G.I. Joe Spy Troops Exclusives - Toys "R" Us AWE Striker
The AWE Striker is, at this point, a staple in the G.I. Joe universe. The small fast attack buggy has been around in various forms since 1985 and is still going strong today, not looking at all dated, surprisingly enough.
In 1985 we got one in olive drab green, perfect for the Joe team. A second one released in 2001 came out in a nice black color, also perfect for it's apparent night-attack purpose. So how can you improve on those paint schemes? How can you make something in green and then in black better, or more effective? Well, I don't know how you do it, but Hasbro did it. They took the AWE Striker, a vehicle almost twenty years old, and made it new and very cool again.
As much as I defend the new G.I. Joe stuff being released...as much as I really enjoy what Hasbro is doing with G.I. Joe Vs. COBRA, even I can see the shortcomings in the recent outcroppings of substandard vehicle designs. Forgoing strict military realism for a clunkier, chunkier body design is all well and good, but you don't realize how cool those classics are until you see a fresh take non them, like we have here, and this is one GREAT fresh take!
The design is smooth and sleek, and is the ultimate antithesis of "clunky and chunky". It's a speedy little buggy, as it should be, and retains a terrific sense of military realism, yet with its working suspension and sound attack weapon still maintains a good level of playability.
But that's not where this particular rendition of this vehicle shines...this AWE Striker is all about the paint scheme. Decked out in some wicked urban/night ops camoflage, this is THE AWE Striker I will use, if I only can use one. Everyone knows I'm all about color...all green and all black are very cool, but man, throw some great camo scheme at me, and I love it. I loved the TRU Conquest, and I LOVE the look of this.
I don't think I need to dwell on the vehicle design too much. Everyone knows about the AWE Striker. They know it's place in G.I. Joe history, and I'm happy to report that this version extends it, it doesn't leave it with a black mark. "But what about Sound Attack??" you say? Certainly that aweful gimmick doesn't belong on one of our classic vehicles does it? Well, don't hit me, but I actually really enjoy the application of the sound attack here. First of all, they bury the box itself under the engine cover in back, so you don't even see it. Secondly, the design of the gun itself, the same one from the Conquest and the Rattler, really looks great on top of the Striker. It looks like a nice heavy attack machine gun and I think fits perfectly! All in all, it looks like it should be a part of it, and doesn't stick out like a sore thumb. But for those of you who are purists, and only want the classic look, there's good news. You can pop that sound attack gun right off, grab the weapon from the 2001 AWE Striker-- it fits right on there, and looks great.
But there is an unfortunate downfall. The figure that comes with this AWE Striker is exactly the same as the Dial Tone from the BJ's 8-pack. I mean EXACTLY. No difference as far as my uneducated eye can tell. Granted, I do like the figure...very cool color scheme that integrates well with the figure design...but I bought three of the BJ's packs, I really don't need a fourth Dial Tone.
Now overall, is this vehicle worth the purchase? Without a doubt. It's a great new update to a terrific, classic Joe piece. Even if you have every version of the Striker released to date, pick this one up, you will definitely not be disappointed.
New AWE with the classic weapon. Even though I like the Sound Attack gun, this one still looks pretty cool!
The BJ's Dial Tone and the AWE Striker Dial Tone. See any differences between them?
Me either. :(
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