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Hasbro: G.I. Joe Classified Clutch with VAMP Review

It’s always nice when you can check a top want off your list, but it’s even better when it’s done with such quality and style as they have here with Clutch and the VAMP! Let’s take a look!

The box has a retro feel for me with an action scene on the front with a window for the vehicle driver. It is interesting to see what looks like the Ferret and Scout in the background there now that we’ve seen a render where the figure has a bit of a different color scheme. The drawing on the side is a lovely interpretation of Clutch that captures his vibe from the comics. I’ve been re-reading the Hama run almost continually since Classified started and Clutch has a slightly different look seemingly every issue with regards to facial hair, but the attitude is always there, so this works for me. It’s also fun to see his toothpick, which we saw in @2dsculpts’ original sculpting on his Instagram feed.

I found it kind of funny how the main body of the VAMP comes wrapped in plastic, which always makes me think of Pete Martell on the first episode of Twin Peaks. She’s dead…wrapped in plastic. The wheels come unattached and tied down inside the box and the rest of the parts were in the foot locker box. The wheels snap onto the body and have a nice rubbery feel to them.

The set comes with the VAMP, Clutch, a shotgun, pistol, two gas cans, two M2 machine guns, two ammo boxes, two grips, wrench, axe, and shovel. A couple little pieces that attach to the hood of the car also come loose in the foot locker, a green doohicky and a brown thing that looks wrapped in cloth. There are also little handles that you can attach to the roll cage. The lamps are also optional and just hook onto the bar on the front and over the windshield. It looks pretty cool without those, but they do give it a finished look.

The gas cans go into a cage on the back and the axe fits onto a slot behind the cans. I love the little danger tampo’d symbols on the gas cans. I do think the axe could use a little sliver of silver paint on the edge and it is cast in that softer plastic.

The shovel attaches to a grip on the hood and is cast in a slightly stiffer black plastic.

The wrench has a black and red paintjob and fits in the holster on his right hip. It’s also a bit on the soft side of the plastic spectrum.

The fire extinguisher can clip onto a clip behind the driver seat.

The cannons are interesting to me because it’s probably one of the bigger deviations from the original VAMP. Instead of one two-barreled almost futuristic looking gun, it’s two M2 .50 Cal bullet fed guns. When I was a kid, I always thought the gun was a laser gun even though the box clearly states that they are machine guns. The guns can be pulled off the turret if you want and are cast in a stiffer dark green plastic. I like the additional details, but I also sort of miss the more sci-fi looking gun.

Clutch comes with a couple of weapons including a shotgun and pistol. Is it just me, or does it seem like we get shotguns a lot with the Joes lately? This one is cast in a fairly soft plastic, but it seems to hold it’s shape okay. I didn’t see a specific place for it in the VAMP, but it fits great next to the seat. The pistol holster on the chest works really well and the gun has a nice heft to it. Both weapons and the M2s can use blast effects from other figures in the line.

Clutch also gets two helmets, one a more traditional modern military and the other a more Steel Brigade style with the addition of HUD display in the visor, a camera looking thing on the side, comm gear like Breaker’s helmet on the back and some shark jaws painted on the front. The jaws does give him a slight ninja turtle look in that helmet and it fits really well. The traditional helmet looks like the one that came with Heavy Artillery Roadblock, but if you swap the helmets, they don’t fit the same, so it might be slightly re-tooled. It fits a little loose, but I prefer this look as it skews a bit more classic with a modern update.

Clutch himself seems to use a lot of Outback as a base, but his new parts are frick’n perfect. The vest was a little worrying for me when I saw it originally, but there’s enough play there that his ab crunch still works pretty well and the details are that perfect updated classic vibe for me. The portrait also has a lot of great character and captures Clutch’s irreverent personality so well.

The VAMP itself is also a perfect modernization of the classic vehicle. This thing has the classic profile and design, but amps up the details in things like the headlamps, tail lights, black detail insets, panel lines and even tiny little clamps that latch sections closed. These things don’t open, but they look like they might! The wheels feel slightly bigger than the OG VAMP and give it a slightly more aggressive profile and I love the bouncy effect of the suspension.

The hood does open to reveal the engine and I really like that they increased the size of the vents in the hood design so you can kind of see that detail just lurking beneath the surface. The engine can come out, but it’s hollow on the inside.

The winch on the front does roll and includes a length of string and clamp at the end. It’s a fairly short little line of string, but still very cool.

The windshield has a neat little ombre transition from translucent blue to clear and can fold forward to help with positioning your figure or maybe just letting Clutch and a passenger shoot out the front.

One thing I love about G.I. Joe Classified vehicles is that they pack a lot of detail into them via tampos. These caution labels and numbers used to be stickers you applied on the vintage toys, but having them so cleanly printed on these new vehicles adds to the level of polish. Clutch’s dashboard is particularly impressively detailed.

At around 13.5 inches long and 7 inches high, it’s a deceptively large medium sized vehicle. I’ve seen so many photos of this thing, but it was still surprising to me how big it was in hand. It’s right in-between HISS tank and RAM cycle sized and much closer to the HISS than I was thinking. I want every repaint of this thing they make, but size is going to be a consideration. That said, I have to get MKII and the Stinger if they are made.

Overall this is another amazingly impressive vehicle release from G.I. Joe Classified that I cannot praise enough. I have a couple nitpicks like I wish the front wheels turned left and right and there were some foot pegs on the skids to attach figures more securely, but the handle grips do a pretty good job of attaching figures to the sides. I highly recommend this one.