Review by Phillip Donnelly
Courtesy of BigBadToyStore
It's review time once again! Today we're looking at the Cobra H.I.S.S. Tank v.5! I think we're meant to assume this is version 5, though the way it's written it could also mean version .5. If you remember, the Pursuit of Cobra line was developed to be a direct continuation if the Rise of Cobra storyline. No H.I.S.S. developed before the movie, so this theoretically could pass as a first draft in that timeline! I think most people will probably call it version 5, though. Truthfully, this should be version 6; poor DTC H.I.S.S., you get no love!
Let's take a look at the vehicle, shall we? As an entirely new mold, this version of the old High Speed Sentry is an entirely different take on the familiar design. In fact, aside from the treads, it doesn't look much like a H.I.S.S. at all! But you know what? I kind of dig it. When I first took the unassembled vehicle out of its box, I noticed something - the design looks like the Cobra Gunship with treads! Okay, maybe it only looks like that through a drunken haze, but the overall shape is pretty similar. And it makes sense to me - going by the original movie connection, M.A.R.S. is presumably making both vehicles, so why not show a similar design aesthetic? Maybe Destro just likes to cut corners.
Curiously, the instructions don't quite tell you every step needed to fully assemble this toy. So, at great expense (Well, time is money, right? Hey, am I even paid for this??), I give you what is missing: canopy and controls attach in the cockpit, the rear compartment attaches... in the rear, cables attach to the body and chassis, the ammo belt connects to the gatling gun and vehicle body, and the rear bumper clips onto the back! Okay, so maybe it's not rocket science, but I felt it was worth pointing out! Also worth pointing out are the clips on the rear of the vehicle. Those serve no purpose here, though I'm willing to bet that's where the H.I.S.S. drone from the cancelled mail-in version of Cobra Commander would have gone. Hope we still get that some day!
A plethora a decals await you. (Phillip, do you even know what a "plethora" is?) But aside from the impossible-to-apply decal 28, it's not too bad. You can even customize the squadron number if you don't want the standard 788! What, 788 isn't good enough for you?
Features-wise, this vehicle gets a bit... weird. Let's be honest here, the elevated attack position is neat, but it doesn't serve much purpose. Is the H.I.S.S. supposed to sneak up behind a rock, jump up, and shoot at the Joes? Wouldn't they hear it coming? It may be a callback to the Hiss IV, though I think maybe the designers were just big fans of Whack-a-Mole. At least you can mostly ignore this feature, though the locking mechanism is a tad weak. I expect many a broken tab in the years to come. In which case, super glue. Other than that, we have a standard spring-loaded missile, and a rear passenger compartment that seems meant to induce blood rushes.
Some people have complained that this vehicle isn't in its traditional black. That's not a deal breaker for me, honestly. The burgundy shade is far from optically-offensive (did I just make a new term?), and people tend to forget that until 2005, there had only ever been one black H.I.S.S. tank! I think the memory of Sunbow is affecting people's opinions again.
The H.I.S.S. Tank Driver is a new twist on an old design. He keeps the familiar helmet, but steals Cobra Commander's clothes, and Destro's accessories! I like the look. Armored, yet familiar. The old colors and layout are still there, just in a more imposing outfit.
In addition to a pistol, he comes with what I've decided is a gonfalon. Okay, I looked the word up to impress you guys by sounding smarter than I am. I think it's a gonfalon, at least. There are hand grips on there, so it could be a ram of some sort for all I know. Either way, he looks cool holding it. Isn't that why we buy these toys?
And thus I segue into my closing paragraph. Do I like this toy? Oh my, yes. Does it have some silly action features? Definitely. But you know what? It's still a fun, menacing Cobra weapon, and I'm happy to add it to my growing collection of H.I.S.S. tanks. And with a black redeco on the way, I have an excuse to buy yet another!
H.I.S.S. Tank Driver
Cobra H.I.S.S. Tank v.5
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More action shots:
Images from the collection of: Phillip Donnelly
Courtesy of BigBadToyStore
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