GI JOE 25th Anniversary: Cobra Arctic Hiss with Driver by Hasbro

Remember the frustration around the last wave of the 25th Anniversary vehicles? First we got to salivate over the photos, then we got word that the wave was cancelled. Later, we were told that they would be sold through at some online retailers, only to find they were available in limited quantities and much higher price points. By the end, there seemed to be no rhyme or reason to who was selling them and for how much. All I know is that I was never able to get one at a decent price. It wouldn’t have been so bad if one of these vehicles wasn’t the highly desireable update of Cobra’s Stinger Jeep and a brand new Arctic variant of the Hiss Tank. I long ago made my peace with the fact that I probably would never be getting these. And then one day I’m picking through the dreck at Ross’ Toy Department and there they both are… and for about nine bucks each. Um, yeah. Today we’ll take a look at the Arctic Hiss.

The vehicle comes in a largely clear box, sort of like a fishtank package framed in cardboard. It’s the same general package that Hasbro was using for all their 25th Anni. vehicles in this assortment. The interior inserts have a cool animated style arctic motif creating a diorama environment. It’s very nice for showing off the toy, but as you can see from my package, it was pretty fragile. I’m not sure if this was from getting beaten up in retail limbo for the past two years, but thankfully the toy is still packaged well so as not to get easily damaged when the box is distressed. The back shows off photos of the toy and details its features, while the bottom panel has filecards for both the driver and the vehicle.

This arctic version is a repaint and slight remold of the 25th Anniversary Hiss Tank, which in turn was basically the same as the vintage Hiss Tank only with a remolded cockpit to make it roomier for the larger modern-style Joe figures. Apart from the obvious white deco, the other most noticeable difference is that the traditional dual cannon has been removed from the turret and replaced with a missile launcher. The missile rack and missiles are exactly the same parts used for the Cobra Stinger.

The other change is the added parts on the sides. There is a rectangular collar piece that is fitted to lay around the top of the vehicle. The collar has notches in it where you can hang the equipment rack and the bedroll. They can be removed or hung on either side. The bedroll is just a molded piece of plastic, but it still looks pretty nice when put in place.

One of the really cool things about the variant parts on this Hiss Tank is that all of them are compatible with the regular Hiss. You can swap out the missile rack and hang the equipment collar, offering a number of options for customizing.

There’s not much to say about the paint deco on this toy. It’s basically molded in black and white and it makes for a striking combination, but apart from that there aren’t any actual paint apps. There are Cobra emblem stickers already applied, as well as a HUD sticker on the windshield, plus you get a sheet of stickers to put on yourself. Hasbro even included a bunch of numbers so that you can customize the ID number of your particular Hiss.

The Arctic Hiss comes with a Hiss Driver figure, which is repaint of the 25th Anni. Snow Serpent with different legs below the knee and a repaint of the regular Hiss Driver’s head. It makes for a nice figure and the new paint job is very cool indeed. The tiny gold paint apps on the buckles of his webgear is particularly amazing for such a seemingly insignificant little detail. His uniform is white with black fur bracers on his arms and black webgear. He comes with a personalized figure stand, a pair of binoculars and an assault rifle.

I don’t tend to go all ga-ga over Arctic themed vehicles in the Joe line, mainly because I don’t tend to buy a lot of the Arctic themed figures to go with them. That having been said, I’m pretty happy with this purchase. But at $8.99 how could I not be? The figure alone was pretty much worth the price of admission. And while I wasn’t planning on picking up many of the Pursuit of Cobra carded figures, I think I’m going to have to break down and buy that Arctic Destro just for this Hiss.

I’ll be back soon with a look at the Cobra Stinger.

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