Review by Phillip Donnelly
Welcome back to another spectacular review by yours truly. Well, perhaps "spectacular" isn't the proper word. Welcome back to another review to read when you need to kill time by yours truly! I'm flattered you're still reading these, though I've yet to see the requisite fan pages pop up on Facebook! *Ahem* (Editor's note: Please don't encourage him.)
Today we're looking at the newest update to the classic Cobra jeep, the Stinger. My first go-round with this vehicle was 1998's poorly named Rattler. In that first instance of the trademark horrors to come, we the consumers got a Stinger with some camouflage of dubious efficacy. I liked it for what it was, but I did quickly buy a vintage Stinger to complement it. Hasbro seems to have gotten the copyright back on its name, as this new jeep isn't trying to pass itself off as aircraft. It was a little inevitable that we'd get to have a new Stinger, considering Hasbro went through all the trouble to retool the VAMP last year. Despite this wave's flirtation with cancellation, we finally have this vehicle in hand.
Of course, Hasbro wasn'tcontent to just paint the VAMP black and slap the old Stinger's missile assembly on the back. No, the missiles have been retooled to show rivets, the missile launcher's column is new (and taller!), and we've got a nifty AK-47 to plug into the hood. I haven't had to opportunity to compare my Stingers side-by-side yet (the total lack of organization in storing my vehicles strikes again!), but I do enjoy these new touches quite a bit. Sure, the original Stinger had a shovel on the hood, but this rifle just seems so at home there I can't find fault with its placement.
Speaking of the AK-47, I've chosen to list it among the parts of the Stinger and not an accessory for the Stinger Driver (v2). Why not? The back of the package shows the figure holding the gun! Well, that's true, but the package also shows the Stinger with a smooth hood. I'd rather the gun stick on the hood where there is clearly a mount. Of course, you can do what you want with your own toy!
So why is the Stinger Driver just a gray Cobra Bazooka Trooper? You sure do like asking a lot of questions, invisible rabble rouser. I daresay the answer lies with the 2007 Cobra Legions pack - there we got a more accurate update to the original Stinger Driver in the form of the Cobra Vehicle Driver. So much so that his display stand even said "Stinger Driver." Well, I'm guessing Hasbro doesn't want to repeat itself, so we get this interesting twist on the figure. A netted helmet and bulky webgear help offset this new Stinger Driver, while the color scheme happily ties him to his roots. He has a new Stinger patch on his arm and even comes with a pistol that fits on a holster in the webgear.
This wave of vehicles seems to be about new twists on the old standbys. The Stinger has fewer updates than some of the others, but it is still a great update to a great vehicle. The new tooling of 2008's VAMP works well here, and makes for an easy decision on whether on not to purchase this! (Hint: yes.)
Stinger Driver (v2)
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More action shots:
Images from the collection of: Phillip Donnelly with Chad Hucal
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