1988 Hit And Run

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.


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4 Responses to 1988 Hit And Run

  1. paint_wipes says:

    always loved this figure, i remember showing it to my father back in the day and he was taken aback that his arms and face were painted like a LRRPs.

    this figure has untapped army building potential to go alongside his blank slate character, a squad of 4-5 would be good background dudes for falcon or stalker to be leading down a jungle trail somewhere. these days it’s not easy or practical to army build character figures unfortunately.

    wonder where this mold died, they planned on repainting it in 95 to go along with that iron panther tank that ended up in the sgt savage line.

  2. A-Man says:

    Good 1988 releases expanded to 7 figures, IG Destro, Iron Grenadier, Roadpig, Storm Shadow and Repeater. Some of those depending on if fans could get past their “nothing in GI JOE should progress past 1985/86.” Of course, eventually all army builder figures become somewhat coveted because….nerds. You know “all those repainted teams suck” gave into “I’m army building Python Patrol”. Stereotyping fandom from a certain time frame, but it wasn’t far from the truth.

    I like Hit and Run just fine. Not too guzzied up with gear but detailed enough. I recall seeing that duffle bag and grapple hook thing for real and their disclaimer “not for climbing”…then what was it for? Boarding enemy ships?

    I recall reading that Hit &/or Run almost got a domestic repaint as the driver of the GI JOE Stealth Tank which was cancelled then released as IRON PANTHER for Sgt. Savage.

  3. Mike T. says:

    I only bought 3 1988 figures: Hardball, Tiger Force Roadblock and Hit and Run. Hit and Run was the last figure I bought as a kid just because he was so cool. He had an amazing weapon and the rope/climbing gear was awesome. In the fall of that year, I was playing with him on the limestone wall at my grandparent’s house. I hung him in the ivy and promptly forgot him. I found him there months later, still just fine.

    I still really like the figure. I’ve never been able to really get good photos of him. He looks cool in lots of places. But, I just can’t get him to look as cool as I perceive him.

    Fandom of the early 2000’s was really peculiar in their tastes. In some ways, I still kind of miss it. Now, all Joes are desirable and expensive. You used to have tons of the hidden gems that you could get for cheap. Now, everything, even 2000’s figures, are expensive with someone collecting them en masse. And, I liked being able to trigger people by saying that 1990 was a better year than 1985.

  4. I remember seeing Hit and Run at daycare and on the playground when I was a very young kid. And he confused me greatly. The name “Hit and Run” did not seem like a name to me as a 6-7 year old so much as it seemed like a string of random words. And I was also to young to understand why an army guy might paint camouflage on his face and arms, so that was extra confusing. I was just very puzzled by the figure.

    That puzzlement dissolved soon after, of course, but I never really thought about the figure by that point. I do like him pretty well now, but he wasn’t one I was willing to shell out money for a complete version (like I did with Alpine or Outback). I was able to find his duffle bag at some point, but it’s empty and has a broken strap. And mine is kind of on the “junker” side, but he still works for me.

    You’re right that the look is cool while simultaneously holding him back just a bit. But despite any flaws, he is a competent and fun GI Joe figure that does something a little different than everyone else– and that’s really all you need.

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