Sunday, May 15, 2011

REVIEW: GI Joe 25th Anniversary - Dreadnok Ripper

Produced by Hasbro | Released 2008

DREADNOK RIPPER has led a life of delinquency since nursery school where he stole candy from his schoolmates. From there, he just kept expanding the scope of his criminal activities, paying the price many times with stints in various correctional institutions. He is motivated by greed, a dislike for civilized behavior and the pure delight of destroying something with cutting tools and edged weapons, of which he has gathered a substantial collection. He's known for the blade he uses as a cross between a firefighter's axe and a can opener to rip open gates and tear apart safes.

Deja Vu?
Unfortunately Blogger encountered some technical issues last Thursday that resulted not only in service outage but also the loss of a number of posts. Although Blogger has restored some of these ''deleted'' updates, the rather length Review of Dreadnok Ripper appears to be permanently gone. The following Review is therefore a slightly abridged version of the original, as - frankly - I'm not going to dedicate so much time to re-writing the Review, given that the figure isn't really that good...

Packaging Shots

Dreadnok Ripper
I understand that fans of the original toys and the cartoons will probably like Dreadnok Ripper but coming to the line late, the GI Joe toys don't have any form of nostalgia value for me and as a result, I judge each purely on their design, production and looks. And unfortunately, Ripper is pretty much everything I dislike about the 25th Anniversary figures: he's simply too cartoony for my tastes, with his neon-bright colouring, silly design and very ''toy-like'' appearance.

The sculpt does an OK-ish job for what it is, but the design is ludicrous. It don't get how somebody can design a biker obsessed with blades and power tools and end up with this final concept. Imagine if the Village People had included a Rabbi in their line-up, styled by the Gatsby Salon and you'll be pretty close to Dreadnok Ripper's look. It's just horrible.

Beyond the basic design, the figure's sculpt is also very ''toy like.'' Yes, I know that's because it's a toy but the hip and leg joints especially seem ''modular'' in a manner that's not usually seen with the other figures from the line and it further detracts from the realism of the figure.

The head sculpt is also problematic. The basic hair and beard sculpts are good, but figures with sculpted-on glasses never look right and Ripper is no exception. It's a shame, given that Specialist Trakker was released in the same time period and his head sculpt is superb.

Articulation doesn't present too many problems, although his biceps are slightly oversized and can limit elbow movement. The compressor backpack (used to power his Brismatic 5000 cutting tool) includes a pneumatic cable that connects the two pieces and this can also get in the way when posing the figure (see Extras below.)

Paint-wise, the application isn't bad (although his sunglasses are quiet poorly painted, with the right-hand arm not being painted, period) but the design isn't great. The BRIGHT BLUE pants, BRIGHT YELLOW shirt and BRIGHT GREEN detailing is simply too much and it further adds to the cartoonish/toy-like appearance of Dreadnok Ripper.

Dreadnok Ripper comes with his own stand, an assault rifle and a compressor backpack, pneumatic cable and cutting tool.

Whilst the assault rifle is fine, the power tool/backpack doesn't really work very well. The frame that fits around the compressor tends to pop-off quite easily and the pneumatic cable tends to push/pull the power tool out of his hand, making it difficult to pose him. The cutting tool's blades tend to come loose, too and it doesn't sit very well in his hands. There's also no way to store the tool on the backpack, despite appearances (there's a c-shaped connector on the tool that should clip onto the frame, but doesn't.)

Strangely, the ''blade he uses as a cross between a firefighter's axe and a can opener'' isn't included.

Final Thoughts
The concept behind Dreadnok Ripper - a tool- and blade-obsessed biker - is great. However, the execution is just so poor. He's a toy-like, cartoonish, caricature of what he should be and the figure's design is just comical.

I'd love to see the Pursuit of Cobra do a lifelike take on this toy, as the concept is great. But given that the recently released Croc Master is simply a repaint of the 25th Anniversary S&M gimp-mask figure, I'm not expecting to see that any time soon.

Unless you're on a nostalgia trip or you're a completist, you can safely pass on Dreadnok Ripper, as you're really not missing out on anything.

Production QualityC+
Final ScoreC

Image Gallery


  1. Why oh why can my Marshalls get these figures in!

  2. I see quite a few 25th Anniversary figures at Marshall's but they tend to show-up in clumps - there'll be about half a dozen new ones, then nothing, then another batch. Keep checking - you might get lucky!

  3. I'm still waiting on the new PoC Wave..!


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