As G.I. Joe progressed, more and more aspects that weren’t quite STRICT MILITARY REALISM, found there way into the line. The first major aspect was the Dreadnoks, a biker gang that hung around with Zartan and worked for COBRA Command. I’ve already looked at Buzzer, because I think in terms of ridiculous references made in a Children’s Toyline, he is the top. Today is Ripper, who is a much darker character.
The Dreadnoks had probably the best filecards in the entire G.I. Joe line, as the fact they were so far removed from the typical “SUBJECT graduated top of class at MILITARY TRAINING SCHOOL. KOOKY PERSONALITY TRAIT” style filecards, that some real far-out ideas made their way into them. Ripper’s is great because it paints him as a institutionalized malcontent, who cares about nothing, and is just out to take. Pretty apt description of an outlaw biker.
As a figure, Ripper is fairly well done, his biggest fault is that he has a lot of easily worn paint apps. The overall mold is really nice though, he’s got a far bigger frame and musculature than any other early Joe, and him being as jacked as he is makes sense, since there’s not much to do in Prison except work out. Like Buzzer, his face sculpt is a real winner, in the character department. While the Coup D’tat era Richie Stotts haircut is kinda bogus, the drug and alcohol ravaged face with the saggy skin is perfect for Ripper (guess that’s where all his greed goes to!). Despite not having painted eyebrows, Ripper also has an incredibly pissed off scowl.
The Dreadnoks had very cool accessories, Ripper was probably the owner of the coolest ones. His Jaws of Death are pretty neat, maybe not entirely practical at the 3 3/4″ scale, but they look cool, the Modern Error version with moving jaws is pretty great. His other weapon, is a modified Snow Job gun with a gnarly blade on it, and a scope added. Kinda neat how the stereotypical cartoon gun was modified a few times , the others being Alpine’s grappling gun and the Night Creeper’s giant ass crossbow.
If we’re talking about the actual G.I. Joe vs. COBRA conflict, Ripper along with the other Dreadnoks is pretty much useless, however I find great value in him as he’s a visually stimulating figure, with a great backstory and he can be useful for a fun distraction from the typical Joe fare.