Direct to Consumer Wave 3 - Dreadnok Monkeywrench

Toy name: Dreadnok Monkeywrench
Assortment: Direct-to-Consumer Wave 3
Price: MSRP $4.99
Availability: December, 2005

I gotta say, right off the bat, that this figure bears absolutely no resemblance to the Monkeywrench of old, besides his orange hair and sunglasses. But you know what? That is definitely a good thing.

In fact, it's a great thing!

I've gone on record as saying that the Dreadnoks of old really didn't do much for me. Goofy heads, weird molds, scrawny bodies and comic relief attitude just made me not really care that much for them or consider them worthy opponants to the Special Forces G.I. Joe team. Over the years, and as versions of these figures continued to improve, though, my opinions softened slightly, and I am starting to like them more and more as time goes on. However, the older versions of the figures are still somewhat useless to me, and Monkeywrench definitely falls in that mix. The open vest with grenade straps, patchwork jeans and such just didn't work for me. I prefer a more "down and dirty" Dreadnok, and we've been getting them the past couple of know what? The trend continues here.

Figure Mold

There is a huge difference between the "punk look" of the 80's and the "punk look" these days, and that plays a big role in how silly some of those older Dreadnoks look these days. Sure, proportion-wise and mold-wise some of those older figures like Ripper and Road Pig do hold some appeal, but still...when you're considering modern day styles, the new sculpt Ripper and Torch are much more current and much more threatening. Monkeywrench continues right down that path.

We start off with a new head sculpt, which is one of only two new sculpt parts we have this time around. The new head really works wonders and not only pays tribute to the classic look of Monkeywrench (with the beard and sunglasses on top of his head) but it also brings him into a more "bad ass" modern timeframe. The scruffy beard and long, unkempt hair are things that weren't sculpted quite so well back in the day, and here they look great.

The mold itself is another one from the Spy Troops Wave 1 days, which, as I've said, is much appreciated because those sculpts were some of the nicest in the line. Burnout (where this mold comes from) was a little tall and a little gangly, but didn't look bad, and this version doesn't look too bad either. Overall, the body is skinny and somewhat scrawny, and has the potential to be pretty un-threatening. However, with the sleeveless shirt (covered in barbed wire, no less) the bandage-wrapped arms and hands, and the spike knuckles, Monkeywrench definitely looks like he could throw down, which is something the older class of Dreadnoks were sorely missing. His waist is kinda long, and looks sort of weird, as it did with Burnout, but the legs are decent and well sculpted. He's got some basic blue jeans with some funky boots and nice metal kneepads, so all in all, the figure looks the part of a Dreadnok, and even though he uses the same exact mold as Burnout, with the color changes, he looks fine next to him and doesn't look like he's a long lost twin brother or anything.

Paint Applications/Color Choices

The paints really help to make this a different character, although Hasbro didn't really go with a "Monkeywrench" paint scheme. Still, that's fine with me, and this figure still works as the character. The plain white torn tank top looks realistic and I love the words written on it. Paint on the barbed wire is well-applied, too, looking metallic and really standout out against the plain white shirt. His jeans are obviously blue, and the shade of color on his kneepads make them look really metallic.

There aren't a lot of colors on Monkeywrench, and they don't really match his classic look, but none of that ends up mattering in the end and we get a pretty neat updated Dreadnok that looks different, yet similar enough.


Monkeywrench comes with pretty much no explosives, which is odd, since that was his specialty back in the day. One thing Hasbro does seem to be doing with their reincarnated Dreadnoks is kind of blurring their specialties a bit. Ripper didn't come with any kind of bladed rifle, and Burnout didn't seem to have any kind of particular destructive talents. Torch did come with a flamethrower, but besides that, the Dreads have all been much more generic than they were back in the day. In some respects that works, though, because it makes them more all purpose, and not quite as restricted to what they can do.

But, anyway... Monkeywrench comes with twin shotguns, a nice knuckled knife (all of which has been seen before) but quite obviously his coup de grace is the sleeveless trench coat. This coat is newly sculpted and highly detailed, with extensive sculpting for the stitches, leathery material, and buttons. It's colored a very nice worn leather-brown, and the two pockets are awesome. They are somewhat large, so the shotguns will slide down in, but they work well and are not so large as to look stupid. The trenchcoat also has a little sculpted tear in the back with a red Dreadnok logo there, too. All in all, very nice effects, and while wearing the coat, Monkeywrench looks even more different than Burnout and doesn't end up retaining any of the similiarties at all.

Final Comments

Never been wild about the Dreadnoks, but I can appreciate a good figure when I see it, and I think Monkeywrench fits the bill. Not only is he pretty fun to play with, but he ends up giving the character some street cred when I didn't especially like him before, and has actually succeeded in making me more of a fan of him. Between this guy, the comic pack Dreadnoks, and last year's convention exclusive, all of a sudden I'm loving the Dreads. Who'd a thunk it?

While he's not a trooper, Monkeywrench is one of the highlights of this wave and is a cool figure, repaint or not. You will enjoy his trenchcoat, and the figure itself is quite playable (with those added articulation points at the thigh), so I very highly recommend giving him a try. I only wish my favorite Dreadnok, Buzzer, wasn't getting the shaft with all of these new releases. :(

Ratings (out of 10)

Character: 6
Mold : 7.5
Paint Apps: 7
Value: 8
Overall score (not an average): 7.5

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