Early online fandom had a mindset that nothing good came after 1987, which is likely the year most of the members of early online fandom grew out of G.I. Joe. Though there would occasionally be an open-minded fan, who’d say “Wait a minute, there were actually 2 good figures in 1988, Shockwave and Hit And Run.” Because those figures were “realistic”, and this resulted in people’s collection pictures of their figures lined up on bookshelves usually featuring Shockwave and Hit And Run intermingling with the figures from the years before the “line got bad”.
Hit and Run isn’t seen much anymore. He’s a good figure, but isn’t as strong as he was once heralded. He’s a fine generic military looking figure, but he also suffers from a head that makes him look like The Great Gazoo. I think one thing that did the figure in, is also his calling card. The green skin is cool, and a unique look, it just has the unfortunate side effect of making Hit and Run a little less adaptable. The facepaint is one of those things that means Hit and Run can only be on a mission, and at that, it’s going to be a forest or jungle mission, and that’s it. Sure Rip Cord might be in forest camo, but he’s not done up completely in that, the way that Hit and Run is.
The figure is wearing a fairly detailed pair of black and green combat fatigues, and the real details on the figure come via the rappelling harness sculpted on the figure. The figure’s got an internal gimmick, where there’s a place run string through the harness on his waist. It’s not the worst gimmick, because if you don’t have the duffel bag and grappling hook combo, it’s not really all that noticeable, and doesn’t put the figure in a position of looking bad, like some of the missing face shields, goggles or mics of the line could wind up doing.
Hit and Run, is an interesting figure, because he’s a figure with a hell of a lot of depth to him, despite the fact he’s only four colours. The orange of his goggles and the whites of his eyes, do a deceptively large amount to make the figure look like he’s got more going on, than what’s actually the case. This ties into what Hit and Run is most noted for, which is the fact his hands and face were done up in green, to portray smeared on camouflage. I think the figure would’ve wound up being better if they’d gone with typical flesh colour, just because it’s a little less hokey. Though it’s something that could’ve been much worse in the long run.
H&R comes with a fairly decent group of accessories. The knife and gun are excellent, and were seen a lot in the 1990s, but they were far nicer than a lot of the weapons that made up a lot of those trees. His duffel bag and grappling hook is really nice, but a pain to find. They don’t come up often, so I don’t have ’em and can’t comment on them. Sadly without the duffel bag, Hit and Run looks a little bare, so I tend to give him either a knock off black Flint backpack, or an RLA Steel Brigade backpack in black. They give the figure a bit of heft, and match up colour wise.
Hit and Run’s got a character based around tragedy. His parents were killed by a drunk driver, and he would run away from the orphanage a lot, but he was just practicing for when he joined the Army. There’s something of a character that could be made, but that kind of tragic character has a couple issues, as one it’s almost a wasted opportunity on a fairly benign background character, and the other issue is, something very similar has been done before.
Hit and Run’s from too far into the line for me, to ever think of as much of a character. I like the figure, but I don’t really care enough about him to daydream about him, however that’s just the way it works with the high quality figures of the late 80s. It doesn’t matter too much, because I like the figure, and he blends in quite well with other figures from his timeframe. So while they aren’t the strong characters, they’re good toys that are easy to find something to do with.
For a darling figure of the early 2000s, you don’t see him too often nowadays. However that’s just what happens, it happened to Rip Cord and Airborne, and it even happened to the basic COBRA Viper. It’s likely something where for long term fans, familiarity breeds contempt, and for new to the scene collectors, he’s still obscure enough to ignore. I mean, I’ve owned this figure a long time, and when I wrote the profile I realized I had one photo he was front and centre in, and it was from the back of the figure.