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G.I. Joe Classified Cobra Island Beach Head


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By Hervé St-Louis
October 14, 2021 - 21:10

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Wayne Sneeden “Beach Head” is a ranger that first appeared in G.I. Joe Comics #57 in 1986. Depending on which depiction you prefer, he is either a calm and composed strong-willed soldier (comics) or a short-tempered bombastic sticker for rules (cartoon).  Beach Head is a popular G.I. Joe character and the second ranger of the team after Stalker. The release of Beach Head as a Cobra Island exclusive is symbolic of his first appearance in comics, where he helped General Hawk and Wetsuit rescue Snake Eyes nearby Cobra Island.

The Cobra Island Beach Head was controversial because of its limited distribution in later summer 2020 as a Target and Toys R US exclusive. There have been many Beach Head action figures since his original release in 1986. This Beach Head is an incredible action figure. Let’s find out why.

Likeness

While he wears brown pants, they are not camouflage pants like the original action figure. Camos would have looked swell, but to tell you the truth, I did not notice until I carefully checked the figure against the original design. The red beret is also new. In the 1986 action figure, it was tagged on his shoulder. I like having a beret and best of all. it can be removed or put back on.

Of course, the army green balaclava, the fully stocked bullet proof vest, and the many weapons attached to his shins and thighs are highlights of the old Beach Head. His pants lack the camouflage patterns he wore in the 1986 version. Because his legs pack so much, you may not notice it though.

Sculpt

Beach Head set the mould that would be used for several G.I. Joe Classified action figures such as Firefly, Breaker, and the Commando Snake Eyes. You can easily spot the reuse of his torso by the collar at the top of the sweater. This upper body mould is often used with a vest as it has sculpted in scratches but looks plain besides that. The sleeves from the shoulder to the wrists have ridges in them. At the shoulder’s height, there are pockets on each arm. In the beach head’s case, the ridged patter continues his neck and balaclava.

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Beach Head looks great and is a soldier that packs a lot of gear on his person. It feels like he could survive for days. He carries weapons on both legs and more gear throughout his body. The beret he wears is different from Flint’s. I prefer his vest to that of Firefly or Breaker as it is slimmer and more useful. Its main drawback is that it does not allow the backpack to stay on solidly because the peg is too short. The vest adds another layer of contact between the backpack’s peg and the back of the figure.

Beach Head’s shins have so much gear, that it makes them appear too short. Thus, he looks like he has shorter legs than he has, when measured. It’s like he’s wearing a pyjama and it encumbered by it. I still like the character. You cannot see much beyond his eyes, but he looks as mean as Firefly or a Cobra Trooper. It feel like the holster of his dagger is always going to fall off as it feels loose around the shin guard of his left leg.

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Paint

The base plastic is mostly used for his pants, except at the knee and hamstrings where they are painted black to match the knee pads. There is a lighter green hue used throughout part of Beach Head’s uniform that are green. It adds more contrasts to the underlying sculpt. The vest has brown detailing as if it were leather parts mixed with the bulletproof parts. The usual communication link sits on Beach Head’s right shoulder but is not as disturbing as previous G.I Joe Classified troops.

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Beach Head benefits from face printing technology giving him a redoubtable look. And now, the piece de resistance. There is a silly debate and discussion about variants Beach Heads where he has either, brown, blue, grey, hazel eyes. I don’t know what his eye colour is. It appears to be a mix of everything at once, and that’s just fine with me. Some collectors claim that versions of the eye colours are rarer than others, with brown being the most sought after. It’s up to you to make up your mind about stuff like that. Just getting a Beach Head is hard enough, I don’t have the energy to fuss over eye colour.

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Scale

Because he is so stuffed, Beach Head feels shorter than Duke or Flint. However, he is the same height, which puts him in the dead centre of classified figures. That makes him taller than the original (02) Snake Eyes, as well as the Command version. He is of course, much shorter than any version of Roadblock or Gung Ho. He is taller than Major Bludd and the Cobra Troopers and Infantry. He looks great next to them, but also next to Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) Marvel Legends, such as the Eternals, or even John Walker Captain America. However, larger comic book-based Marvel Legends tend to tower over and start to look out of scale. Most G.I Joe Classified figures are taller than Star Wars Black Series, but still look great next to them, because they have more human proportions.

