Friday, March 1, 2024

Action Figure Review: Tunnel Rat (Night Force) from G.I. Joe: Classified Series by Hasbro


   Today I'm looking at the third figure from the second Walmart exclusive series of Night Force figures: Tunnel Rat. This one's probably the least exciting because it's just a repaint of a fairly recent figure, but Tunnel Rat was a really good figure and I had both versions of him as a kid, so I've been kind of excited for him. Tunnel Rat is one of my top tier A Real American Hero figures and I think I always preferred the Night Force variant. Thus far the Night Force figures have been a real hit for me. Interestingly, Tunnel Rat is the first straight repaint as the rest have all been characters who are new/er to the line (Big Ben was a 1991 figure, Shooter appeared in the mid 2000s, and Wolf Spider is new for the Classified Series). The vintage Night Force figures were Toys 'R Us exclusives and sold in two-packs. Tunnel Rat was originally packaged with Psyche-Out, a figure we haven't seen in the Classified Series at all yet. This is one of those reviews where I get to be a bit lazy as most of what I said about the standard version of Tunnel Rat applies there, though there are some unique things to point out. Check out the full review of Tunnel Rat for all of the details and this review for the updates of the Night Force figure. Join me after the break...

The Facts:

Height: 6 inches

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

Accessories: Backpack, 2 flashlights, knife, sheathe, night vision goggles, hip pouch, bandanna, satchel, holster, revolver, ammo belt, machine gun, and box magazine.

Non-Scalper Price: $25 dollars

The Positives:

* Tunnel Rat's basic outfit was already pretty muted, but the Night Force version does give him more black and charcoal with OD green for his holsters and pouches and such. Interestingly, he's not wearing any camouflage paint on his arms or face this time around. The vintage figure didn't give him any either, but I'd expect it more for someone skulking around at night. Still, he looks slick. Very much like someone who would be sneaking in behind enemy lines and doing some covert stuff. 

* Tunnel Rat is still looking quite a bit like a younger version of Mr. Larry Hama (who he's based on), but he's now sporting a camouflaged bandanna. No face paint, either, as mentioned above, but you could certainly swap heads around if you felt the need. 

* Tunnel Rat now has a JoePro with a red light on it (better for night missions) and a different shoulder logo. Interestingly, he now has the same logo on his left shoulder that Night Force Big Ben has on his right. Some sort of griffin with a flame. Maybe the Night Force logo? neither Wolf Spider nor Shooter had this, though I always have figured that Shooter is probably some sort of "off the books" operative of the Joe team. The Joes might be "Classified" but she's double secret classified.  

* Tunnel Rat's satchel is now OD green, which does match a lot of the military pouches. Some friends gifted me a Vietnam era M-17 gas mask bag as a kid when I watched their dog while they went to Washington, DC, and while it doesn't match this design, it has the same aesthetic and color. I actually still have that bag. 

* Nothing new to say about the articulation; it's  still excellent. While TR is toting lots of gear and pouches, it's easy to take it all off if you need him to slip into some truly tight places.  Everything is sturdy, the joints have a great range of motion, particularly his arms, and he looks awesome crawling, sneaking, shooting, or doing whatever it is you need him to do. I should

* Tunnel Rat's pants are much darker and that thigh pouch is OD green this time around. 

* The night vision goggles are one of my favorite parts of the figure. This time they're in OD green with red lenses. Very cool stuff. Just a month or two ago I read the book No Easy Day by Mark Owen. Owen talks about using night vision goggles like this in the book, also mentioning their hefty price tag. 

* Same revolver, no with a green body and a black grip. 

* It still stores nicely in the holster strapped across Tunnel Rat's chest, which keeps it easily accessible. 

* Night Force Tunnel Rat's M60E6 is pretty much exactly the same as the weapon included with the standard figure. 

* It has the same features like the working bipod and the removable box magazine. 

* His knife is the same, too. Still sharp and ready for action. 

* The knife still has a place to go. Of course, the sheath matches the rest of Sgt. Lee's gear, so it's OD green.

* Tunnel Rat's backpack is a bit darker than on the standard figure, but not anything terribly different. 

* The flashlights are now black and have red lenses equipped. These look very cool. 

* They pop right in the slots on the backpack, giving him some hands free illumination.
* The M60 ammo belt has a gold bandolier this time around. I was actually hoping for the red and yellow belt of the vintage figure, but this one is more realistic. 

The Negatives:

* He still looks a bit busy wearing it and it's definitely oversized for him. Tunnel Rat is smaller and more slender than most other Classified Series figures and the belt tends to slip off his shoulder quite easily. 

 I really like Tunnel Rat and I actually think I prefer the Night Force version a bit more the standard. I mean, they're largely the same figure but I like the darker color and the red lenses on the flashlights and goggles a bit more. He doesn't have the cool "Tunnel Rat" shoulder patch the standard figure has but he does have the Griffin patch like Big Ben. This guy gets an Epic from me. I really like Night Force and Tiger Force and while I don't need Night Force variants of everyone, I do want some more added to the squad. Personally, I don't feel the need for non-Night Force versions of Shooter, Big Ben, and Wolf Spider and I'd like to see more characters go straight to Night Force. I think it would make sense for some characters who already have a darker color scheme like Barricade, Barrel Roll, Bullhorn, Muskrat, and Sure Fire. 

If you're looking for more of Tunnel Rat, I've reviewed the standard G.I. Joe: Classified Series Tunnel Rat and the G.I. Joe: Sigma 6 Tunnel Rat w/ Demolition Gear at JoeBattleLines back in 2006. 

For more G.I. Joe: Classified Series reviews check out the following:

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