Friday, March 11, 2011

REVIEW: GI Joe: Pursuit of Cobra - Ghost Hawk with Tomahawk

Ghost Hawk and Tomahawk | Produced by Hasbro | Released July 2010

The Ghost Hawk swoops into the jungle to deliver the GI Joe team. This STOVL (Short Take Off and Vertical Landing) aircraft doesn't need a runway, just a small gap in the thick canopy. Designed for stealth, it is virtually silent - until it is time to unleash the firepower and blast a whole through Cobra's fortress with LSB-10 large-scale breaching missiles.

Tomahawk is a pilot on the GI Joe team. This former Air Force pilot has flown every type of fixed-wing aircraft and tested numerous advanced prototypes. He delivers the team to the jungle, using his expert flying to conceal their presence from Cobra forces that are suspected to be hiding in the shadows of the jungle.

Packaging Shots

I suspect Tomahawk is based upon a previously-released GI Joe figure. He has a more Resolute/25th Anniversary look to him than the Pursuit of Cobra figures. His vest, for example, is a molded piece (rather than a removable accessory) and his sculpt isn't as detailed as some of the newer toys.

That's not to say the sculpt is poor, it's just not as detailed as we've come to expect from the Pursuit of Cobra line.

The figure is clad in basic fatigues (in a rather too-primary green) with - as stated - a vest over the top. There's some nice detail on the vest, such as some pouches and a holster, but I wish the gun were removable, rather than being part of the figure. The head sculpt is pretty good, though. There's a nice, slicked-back texturing to his hair and his beard is a part of the sculpt, rather than simply being painted-on. OK, so maybe he looks a little like George Michael but there's a pretty good level of work here on the face, overall. There's nothing really wrong with the rest of the sculpt, but it's just a little uninspired.

Articulation is slightly problematic, at least on my Tomahawk. His shoulder joints are incredibly stiff and feel as if they're going to snap at any moment. Needless to say I'm keeping his arms by his sides, ready for flight mode...

Paint is nicely applied. His hair is neat (including his eyebrows), his eyes are piercingly well-applied and the uniform is again, OK for what it is. One oversight is the radio on his vest, which has not been painted black like the other vest accessories. The choice of green though - as mentioned - is a little too strong and I'd have liked to have seen a more olive-drab/military green than this slightly glossy grass-green.

Ghost Hawk
I think somebody at Hasbro has been watching Star Trek: The Next Generation, as the front-end of the Ghost Hawk is remarkably similar to the show's shuttle pods. Of course, it could be pure coincidence... 

Starting at the front, there's a single-person cockpit with rising canopy cover. What's cool here is that the canopy uses red ''glass'' that is semi-transparent. I was a little disappointed in the HISS Tank's use of a solid cover and was initially concerned that the Ghost Hawk was the same. Thankfully it's not.

Behind the cockpit sit two movable engines. The idea is that the Ghost Hawk uses vectored thrust to maneuverer, tilting the engines to provide a change in direction. Although the engines may be moved freely, the C-grip holding them in place does so quite tightly, meaning the engines will stay in the position you place them in and not simply spin around or drop back to their ''neutral'' position.

The rear of the Ghost Hawk consists of a tail section with some rudder-like fins. I was disappointed to find they were immobile, as it would have been nice if these pieces could also have been angled, too.

The underside of the Ghost Hawk features two landing skis/struts (one of which must be connected when the Ghost Hawk is first unpacked), both of which feature weapon-mount sockets on the underside. The Ghost Hawk comes with a missile launcher (with a single projectile, which it can project rather well!) and a Gatling gun. Both can be moved to a small degree within the mount.

Finally, directly under the nose cone, are two heavy cannons. Again, they can be re-angled, although the arc of motion is quite restricted.

All the articulated pieces on the Ghost Hawk work well. The canopy cover opens smoothly and remains open, the engines - as mentioned - hold their position well and the weaponry's movement is fluid.

Paint - although used sparingly - is excellent. There are scorch marks near the canopy where the (molded-in) cannons on either side have been fired and the black details on the engines and landing struts are very well applied. Although the toy is molded mostly from a single-coloured plastic, the plastic has a nice, military drab look about it and doesn't look glossy like some other plastic vehicles in the line sometimes do.

Tomahawk comes with his flight helmet and a combat knife (which fits into his leg sheath, although it is a little loose in there.) I'd hoped that the helmet would include some kind of plastic visor or even movable goggles, but sadly it's an open-faced helmet and the molded-on visor atop it is going nowhere. One nice detail though is the built-in headset mic and the paint is cleanly applied. The helmet is also a pretty good fit and although it may wobble when in-place, it's not going to fall off any time soon.

There's also a bright red missile that fits into the side-mounted missile launcher, an instruction sheet and a set of decals to apply. Interestingly, my Ghost Hawk included a number already in-place.

Final Thoughts
Tomahawk is an OK figure, nothing more really. He's not the worst bundled-pilot I've seen and if you were to buy this for a kid, I'm sure they'd enjoy ''being'' him well enough. He's just a little dull and lacks any real sense of character or any distinguishing features to make him a memorable Joe.

The Ghost Hawk, on the other hand, is great. Yes, it's disappointing that the tail doesn't move and it would have been nice had it been the troop transport craft it's described as (how did Tomahawk fly the Joes into the jungle, given this is a single-seater aircraft?) but minor quibbles aside, this is a great toy. It looks good, it's fun to play with - and very sturdy, to boot -  the design is nicely thought-out and the execution is great.


Production QualityB+
Final ScoreC+

Ghost Hawk
Production QualityA-
Final ScoreA-

Final ScoreA-

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