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Stability

Beach Head feels wobbly, but he can stand on his own and his backpack. It amazes me as the physics do not make sense! His feet are short and should not support his weight and all his gear as easily. Moreover, he has weak ankles but still stays up. The backpack will correct some of the front-leaning that he tends to do. Still, exercise caution with Beach Head. I can see him fall easily in warmer weather.

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Articulations

Beach Head’s articulations are the standard Classified ones with a neck that sits on a ball joint. It does not offer much motion but it’s okay. The head also sits on a ball joint but at the neck, it can bend up or down. Again, the ball joint is limited and does not give Beach Head enough attitude. The torso bend is useless because of the vest he wears. However, he has swivel at the waist and a ball joint, giving him more flexibility.

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The shoulders have butterflies that work but because of the vest, they do not give him a greater range of motion. Hew can lift his shoulders at about 90 degrees and rotate them 360 degrees from their sockets. His biceps have swivels with full 360 range.  He has double elbow articulations which work well, although I find the joint too thin. His wrists can rotate. His left wrist has a hinge allowing him to manipulate weapons better by aiming them up or down. His right wrist and hand bend at the palm.

Beach head has the hip extension joint, like all G.I. Joe Classified that help if you wan to make do the split. His range is just short of 90 degrees. He can also raise or push his legs back and forth, but I don’t like using these joints as they fell like they could break. His thighs have swivels for a full 360. Of course, he has double knee articulations and cuts at the calve/shins that are partially blocked by the shin guards.

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Plastic

The plastic appears to be a sturdy mix of PVC and ABS plastic for the backpack, but do not quote me on that. The vest is in rubber-like plastic and must be heated if you want to remove it from Beach Head, without cutting it.

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Props

Beach Head comes with a lot of gear. He comes with a Nerf-gun, a handgun, a crossbow, a dagger, a backpack, and his red beret. The problem with most of the gear, except the beret is that it is not painted and thus looks plain and plasticky. The dagger fits in his holster so it’s not much of a problem as it is hidden. The handgun too. But the Nerf-submachine gun does not look like a real gun even though it has great details. If it had camo paint, it would look much better, even in green. As for the crossbow, it’s useless but much better than Scarlett’s version which keeps breaking into two. There is no place to store the crossbow by the way.

The backpack has beautiful moulding but no paint. If Hasbro had painted a few parts like they did with Duke’s, it would have looked great. The backpack has moulded arrows and a radio-like apparatus on the back. Even the inside of the backpack is moulded. The beret is swell but not something people associate with Beach Head, even though it was suggested ion the 1986 toy.

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Packaging

Beach Head is number 10 in the G.I. Joe Classified series. His box has beautiful art by Ashley Witter. According to the specs on the box, as decoded from the Gijoe.com website. Beach Head is a level 3 (out of four), in his role as a vanguard. He is a level three in the handling of light weapons, such as his crossbow. He is a level three in covert operations, and level three in weapons’ development. Beach Head has people better than him in all his specialties. The back of the package features Cobra Island with some highlighted parts.

Cost

Beach Head normally costs $19.99; however, he is very difficult to find in stores, due to his exclusivity and popularity. Thus, he can retail for close to $100 on the secondary market. Yes, that is insane.

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Availability

Beach Head is part of the infamous first wave of Cobra Island exclusive action figures that was available only at Target stores in the United States and at Toys R Us in Canada. This set has caused a lot of grief, even though stocks have been replenished since. I was unable to purchase Beach Head at a local Toys R Us in Canada, as I don’t have one in my town and thus was unable to hunt for one. Moreover, in Canada, Toys R Us listed this figure late in its website and would only offer store pick ups. Coupled with collectors chasing one specific eye colour of Beach Head, in the US, meant that this was one of the hardest action figures to collect.

I waited over a year before trying to purchase Beach Head and in the end, I had to use the secondary market, which means through Ebay. I paid a lot more money for this action figure than I should have had. There is no word on whether Hasbro will release Beach Head as a mass market figure eventually. Beach Head is popular. If you have neither access to Target nor Toys R Us, you are in a disadvantaged position when it comes to this figure.

Rating: 9 /10


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Last Updated: November 28, 2021 - 14:50

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