Saturday, March 12, 2011

REVIEW: GI Joe: Pursuit of Cobra - Cobra HISS Tank with Hiss Tank Driver - Black Edition

Cobra HISS Tank with HISS Tank Driver | Produced by Hasbro
Released July 2010

No, your eyes are not playing tricks on you - the HISS Tank has already been Reviewed at That Figures. Why then, you're probably asking yourself, is there another Review? The answer is simple: this is the black ''as intended'' version of the Cobra tank, which has recently started appearing on shelves.

Click through for details.

The Black HISS Tank?
As we previously covered in the original HISS Tank Review, the vehicle was released in a dirty brown/purple colour scheme, with grey accents/accessories. The story goes that this was never the intended design and it was always supposed to be released in black.

How true that is, I don't know. But what I do know is that Ross Dress For Less (an overstock outlet that's recently started carrying a number of previously-unreleased GI Joe toys) are selling HISS Tanks for $11.99 and - so far - everybody who's scored one has found that the vehicle within is the black version. Presumably Hasbro produced a corrected run of HISS Tanks that ended-up not being shipped to the usual outlets, hence their presence in Ross and our good fortune.

Finding a Black HISS Tank
If you find yourself with a boxed HISS Tank in-hand and want to know if it's the brown or black version (remember it comes blind-boxed) then there's a method that - so far - has proven to work. Check the bottom of the box at the bottom right corner. You'll see a code embossed into the cardboard of the packaging.

If this number is 02381 or higher, it should be a black HISS Tank (unless Hasbro change the production codes or somebody switches the contents of the box.)

The HISS Tank
The black HISS Tank is identical to the original, save for the colour-scheme, so for a more in-depth look, please consult the original Review.

As for the new colouring, it's superb. The HISS Tank looks so much more menacing and lifelike when produced in black plastic. The plainly-produced, unadorned paneling - that looked very plastic-y in the original colouring - now looks like some kind of light-absorbent stealth paint. And the red decals really pop against the black.

I especially like the way everything - and I mean everything - now matches. Whereas the original was a mashup of brown, grey and red, the black HISS Tank is completely black.  How much more black could this be? And the answer is none. None more black.

And it looks fantastic for it.

Final Thoughts
The original HISS Tank was a fun vehicle, despite it's flaws. Although the black HISS Tank shares those same design faults, the new colouring really pops. The fact that the HISS Tank has no extra paint or colour-detail doesn't matter - the flat-black colouring just looks great and is a massive improvement over the original. If you're considering buying your first HISS Tank, try if you can to find this version, as it's a great improvement over the original. And if you have a brown HISS Tank and find yourself wondering if the black version is worth it, the answer is a resounding yes, especially at the sub-$12 price point.

Cobra HISS Tank Driver

Production QualityB-
Final ScoreB-

Cobra HISS Tank
Production QualityB-
Final ScoreA-

Final ScoreA-

Image Gallery
Note: the images without the flash do not really show-off the black colouring, but those with the flash may be a little over-exposed. I've provided sets of photographs taken with and without flash photography to allow you to view both.


  1. Sweet, the only reason I passed on the first release was the color scheme. I will need to keep an eye out for these and also check out Ross.

  2. Ross are selling a ton of overstock Rise of Cobra stuff, including a wave of Deluxe Figures that weren't released in the US. You just have to be ready to wade through the stock and dig around, as sometimes stuff is just kind of piled on the shelves.

    And like I say, just check the serial number on the bottom just to be sure...

  3. ya know the thing about the hiss tanks is that they look really good but as far practical military application they make no sense design wise. a forward cockpit area with a glass canopy is just a good idea for any sort of armored vehicle.

  4. Yeah, I get the impression somebody was looking to produce a helicopter and then was given the word that they needed a tank instead, so they took that gunship body and added wheels...

  5. Having owned a original HISS Tank as a kid this one caught my interest when i saw it in the stores but i passed as am only really collecting the Action Figures themselves.

  6. I'm a sucker for vehicles. I think it's from my Micronauts days. It's a cool toy nevertheless but I am rapidly running-out of display space thanks to my Joe vehicles.

  7. One of the reasons am staying away from the Joe vehicles if i can but if i run across a Trouble Bubble new or old i might just have to buy one as there are my favorites lol.


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