|Code Name: SHIPWRECK|
Shipwreck wasn't actually one of my favourites as a kid. He's in the Action Force comic a bit, but was rarely given much to do. It was watching the Sunbow cartoon more recently that really sold me on the guy, as he's the best thing about the whole show, feeling like he's wandered in from a show aimed at an older demographic. It's clear he was a favourite of the production team, and any episode is enlivened by Neil Ross' famous "Jack Nicholson on a boatload of cocaine playing Popeye" voice. Larry Hama saw straight through the character, though - realising he wasn't a ninja and there was no way Shipwreck could be shoehorned into the cancerous Hard Master plotline he promptly relegated the guy to the occasional background appearance. Devils' Due employed writers with less of a hard-on for cheap Eastern mysticism, however, and promptly gave Shipwreck a central role. That's why their comics were good
Looking at Shipwreck, I'm not sure why I didn't like him before - the classic naval uniform (including bell-bottoms) is great stuff, something a bit different from fatigues without looking too unrealistic. His Popeye-esque arms also look fantastic, while if there was one character who deserved to get a permanently balled fist, it's Shipwreck. He's even got a naval tattoo (a dolphin or an anchor; slight variants were made).
The figure also comes with a sawn-off shotgun (which is a good choice, it's a powerful weapon, but one he can believably wield with one hand; it's also a no-nonsense brawler of a handgun), a pistol (holstered), a submachine gun (no-one will display this with him), a grappling hook for general piracy and, of course, Polly. The parrot can perch either on Shipwreck's forearms, or on the end of the shotgun, not to mention on all sorts of vehicles (the A.W.E. Striker's roll cage being a personal favourite). He's just fun through and through
Shipwreck's a great package, all in all, and the sculpt fully captures the raucous energy of the character. You'll go a long way before you find such a good rendition of a classic character. Hasbro later completely redid Shipwreck with a bulkier build, a smiling face and a wings-spread Polly, but the whole thing looked off to me, the wrong type of silly. The initial 25th Anniversary version is really the best choice, and an essential GI Joe purchase.