GeneralsJoes Reviews 50th Anniversary “Silent Strike” Boxed Set

Lots of folks have been asking when I’m going to get the 50th Anniversary reviews under way… consider today the day!

First and foremost I’m tackling the Silent Strike boxed set featuring the Skystriker w/ Capt. Ace & Sightline vs. the COBRA HISS w/ HISS Driver and HISS Gunner.

This set is available right now from Big Bad Toy Store, and was one of my most anticipated 50th Anniversary items. So did it live up to expectations?

Find out on my 50th Anniversary Review Page, or click the links below directly.

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G.I. Joe 50th Anniversary Silent Strike HISS w/ HISS Driver and HISS Gunner

Get this item NOW at Big Bad Toy Store!

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The “battle in a box” concept is alive and well with Hasbro’s new G.I. Joe 50th Anniversary line, and that concept works really nicely with this large boxed set.  One of the most anticipated entries in this year’s release, the Silent Strike set has something for everyone, featuring two timeless vehicles, army builders, a new character, and an interesting new twist with Wolf Squad.

I found myself really enjoying the G.I. Joe parts of Silent Strike…but the COBRA parts?  Well, I wasn’t quite as fired up about those, for a variety of reasons.

COBRA HISS

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When it comes to landmark COBRA vehicles, the HISS Tank leads the way as being one of the most identifiable.  That makes it somewhat interesting that for this round of the 50th Anniversary, we were actually exposed to the G.I. Joe CHIMERA before we got our hands on the actual COBRA HISS.  Though I think some folks would argue whether or not this version of the venerable COBRA High Speed Sentry really is the familiar, distinct HISS Tank.  It does, after all, more resemble the Eco Warriors Septic Tank from a color scheme perspective.

I don’t have a huge issue with Hasbro going this way with the new HISS.  After all, we’ve seen black HISS Tanks, blue HISS Tanks, red HISS Tanks, even brown and green HISS Tanks, pretty much all colors and styles over the past 7 or 8 years.  We haven’t, however, seen an orange HISS since the 90s (well, unless you count the Collectors’ Club Convention exclusive from a couple of years ago).  Considering many fans have latched onto the Hazard Vipers as a part of COBRA’s place in the Zombie apocalypse, perhaps it makes a certain amount of sense to work one of these new technically advanced HISS Tanks into the Hazard Viper corps.

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The base vehicle is the same HISS as we’ve been seeing since 1984, which is fine, although not especially new or different.  Like the CHIMERA, the turret is a nicely new tooled rail gun system, which manages to retain the classic look and feel, but add some new twists, something that HISS turret upgrades have pretty much failed to do since the 1989 HISS II.  For that reason alone, this update to the timeless vehicle has something to appreciate.  The rail gun system is extremely easy to detach and re-attach to a vintage or 25th Anniversary HISS as well, so you can equip your classic black tanks with these great gun upgrades whenever you want.

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As mentioned the deco leans heavily towards the Eco Warrior orange template, with some nicely applied paint and decals bringing the vehicle to life.  I’ve never been one to shrink away from bright colors, so the orange doesn’t bother me a whole lot (though I can’t help but think the vehicle might have looked better in a nice dark COBRA blue, a color I’m not sure the original HISS has ever appeared in).

COBRA HISS Driver & HISS Gunner

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HISS Gunner50th-Anniversary-Silent-Strike-HISS-Driver-HISS-Gunner (15)

 

I’m not quite sure how to rationalize this pair, but I am reviewing them as a pair just because they’re so similar in design.

From a build standpoint, they’re both designed to mimic the Pursuit of Cobra rendition of the COBRA HISS Driver, only the gunner utilizes Night Viper’s legs rather than the Battle Armor COBRA Commander.  And yes, I’m labelling him the gunner simply because if we look at the HISS Driver as a straight repaint of the existing HISS Driver, it only makes sense for the one that has a slightly different build to be the new Trooper character.  Some confusion has been generated by press photos and such, but in my mind, it only makes sense to look at it this way.  Not to mention the actual box itself as the name lined up with the figure build in a pretty clear way.

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The figures use the 25th Anniversary HISS Driver head with the Battle Armor COBRA Commander torso and arms.  As mentioned, the gunner has the Night Viper legs.  The build is okay, I guess.  To be honest I wasn’t a huge fan of it in the Pursuit of Cobra days (it seemed like one of the few design missteps in those formative years) and it doesn’t really light my fire here either.  I mean, it’s okay, but in a set where I was heaping loads of praise on Ace for being able to exist as a vehicle pilot as well as an awesome individual figure, it’s only fair to point out that the HISS Driver and Gunner don’t really measure up the same way.

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Both figures are mostly orange, and while I don’t mind the colors necessarily, I’m not a big fan of the way they’re applied.  There aren’t many detail breaks here, just a huge swath of orange, with random bits of metallic gray/silver and black.  No particular rhyme or reason to the way the colors are applied.  That holds true for both figures, even with the different legs of the gunner.  As I said previously, I don’t shy away from bright colors, I just want the colors to make sense, and in some places here they really don’t.  Some additional paint apps on the armor pieces or in other trim locations would definitely help.  I think we all realize much of the production here was on a shoestring budget, so it’s understandable that the paint applications suffer here and there…and frankly, if they’re going to cut paint apps anywhere, I’d prefer it’s on figures where they’re covered by armor, or where they’re going to be stuck in a vehicle anyway.

Accessories

HISS Driver Accessories

HISS Gunner Accessories

Both the Driver and the Gunner come with mostly the same gear load out.  The silver vest (that originally came with Pilot Destro), a pistol, and a laser-type weapon.  The Gunner comes with a larger pulse rifle that originally came with Rise of COBRA Baroness while the Driver comes with the G.I. Joe: Retaliation Snake Eyes weapon.

