G.I. JOE: A REAL AMERICAN HERO (HASBRO)
“Hawk comes from a well established (real loaded) family. He’s a West Point graduate, top of class and has seen action in a number of trouble spots. Graduated: Advanced Infanty Training; Covert Ops School. Served on Cadre, North Atlantic Training; Covert Ops School. Served on Cadre, North Atlantic Range Command and USA ENG COM EVR Missile and Radar Training; (classified). Qualified Expert: M-16; M-1911A1 auto-pistol.”
When Hasbro relaunched G.I. Joe under the “Real American Hero” banner in 1982, they did so with a team of thirteen Joes, built from a share pool of parts. Since Duke, the team’s field leader, wouldn’t be introduced until 1983 (and as a mail-away at that), the team’s leader was instead Clayton “Hawk” Abernathy, the original blond leader guy…who would eventually become the brunette leader guy to avoid confusion. Today’s figure, however, predates that change.
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Hawk was released as part of the very first assortment of G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero in 1982, and came packaged with the Mobile Missile System (MMS for short). Like all of the ’82 figures, he was available in ’82 with straight-arms (i.e. no bicep swivel) and again in ’83, this time with swivel arms. Furthermore, the ’82 releases had either thin or thick thumbs, depending on production date. As you can no-doubt tell from my Hawk’s broken (and therefore thin) thumb, he’s the earliest release. The figure stands 3 3/4 inches tall and he has 12 points of articulation (because of the missing bicep swivels). As I noted in the intro, the original thirteen were built from the same pool of parts. Nothing about Hawk is actually unique to him. The head was shared between him, Flash, Shortfuse, and Steeler, with only the hair color differentiating them. As I noted in my Flash review, it’s a generic enough sculpt that the small changes do actually work pretty well to sell them as different characters, much in the same vein as the original 12-inch figures. The torso he shared with Snake Eyes and Stalker, the arms with Grunt, Shortfuse, Stalker, Snake Eyes, and Zap, and the legs with Breaker, Clutch, Grunt, Rock and Roll, Shortfuse, Steeler, Stalker, and Zap. Since the original Joes were a little more about the uniformed appearance, the mix and match approach actually works out pretty well. The original Joes were very basic in their paintwork, with a drab color set and sparse applications. Hawk’s is reasonable enough, though there’s definitely some wear on mine. Hawk had no weapons (apart from the MMS), but he was packed with a helmet and visor, which is the same as Flash’s.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
I’ve been a fan of Hawk since early on in my Joe collecting, but the vintage Hawk is a rather recent addition to my collection. I found him in rather ratty shape in a collection that was traded into All Time Toys, and decided to bring him home and rehabilitate him a bit. There’s not a lot going on with him as a figure purely on his own, but as the very first version of the character and one of the first Joes, he’s pretty sweet to add to the collection.
As I noted, I got they guy from All Time Toys, who are absolutely swimming in vintage Joes at the moment, so check out the Joe section of their eBay page here. If you’re looking for other toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.