Ripcord (Reactive Impact Armor)
It seems strange to get excited over a figure that is essentially just a repaint with a new head, but when you're talking about representing characters how they appear in the film, a Ripcord in the standard Reactive Armor look was something I was really looking forward to. I wasn't initially sure it would just be a Duke repaint, and honestly, it's not. There isn't much repainting involved, it's practically a Duke Reactive Armor figure with a new head. But because that's how he appears in the film, somehow I'm okay with that.
Like Duke, Ripcord has some great and intricate detailed sculpting throughout this sleek and aerodynamic figure, but I can't help but feel a little less enthused, simply because it is just another Duke with a Ripcord head. There are a few weathering changes throughout the Reactive Armor, which does help separate the two figures at least a bit, but essentially they are interchangable with a simple head swap.
Overall, Ripcord's uniform does look a bit darker and less battle worn, and I've said in the past that I like the uniformity of these Reactive Armor suits, but I've been there and done that already in this case. Of course he retains the same great articulation, range of motion and look as Duke, but it is more of the same.
So, really, Hasbro's gotta do something to separate the two figures, right? Why would someone be encouraged to buy Ripcord if they already owned Duke, other than the fact that they're both in the film like this? Hasbro answers this question by loading Ripcord with some nice accessories that make the figure at least somewhat more appealing.
First of all is this spring-loaded launcher, which is actually pretty neat. It's a miniature tank with an actual rotating gun barrel, sort of reminiscent of the Pac RAT's back in the day (though not nearly as nice or detailed). If we need to get saddled with these oversized play toys, they might as well make them cool, and in this case, at least this offers something new to the table.
Beyond the mini-tank, Ripcord also comes stacked up with some very cool additional smaller weapons. Sure, he's got the same submachine gun that pretty much everyone comes with, but he's also got a pair of additional larger weapons that are very, very cool. A rather large automatic shotgun and another larger submachine gun are both included with the figure, and both look really nice, though the shotgun seems pretty big and tough for him to hold.
So, really, even for folks who don't feel the compulsion to own every character as they appear in the film, there is at least some appeal to this version of Ripcord in the form of his weapons.
EDIT - I also wanted to add some information from GeneralsJoes "commentor" DistanceFred who points out that the spring-loaded tank can also hold additional weapons, and the machine gun can hook into it as well. Images below:
I'll admit, as many reviews as I do, sometimes it's tough to get fired up for figures that are simply rehashed from other figures, yet somehow, I was giddy to get my hands on this Ripcord. Perhaps it's just due to the fact that he actually appears in the film, or maybe I'm just in full-on Rise of COBRA mode right now, but whatever the case, I really enjoy this figure even though it's a straight up re-issue/minor repaint of the Reactive Armor Duke. For folks like me who absolutely have to have every character as they appear in the film, this is a no-brainer. For people who don't feel that need, I'm not sure the extra weapons are worth the eight or nine bucks, that will be up to you. For me, this was definitely worth the price.
Buy this figure at Big Bad Toy Store!