G.I. Joe Spy Troops Vehicles - Smokescreen

Now, now, bear with me...I know what you're thinking...another substandard Hasbro vehicle. Another strange looking wheeled machine that looks like it came from Hasbro's Playskool factory instead of their G.I. Joe War Machine...

Is this vehicle realistic? Not especially.

Does it have amazing detailing? Nope.

Does it have lots of play value for the kids? Abso-freakin-lutely.

Hasbro is at a crossroads that I don't think we can possibly fathom. They are mass producing a toyline that is supposed to appeal to not only us twenty-somethings that grew up with this stuff, but it must also appeal to the teenagers who are discovering this stuff for the first time...the young adults who just have a passing knowledge of G.I. Joe...and most especially, the kids. Those kids...the kids who love Pokemon, Power Rangers and other strange Japanese imports that us "adults" are forever confused by. These kids who have an attention span of fourteen seconds and three top of line, cutting edge video game systems in their homes. Hasbro must capture their attention without the benefit of a cartoon (yet)...without the benefit of a video game (yet)...and without the benefit of being from Japan...whatever that has to do with it.

So, as such, they need to make items that kids will enjoy. This vehicle is destined to be one of them.

Collectors will argue...this thing looks nothing like the REAL Hummer! Where are the cool weapons?? Why is it so blocky and ugly? All of these things that we complain about, make this vehicle a jem for those parents looking for something for little Johnny. The vehicle is large, rounded, and blocky...but it's tough as nails. This thing is HEAVY and sturdy. No elaborate moving weapons to snap off or lose. Not only that, but it makes noise depending on what weapon you put in it...plus, the rear doors open and another vehicle pops out! Sweet!! I can see kids having an absolute BLAST with this vehicle, and this thing is built to take their punishment. Large, heavy thick vehicle, with equally large tires. Not a whole lot of moving parts to break off. This thing is built to be driven down a flight of stairs, and survive the ordeal intact. Try doing THAT with your Snowcat. It might survive, but I'm willing to bet something will break!

So, once I get down to what this vehicle is really about, I kind of dig it. It's a fun one. As you'll see in the pictures, it's something I can bring down into the mud and really play with. The camouflage paint scheme isn't too bad. It's general shape somewhat resembles a Hummer...it's lack of a decent offensive weapon hurts it somewhat, but it has the benefit of a swift assault hovercraft that springs from the back. This thing doesn't look pretty at all...that much I will say...but I dare you to get down in the mud and play with it, and NOT have some fun!

This vehicle will not be featured heavily in my Dio's...although I do have one plan for it already. It will not be seen much mixed in with my VAMPs, Mauler, and Rolling Thunder...it would look silly. But it's fun to play with, and when I have kids, this will probably be one of the first vehicles I give to them. Not only because they'll love it, but also because it'll be tough to break.

Those of you who are collectors merely looking for a cool new vehicle to attack Cobra with, you may want to pass on this one. There isn't a lot of lasting play value for us "older folk". But for those of you with kids...or those of you who still play in the sandbox, you may want to pick this one up...it may surprise you.

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