INFANTRY TROOPER  
  Code Name: GRUNT  
 

The original 13 Joes all had a gimmick of some kind - Hawk was commander-guy, Short-Fuze was mortar-guy, Clutch was driver-guy, Flash was laser-guy and so on. Grunt's gimmick, however, was that he didn't have a gimmick - he was G.I. Joe's one-man infantry brigade. That's not to suggest he had the ability to replicate an infantry brigade on his own, just that there was only one of him.

Ironically, the 25th Anniversary version only came out in the 'Senior Officers' boxed set (along with variants of Hawk and Duke), despite him probably being the lowest-ranked Joe in the franchise's history. Fittingly, he was made up entirely of existing parts, and is possibly the most vanilla toy of the 25th range.

That's not necessarily a bad thing, though - there's something quite charming about a bog-standard US Army type who just happens to be part of G.I. Joe. The reuse of Flash's head works well, the added stubble lending Grunt a bit of personality, while the US flag on his shoulder is a nice touch and gives him some further form of individual identification. Plus he actually has the elbow articulation to use a rifle - shame the one which came with the figure is slightly oversized, meaning he still can't hold the thing properly. Another problem is that his helmet just doesn't want to stay in place.

Ultimately, though, there's not a lot seriously wrong with Grunt - he's a bit boring, but then so was the character, and the original toy. Competent but unspectacular. The biggest problem is that he was rather cynically released as completist bait in a set with unnecessary tweaks of Hawk and Duke, meaning that one way or another he's one of the more expensive 25ths, and the bang-to-buck ratio isn't in his favour.

 

G.I. Joe Grunt
G.I. Joe Grunt
G.I. Joe Grunt
G.I. Joe Grunt