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A Joe in the Sights: Quick Kick

I got Quick Kick’s action figure on January 28th, 1986.

Now, I have a fairly good memory for toys. I’m usually able to remember the general circumstances surrounding a wide variety of childhood acquisitions, either the store, or time of year, sometimes more depending on the figure in question. I have very little room left in my brain for other things, which is why I frequently introduce myself as “some guy.” But unless I got a toy on a specific gift-getting holiday—Easter, Christmas, my birthday, Halloween, President’s day, so forth—I’m just not idiot-savant enough to remember specific dates.

However, I remember the exact date I got Quick Kick because it just happened to be the same day that the Challenger space shuttle exploded.

Quick Kick was one of those “surprise pick up” toys, which means a toy that my mom surprised me with when she picked me up from school. A toy after a long day at elementary school was not unlike a nice single-malt scotch after a long day at work. I mean, I guess. I’m not a drinker, but I can imagine the sensation is the same. Sometimes after a day surrounded by your idiot peers, you just need two fingers of a damn toy to unwind, you know?

We had already heard about the explosion in class—the teacher announced it while crying, which then made some of the girls in class start crying too–so it wasn’t surprising that “we now interrupt your regularly scheduled program” became a very consistent sound over the next couple of weeks.

So that’s why I can pinpoint the exact day I got Quick Kick.

QK was an ’85 Joe, but, as he was clearly awesome, it took a while before we could track him down. 1984 had already brought us a bona fide ninja, but we were still missing a kung fu guy. So when Quick Kick debuted, he rocketed to the top of my list, which was impressive considering the strength of the ’85 lineup. The ’85 Joes were also essentially rock stars, chewing up quite a lot of screen time on the cartoon, which is no doubt why he was so hard to find.

G.I. Joe did a great job at providing a lot of “types” for all interests, and as a kid that dug martial arts movies, Bruce Lee and Shang-Chi, it scratched just the right itch. He had a sword and nunchucks. My parents would never get me nunchucks. Something about the fact that I’d end up busting out all of my teeth with them, or breaking my nose, or…well, various other self-inflicted injuries. Toys with nunchucks were a very weak consolation prize, but they had to do, and Quick Kick spent so much time whacking Cobra Troopers or slicing and dicing them it’s a wonder he’s still functional.

I love the fact that Quick Kick joins a highly trained special ops force and his uniform is…pants. I can picture him in basic training, with the boots and the uniform and everything, and all the time he’s doing push-ups and weapons training and KP and all that other basic training stuff he’s thinking to himself “one day I’m ditching the boots and the shirt and it’ll be pants-only from that day forth.” You really have to admire a man with a plan.

Quick Kick had a very small amount of comic appearances by comparison to others. His most noteworthy appearance is when he SPOILER ALERT went psycho and mowed down a bunch of Cobra troopers in retaliation for Doc’s death. Of course, he got blown up a short while later, so…

He managed better in the cartoon, appearing an adequate amount of times, doing impersonations of actors and beating up Storm Shadow.

No, it’s true. He took down Storm Shadow in the cartoon.

Not so much in the comic.

Quick Kick was an actor and stuntman, and that’s how he was recruited for G.I. Joe in the cartoon. He was doing some acting, and kind of…wandered across G.I. Joe and joined. It’s like when the new kid moves into the playground and wanders into your yard and asks if he can play touch football with the rest of you. And not a single Joe member shoved him into the dirt and peed on him. That’s how easy it was to join the most elite fighting force in America; wear only pants in arctic conditions.

In conclusion, Quick Kick was awesome.