Review by Phillip Donnelly
Perhaps an old dog can learn new tricks! Here we are, 26 years after the first appearance of the H.I.S.S., and we have a brand spankin' new take on this old Cobra standby. It's white! That can't be right! H.I.S.S. tanks can only be black or red, maybe blue if we're feeling generous. And... and... it's got Stinger missiles! What in the Sam Hill is a-goin' on around here?!
Believe it or not, and I suggest you do since I'm about to provide proof, there is some history to this tank. You see, back in the ancient days of the 1980s, G.I. Joe had a cartoon. Strange, I know! Well, in one episode, "The Gamesmaster," we see H.I.S.S. tanks in an establishing shot. Perhaps since the shot was of an arctic Cobra base the animators decided to color the tanks white. Perhaps it was an error on the painters' part. Either way, this established the existence of Arctic H.I.S.S. tanks.
Hasbro seems to have exhausted the traditional color schemes of the tank last year. (Sure, they could go with orange, but I don't think anyone really wants that!) Whether that speaks to the popularity of the H.I.S.S. or the eagerness of Hasbro to exploit it, the toy company went a new direction this time around. Instead of a simple white repaint (more cartoon accurate, perhaps, but a bit boring), there's new tooling and armaments. Slapping the Stinger's missile assembly onto the traditional cannon mount significantly changes the profile of this vehicle. Suddenly it's capable of long range attacks! But that's not all - we have a storage rack and bed roll added to the sides. There's even a nifty customization feature - the ability to add your own unit number with extra decals!
The H.I.S.S. Driver for this vehicle is even in his winter garb. Making extensive use of the Snow Serpent mold, but retaining the signature H.I.S.S. Driver head, we have a new yet familiar look for this trooper. Giving the Arctic H.I.S.S. Driver a rifle and binoculars means that even when he's not driving, this guy is ready for battle - something previous drivers couldn't say.
Be it a sneaky ploy to get you to buy yet another version of this mold (seriously, I'm surprised the metal casting hasn't melted into so much slag by now!), or a smart update to a Cobra Classic, the Arctic H.I.S.S. does not disappoint. Of course, I've always been a sucker for the sleek lines and aggressive look of this vehicle.It's probably why I own seven versions of this thing already. But if you love this vehicle like I do, it's a must for your collection.
Arctic H.I.S.S. Driver
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More action shots:
Images from the collection of: Phillip Donnelly with Chad Hucal
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