MECHANIC  
  Code Name: GAUCHO  
 

While nominally serving as Z Force's mechanic, Gaucho acted more as a strongman - strangling snakes, lifting jeeps, that sort of thing. The original figure was a straight recolour of Gung Ho, packed with Jammer in the Z Force Command Centre set, and costs truly alarming amounts on ebay.

After a largely inept attempt to make my own Gaucho, I went for the 2010 'Vacation in the Shadows' convention-exclusive Z-Force set, which contains Jammer, a Doc-inspired Lifeline and a new Gaucho. To differentiate the figure from Gung Ho for the American collectors this set was aimed at, the figure has been substantially remodelled and thus bears minimal resemblance to the Gaucho seen in the comics.

However, to my mind this is a good thing... The original figure was a camp old thing (coming from Gung Ho, it couldn't avoid it), and the red vest always seemed the wrong choice - red cap and green vest would have worked better. This version goes one better and significantly remixes the uniform. The chest is actually taken from a later version of Gung Ho, and gives him a jacket with a red vest underneath. The head is also changed a fair bit. Gaucho has darker skin (more fitting with the character's Mexican nationality), hair and a restyled moustache. He still looks a bit like he spends his weekends playing the cop in a Village People tribute act, but at least he doesn't have a doppelganger.

Appreciation of the convention Gaucho will vary according to what you're after. If you're after someone who looks like the character did in the comic and money's not an issue (buying the 1983 version will cost you more as the entire Convention triple pack), the original's the way to go as the newer figure isn't particularly recognisable. However if, like me, you collect Joes as well he's just right. Gung-Ho's a very unique looking character, and having an exact double with different colour clothes stretches credibility a little - especially when you consider both Leatherneck and Cutter already look quite close to him thanks to reusing the head cast . Gaucho's competently done, if still a little bizarre, and fits better with other Z-Force figures even if he's not hugely faithful to the original article.

G.I. Joe Gaucho
G.I. Joe Gaucho
G.I. Joe Gaucho
G.I. Joe Gaucho