By 1988, my Joe days were ending. I was about to start high school and it just wouldn't be cool to collect Joes anymore. I only bought a handful of figures in 1988: Hardball, Tiger Force Roadblock, and Hit and Run. Hit and Run was the first of the figures I purchased. As soon as I saw him, I was hooked. He has a great camo pattern and some of the best accessories in the entire line. I had to have him. He was just the type of figure I was looking for at that time. He came with ropes, which is always a plus, and had the great knife that fit right into his duffel bag. His gun is also my all time favorite. Fortunately, Hasbro included this weapon with many, many figures in the '90's. Because of that, I now have tons of this gun. It is my standard, though, for all my custom figures. Only in special instances do they not get one. It just looks good with just about anyone.
Hit and Run has about the best camo pattern of any figure. How good is it? When I first got this figure, I took him to my grandparent's house in Dayton, Ohio. They had a limestone terrace in their backyard that had ivy growing over it. There were drainage pipes and such hidden behind the ivy so it was an ideal place to play, especially if you had some figures with ropes. I had had my original Hit and Run about a month or so when I took him there. During the course of the action, I hung him on the terrace among the ivy. When it was time to leave, I did a final glance and missed him. Hit and Run then hanged on that wall for the next six months. When we finally returned to my grandparent's house for Thanksgiving, I went out to wall and found him still there, though a little more weather beaten than he had been when I last saw him. I still have that figure. In fact, you are looking at him when you check out the scan down below.
Another cool feature of Hit and Run was that they actually painted the whites of his eyes. To the best of my knowledge, this is the only figure in the entire Joe line that has that characteristic. It helps make this figure very striking in appearance. It also makes his already unique face all the more amazing. He is one of the few, if not the only, figure to have his face totally painted. Some collectors find it rather hokey, but I think it just makes the figure that much better. He is truly camouflaged. I can't wait to get this guy out in my new yard. He should also appear in my upcoming fan fiction. Then you'll be able to appreciate this figure in his full glory. This figure also has a great mold. He is very minimalist, but does have the cool harness type features you would expect from someone who has a duffel bag full of rope. He also had a nook molded on his cod piece that allows you to pull a rope through. While it wasn't the greatest thing if you permanently attached his rope, this feature was a lot of fun. I always hated how my guys wouldn't hold onto the ropes like I wanted. With Hit and Run, I could either fasten the rope to his belt, or have him hang from his bag. Either way made the figure great fun to own.
Hit and Run was later available as a Target exclusive. That version came with all the accessories the original version had, plus it included one of the mail away "working" parachutes. The chute was lame. I never got it to work properly. (Folded up plastic just doesn't work as well as real cloth. I've mentioned it before, but a cloth Fisher Price parachute I had was one of the best toys I ever owned. It worked every time without flaw.) This figure is a bit tougher to find, but since the mold and coloring are the same, you can pick up a mail order parachute and have the same thing. My brother actually had this figure, though, and you can view the one difference, a re-colored file card at your leisure.
Along with his releases in the US, Hit and Run was also released in exclusive Tiger Force colors in Europe. This figure does not feature the painted face that is the hallmark of Hit and Run. From there, Hit and Run was also produced in Brazil as Alpinista in the early 90's. He was similar to his American release in color, though he also lacked the painted face. After that, Hit and Run's trail runs cold. He remains one of the most requested Joe figures among collectors to this day.
Hit and Run's aren't expensive. They are also fairly plentiful. He was released near the end of Joe's peak popularity run so Hasbro was still cranking out voluminous amounts of figures. A complete one might set you back $7 or $8, but that's not really too bad. If you want the Target exclusive Hit and Run, though, you should be prepared to spend a bit more. Still, this is an excellent figure, especially for the price. He can be used as a stand alone figure, or as part of an army. If you have a few spares, he also makes excellent custom fodder. 1988 wasn't that great of year for Joe fans, but gems like this guy were more than enough reason to keep me around.
I dig this figure, but have plenty of him. If you have a few of his guns you are wanting to part with, let me know.