s old is new again.” For celebration of G.I. Joe’s first half century of existence, the folks at Hasbro dipped into the well of “recent releases” and compiled a cast of characters that represented, in most cases, some of the more well-known personalities of the G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero era. As the commander of the team, it seemed only natural that General Hawk would be included in this narrow roster but is he worth acquiring? Is he all that different from previous releases? Read on and find out one Joe fan’s opinion.
Many of my 50th Anniversary reviews haven’t really been actual reviews so much as they’ve been commentary on the line itself. After all, it’s hard to get truly excited about a figure that is a near-exact duplicate of one that I’ve already owned for three years. Such is the case of General Hawk which is essentially a straight-up re-release of the 2011 Pursuit of Cobra General Clayton “Hawk” Abernathy which is ironically one of my favorite release of the character ever. Like many of the other Pursuit of Cobra (PoC) figures, the design is a nice modern update to a vintage character without teetering too far into the realm of science fantasy.
What’s impressive is that, when this figure was initially released, it was built entirely out of existing parts. The head is from the 25th Anniversary General Hawk, the torso came from the second PoC Duke, the arms from the PoC Dusty, and the legs from the PoC Recondo. The resulting parts combination, however, looked just different enough to present a unique character while the similar parts conveyed a hint of some cohesion with the rest of the team. Personally, I love the fact that Hasbro reused the 25th Anniversary head sculpt because it provided a sense of character continuity. For years I’ve hoped that the folks in Pawtucket would develop a definitive head sculpt for each character and then merely reuse that head each time a new version of the character is released. It certainly helps avoid the “clone saga” that is Flash/Grunt/Grand Slam/Bombardier and Gung-Ho/Leatherneck/Cutter.
In terms of gear, Hawk is pretty well loaded-- just as he was in 2011. He’s got a carbine rifle, a scoped SMG, a second SMG that fits inside the computer case, a pistol and a walkie talkie. It’s an insane amount of gear but it’s no more than he needs. Honestly, I’ve grown tired of the trend of “let’s throw everything AND the kitchen sink in this character’s kit and hope that people like it.” Maybe it’s just me but I prefer my figures to come with just enough gear that everything can be stored on the figure itself. There’s no need to throw in an arsenal unless that figure is expected to rearm the rest of the figure shelf.
At the end of the day, is this figure worth picking up? Sigh… this is a question I hate to answer simply because I honestly believe the figure deserves better. This was a great figure when it was released in 2011 and one that I was happy to own at the time. It became my defacto “modern Hawk” and fit in perfectly with the rest of the incredible Pursuit of Cobra line. (It’s my opinion that the PoC line was the line time that Generation 3 Joes were truly innovative.) However, I find it a bit off-putting that Hasbro couldn’t even conjure up a good alternate color scheme for this figure for the 50th anniversary. As was the case with Blowtorch and Low-light, the result is a lazy re-release of a figure that isn’t all that hard to obtain on the secondary market. Would it have killed Hasbro to give him an olive-based color scheme? Perhaps some digital camouflage apps? Instead, fans get a sloppily painted gold star on one shoulder and some gold paint hastily applied to the figure stand. Many fans are going to end up with this figure simply because he is packaged with Leatherneck and Destro. However, instead of this figure being seen as something special, he’s going to be viewed as “just another repaint”. The figure, the character, the line, and the fans honestly deserve better. Of course, that’s just this Joe fan’s opinion.
The Bottom Line: Unless you’re buying the three-pack, there’s no need to acquire this version of General Hawk as it is exactly the same as the Pursuit of Cobra version.
Questions? Comments? Think that a gold star makes all of the difference?
|Copyright 2003 JoeBattlelines.com|