Tuesday, February 28, 2023

Action Figure Review: Recondo from G.I. Joe: Classified Series by Hasbro


   I couldn't possibly review the new Target exclusive Tiger Force Recondo figure from the G.I. Joe: Classified series without remembering the lyrics to ABBA's hit song about the character:

There was something in the air that night
The stars were bright, Recondo
They were shining there for you and me
For liberty, Recondo
Though I never thought that we could lose
There's no regret
If I had to do the same again
I would, my friend, Recondo
If I had to do the same again
I would, my friend, Recondo

   Yes, who could forget those stirring words about a raid on Cobra Island by G.I. Joe forces sung from the perspective of Outback.... wait, I'm getting a note....

  My editor says I'm apparently remembering this all wrong and the song in question is "Fernando" and it's a 1975 ABBA song about the Mexican Revolution. 


   Well, in that case we'll just talk about Recondo. This version is from Tiger Force and while the vintage Tiger Force Recondo figure, released in 1988, came with the Tiger Fly, a Tiger Force themed repaint of the Dragonfly, this one comes packaged solo. That was originally the plan for the vintage Recondo, but for some reason Wild Bill got skipped. We'll definitely get a regular version of Recondo in the line at some point but this Tiger Force version is pretty nice. Let's take a look at Recondo after the break...

The Facts:

Height: 6 1/4ths inches

Articulation: Swivel/ hinge ankles, boot swivels, double hinged knees, swivel thighs, balljointed drop down hips, balljointed waist, mid-torso hinge, butterfly pecs, swivel/hinge shoulders, bicep swivels, double hinged elbows, swivel/hinge wrists, balljointed neck base, hinged neck, and a balljointed head.

Accessories: Rifle, magazine, pistol, kukri, sheathe, hat, and backpack.

Non-Scalper Price: $23 dollars

The Positives:

* I never had Recondo as a kid and the first version of the character I owned was likely from the 25th Anniversary Collection Assault on Cobra Island set in 2009. I may have had the G.I. Joe Vs Cobra one from 2003 that I picked up around 06 or 07, but that one doesn't have the trademark Recondo hat or stache, so he hardly counts. Recondo's wearing a pretty standard outfit in Classified with few upgrades or embellishments from the vintage figure. He doesn't look outdated, though, and looks like the kind of guy who really does just need the bare minimum. His belt and the lower part of his shirt are one piece that's separate, covering the waist joint, as are his chest straps and the sheathe on his left hip. His colors are muted but still match the vintage Tiger Force figure well. 

* If follow the Classified Series at all, you know folks are really giving Hasbro grief over Falcon's portrait, which looks pretty bad. The reaction against Falcon is really in response to how fabulous the portraits have been in this line, filled with excellent detail and character. Look at Recondo. I love his smirk, his large handlebar mustache, and his slicked back hair. The Joe team aren't models or superheroes; they're regular folks doing their service to the good old US of A and Hasbro has done a great job making them look like interesting yet regular people.

* Recondo's slouch hat really completes his look. It fits on his head snugly and looks like it's part of the sculpt. 

* There are two cool little details on Recondo worth pointing out. The first is his wristwatch. Yeah, we've seen other figures in the line with watches, but Recondo's actually gets a silver paint app for the face. The second is what looks to be a compass hanging from his belt. I reckon that it could be a JoePro too, though most other figures are sporting blue faceplates. 

* There aren't any surprises here when it comes to articulation. He moves fine and can hold his rifle quite nicely. 

* Recondo's rifle mirrors his classic rifle nicely and yet still feels appropriately modern enough. The vintage accessory was identified as an experimental model of the M-14 rifle (M-14E2X) and this newer version does look like a modern battle rifle of the sort. It really resembles the M-14 EBR, though a stripped down version without lots of added kit. The cloth strips from the vintage Recondo's rifle are here, too, though I'm not really sure what purpose they'd serve other than comfort. They don't exactly camouflage or break up the shape of the rifle. Still cool looking, though.

* Check it out! Another removable magazine! Sweet. I love these. The barrel is also hollow, so you can pop a firing effect inside.

* Recondo also carries a sidearm: A small, automatic pistol that looks like an HK. It's a nice sculpt and there's a hollow barrel if you want a firing effect inside.

* The shoulder straps serve both as the straps for Recondo's backpack and carry a holster for his pistol. It slides in securely and is easily at reach. 

* I love Recondo's kukri. It's sleek with a modern handle and seems like it'd be excellent for both cutting through the jungle and for cutting through Cobra troops when things get close and personal. 

* Not only does the kukri fit perfectly in the sheath on Recondo's left hip but the sheath also has plenty of pouches and pockets for gear. Maybe a flint and a sharpening stone?

* Recondo's backpack is simple but the sleeping roll on top does get a paint application, setting it apart from the rest of the sack. I'm kind of surprised that Hasbro didn't include a handle for the pack, as that was a unique feature of the vintage backpack. 

The Negatives:

* My only complaint with Recondo is a missing paint application on the side of his hair. It's not noticeable from some angles, but it's there. 
   While Recondo is pretty accurate to the vintage figure, the modern weapons, the kukri with the functioning sheath, and the little extras like the hanging compass do make him feel like more than just a bigger version of the original. While I'm definitely still a bit concerned by how Hasbro seems to not be innovating the designs like they were earlier in the line, Recondo is one that still works and doesn't feel outdated. He's a Great and a 1/2 figure with an excellent headsculpt, a cool mustache, and some excellent weapons. Oh, and those tiger striped pants. Incredible! His colors work really well here and he fits in well with the rest of Tiger Force or with the other Classified Series figures.

This is the first figure of Recondo I've reviewed. For more G.I. Joe: Classified Series reviews check out the following:


  1. Very strong Kurt Russel in Tombstone vibes from this guy, really liking him.

    1. You know what's funny? Anytime I see a kukri I think about the Three Storms throwing their kukris in Big Trouble in Little China, one of Kurt Russell's best films.

  2. Well, who knows, maybe ABBA changed "Recondo" into "Fernando" to avoid Cobra's censorship. And as the other Anon said, yes, it reminds me too a bit about Tombstone. Maybe if you get Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday you can make O.K. Cobral against the Corsican Twins, ha, ha!

    1. Maybe they'll make Ace look a bit like Va Kilmer when they get around to him...

  3. I never had Recondo as a kid but I'm surprised to hear about folks thinking he's a new character. He seemed to make his presence known in a few different areas of Joe media. I'm hopeful we'll one day get Ambush, as that guy also has a killer mustache.

  4. Looks like a custom Wyatt Earp figure is in the making for me. Hopefully we get a classic version as well, I miss Jungle from Action Figure Therapy lol

    1. I somehow have never heard of Action Figure Therapy. I looked it up. That is crazy funny. How did I miss that?

      "Ever shot a machine gun on peyote?"- Classic.


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