Monday, May 30, 2011

REVIEW: GI Joe City Strike General Clayton 'Hawk' Abernathy

Produced by Hasbro | Released May 2011

The General is a West Point graduate with a list of special education credits as long as his arm. But he acquired the main body of his experience where it counts - on the battlefield. He's the type of commander who goes out and gets shot at like everyone else. Troops respect that. They know he won't ask them to do anything he isn't willing to do himself. That's why they're willing to do anything he tells them.


The latest Waves of GI Joe figures feature slightly modified packaging, specifically the clip and collect cards, which now give a breakdown of the figure's gear and weaponry plus their hometown, a feature that harks back to the older figure cards. It's a nice touch and the gear checklist is a handy addition.

City Strike General Clayton ''Hawk'' Abernathy
General Hawk is from the 2011 Wave 3 (which was confusingly released after Wave 4...) which hit shelves just a couple of days ago.

The sculpt is great, with General Hawk dressed in urban combat gear that's clearly taking a lot of cues from real-world combat uniforms. There are numerous armoured panels over the basic fatigues and a removable combat-vest really enhances this sculpt. There's a tonne of detail in the straps, plates and pouches that adorn the toy but it never looks impractical. This is a soldier equipped for front-line combat and I'd be quite happy for Hasbro to produce a ''GI Joe team Grunt'' from this sculpt, as I could see it working really well as an Army Builder.

There's a holster on his right hip that can hold the included pistol, plus a second holster sculpted onto the vest. The latter features a smaller weapon that's not removable. The figure also includes a tactical backpack that can be a little awkward to fit into the back port initially (thanks to the webbing) but with a little adjustment it can be popped into place. The webbing also includes a smaller port for the walkie-talkie, which pops into place very snuggly.

The head sculpt is great, with a nicely detailed face and a haircut you could set your watch by under the removable helmet. The only real issue I have with the face is that General Hawk looks about the same age as Duke. I know there have been various interpretations of the character over the years but I'd expect General Hawk (being a Brigadier General) to have a few years on Sergeant Hauser. The card art certainly shows General Hawk as being an older man, so it's surprising to see such a young face on the actual toy. That aside though it's a very well-produced sculpt.

General Hawk uses the standard GI Joe articulation and doesn't include any of the new tilt-able wrists, which is a shame, although he's perfectly capable of gripping weapons with both hands. Although the basic figure has no real issues, the webbing and belt accessories do inhibit movement a little, with the hip-mounted holster sometimes getting in the way of the vest (which features a pouch right where the pistol butt rests when the firearm is holstered.) Thankfully the accessories are made from a fairly soft plastic, so they will flex when you pose the toy but it's worth noting nevertheless.

The colour scheme used on General Hawk is a definite high-point. The muted olives, greys and black look superb and there's a great sense of coordination with it all. It also looks very realistic and the camo pattern on his fatigues is very subtle but effective.

The application is also very nicely done, although I have to admit I did have the luxury of choosing between two General Hawks and so picked the one whose eyes weren't staringly large. Detail is nicely applied to his various buckles and fasteners, too.

Like most Pursuit of Cobra figures, General Hawk comes with a plethora of extras.

As mentioned, the figure comes with a battle vest/harness and helmet pre-attached. The vest is a great accessory that looks good and really gives the figure a lifelike look. The helmet is also superbly produced and a great fit - so much so that I initially thought it was part of the head sculpt. A pair of goggles adorns the helmet and they can be removed/worn depending on how you wish to pose him.

A small tactical backpack can be slotted into the figure's back port (after moving the vest around a little) and this accessory really helps give the impression of General Hawk as a front-line soldier, carrying his extra gear with him. There's also a walkie-talkie that fits onto the shoulder of the vest.

Arms-wise, General Hawk comes with a pistol (which fits into his holster), an assault rifle and two machine pistols, one of which fits into his tactical briefcase, a field-ops computer console/communications unit, complete with a fold-up screen, presumably used to receive/relay orders. It's a pretty neat little accessory that clips shut to become a briefcase that fits well into his hand.

Aside from the assault rifle - which can, at a push, be slotted into the space between his vest and the backpack - he can carry all of his gear with relative ease. I like that and it's nice to see not only a large quantity of high quality accessories, but also some thought going into their use.

Final Thoughts
I'm a big fan of the Pursuit of Cobra line for a number of reasons. I like the attention to detail they feature. I like how they look quite lifelike. And I like that they're produced to a high standard of quality. Thankfully General Hawk hits all three points with gusto.

There's a lot going on with the figure, which comes with some superb accessories that have been well thought-out and work well with the figure. I like that he looks as if he's just stepped-off a real-world battlefield and that his gear is all very lifelike. And the paintwork, articulation and casting are all to a very high standard.

Younger kids I'm sure will enjoy the figure but may find the accessories a little too fiddly. The pistol doesn't quite sit properly in the holster and can drop-out if you're not careful. Similarly the walkie-talkie is right on the spot where you'd be picking him up and can pop-out when you do so. Whilst the helmet is a good fit, the goggles are again going to come loose if you pick him up by his head. However, so long as you're careful or have the foresight to strip-down some of his smaller pieces and bag them for later, there's no reason why kids couldn't enjoy this toy as much as collectors.

OK, so it could be said that he suffers from being a little ''vanilla'' but that's actually one of the things I like about this toy. He's not a flashy space-ninja armed with a giant laser rifle. He's a commanding officer with a grunt mentality, somebody who's there at the front-lines with his troops and as such, this look works perfectly.

I'm both pleased and excited to see how well-produced and equipped this figure is and I'm very much looking forward to seeing what the rest of this Wave has to offer.

Production QualityA-
Final ScoreA-

Image Gallery


  1. Hawk is my favorite GI Joe, but I am not sure I like this guy yet. Maybe in hand.

  2. He's actually a superb figure. Whether he's a superb Hawk figure is open for debate...

  3. I'm going to troop build the hell out of this guy. I think he is the perfect modern green shirt

  4. Yeah, like I said, I'd be happy if they released a more generic version - I'd buy it.


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