Monday, November 27, 2023

Action Figure Review: Robert "Grunt" Graves" from G.I. Joe: Classified Series by Hasbro


   Today I'm checking out Grunt, one of the original 13 G.I. Joe team members from the 1982 vintage toy line. This Classified Series version of Grunt (officially names Robert "Grunt" Graves) definitely borrows from the very basic looking vintage figure but still adds some fantastic update to make Grunt fit in with the Classified Series aesthetic. I never had Grunt as a kid as he was a 1982 and 1983 release and it wasn't until reading the comics later and collecting the 1991 Impel trading card that I really came to be familiar with the character. Personally, until this release I'm not sure there's been a great Grunt figure. Yeah, the original figure is classic, but he's also kind of dull. V3 was OK, though quite different from what you'd expect. The comic pack version was also cool, but too issue specific. The Retro release from a year or two ago looks nice but I've long moved on from smaller scale Joes except for my old favorites. This Classified Series Grunt is just awesome, though, plus his alternate helmeted head lets him serve as an army builder, too. I managed to get my Grunts (three of them) when Target was offering for a really low sale price. It was off, but it worked for me. Let's check out Grunt after the break...

The Facts:

Height: 6 3/8ths inches

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

Accessories: 2 swappable portraits, 2 hip pouches, knife, helmet, pistol, rifle, magazine, laser rifle, and backpack.

Non-Scalper Price: $25 dollars

The Positives:

* The original Grunt was the quintessential 1980s infantryman. He was wearing a simple green outfit with a helmet and he carried an M16 rifle. This version of Grunt still has that DNA, sure, but he looks much more like a modern soldier. He's sporting more armor, pouches, holsters, and sheaths for additional weapons and gear, and some more technology to keep him connected while on the battlefield. His outfit is basic, simple trousers with cargo pockets, laced up combat boots, and  green commando sweater, but the extra stuff really just adds to his look and makes him look more unique. 

* I like Grunt's portrait. To me he kinda looks like B.J. Blazkowicz from the original Wolfenstein 3D or even the Doom Guy from the original Doom. He just kind of looks like your average Joe, maybe a bit younger than most of the team, but determined and driven.  

* His helmet is nice and modern and similar to the helmets that came with Rock 'n Roll and Breaker, though without any extraneous stuff. He's wearing the bare minimum needed.

* Grunt's second portrait looks like the helmet from the vintage Steel Brigade Trooper, which are now referred to as the Steel Corps as Valaverse gained the trademark to the name Steel Brigade. This is a great looking helmet and it's shared with the male Steel Corps Trooper figure (though with different paint colors). You can use this as Grunt armored up for battle or turn Grunt into a Green Shirt or Steel Corps member.

* Grunt's armored vest and webgear is really neat with lots of stuff to look at. He's got a Joe-Pro device, his name tag with rank (it says E-4 Graves), and an American flag. There's plenty of pouches for additional magazines and such and what looks like a tablet or an oversized phone on his chest.

* The tablet-like device on Grunt's chest does fold down to show off the screen and what might be a keyboard. I wonder what this could be? Maybe it's a communications device or even soliton radar like in Metal Gear Solid. 

* Besides having some sweet combat boots, Grunt also has a storage pouch on his right hip. 

* There is another pouch on his left thigh that looks like it has two separate compartments. Maybe for some spare magazines?

* From the back you can see the buckles and fastening strips on Grunt's vest. Lots of storage space there.

* Hasbro is very consistent on the articulation for the Classified Series figures, so Grunt moves pretty much like everyone else. He takes firing poses really well and just look incredible in action. He's another of my favorite figures to pick up and mess around with in recent memory. 

* Grunt's backpack is simple. It's not massive so probably doesn't slow him down.

* Grunt come with two rifle, one of which is the XMLR-3A rifle that came with Snow Job in the vintage toyline but which was used in the animated series pretty frequently. Since many folks will be army building Grunt, this is a nice inclusion and it looks perfect. I love the green stalk to give it just a bit more appeal. 

* Grunt's second rifle looks like an M16A2. It's an older weapon but not crazy outdated and it might just still be something Grunt is familiar with. It's a nice sculpt with a scope and a hole in the barrel for a firing effect.

* The magazine is also removable.

* Both rifle can be stored on the sides of Grunt's backpack using the pegs which slip through the trigger guards. He can hold all of his weapons and still have his hands free!

* Grunt comes with a modern looking pistol that resembles a .45 pistol. It's a nice, standard weapon for a grunt (or Grunt) and it has some incredible detail for such a small weapon.

* The pistol fits into the holster on the rear of Grunt's belt. You can also store the magazine for he M16A2, though I do wish Hasbro would include a second magazine when they make a pouch for one.

* Lastly, Grunt has a cool but basic knife that is removable and slides into the sheath on his web gear. I've loved knives sheathed like this since I first played Resident Evil and I still love them. They're the epitome of cool to me.
The Negatives:

* The only problem is that the knife handle interferes with the tablet folding down, or does the tablet interfere with the knife coming out of the sheath? Yes. That's the answer. Yes they do. Both. Is that unclear? That's OK.

   Grunt is incredible. Another fantastic take on a vintage figure that is nicely modernized yet still retains something of the vintage charm. I'm really excited about Hasbro updating all of the Original 13 and so far they've done a nice job with them. Grunt has a great design, incredible accessories, and some really neat features like the fold down tablet and the swappable head. That extra head really does make him work perfectly as an army builder, doesn't it? Grunt's another Epic figure. I'm really having a hard time not liking every figure in this line; Hasbro's G.I. Joe team is on fire and just is on another level than every other team they've got creating toys right now. 

This is the first figure of Grunt, AKA Robert Graves, that I've reviewed on the site. For more G.I. Joe: Classified Series reviews check out the following:


  1. I think I'll pick up a few more of him if I see him. I rarely see Classified out in the wild. Have to buy everything via BBTS or Hasbro Pulse. Would love it if Hasbro made the original 13 as close to their original uniforms as possible. This is a great hybrid.

    1. Yeah, the retail distribution is really weird. Other than target exclusives, which have been pretty easy to come by, the only place I see new figures is online or at a collectible store near me who has a Hasbro account and sells at retail price.


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