G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra Dragonhawk w/ Wild Bill

I still can't believe I haven't reviewed this one yet.

In fact, not only have I not reviewed it, I'm still having a hard time in my head figuring out whether or not I like this thing. Ultimately, I do, but I can't argue with the masses that it would be even cooler as a larger assault craft.

Really, I don't mind the whole miniature attack copter idea. I absolutely LOVED the Locust as a kid, and really still do. The idea of a tiny little one-man attack copter is very cool, and I can really see this thing buzzing around the battlefield, adeptly dodging rockets and pelting Cobra vehicles and ground troops with return fire.

I would like to apply the same logic to the Dragonhawk, but truth be told from a design perspective, the Locust was obviously designed from the ground up as a small little "zippy" attack copter, while the Dragonhawk was designed as a full on assault chopper in the vein of the Apache, and having it crammed into such a tiny package just leaves me wanting more.

As something perhaps 20% larger, this vehicle would be awesome! It would be a fantastic sloped-armor, feature-rich, nicely designed attack helicopter. I would have no problems sitting it in my motor pool next to greats like the Night Attack Chopper, the Tomahawk, or the Dragonfly, but in its current state, it looks too fully-sized to really fit as a small form factor copter, yet is too small to work alongside its bigger brothers. It's stuck somewhere in the middle. It really is a shame, because the vehicle itself is a very nice design with some pretty cool features, but it just fails to capture a real sense of power or energy at this size.

Trying to put aside the issues of size for a minute, the detail on the sculpted panels is impressive. This vehicle looks like it could take some punishment and keep on coming. I love the design of the rotors, the angular armored surface, and the pop-out rocket launchers on each side. These are all very cool features that lend themselves to cool battle scenarios. I absolutely detest the chin-mounted machine gun. I hate that it's permanently stuck at a 45 degree angle, and doesn't even turn to track targets. This is about the only design flaw I can come up with, however, though adding more offensive weaponry would certainly have been a nice benefit.

The shade of green is nice, and from tip to tail, it looks excellent as a Joe vehicle, but because of some size issues and weapon deficiencies, in the end it can't get a very high recommendation from me.

Wild Bill

Wild Bill was a figure everyone was looking forward to in the Anniversary line, but once it was released, the tiny head and skewed proportions left a lot of fans cold (myself included). Well, the proportion issues are still fairly evident in the Rise of Cobra version, however, they did scale and retool the head, which was a really impressive fix. It totally changes the perspective of the figure.

No longer does Wild Bill look like a ridiculous pinhead, but now he's actually a pretty decent looking update to the classic version.

The body itself is mostly a repaint of Wild Bill from the Anniversary line, and I really like the way they did it. Sure, he's a sight different from the classic version, who had a much more traditional look to him (especially with the offset paint apps on the legs and the lack of oversized holsters on his thighs).

His updated flight vest is simply fantastic, with a wealth of cool detail sculpted there, though much of the detail is lost because it's simply colored flat black with no real trim or interesting accents.

Wild bill comes with his familiar cowboy hat as well as the vest, but honestly not a whole heck of a lot else. Really, that's okay, as the Dragonhawk is a pretty full sized accessory in and of itself.

I want to love the Dragonhawk...I really do. It has such potential and some really awesome design aesthetics. But in the end, the small size and barebones armament take their toll, and it ends up being something that can only get a modest recommendation, and then only if you can find it at discount prices. It's coming to a point where you wonder if Hasbro can even bother continuing to produce new vehicles for the Bravo price point. Too often size or features get sacrificed, and you end up with something less than great for a more than insignificant price.


Boxed images courtesy of YoJoe.com