Today’s profile is part of a collaborative effort with Forgotten Figures and The Dragon Fortress that’s also why it’s on a Tuesday, as Mike T. is the elder statesmen! Thanks again to those guys for agreeing to my idea, and for being all around cool dudes.
The Tripwire mold was the most commonly released mold by Hasbro in the 1980s. Let that sink in for a moment. Why it happened is actually understandable, Tripwire has a non-violent specialty and his figure is actually quite well done.
Tripwire’s well sculpted, and his design is done in a way that he’s got uniformity with other G.I. Joe members, but just because he has long gloves and chest armor, he’s not using the Flash mold. He fits in, but is still unique. His head sculpt strikes me as something that would’ve likely had the helmet/visor/ear-phones get up that Thunder received, had Hasbro not been super stoked on the sculpted headwear in 1983.
The early design team seemed to succeed doing something innovative, and would then do it a bunch before moving on. The 1982 COBRA and Officer heads were probably at the end of that series’ design window, so it carried over into a lot of the 83 Figures. 1984 seemed to be the year of glued-in hairpiece. That’s just my observation, though I’m sure there’s a book that has the real facts.
Tiger Force is usually a classic Joe’s worst repaint. Not for the Skoog! He’s got the Listen ’N Fun version for that. TF Tripwire has a fairly unique TF color pallet, and is done in deep rich colours, with an olive drab that is a good call back to version 1. His colours do get a tend wonky when you notice the tiger pattern chest plate, but the orange isn’t as offensive as other oranges used in Tiger Force. It’s odd, since the Tiger stripes are obviously the worst colouring on the figure, they also are the colours that actually tie the entire figure together.
I really like the Tiger Force Tripwire, since even though he’s from the TF subset, he along with a few others are capable of blending in with other Joe figures. So because of that he can be used to provide a little bit of oomph to dioramas. I also have always used Tripwire in vehicles, mainly because as a kid the foot broke off of my Tripwire so he wound up sitting in the Silver Mirage or Slugger.
Tripwire’s the earliest of the cliched “behaves one way, unless around his specialty” character types, that had become far too common (usually with arctic figures!) as the line went on. Tripwire’s a klutz unless near explosives. Character-wise, Tripwire benefits from being someone who’s key trait is a physical manifestation. Since he’s a klutz, it’s a thing that can actually be used in play situations. His greatest nemesis being the stairs in the 1983 HQ.
His filecard also led to one of the best lines in the entire run “received his spiritual awakening on the grenade range”, which is up there with some of Buzzer’s filecard lines! Though, if his name is one of those Hama puns or in-jokes, it’s probably awful racist! (Look at “Skoog” in a mirror)