Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Action Figure Review: Tripwire, Aspara, & M.A.C.L.E.O.D. from G.I. Joe: Classified Series by Hasbro

 


   Today I'm going to review Tripwire from the G.I. Joe: Classified Series and then I'm going to take a break from reviewing G.I. Joes for a little bit. Don't worry! They'll be back. They'll be back for sure. Tripwire has never been one of my favorite characters or figures but I have long been interested to see how Hasbro's Classified Series team would approach him in this line. The vintage Tripwire is one of those figures who feels a bit antiquated and I really hoped that Hasbro was going to update him with a more modern military aesthetic. That is exactly what they did, giving him a selection parts so you can have a more vintage or a more modern Explosive Ordinance Disposal expert. The package also really sells this as a team as you get Tripwire, Aspara, and M.A.C.L.E.O.D. as part of the deluxe set. Ready to check out Tripwire, Aspara, and M.A.C.L.E.O.D.? Then join me after the break...



The Facts: Tripwire

Height: 6 1/4ths inches

Articulation: Swivel/ hinge ankles, boot swivels, double hinged knees, swivel thighs, balljointed drop down hips, balljointed waist, mid-torso hinge, butterfly pecs, swivel/hinge shoulders, bicep swivels, double hinged elbows, swivel/hinge wrists, balljointed neck base, barbell jointed head.

Accessories: Mine sweeper, cord, backpack, 2 mines, pistol, 2 armored vests, 2 helmets, 2 collars, and 2 shoulder pads. 







The Facts: Aspara

Height: 1/2 inch

Articulation: None

Accessories: None









The Facts: M.A.C.L.E.O.D.

Height: 3 inches (with arm up)

Articulation: Swivel arm base, hinged arm, and hinged claw base.

Accessories: Remote control

Non-Scalper Price: $35 dollars






The Positives:


* With all of his armor off (the thigh pads don't come off unless you start disassembling the figure), Tripwire is clad in just a basic green jumpsuit with some kneepads and some heavy duty boots. Tripwire (real name Tormod S. Skoog) is known for being a clumsy guy when it comes to anything except explosives, so you might want to keep him away from your other Joe vehicles and gear! His outfit is quite detailed, particularly on the parts that are all armored up. 

* I didn't dig through every bit of G.I. Joe media I could think of but, as far as I'm aware, the only time we've ever seen Tripwire without his helmet was probably a short scene from the animated series or in some character art from the show. The G. I. Joe characters don't really have to look like anyone specific nor do they all have to look like models or Hollywood stars, so it's kind of neat to see them look more like average joes (hehe). Tripwire has red hair, a gaunt face, and a dour expression. He's known for being a bit odd and Tripwire looks like he might just prefer being on his own and doing his thing. 



* Tripwire comes with two different armored vests that help protect him. I'm not sure which one really looks more vintage but this first armored vest does look a bit lighter. It fits on Tripwire really well (the snaps work perfectly) and it definitely bulks him up some. There are lots of pockets, straps, and other details you'd expect to find on a heavy duty piece of body armor like this. Remember Power Keg from C.O.P.S.? The Classified Series Tripwire kind of reminds me of that figure. Man, he's a great toy, right? I wish Hasbro would give C.O.P.S. another go, though maybe they could fold some of the characters into the Classified Series. 


* Here's the helmet that's definitely based on the vintage toy, along with a smaller armored collar that fits well with this armor. The collar is a bit loose (it doesn't really snap into place) but it's not going to go anywhere or anything like that. The vintage styled helmet is pretty nice looking. I like the shape and the bulk as well as the built in earphones, presumably for the mine detector. 




* The armored shoulder pads work with either suit of armor and give Tormond some additional protection when things get hot. His rank insignia is also on his right shoulder (he's an E-4, right?).


* Here's a shot of Tripwire's armored thighs and his boots with some armoring across the top of the foot, too. The thigh pads don't come off on their own but if you heated them you could possibly stretch them over the kneepads or if you disassembled his hip joint. If you're a customizer who wants/ needs these parts, you're in good shape. 





