G.I. Joe VAMP w/ Double Clutch

I haven't been shy about professing my absolute love for the Sigma 6 aesthetic in G.I. Joe, even though it sacrificed history and branched out into various different scales, none of which were compatible with anything that had come before. Even with those different scales, there were certain design elements and themes that I thought were amazing and incredible, and some things I was dying to see integrated into our more familiar scale.

We could see the potential with fantastic vehicles like the RHINO and the ROCC, but it seemed to me that Hasbro vehicle designers really got their feet under them with the 2.5" Sigma 6 line, but none of it worked for our larger figures.

Thankfully Hasbro saw the light and reworked the cockpits for the excellent Iron Hammer mech into usable vehicles for G.I. Joe and Cobra in the Pursuit of Cobra line. And while there is simply no way to translate the awesome 2.5" VAMP into something viable for a larger scale, Hasbro certainly took some inspiration from that smaller vehicle when designing this VAMP, and I could not be happier. This is one of the best vehicles for the 3 3/4" line in recent memory. I am in absolute love. I was so eager to write this review, because I had a feeling that many other fans would likely feel the same way...but upon cruising the internet out there I'm actually finding folks who don't like the look of the VAMP. I honestly can't fathom why, but maybe I can open some eyes with the images and words in this review.

The Hasbro designers took the basic premise of the VAMP and totally revitalized it for the 21st Century. Expanding the crew to four and adding a bevy of weapons, they took a fast attack, but low impact vehicle and made it a terrific all around attack craft and utility jeep. It's a shame that the Pursuit of Cobra looks to be so short lived, as I could really see Hasbro getting some serious mileage out of his vehicle with repaints, and re-equips, but as it stands, it's a fantastic vehicle that's flexible and packs a good punch.

Using somewhat slanted armor, the base of the VAMP design resembles a pretty basic utility vehicle, which is cool, because it ends up being very flexible and customizable, depending on what you want to use it for. If you strip all of the parts off of it, it makes for a terrific all purpose jeep, yet with all of the various weaponry and ports for additional weaponry you can build it out as you see fit.

The wheels roll nice and free, the vehicle feels very sturdy, and the guns/launchers all plug in firmly and securely to give you a very nice off road vehicle with some offensive punch. I absolutely love the semi-futuristic design of all of the guns, and the handles are easily held by all of the grips that I tried from various different figures.

Of course, due to the number of holes and peg variations, you can customize the VAMP however you see fit. If you buy a few of them, you can use extra missile launchers to deck one of them out as a rolling arsenal, while another can be a resupply vehicle, and another can simply be a fast-attack or recon vehicle. So many options. Adding to these options is the very nice selection of customizable stickers that like the HISS, allow you to create your own military designations to place on the vehicle.

If I have any major complaints, one of them is the front claw. It's a neat enough feature, and it rolls up pretty tight into the body, but it doesn't roll all the way, so it ends up dragging on the ground, which seems like a bit of an oversight. All they really needed was a hole in the claw and a peg on the front of the VAMP to mount the thing, but instead it just drags along the ground...seems like a minor lapse in design philosophy.

First images of the VAMP made the vehicle seem somewhat tan/brown in color, when in actuality, it is more of a tannish/green shade, which is cool, and a good jungle themed color scheme. Combined with the regular body color, the weapons and gear are all in various shades of black and silver, and the end result is a very nice looking jeep with many overall uses. The sockets scattered throughout fit these newer weapons pegs (though sadly still not compatible with the older DTC era gear), and the mount in the rear section fits both the awesome chain gun and the very cool looking missile launcher. The rear peg system is a bit clunky and perhaps not as sturdily mounted as I would have hoped, but is still very effective and a cool addition to the vehicle.

Along with an already impressive laundry list of cool points, the VAMP also has an impressive capacity for troop carrying. If you use all of the seats, the gun turret in back, and all of the running boards, you can conceivably carry up to 9 figures on this one mid-sized vehicle.

And yes, the tow hook actually functions on towable vehicles!

Double Clutch

The first comment I seem to hear out of people's mouths when talking about Clutch is a sense of disappointment that they used his head for Tomahawk, a figure that was only released a few short weeks ago. I can definitely see this perspective. It seems odd that Hasbro designers would use identical heads for two different characters within weeks apart, without even hair color to separate them.

One thing I will give Hasbro credit for, though, is the paint application on the facial hair, which ends up making a nice bit of difference, separating the two characters, at least to some degree.

By using more selective paint on Tomahawk (and a lighter flesh tone) they actually do a pretty impressive job separating the two characters. Still, it is obvious the head is the same on both figures.

Head issues aside, how is the Double Clutch figure all told? He's all right. Like Kickstart, Double Clutch is very green...that is his predominant color throughout the uniform. They break up the monotonous color scheme somewhat by utilizing Beachhead's webgear, done in all black, along with his pouch. Unfortunately, they neglect to include the extra magazine for that pouch, so there's just a gaping hole in it.

He also comes with Bazooka's helmet and chin strap, which works pretty nicely also. He sports the removable pistol that's been used with the holster many times before, which is effective enough, though more of the same.

Double Clutch reuses the arms and legs from the 25th Anniversary Snow Job, which isn't terrible, though the choice has garnered some complaints for characters that are obviously geared for jungle warfare. Obviously Hasbro designers elected to continue utilizing the tooling that was left from Wild Weasel's incarnation, because his holster sports the familiar winged Cobra logo, but that's a pretty minor thing that requires fairly close inspection to determine.

Overall, I would say there really is nothing stellar about Double Clutch. He's fine, and doesn't take anything away from the VAMP, but he certainly doesn't add anything of value, either functionally or aesthetically. He's just kind of there.

While Double Clutch certainly doesn't blow me away, his ride is impressive to say the least. While I've seen the VAMP get its share of heat across the web, that is an opinion I unequivocably disagree with, and think this is a terrific mid-level vehicle for these 21st Century G.I. Joes. Besides a particular aesthetic look, what does the original VAMP have that this one doesn't? The size is the same, the open canopy is the same, but this version holds a wealth of more figures, has a ton more offensive firepower, and is a very cool looking modern day assault (or utility) vehicle. I approve completely. An awesome addition to my G.I. Joe motor pool.


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