Thursday, February 24, 2011

REVIEW: GI Joe: Pursuit of Cobra - City Strike Beachhead

City Strike Beachhead | Produced by Hasbro | Released July/August 2010

Wayne ''Beachhead'' Sneeden is an urban combat specialist on the GI Joe team. This former Army Ranger carries specialized gear and weapons including a gas mask for breathing in any environment and a U.P.R. Urban Plasma Rail weapon. His gear and training come in handy when he battles Alley-Vipers in the Cobra warehouse.

Our GI Joe theme continues with this Review of City Strike Beachhead.

City Strike Beachhead comes in the standard GI Joe single-carded figure packaging. The packaging is fine enough and allows a good view of the toy, plus it has its own individual artwork, making it easier to spot figures on the rack (even if there are a lot of hooded/masked Joes.)

The rear of the pack includes the cut and collect info card and a mock-up of Beachhead in action.

The blister-pack is glued in-place and so the box must be torn/cut to release the figure, which is held on a retaining tray with his equipment.

City Strike Beachhead
City Strike Beachhead is an ''urban combat specialist.'' As such, he's armed with a variety of weapons and specialised equipment, including a (removable) combat vest with spare ammo clips, grenades and binoculars, plus a removable gas mask. Unlike some GI Joe toys, the mask fits over his head, rather than being a replacement piece. His outfit reminds me of a mix of the GSG-9 and SAS uniforms and I get the impression that's what Hasbro are trying to convey with his look.

On the whole, the sculpt is nice but there's a big design problem with Beachhead: he's simply too well-equipped. Like Jungle Assault Snake Eyes, he can't carry half his equipment and storage space is virtually non-existent. I like that he has a wide range of weapons but personally I'd be happy with fewer if it meant the toy could be dressed with all his gear.

As it stands, he simply has too many weapons to hold and no way to carry half of them. I'll cover it in more detail in the Extras section, but Beachhead has seven weapons and only two - in this case - knife sheaths to carry all that stuff. Even if he's equipped holding two guns, that still leaves four guns he cannot carry. The craziest part is he has two knife sheaths yet only one knife. (I've heard reports of him shipping with two but my Beachhead only has one.) Interestingly, though, one of his SMGs can fit into the back sheath, so at least that's one less weapon to misplace.

The paint-job on Beachhead is acceptable but nothing too impressive. His pants are a brown/black camouflage and the majority of his accessories are in black. His forearms are also camouflaged but in a lighter tone. For some reason the arm camo doesn't look as effective as that on the legs - presumably due to the smaller black stripes appearing more like mis-applied paint blobs. It's not the fault of the designers but maybe having seen the prototypes they should have revisited the concept.

Articulation is solid, with the usual Joe Joints and they're all snug enough to be poseable but not loose. I think I've been fortunate so far with my GI Joe figures, as I've yet to encounter any joint-based problems.

Beachhead is a good-looking figure, especially with his gas-mask in place, and I like how he's a pretty solid solider-type figure, as it gives him a nice look against the more fantastical characters like Snake Eyes, even if it does maybe make him a little less exciting.

City Strike Beachhead comes to the party well-equipped.

As well as a removable jerkin (which is packed with detail), he's kitted-out with a pair of flippers (OK...), a gas mask, a pistol, a combat knife, two SMGs, two Assault Rifles and a Plasma Rail gun.

The gas mask is especially nice. The sculpt is good and it's a perfect fit on his head and I like the fact that it's not a head-swap.

The flippers pop into the jerkin without any problems but I'd have preferred to see the space used for some weapon storage. Die-hard Joe fans will probably be able to explain it, but I don't get why he has flippers anyway.

Fitting the weapons into his hand can be troublesome at times, as not all of them fit too well. Or maybe it's his hands, which seem a little lacking in the thumb-department. I'm not sure what it is, but there are some of his items of equipment that simply don't sit properly in his hands, which is a shame.

He also includes a colour photo/chart of figures and his own stand.

Final Thoughts
City Strike Beachhead is a nicely-sculpted, good looking figure that's just let-down by the oversight of not giving him more weapons pouches/harnesses/holsters/sheaths. I wish they'd given him a backpack or some kind of weapon slots on his jerkin so he could carry his gear. I'd rather have a figure with a lot of equipment that can be loaded-up on him or a figure with a minimum of weaponry. Either way is good, but having a figure with a lot of equipment and nowhere to store it is annoying and I can see a lot of City Strike Beachheads turning-up on E-bay in 10 years with half their gear missing.

The other thing is, as a character he's not as exciting as a Snake Eyes or Zartan. I know that the Joes are a military unit and I'm also not a fan of the more ''colourful'' characters from the old lines but City Strike Beachhead - whilst a very nice example of a soldier - is sadly, just a soldier and not much more.

There are some very nice touches. The gas mask is excellent and his jerkin is incredibly detailed, covered in pouches and spare clips. It's just too bad nobody thought to expand that beyond a simple sculpt-job into working storage.

Production QualityB+
Final ScoreB

Image Gallery


  1. Beachhead was always a favorite of mine and this version of him is nice.

    Oh and i stop by the Wal-Mart down the road from me and they had no G.I.Joes! Am thinking they must getting ready for a restock.

  2. Yeah, it's a good figure - I just wish Hasbro would design them with full-dress in mind. I hate having to keep spare items and weapons off the figure.

    They should do an armaments truck that has little drawers and boxes in it for storing spare items...

  3. Oh and that sucks about the Walmart. Our nearest Walmart hasn't restocked their toys since Xmas but thankfully the local Target and the Walmart further down the road both have a good amount of stock.

    That reminds me, I should check the empty Walmart for cheap GI Joes.

  4. No biggie money is in short supply this month but i wanted to check to see what was around.

  5. Yeah, I know what you mean - at least it wasn't full of stuff you wanted and couldn't get!


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