1986 Beach Head

1986 Beachhead

Masked commandos always make for some of the coolest characters. Of course, I’ve seen some people that very much think otherwise, but there’s no doubt that the cool look plays a role in Beachhead’s popularity. And Firefly’s. And Shockwave’s too. Before I knew too much about the character, I was mainly attracted to him just for the fact that he’s a reasonable looking commando with a balaclava.

Beachhead has a really fine sculpt and design. He’s detailed, his gear has an interesting look, and he even has extra clips on his chest that match his SMG. The only real wart is his head: it’s massive, which is unfortunately consistent with most of the ‘86 line. The massive noggins from that year stick out so much to me that I do suspect it was intentional, but I wonder what the thinking was. I feel like these sculpts tend to age more poorly than other vintage sculpts, just because the proportions are so odd by comparison.

He’s got some nice colors and paint work on him too. This dark cyan tone wasn’t seen so much in the vintage line, which does make Beachhead stand out a lot. There’s a nice little patch tampographed onto his left-shoulder, some gray paint for his clips, even a little splash of red for the beret (?) sculpted onto his shoulder. I never really knew what the red thing on his shoulder is, but I kind of think it’s a hat. Oddly, it’s not present on his card-art, so I guess it was a late addition to the design.

V1 Beachhead also has another problem I really hate: his crotch. This figure has one of the thinnest, daintiest waist pieces in the entire line, and you will find plenty of broken ones because of that. This is the main reason that I default to the Funskool figure anytime I need a Beachhead for something, as the softer plastic is much more resistant to breakage. Although the 2000‘s brought plenty of Beachhead repaints, it’s a shame we didn’t get this sculpt in comic colors or something close to the olive used on the 25th figure, as personally I still want a normal looking Beachhead that doesn’t scare me as much as the V1 figure.

The included accessories for Beachhead are his SMG in dark-gray plastic, a backpack in black, and a flexible black satchel. If he had just been another guy with a gun and a backpack like Leatherneck, it’d have been a bit boring, but the little ammo-pouch does a lot to make Beachhead seem like he comes with more. His SMG is a classic part, it’s a Demro XF-7 Wasp. He looks great holding it and it’s really easy for virtually any figure to use it, too. It is a very odd choice of weapon for a Joe, as the Wasp wasn’t ever adopted by any military or law-enforcement, but it looks really cool, and that’s probably why the designers chose it too.

I’d say a mint, complete Beachhead is worth about $25, but sometime $35, especially for one with the filecard. He’s a popular figure that’s prone to damage in a few ways, so often times you’ll see examples sell for way more than that, but he’s not really worth more then $35 at any point. With that said, finding a mint Beachhead really is more of a pain in the ass than it usually is for a common figure; you can scroll through a bunch of listings and find most will have some kind of egregious flaw. I think he’s worth it, but if you don’t care too much, the Funskool and Night-Force versions make good replacements.

gi joe beachhead v1 1986 hasbro vintage figuregi joe beachhead v1 1986 hasbro vintage figuregi joe beachhead v1 1986 hasbro vintage figure

1986 Beach Head Links:

Forgotten Figures

Attica Gazette

Half the Battle

Joe A Day

3D Joes

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4 Responses to 1986 Beach Head

  1. JoeRizzo2025 says:

    Beach Head is just a great all around figure. My original doesn’t get much use, because of the issues you’ve described. I also have the Funskool version , but the strap snapped on his ammo pouch because it’s more brittle than the domestic version.The creme colored accessory pack gear looks odd on him. Funny how his grey machine gun looks very similar to the accessory pack version. Speaking of great , where did you score that awesome wall locker ?!! ?

    • Nekoman says:

      I forgot about that AP version of his SMG… I never could figure out if I had the original or the AP gun since the pictures I see online are always dark and make it hard to see the color. So many things that make getting a decent, complete example of this figure so difficult.

      The lockers are from the old Power Team Elite line, now sold mostly as Click N’ Play Military on Amazon. Years ago you could get sets of these cheap at Big Lots!, and pieces were sold individually by Marauders too. Now though, the easiest way to get them is from Amazon. It’s a really nice toy line.

  2. A-Man says:

    The reddish thing is a folded beret, US Army airborne wear maroon (not red, they are prickly about that). Though, Beachhead has a 75th Infantry Division patch on his left shoulder. I have no idea if that all works out logically.

    Beachhead was always a winner because he looked cool, big head and all, and he held his gun well. Holding their weapon well was a huge booster in vintage GI JOE figures.
    Interesting how obscure his gun is in reality.

    I remember 14 years ago they were trying to give every other GI JOE a balaclava. That just made Joes look like Cobras and cheapened Beach-Head’s look.

    Oh, I’ve heard Beachhead V1 was designed as a Cobra.

  3. General Liederkranz says:

    Excellent pictures! I got into joes too late for Beachhead, but I got a used one pretty quickly…with a broken crotch. It took me years to find one intact. That should have limited his use but I don’t think it did. Certain figures were just too cool not to use, in whatever condition.

    I still like to use AP versions of his SMG to arm BATs. Following the comics, I’ve always thought BATs need guns instead of arm attachments, and the Demro is common, cheap, simple, and a good color.

    Growing up I always gave the cream AP versions of his pack and bag to Storm Shadow. I thought he could use a grappling hook launcher, escape balloon, and explosives pack (which is what I considered those pieces).

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