G.I. Joe: 30th Anniversary - Ripcord (G.I. Joe: Renegades)
Poor, poor Ripcord. Once one of the most unsung heroes of the Marvel Comics G.I. Joe lore, the character has become somewhat of a laughing stock in recent years, mostly thanks to his inclusion in G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra and the necessary shoe-horning into an entirely different character because of that.
Now Ripcord in G.I. Joe: Renegades is considerably less annoying, I think, than his portrayal in the motion picture, but he certainly has many of the same comedic elements. Wise cracks, jokes, making up their code names...all of it seemed tragic when he was unexpectedly killed in Episode 1, but I think most of us know how that turned out.
So now here he is, in action figure form, and I must admit I find it surprising that Hasbro included him before going to Roadblock. Let's face it, for the bulk of the first season, Ripcord was a non-factor, while Roadblock was a very important core cast member. But as usual, it likely comes down to money and the fact that Ripcord essentially just re-uses the G.I. Joe: Renegades Duke tooling under that layered webgear. Yes, he does have different lower legs (which does separate him somewhat from his Renegades teammate) but by and large he's a very similar figure. In fact, looking at the vest (which Hasbro changed up on us) he is essentially just a rehashed G.I. Joe: Renegades Duke with a shaved head. Now Hasbro did elect to go away from the bulbous wrists that enhanced Duke's articulation, but made him a bit odd aesthetically. The end result is that Ripcord lacks that cool wrist articulation we have all grown used to.
In the 7-Packs, I can see them doing that, but I do find it disappointing in the main line releases, especially since they'd done it before with not only Duke, but they made it work with Law as well. Not sure why they changed it up like they did, but the reduction in articulation is a drawback in my eyes.
Beyond that, I do like the majority of the figure. The same compliments I gave to Duke are relatively applicable here, however Ripcord is even more restricted in his articulation thanks to not only the bomb disposal vest, but also a pouch-laden second set of webgear on top of it. This makes it a bit tough for him to sit in a vehicle. Along with the restrictive nature of his parachute webgear, because of his pistol holster it's not even removable unless you unscrew the leg and slip it out. Not a big fan of that.
Underneath all those layers, there is a decent (if somewhat repetitive) figure there, and I'm glad to have him fill in a spot on my G.I. Joe: Renegades team, I just kind of wish perhaps we'd gotten Roadblock instead, understanding that the tooling budget was the likely culprit.
Now on the plus side, Ripcord comes decked out with some pretty freaking great gear. Those little Oakly sunglasses/goggles for his head are awesome. They feel solid, are easily removable, but also slip on with little difficulty. Along with the Oakleys for his head he comes with an amazingly nicely designed paratrooper helmet. He also has a nice and slim parachute backpack, a pistol for his Snake Eyes holster (but no silencer) and the awesome Renegades plasma rifle! I know this rifle looks completely unrealistic, but I love how well it matches how it looked in G.I. Joe: Renegades, and I'm glad to see it included.
Now I did spend some time up above complaining about the webgear...honestly, once all layered on, the webgear is pretty decent. Even with the restrictive nature of the rubber pouches (attached to the webgear itself) it does look really nice all put together, and I love how Hasbro designed the strap size and color to look like it's a part of the backpack when everything is all together.
In the end, I feel a bit mixed about this figure. I am upset that the final release has a different vest than we've been seeing on the convention circuit for months. I wish consideration had been given to Roadblock over Ripcord (though I understand totally new tooling would have likely been required). At his core, Ripcord is mostly just a repainted Duke with a new head and less articulation.
But being the Renegades mark that I am, I'm happy to have him in the display with the others, and he has a lot of very cool and new gear, which is tough to argue with. Not the highlight of the assortment, but still a pretty nice and respectable looking figure. I would probably be a lot more excited about this figure if it weren't for the reused parts throughout the core. I do really like the added accessories, and I don't have a huge problem with the base figure (even if reused, but I do feel like there is an element of "been there, done that".
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