Rampage and Splitfire (2003)
Bet you didn’t know Beachhead had a Ranger buddy who dressed just like him. Well, at least that was the story Hasbro made up to explain this Beachhead repaint and driver of the Splitfire vehicle. His file card art is very different from the final figure, which makes me wonder if it was intended to be a new figure (or at least made up of parts other than Beachhead’s) but changed late in the game. Who’s to say; at least they made up an interesting story to cover for it. They’re old Ranger buddies who served together, share a similar attitude, and oh yeah–Rampage sometimes dresses like Beachhead too. Total bromance going on there.
What Rampage lacks in originality, he makes up for with his sweet sweet ride. The Splitfire embodies both the positives and negatives of the Spy Troops/Valor vs. Venom era vehicles. Overall, it looks less like a military vehicle and more like the ultimate redneck hunting truck. It’s bulky and ruggedly constructed, unlike the vintage vehicles which were sometimes downright fragile. It also incorporates <gasp> action features, the very bane of some Joe collectors’ existence. When you move the tailgate, the two side guns (which would be manned by unprotected gunners–gasp again!) move back and forth. Some might see all of these elements as negatives, but I’m a sucker for the more toyetic aspects of Joe. These are supposed to be toys, right?
If you don’t dig the Splitfire as a Joe vehicle, it could be repainted as a pretty solid Dreadnok ride. After all, they’re the kind of guys who don’t mind riding unprotected vehicles.