The gear is fine, if somewhat unremarkable.  I love the pistols, though the tight trigger guard prevents some really nice holding and trigger firing poses.

HISS Driver w/ GearHISS Gunner w/ Gear

Out of the entire Silent Strike set, the two HISS Troopers are definitely the low light.  I do like the fact that Hasbro has finally thought to provide us with an actual gunner for the HISS Tank, but the build is pretty blah and I’m not a fan of the color concepts or paint applications.

 

While I pretty much love the G.I. Joe side of this boxed set, the COBRA side overall leaves me somewhat cold.  I enjoyed the G.I. Joe CHIMERA more than I thought I would, but it does make me feel a bit like the HISS here is a “been there, done that”.  I think some more effective COBRA themed colors would have helped.  The HISS Driver and Gunner also don’t do it any favors.  The set overall is worth a purchase simply because of the great G.I. Joe gear (and folks who haven’t gotten the ComicCon set will get their first exposure to the great new rail guns for the HISS) but I could think of some changes on the COBRA side I would have much preferred.

Amazon Exclusive “Mini Light & Sound HISS Tank” is now in stock!

Quite a while ago, we spotlighted a strange entry on Amazon.com for a Mini HISS w/ Light & Sound, and now those same HISS Tanks appear to be in stock and shipping! Twitter user Page Warner reports receipt of the item along with some great pictures. It features real machine gun sounds and two light up cannons.

Check this bad boy out now on Amazon.com or click the banner below.

Interesting new “Deluxe mini light and sound HISS Tank” for pre-order at Amazon

Well, this is certainly an interesting little item.

Up on Amazon.com there is a pre-order for a G.I. Joe: Cobra H.I.S.S. Tank: Includes Light & Sound!
made by Running Press Miniature Editions.  They apparently design and market miniatures of pop culture brands.  Looks like G.I. Joe (and Cobra) have officially fallen within their wheelhouse.  This kit also comes with a mysterious 48 page illustrated book.  Curiouser and curiouser…

Pre-Order this bad boy on Amazon
.  I know I will.

G.I. Joe: Retaliation items on sale at Entertainment Earth – Wave 2 included!

Looks like the product trickle might be starting…  here’s hoping it becomes a flood soon.  Entertainment Earth now has some of the second wave G.I. Joe: Retaliation product in stock!  Check out the links below to grab ’em up!

The Wave 2 set includes the HISS Tank and the brand-spanking new Ninja Commando 4×4 using the 30th Anniversary VAMP tooling.

Official press images for SDCC Exclusive Shockwave HISS and Jinx

Hasbro PR has made available the press images for upcoming San Diego ComicCon Exclusive “Shockwave” HISS Tank w/ Destro and Constructicon B.A.T. as well as Kim “Jinx” Arashikage in both her regular red uniform and in the variant white uniform.  Along with the press images, we get our first official looks at the box art for Shockwave and the card art for both Jinx figures.

Of note, according to GeneralsJoes Twitter friend Twitziller, the Jinx card art may represent the first time a 25th homage figure was released with “digital” explosion background.  Someone feel free to correct us if we’re wrong, but I can’t seem to remember another figure using that.

Check out the official images below, and if you want to see what I thought of the upcoming SDCC Jinx figures check out the main release review right here and the white uniform variant right here.

Cobra Special Forces Facebook Page gives a look at G.I. Joe: Retaliation HISS

The Cobra Special Forces Facebook page is quickly becoming the place to be for seeing some great new images from G.I. Joe: Retaliation.  We’ve already seen some awesome Cobra Trooper images, Firefly, and of course Cobra Commander, so it only seemed right that we now get a good look at the Cobra motor pool!

Behold… the Cobra HISS!

Uhhh… AWESOME.

Just what was that vehicle in the G.I. Joe: Retaliation trailer?

I think most folks assumed when that vehicle came roaring through the flames that it was some sort of movie universe “HISS” Tank.  But is it really?

Thanks to The Terror Drome Twitter account, we find out that the makers of this mysterious vehicle, Howe & Howe Technologies have a feature on it on their site, and they appear to be calling it “The Ripsaw”.

Is that their own name?  Could it still be called “The HISS” within the film, or is this something completely separate from your more standard HISS Tank?  Something tells me that this isn’t a HISS, and this turns out to be something else.  It almost looks too small to be a dangerous COBRA offensive vehicle, but I guess time will tell.  Until then, check out Howe & Howe Technologies and see just what this Ripsaw is all about.

Armored HISS Canopy available from Yetibrew Design

I’ve been talking about Yetibrew Design and Shapeways for a while at this point, and I’m going to keep talking about them for a little while longer, because they’ve just completed their work on the much talked about Armored HISS Canopy!

If anyone has had any complaints about the HISS it’s that the driver is pretty vulnerable up there in the cockpit with only a slim piece of glass protecting him from enemy fire.  Well, NO LONGER.

Thanks to the awesome 3D Printing abilities of Shapeways, Yetibrew Designs has created an armored HISS Canopy to better protect your precious HISS Drivers as they launch into battle.

As of this posting, he only has the canopies designed to fit the 25th Anniversary style of HISS Tank, but he is working on the vintage ones as we speak.  Check out the mirrored images below and follow the link to get your own!

GeneralsJoes Reviews G.I. Joe: The Pursuit of Cobra Black H.I.S.S.

Well, it’s kind of a review.  Since there wasn’t much that changed (other than the color) I didn’t necessarily go real deep into it, but I did talk about some of the differences of the two and of course included a bunch of pictures.

Check out the Pursuit of Cobra Review Page, or just check out the review directly right here.