2000 Rip It

2000 Rip It

A lot of people take issue with the original HISS Driver, mainly for being the very first obnoxiously colored Cobra. I like that figure, and think it’s red color is there for a reason; so that way he’s especially noticeable inside his tank. Rip It, is a more standard colored Cobra, and I like him too, even if I like the standard Hiss Driver better.

As a kid, I missed out on most of the ARAHC line. I had interest, but I was also interested in a lot of other things too, and a trip to TRU was something that only happened a few times per year for me. When I did go, the only figures they had were the Chameleon and Cobra Commander set, and vehicles were pretty much off limits, so the HISS III, was never really an option for me. At the same time, I don’t recall ever seeing one, so it ended up being an oddity I never discovered until I was a teenager.

There’s a contrived new character that Rip It, is meant to represent. Someone at Hasbro clearly thought that it was more marketable to turn army-builders into unique entities, as we saw this several times during the 2000‘s. A tank commander for Cobra really isn’t a bad idea, but not one like Rip It. His bio is horribly dumb, and having him look just like a normal HISS Driver, seems like something an old video game would do, when they didn’t have the budget to make a new sprite for a boss character.

But any Cobra-loving GI Joe collector can see Rip It for what he is, and that’s a solid repaint of the HISS Driver. Were it not for this release, and his subsequent (and incredibly expensive) convention repaint, there would be no other HISS Drivers to collect. You can buy the HISS tank in almost any color imaginable, but the HISS Driver was rarely recolored, and that’s a glaring omission on Hasbro’s part. There was going to be another HISS Driver, but it was cancelled,  and after that the only other recolor was the torso for one of the ugly TRU Infantry Division figures.

It’s a solid looking color scheme they used for Rip It. He’s mostly a desaturated blue, with black details (boots, chest-pad) and some red bits too (face mask, cobra symbol, gauntlets). I like it, and despite the colors having a dull tone, he looks more visually interesting than the V1 HISS Driver. Despite being a bit different looking, his blue is close enough to Cobra blue that I think he looks great with V1 Cobra Troopers. It’s an all around solid repaint, and something I’m glad happened.

I have a solitary complaint with this figure, that really doesn’t undermine any of it’s appeals, but I’ll say it anyway: He doesn’t contrast with his tank. The bright red of the V1 HISS Driver, is meant to compliment the tank, hence the clear canopy that allows you to see it all of the time. It makes the driver noticeable, and adds more red to the look of the V1 HISS, making it look consistent with other early vehicles, like the FANG, Stinger and the STUN. Rip It, does not stand out in a V1 HISS, and he especially doesn’t stand out in his similarly blue HISS III. It’s not really a big deal, but in my view, the original was red for a reason.

Rip It’s were apart of a number of desirable figures you could get cheaply from China there for a while, from around 2009 to 2012. The paint apps on these always seemed a little more suspect than retail examples, which makes me think they might have been old factory rejects that were just laying around for years. Most of the time, they were indistinguishable, so it was a nice way to army build him there for a while.

Like a lot of toys mostly owned by collectors in the 2000‘s, Rip It’s are a lot harder to find now. They tend to run around $30, and examples sold with the HISS III go for about the same amount, or sometimes a few dollars more. I don’t think that price will hold, but sadly, it’s apparent that 22 years later, Rip It’s are a lot harder to find, and are no longer a cheap alternative to the ‘83 figure. It’s a nice enough figure to be worth a premium, but honestly, $30 is simply too much, especially when Hasbro will probably just reissue him with a HISS again, now that o-rings are back in fashion.

HISS III GI JOE vintage TBM custom trooper Rip It HISS III GI JOE vintage TBM custom trooper Rip It

2000 Rip It Links:

Forgotten Figures

Joe A Day

Half the Battle

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4 Responses to 2000 Rip It

  1. General Liederkranz says:

    I completely agree about the value of the original HISS driver’s contrasting color. On top of the lack of contrasting colors on Rip-It, the tinted canopy also doesn’t help. I’ve taken a few pictures of him in the HISS III with the canopy closed, and usually you can’t even tell he’s in there. In your picture, it looks like that’s the Retro version with a clearer canopy? It might work better, but I don’t have one.

    I missed out on the cheap Rip-Its from China, and never knew about them until now. I have one that I got back on 2000, and another that I got for a deal last year, and I like using them but don’t think of them very often. I do like having the option of blue HISS drivers to fit with other Cobra troops.

  2. Past Nastification says:

    Great breakdown of the figure and character.

    This would have been a perfect time for Hasbro to have made a removable helmet, giving Rip It an individual head, or helmet-on to represent generic HISS Drivers.

    An golf club would’ve been a great accessory, too!

  3. A-Man says:

    Folks rarely use Rip-It as his character because if you have more than one HISS 3, drivers are more important than characters. He probably ranks #1 of Cobra Characters used as army builders.

    We can call roll our eyes with the next HISS reissue with an o-ring driver since Hasbro will probably charge $40 for what was a $25 last year.

    The 2021 Rip-It is kind of awful. Wish he was o-ring or even just the 25th driver mold. It’s funny that figure was a generic commander but for 2021 Rip-It comes back for fake retro release of a partially remolded tank and a modern figure tribute to a 2000 release that had a completely different box.

  4. R.T.G. says:

    As a character, Rip-It is a dud. I kind of think the HISS Commander might be a role that would exist in COBRA Command, but it’s something that wouldn’t be important enough to lead to a named character.

    This figure is nice, I don’t really differentiate them too much from the ’83 HISS Driver, but I’m more likely to toss this version into any vehicle that’s not a HISS, before I would use the traditional red one.

    The waist piece is one of those parts swaps that’s a lot better than it has any right to be, but that might just be because it’s not a Roadblock waist.

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