Wednesday, September 5, 2012

G.I. Joe Retaliation Cobra HISS Tank

Presenting the new G.I. Joe Retaliation Cobra HISS Tank!

It is still unknown as to whether or not this latest incarnation of Cobra HISS Tanks (Technically H.I.S.S. Tanks or High-Speed Sentry Tanks - the original H.I.S.S. Tanks had a maximum speed of 120kph) will make it into the actual Retaliation movie and this is not the version that transforms into Shockwave (SDCC 2012 Exclusive) - else the main cannon would be very different.

The Retaliation COBRA Hiss Tank  is technically therefore the Mark VI version of the HISS Tank as - while it has some similarities - it is markedly different from the Mark V version of the HISS Tank that was released as a part of the G.I. Joe Pursuit of Cobra Toyline.

But before we get into that, let's start by noting that the Retaliation Cobra HISS Tank comes with a finely detailed Cobra Commander figure - that has the most basic of articulation joints - ergo, he sucks!

So here he is saying goodbye:

Here he is being replaced by someone better:

On to the review. The G.I. Joe Retaliation Cobra HISS Tank's blister card reads "They're on the attack! H.I.S.S. Tanks are the most powerful combat vehicles in the Evil Cobra Fleet. A H.I.S.S. Tank rises up like a striking snake and rolls Cobra Commander into battle. The menacing vehicle is fully armed with a heavy-impact missile launcher and a rotating gatling cannon."

So what's NOT to like about the G.I. Joe Retaliation Cobra HISS Tank? 

Yeah we're breaking the format again and getting on to the addressing the white elephant in the room. It's not possible to have this without comparing it to the Pursuit of Cobra HISSTank, The HISS tank Mark V. 

You automatically lose

  • The more armored carapace of the Mark V Hiss tank (Either of the Mark V versions); 
  • The "pop-up" ability that allows the Mark V to have an "elevated view" of the battlefield is gone - not that he needs it anyway what with the elevated command turret and the fact that a HISS tank is almost twice the height of a normal human anyway. Also the Mark V didn't really need that ability since, because of it's armored cockpit, it relies on sensors to maneuver and fire, not on the pilot's ability to physically see the battlefield. 
  • The hold in the back that could carry another Cobra  trooper - most likely a Cobra BAT is gone (It has a command turret after all). 
  • The Cobra HISS Attack Scout will not attach to the Retaliation Cobra HISS Tank. 
  • But the biggest disappointment is the loss of the rolling rubber threads that the Cobra HISS Tank Mark V has. While finely detailed, the Retaliation Cobra HISS Tank runs on dowels. 

Oh and I'm not sure why - despite the overall high detailing of the Retaliation HISS Tank - the chain guns end in flat plastic instead of barrel ends.

Now that that's out of the way:

So what's to like about the G.I. Joe Retaliation Cobra HISS Tank? 

If you don't own a Mark V HISS Tank or just choose to ignore it, IT'S NOT BAD!!! It's a highly detailed toy that actually makes a little more sense than the Mark V. the Retaliation COBRA HISS Tank has twice - or even more than twice - the firepower than a MARK V. Probably more since all the guns are bigger.

If the the Retaliation Cobra HISS tank were to go toe-to-toe with the POC Mark V HISS tank the Retaliation Cobra HISS tank would have the range advantage to offset the Mark V's additional armor - not that the armor would make much of a difference anyway. We can also assume that the Retaliation Cobra HISS tank dropped the elevator system and extra storage compartment for higher engine output so it's probably faster as well.

Further on the plus side is that because the two chain guns were moved to the side, they can now elevate to provide the ability to knock aircraft out of the sky as well. The chain guns are definitely made for that.

While true, this reduces their front coverage to roughly 45 degrees to either port or starboard and wherever the cockpit is pointed, the main cannon will handle anything that the chain guns cannot cover - assuming of course no one bothers to shoot the exposed driver first (Which is why armored Destro is in there). The main gun actually looks better with the the missile inside. It's a simple spring loaded cannon. Push the red button and it fires.

Weapon of mass destruction or overcompensation?
Now you can actually increase the rotation of the main-cannon by transferring both chain-guns to the lower mount - note though that there's a factory defect in the one I have, the port chain-gun automatically points a few degrees up, they're not aligned.

Transferred, the main-cannon can now cover an inglorious retreat.

Isn't that an imposing figure when you're down on the ground and faced with a Cobra Retaliation HISS Tank?

The cockpit is also finely detailed and snugly fits one pilot. Unfortunately my HISS pilots are in storage:

The Retaliation Cobra HISS Tank also has the strange ability to tilt forward. This is an interesting feature that allows the HISS Tank to remain a stable firing platform while climbing inclined spaces, or to snipe behind cover with the main gun, especially with the chainguns moved.

It also allows for a very interesting stare-down:

The G.I. Joe Retaliation Cobra HISS Tank was purchased at the recent Toy Kingdom Toy Expo 2012 with a ten percent discount off PhP 1,499.75 (US$ 34.87 less ten percent). It's available on Amazon for US$ 36.04 (Roughly PhP 1,550 plus shipping).

Give it a chance, it'll grow on you and has potential.


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