* Here's the second set of armor which makes Tripwire really look like he's wearing a modern ABS (advanced bomb suit). This vest is much larger and looks heavier and bulkier than the first. The armored collar (which is a separate piece) is also much larger. 



* Tripwire's second helmet covers his full head and is much larger with more armor on it. There also looks to be a light source on the forehead as well, so he can enter into some more treacherous places and do his disposal duties.




* The back of the helmet looks like it has some additional hear built in. Maybe a small air conditioning system or a filtration unit?




* Tripwire has some great articulation. I mean, it's no different than most other Classified Series figures, but it's still excellent. Even with his heavy ABS on he still moves quite well. 



* Tripwire comes with a sidearm that looks to be a standard .45 caliber pistol. Simple, basic, and useful.



* There's a holster for the pistol built onto the side of the thigh armor.



* Tripwire comes with his metal detector/ mine detector which looks to be fairly modern. It also has some paint applications which help to match it with the rest of his gear. 









* Tripwire's backpack is really nice, too, and looks like it's loaded with useful gear. There's a screen of some sort on top, a few pouches and panels, and a place to store a mine. Possibly a device that helps disarm them or is it a place for safely storing them?







* There's a flexible tube included which connects the metal detector to the backpack. There's also a slot on the backpack that allows the metal detector to clip onto the backpack for storage.














* Two mines are included. They have little pegs on the bottom, meaning they can't lay flat, but the pegs do allow for a few fun features. 




* They can attach to the bottom of the metal detector. I don't know if it's intended or not, and I'm 99% sure that's not how a metal detector works, but it is kind of a neat feature all the same. 

* Tripwire comes with Aspara, his giant pouched rat, who helps to find mines. This is based on a real procedure for tracking down mines and it just impressive. Aspara looks really cool with a little harness. She's just a simple sculpted piece but she's nicely painted and has a very cool look to her. And the name Aspara? An aspara is a nymph-like celestial being in Hindu or Buddhist and are often depicted in art and such. Tripwire's vintage file card states that he spent two years in a Zen monastery before he joined the military, so he would certainly be familiar enough with the culture to select this name. That's a nice connection to the character!

* Next up is M.A.C.L.E.O.D. (Mobile Armored Control Lever for Explosive Ordnance Disposal), a bomb disposal robot. Like in that episode of The IT Crowd where Moss and Roy bunk off from work for the day and come back to the office to find a stray robot outside Reynholm Industries, which turns out to be a bomb disposal robot at work. M.A.C.L.E.O.D. is really a cool second companion to Tripwire. The Rise of Cobra Tripwire also came with a bomb disposal robot. While they don't move, I love the look of the treads on the robot. 







* The arm is also articulated in three places, allowing you move it around and even pick up mines and other explosives. 





* A control pad for M.A.C.L.E.O.D. is also included. It kind of looks like a Nintendo Switch to me. 

The Negatives:


* There's no breakage issues but I was surprised by how easily Tripwire's arms can come off at the bicep. I was playing around with him and equipping him with a rifle and noticed his biceps detach pretty easy when pressure is applied. 



* Tripwire's backpack is really cool but the mine holder is a bit frustrating. You can place one mine inside of it but it's a real pain to get out. There's just no easy way to remove one without scratching up the plastic on the mine. 
   Tripwire is just loaded with extras and gear and I'm really happy with him. I especially love that he has two different bomb suits and his companions, Aspara and M.A.C.L.E.O.D., to give him some support. Hasbro took a figure I've never been that crazy about and really made him into a first rate release. Again, this is what a deluxe release ought to look like. While I'd be down for a Tiger Force Tripwire (that was the Tripwire I had as a kid), I would hope for a standard release with less gear. I don't need a deluxe release again. This release alone is Epic and just what we needed from Tripwire. 




These are the first figures of Tripwire, Aspara, and M.A.C.L.E.O.D. that I've reviewed on the site. For more G.I. Joe: Classified Series reviews check out the following:










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