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Friday, April 4, 2014

G.I. Joe Retaliation | Kwinn!

04.04.2014 – For those followed and read the old G.I. Joe comics continuity, which was first published by Marvel. You’ll remember some of the characters there don’t exist in the original cartoon series or even in the action figures produced by Hasbro.

One of the characters that first appeared in G.I. Joe #2 by Marvel is the mercenary known as Kwinn. Almost 10 years ago Hasbro has finally released his own action figure through Comic-Pack sometime in 2004 as ‘Tracker Kwinn’ and in 2013 a new version unveiled.

Kwinn is a native from Alaska an Eskimo and a mercenary who appeared in the second issue of G.I. Joe that was originally published by Marvel. He’s also a tracker hence the name used in the action figure back in 2004 was known as ‘Tracker Kwinn” since at that time Hasbro doesn’t have the trademark to use the name ‘Kwinn.’

The Eskimo Joe is a totally unknown in the cartoon lore that cemented the popularity of G.I. Joe that has become one of the famous pop culture series from the 1980s along side Transformers. In 2012 Hasbro announced that they will produce a modern version of Kwinn based in the comic book series, and it was released under the ‘G.I. Joe Retaliation’ toy line, which ties-up with the live action movie of the same even though Kwinn has nothing to do or has any appearance in the film directed by John Chu that stars Dwayne ‘The Rock” Johnson and Bruce Willis.

The action figure line based from the movie expands in bringing modern representation of the original characters based from the old cartoons and the comic books now currently published by IDW Publications.

Kwinn was part of the last wave of ‘G.I. Joe Retaliation’ toy line that has a new version of the original Cobra Commander from the old cartoon voiced by the late great Chris Latta. This include improved sculpts of Duke (Channing Tatum), Roadblock (Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson), and General Joe Colton (Bruce Willis). They also have other figure which appeared in the current comic books that was published by IDW Publications.

‘Retaliations’ action figures went on clearance and most of the ‘must have’ characters from this wave has already been sold out leaving Kwinn and the Cobra Commander with his Heli-Pack up for grabs.

The Kwinn action figure doesn’t fit in the ‘Retaliation’ universe rather looks to be part of the G.I. Joe toy line that was released in 2007 to celebrate its 25th Anniversary with new engineering and detailed sculpts of the figures that continues to appear in the succeeding toy line by Hasbro without indicating which series it follows.

For a mercenary like Kwinn he comes full equipped with weapons and gears defining him as one of the rare G.I. Joe characters that have survival capabilities not only in the cold weather environment but also in the roughest jungles out there.

But this figure clearly defines that he’s equipped to survive the jungle wearing attire that is suitable for a tropical or warm weather. When you open up the figure from its card back packaging you see more nifty stuff, which includes a functional backpack that can store small accessories like his axe and blade. He also has the same .50 caliber machine gun the cartoon–based Roadblock carry with in the show.

This includes belts of bullets that can be attached to the machine gun like its being used. Kwinn also have a revolver pistol that he can carry and can be stored in a holster molded to his body. He has two weapons which are a sniper rifle and a shotgun. The other accessory that Kwinn has is the long spear and a working bear trap. Now that’s what you call perfect full-on hunting in the woods. He also comes with his removable trademark skull necklace which is oddly creepy.

Now it depends which creature do you plan to hunt in this jungle? Because you see Kwinn’s accessories and it appear that he’s hunting something more than just creatures from the jungle. Not to forget to mention every ‘Retaliation’ figure comes with a dog tag that doubles as a standee for the figure.

The figure doesn’t entirely look like the first figure known as ‘Tracker Kwinn” from the original comic book series, but entirely based on a real person in Larry Hama.

Mr. Hama, the longest running author of the comic book since Marvel, and writer of some bio files in the action figures has been long synonymous having his features based from Tunnel Rat. He is still writing stories of G.I. Joe that is published by IDW. There’s so much love for Mr. Hama that Kwinn look like him.

Kwinn on the other hand looks better than his previous version more like his comic book character. The articulation of this new version is superb just like the previous figures released from 2007 to present.

The story of Kwinn in the comics is short lived and no need to spoil his fate, but this figure surely is a great find and a must-have for fans, which followed the comic book and waited to own his figures 22 years later. Then another almost 10 years for the new version in 2013 that is an improved version of the classic.

Overall Kwinn is a true American Hero as a member of the G.I. Joe team in the classic comic book series. The character may be relatively unknown for those who only followed the cartoons. For the fans not only have seen the show, but also reading the comic books of the old or new would definitely get a kick out owning this figure.

Great sculpt and tons of accessories make this figure not just wanting to have, but definitely to own knowing Kwinn not only as an action figure. But also a character that made the G.I. Joe universe bigger.

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