Figure Reviews

GI Joe Retro Grunt review

Grunt is probably not the first character you think of when you hear GI Joe.  Still, Grunt is the Jerry West of the brand since he’s the figure used for the early issues of the comic and character logos for the toy line.

I always liked Grunt and found the fact he was the first retired Joe in the comic an interesting direction for one of the Original 13. Hasbro is hard at work with the Retro line revisiting some of the more popular characters and others that were badly in need of an update.

His original 3 3/4 update figure was way back in 2008. That figure was just barely passable back then so I was happy to see him get slotted relatively early in this new GI Joe Retro line. Let’s see how Mr. Logo turned out.

Package: Since Grunt is probably hard to trademark at this point, his file is listed as Robert ‘Grunt’ Graves. The package is basically an exact replica of the original figure besides the weapons being positioned over him in more of a cylinder style.

His bio is a combination of sentences from the original card, but it’s nice to have some personalization to him.

gi joe retro grunt review - package bio

Likeness: Grunt shares the same body as Stalker or vice versa. Grunt’s probably the base body for these newer figures. This mold has more texturing and overall detail. This is a highly functional mold for the Joes and fits for a variety of characters though it gives the Original 13 a more modern look despite their streamlined attire.

gi joe retro grunt review -holding m-16 and helmet

That detail carries through to the pockets, boots and implementation of the early Joe harness. I do wish this fully sculpted piece could fit more snuggly to prevent it from riding up.

gi joe retro grunt review - turning to the side

Grunt’s head sculpt is terrific with a focused expression for a character ready to smash some snakes. I’m glad Hasbro resisted the urge to give Grunt a more dynamic teeth-gritted portrait like the cardback. Neutral is definitely the way to go here.


gi joe retro grunt review - scale with zap and stalker

Scale: The Original 13 Joes didn’t have any major discrepancy in height largely since they (save Scarlett) used the same mold with some alternate parts.

gi joe retro grunt review - facing zap and stalker

Grunt won’t blend in that seamlessly with many of the Original 13 figures save for Zap and to a lesser degree, Breaker and Flash. You can definitely see the visual improvements to the line from a decade plus ago.

Paint: Grunt is very basic, but Hasbro did find some areas to break up the mostly green attire. Like the original figure, the sleeve pockets and grenade are a lighter shade of green. The brown complements the green just fine and there’s no paint slop in any area besides the neck collar.

His head sculpt is also very clean and well executed with paint apps.

Articulation: Grunt features some great articulation that allows him to hit all of the expected poses. I feel like the leg joints with these figures is a little loose and allows for too much splaying.

This also doesn’t provide for the most stable base in standing. It’s not that the figure just always will fall over, but it doesn’t take much for him to topple over.

gi joe retro grunt review - with breaker, scarlett, stalker, zap, snake eyes and flash

There’s single-jointed elbows, but they have enough range they basically function in a similar manner in this scale to double-jointed elbows.

gi joe retro grunt review - charging

Grunt has:

  • neck
  • ball-jointed shoulders
  • elbows
  • wrists
  • wrist hinge (up and down)
  • torso
  • waist
  • hips
  • thighs
  • knees (double-jointed)
  • boot swivel
  • ankles

gi joe retro grunt review -with breaker and scarlett capturing cobra commander

Accessories: Grunt comes with the signature basic helmet that fits over his head with no trouble.

gi joe retro grunt review -drawing pistol

He’s got a sidearm pistol that fits in his right holster and a knife that slips into the sheath on his harness. That’s such a nice touch and I dig it.

gi joe retro grunt review - raising m-16

Additionally, he comes with a backpack. Unlike some of the Classified Series figures, Grunt’s backpack stays on very secure.

gi joe retro grunt review - rear with backpack

Naturally, he’s got his gun the M-16. It’s nicely done and can be positioned easily in either hand.

gi joe retro grunt review -backpack detail


Finally, he comes with a Grunt stand to aid in posing.

gi joe retro grunt review - aiming pistol

Worth it?  I’m not thrilled about paying $13 for a 3.75 scale GI Joe, but at least Grunt turned out nice.

Rating: 9.5 out of 10

With Grunt and Stalker getting the Retro treatment, I’m ready to see the rest of the Original 13 done in this style as these are fantastic updates. Grunt has never had a better figure and I hope it’s not long before they have some company.

Where to get it? The Retro Joe line is exclusive to Walmart for retail price. They’ve done a great job of keeping the figures in stock and on the website. You can also get him from Amazon for a higher price.

gi joe retro grunt review - joe squad

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