Hey look, a Joe I forgot to review!
Beachhead is a character I’ve always had mixed feelings about. I don’t hold him in the contempt I do for Duke, but I always felt that he could never stand up to Stalker as the team’s #1 Ranger. Maybe it’s because of my distaste for the Sunbow cartoon (of which he was rather overused) or my preference for Stalker’s backstory in the comics, but Beachhead just never did it for me. Regardless, I know an important character when I see one, and I always try to keep them active in my collection.
Too bad most of his figures up until now kinda sucked.
Released in the first wave of Pursuit of Cobra figures as a part of the City Strike assortment, Beachhead is one of the few figures that didn’t need any cosmetic changes. While some like Duke got a new head to move away from the movie likeness, others like Ripcord had to be made into entirely new characters. Being an offscreen character that wears a mask, Beachhead ran into no such problems. I’m glad, too, since the one we got with the Snarler Cycle during Rise of Cobra was really lame, and made even lamer when placed against the AMAZING Airborne repaint he came with.
Beachhead’s base figure very much has the “five minutes into the future” aspect that Pursuit of Cobra was going for. He’s actually one of the few vest-wearing figures I’ve seen that looks good without it. With a few more paint applications, he’d be able to stand well enough on his own.
One issue I have with the base figure is this weird… meter thing on his leg. I’m not sure what exactly it is, but it’s more trouble than it’s worth. It always pops out and won’t stay at all if you try to bend his knees. Maybe it’s like the bombs the Predators use whenever everything goes wrong, so like if he gets stuck behind Cobra lines he can blow himself up? I dunno.
The head came out really well, and is probably one of my favorite heads for the character. Far too often he just looks off or too… soft. This one got it right. Early test shots had him shown with these badly-painted eyes that made him look sad, like someone just kicked his puppy. Thankfully, the final figure looks nice and stern.
His vest is really cool and different, skirting the line between realistic and futuristic, as it should be. Sadly the binoculars aren’t removable and he only includes one knife, likely due to budget constraints. He can also store his weird… flipper things on his back. I’m not sure what purpose these serve? I mean it’s not like he comes with SEAL gear…
Aside from those weird inclusions, he comes with a huge assortment of guns both realistic and pseudo-futuristic. I still don’t get what’s up with the weird shotgun-looking thing. It’s also kind of hard for him to hold it properly.
His star accessory is the gas mask, with removable filter. This is really cool, and I wish they’d give it to more figures. Come on Hasbro, give us more urban troopers!!
Overall, if you can still find him, this iteration of Beachhead is great. He’s not the definitive one, but he is currently my default. I’m a sucker for urban troops, and seeing classic characters in urban gear makes me smile. I’d still like to see a new Beachhead in desert or jungle gear, though. Regardless, if this figure tickles your fancy, drop by FPNYC and get one of your own!