I’ve never been a huge fan of the Water Moccasin in general, though I know it’s considered by many to be a vintage classic Cobra vehicle. For my money, I’ll take the Moray Hydrofoil over the Water Moccasin every day, and yes I realize they perform different functions, but the Moccasin was just never real high on my “must play with” list, even as a kid. In fact, I never even bought the 25th Anniversary re-tool, nor did I buy the Rise of Cobra update, OR the Convention exclusive from 2011. Weird. I don’t think it was even by design, it’s just kind of worked out that way.
So, even though they started re-releasing Water Moccasins like 6 or 7 years ago, this is the first one I’ve really gotten my hands on. I think Hasbro did a great job on the retool for this vehicle, giving it a bit more bulk and more functional rear wind vanes, as well as a larger cockpit and the general modern robustness that you can expect with these newly tooled vintage inspired vehicles.
Honestly, I like this vehicle more than I thought I might. It feels larger, heavier, and more solid in my hands, especially compared to the old school Water Moccasin, and there is a sense of feel component to toys that is important.
The deco is inspired by the vintage Tiger Shark, which was a repainted Water Moccasin, something that both Tiger Force and Python Patrol were known for. While they didn’t exist purely on vehicles from the other side, they certainly made liberal use of them. Tiger Force had the Tiger Rat, Tiger Shark, and Tiger Paw, while Python Patrol had the Conquest. In that frame of reference it’s not too difficult to see where this updated Tiger Shark fits in.
Looking immaculately like its vintage counterpart (for better or worse) the Collectors Club translated the retooled vehicle for Tiger Force quite well, honestly.
As for the driver… the Club has said many times that they try and squeeze in some foreign characters whenever they can, and instead of giving us Dusty, they gave us Felino, who is a South American repaint. Unlike Dusty, Felino has the unique green Tiger Force pattern from neck to ankle (kind of like the Toys “R” Us Jinx) instead of the plain green pants. The result is a figure that could pass for Tiger Force Dusty in a display if you wanted to, or you can just use him as Felino, however you so choose.
It’s an interesting choice, and honestly, part of me wonders if they went this route because of the fabric on the helmet. I can imagine that might be a difficult manufacturing technique, and while Tiger Force Dusty has it, Felino does not, so maybe that played into their decision to go with Felino instead? Who knows, but ultimately I don’t think it’s a huge deal either way.
The figure is fine overall. Dusty is a decent 25th Anniversary figure, though the lack of range of motion in the arms has always bugged me. Felino’s legs are not the same legs as traditional Dusty, instead looking to be Ace’s legs, which is okay, they still match fine and don’t stand out too much.
As mentioned, Felino has the full uniform deco, which works fine for me as well, an appealing green and yellow triped Tiger Force look that is a nice departure from the more traditional vintage deco. It’s funny, but the similarity between this figure and Jinx never really resonated before, and now that I see this I can get a much better idea of Jinx’s place on the team as well. Nice touch.
Felino comes with many of the typical Dusty accessories, including the harness, machine gun with bipod, and removable helmet. Nothing staggering, but a nice group of functional weapons that suit the character well.
Listen, I’m not a huge fan of the Water Moccasin, and I’m not a huge fan of Tiger Force, so I think folks can understand if I’m not a huge fan of the Tiger Shark. You can buy a vintage one on eBay for a fraction of the price.
That being said, I cannot argue with the execution, and the Club did what they set out to do. Their mission was to make a new version of the classic Tiger Shark, and they did that well. Spicing up the driver by making it a foreign character was icing on the cake. I’m not sure it’s a Convention item I feel like I have to have, but for those folks who are into it, they did a nice job and I can see it drawing some after market interest.