GI Joe PIT - Mobile Headquarters Review

Sunday, August 9, 2009

For past two decades of GI Joe, there was a difference of classifying vehicles and playsets. Currently Hasbro has released the combination of the latter, both a large playset and a vehicle. During the late 80's, the Toy giant made a big gamble with enormous playsets such as the USS Flagg, Cobra Terrordrome, Defiant Space Complex to name a few. This time, it made a descendant of the 1988 Mobile Command Center, the mobile headquarters known as the GIJOE PIT!


The toy come in a huge box with very heavy contents and what I can say well condensed. Sheer volume wasnt the only problem, but also its weight.

The box comes with a very graphic box showing the new brand image that Hasbro has prepared for all of its Rise of Cobra merchandise.

Parts were well secured by wire fasteners, and all accessories tightly bagged. All items seem very secure, and enough to withstand rough shipping oversees.

Large parts, composing the main hull of the box, large plate parts are held secure inside a cardboard enclosure.

Other smaller parts are found within the large parts, carefully bagged and sealed. You can notice rigid quality control here, but just to be cautious, make sure all of the parts are there before leaving the store.


The PIT requires some assembly but not too difficult compared to items you have to glue and paint. Moderate effort is required however just like almost all GIjoe vehicles, they employ snap-on assembly and construction. Fairly good supervision is called for 5 to 6 year-olds, since there are tiny parts that can be easily misplaced and lost.

Plastic quality is good, employing quite a good mix of rigid hard ABS plastic and the new flexible plastic-rubber materials. The joints and hinged have been properly designed for rough play and made so to even at this point survive assembly. It came from a long line compared to its 80's counterparts.

The toy contains quite a huge amount of moving and collapse-able parts, which is essential to its design for it to properly transform.


Transformation - Excellent transformation. I recall looking at it like some weird roving bathtub in military colors but I was wrong. The whole thing transforms quite well, though care should be employed for it to transform back from base mode to vehicle mode. The elevator if not carefully folded can simply obstruct the entire hull, making it impossible to lock the top hull in place. Care is needed still even if the PIT is designed for rough play.

Vehicle Mode - The vehicle mode has good structural integrity, very compact and solid. What can be disappointing is only one of a pair of wheels of each side actually work, the other are just dummies. Probably a hint just to cut down manufacturing and mass production cost. The titan rolls good despite of these false wheels. Two drivers can fit into the armored cockpit. Hawk figure is included.

Base Mode - The Pits transformation to base mode is excellent, boasting with tons of play from its different product features. The whole vehicle folds out to reveal a military base, involving little effort. There are so many gimmicks employed to improve its play factor, everything from sounds to hidden panels and accessories. Hours of play and possibilities can be expected from this bad boy :)

  • Collapse-able Wall Panels - as a featured in the movie, mole pods drill through the PIT's side wall. The two part wall panel can be easily detached and attached with snap-tabs. The panels however can be easily overlooked in vehicle mode, so it becames a real bother to open the craft to re-attach the panels in place.
  • Command Console Sounds - the Pit's command console carries its own sound unit, with three varied points of activation and a number of sound effects and phrases that is popular in GI Joe lore. Its powered by three penlight batteries, and has its own power switch if the voice box becomes to annoying to bear.
  • Hidden Accessory bays and panels - the PIT has a number of places to store weapons and accessories for its 3 3/4 inch figures. Its middle section has a main bay that can open up for both personnel and equipment, while a smaller hatch next to the command console can hold tiny accessories such as helmets to table tennis paddles
  • Level Elevator - can be used for personnel and equipment, which runs from the top level right beneath the platform, down to the ceiling of the 1st level (I guess joes have jump down the ground floor for exercise). The elevator platform itself is made out of the flexible rubber material, making it more durable for play.
  • Folding Level Bridge - the PIT has a folding bridge (a smaller counterpart of the vehicle Bridgelayer) which can accomedate small vehicles into the top platform. The bridge can also be extended for farther distances.
  • Jail Cell/Escape Route - The main vertical stem is hollow to allow prisoners to be dropped from the top level and land into a prison cell below. The feature can also be used as an escape route of sorts. Prison cell door can be detached so that figures can left unharmed :)
  • Personnel Quarters - folding left bridge turns into a sleeping/resting quarter for figures. Comes with cabinets, beds and shelves.
  • Medical Bay - the rear part of the base becomes a folding medical bay. Care is needed to first unfold this part before opening the main halves or else it can break. The bed could have been part of the structure instead of being loose. This could have saved a lot of parts that can be misplaced or lost during setup or play.
  • Detachable Ramps and Stairs - again it can be a pro or a con. For someone who likes setting up with loose stuff its fine however for a collector that does not want the possibility for missing pieces this can be a handicap. It could have been better that Hasbro incorporated folding ramps and staircases but again it could have cut some costs here and there for it to achieve an affordable price point.
  • Interchangeable Weapon sets and gun slots - there are slots where detachable weapons and ordinance can be attached to the hull or main structure. The older waves of figures dont have these featured in their spring-loaded weapons, however we might be seeing these things coming in the new line, very similar to the gimmick employed on the DTC (direct-to-consumer line).
  • Foot pegs and slots - the whole base is riddled with foot pegs and slots. One can see that the softer flexible material can be quite unstable holding the figures via the foot pegs , while the harder dark green material has a better hold.
  • Decal Sheets - Five large sheets of decals and a manual spread just to indicate their placements was a nightmare. Its hard to keep track of all the numbering, and its quite a feat to have the whole thing ready with decals in an hour or two. I had to choose not to place the others since some of them tend to cover plastic details. And it is a good thing Hasbro was able to place in extra sets just in case you tear or lost them accidentally.
  • Cardboard Accessories - the cardboard props are good substitutes but not as durable. I can sense Hasbro really wants to put a lot of features in this baby to expand the market for large vehicles and playsets, however it has production costs to contend with, hence the result. There are cargo boxes, stand-in equipment, supply slots and a table tennis table in a cardboard format, really cute and attractive however doesn't last long because of the cheap quality. If Hasbro would redo this feature they could have spent more on cardboard quality or even better sturdier substitutes.


Looking at these factors:

Toy Packaging - 7.5
Toy Assembly - 8.5
Play Features - 9.5

Average is : 8.5 out of 10

Overall Hasbro did another bold move re-introducing these large playsets for GIjoe and I hope it does great so that i can retool and reissue the massive 80's sets. They made sure that its loaded with all the features one can really enjoy at an affordable pricepoint. I dare not touch on affordability since it is relative per region and depends on distributor pricing.

My recommendation: If you can afford this baby go on and splurge :)

review by Daniel Enriquez