Mine Detector (Code Name: Tripwire)

If you need an early example of the specialization of the 80s Joes, Tripwire is a perfect subject. Like Breaker, he’s one of the few figures not to include a weapon. Although his mines count, I suppose. He’s the perfect support trooper to help get the Joes through Cobra-laid mine fields. I know The Enemy used to put down a ton of them on my carpet and comforter back in the day.

As a kid, I didn’t quite understand why Tripwire included his own mines. I thought he was a mine detector? Maybe he’s picking up the enemy mines and strapping them into his backpack for disposal later? That’s actually what I usually pretended he was doing back in the day. It just didn’t seem heroic to me for the Joes to be planting mines.


  • ”Tripwire makes every one remember him, in the 2-part episode-”Captives of Cobra”, about tossing a piece of Experimental explosive in the air, and then tossing it over his shoulder, after asking Duke, what kind of explosive Cobra was working on..That was some explosive crystal.”

  • I’ve recently decided that Tripwire looks perfect as a slightly sci-fi generic trooper. He looks sort of like a goon from a 70’s James Bond movie. He just needs a submachine gun.

    With a color swap he could even be an awesome Cobra guard.

  • Oh, man. Tripwire was one of our favorite Joes when we were growing up. Many thanks to Larry Hama for providing us with the personality – jittery, clumsy – from which grew hours of comedy among my brothers and I.

    Tripwire was a complete goofball. The other Joes never wanted to be partnered with him on missions. Inevitably, he’d be assigned to Gung Ho, the toughest Joe in the outfit. (Imagine Jerry Lewis paired with Ron Swanson) GH had no patience for Tripwire, which made Tripwire even more jittery. He would often (always) foul up his mission objective as a result.

    However, his foul-up would have catastrophic results for Cobra – like accidentally dropping a grenade into the fuel reserves of the Cobra motor pool, instead of just taking out one single HISS. Tripwire and GH would barely escape with their lives. Cobra would be decimated. As a result, Cobra referred to this highly efficient saboteur as ‘the Joes’ Master Commando’. Cobra Commander offered a huge bounty to whomever could stop this menace. Cobra troops whispered his name with fearful reverence. No one dared face the Master Commando. It was certain death.

    The Joes barely tolerated him, the Cobras feared him – this was a long-running theme in our ongoing Joe adventures. Great memories. Thanks for reminding me!

    • That story seems too cool to be true.

      My first Tripwire was Listen’n Fun. Eventually he hung out with Mission Brazil Team. Later he joined Cobra because I needed some at the terminals of my Terrordrome and because even at the time I realized he was sort of rare and that was his semi-retirement after Tiger Force Tripwire came along.

      It’s odd to think he has the same legs as Major Bludd. A klutz and a ruthless mercenary buy the same brand of boots and use the same sidearm.

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