MARINE  
  Code Name: LEATHERNECK  
 

The Joes’ new marine for 1986, Leatherneck was as such a replacement for Gung-Ho. This was presumably why Hasbro did their best to make the original figure look like a gay stereotype, by dint of using exactly the same colour for his flesh and the flesh-coloured torso of his uniform - creating the unfortunate effect of a man wearing just a strange shoulder/collar thing above his inexplicably bare chest. To add to the confusion, he had grenades fixed to all this, possibly via the same sort of paste strippers use. The figure was later given a more austere look (not too difficult), being decked out in khaki gear for the Special Mission Brazil set.

Strangely, it was the latter version Hasbro chose for the 25th Anniversary version of the character, packed in with a rather dull A.W.E. Striker redeco. A Leatherneck somewhat closer to the original was then used for the Rise of Cobra line, packed in with the Tiger Claw A.T.V. Sadly, the sheer unpopularity of Rise of Cobra meant his wave was cancelled in America, though it did see release in Canada – which is where I got mine from. I’m not sure why I did this, seeing as I dislike the dull character and his tedious on-screen bickering with Wet-Suit in the cartoon – I’m as surprised as you are, really. Well, you're not that surprised, most likely. More probably you hadn't thought about it. It's more a turn of phrase used to make me sound a bit chummier and less like someone you don't know is just yelling at you about a toy.

The RoC version is basically the 25th Anniversary version in green. Sadly, this means that it’s mainly cobbled together from existing parts. This wouldn’t be much of a problem, as whatever else can be said about him, Leatherneck’s just a generic soldier-type chap, at least assuming no-one colours his torso the same as his skin (which they haven’t). However, it’s all capped off with that Gung-Ho head. While the characters look passably similar (so it’s not quite as bad as the same head being reused for Cutter), they do look daft being close to identical, and it means putting a bit of distance between them on the shelf is vital.

Which is a shame, as otherwise Leatherneck is respectable – his uniform is sensible without being bland, though his grey pouches do seem a little incongruous. Sadly, however, he does have the relatively restricted arms more prominent on earlier Generation 3 figures (such as Duke, Falcon or Rock ‘n’ Roll), meaning he struggles to hold his rifle convincingly. If you’re desperate for a Season 2-style Leatherneck he’ll do the job (and isn’t much rarer than the tan version, though both are relatively scarce), but there’s little to make him stand out, meaning he’s a figure for completists only.

G.I. Joe Leatherneck
G.I. Joe Leatherneck
G.I. Joe Leatherneck
G.I. Joe Leatherneck