G.I. Joe: The Pursuit of Cobra HISS Scout

I've made no secret of the fact that if these Wave 3 Alpha vehicles never got released, Ashiko would be the most glaring point of contention among collectors. A very novel concept, a pretty neat looking motorcycle and an interesting new character certainly would have been lacking among collections. However, I did not feel that way when it came to the HISS Scout. I never really understood the appeal of this little vehicle... but then I got one.

I hate to say it, but this thing is pretty damn cool. I'm not sure why or what it is, but something about it just reminds me of the "good old days". Back during the Real American Hero there were always very bizarre conceptual vehicles that made almost no sense, but were still fun to tool around with.

Stuff like the Pogo, the Buzz Boar, and the Recon Sled were all these strange little vehicles that you couldn't really explain, yet had a certain play value. For whatever reason the HISS Scout falls right into that category for me.

It is essentially a large pair of HISS treads (which actually move... awesome!) a sleek little cockpit, and a laser gun mounted on top. In fact, it's the same very cool gun that is mounted on the Ice Cutter, which gives it a great sense of consistency and makes it a neat companion vehicle for that one, I think.

Really, when talking about the vehicle itself, there isn't much to talk about. I mentioned the very cool movable turrets, I've mentioned the great, sleek cockpit with two nicely detailed joysticks, and I already mentioned the well-designed and great looking twin-barrel cannon, which is nicely poseable on the multi-jointed mount. Add that to the great, deep "Cobra" blue color of the vehicle's surface, and you essentially know everything there is to know.

Well, sort of.

One thing that was advertised with this vehicle was the ability for it to form a junction with the full-sized Cobra HISS from the Pursuit of Cobra. The purpose of this junction was never really fully revealed, and the end result is we have to kind of figure out what they were talking about. Well, it is obvious where the two vehicles join, but it's not so obvious what the point of that join is. The two slots at the front of the HISS Scout are perfectly placed to hook up to the tabs on the rear of its bigger brother, and they fit together seamlessly. However, the result of the junction is that the HISS is so rear-heavy it cannot even stand upright in either mode. So you have a strange tipped-back HISS with the HISS Scout hanging off the back and no real idea what the purpose of this strange joining is. I really don't get it. But hey, in the end, it's just a little added feature, so I guess I can't take toomuch away for that.

HISS Driver

If I have any major complaints about the HISS Scout, it's the HISS Driver. I mean, all in all, it's a fine figure, and just a basic repaint of the original, but it is still pretty uninspired. Unlike most Pursuit of Cobra drivers, which have all had a great element of frankensteined parts, this HISS Driver is just a dark blue and black repaint of the 25th Anniversary HISS Driver. Honestly? Pretty boring.

Don't get me wrong, generally the HISS Driver is a great figure, but this one just doesn't wow me.

Yes the above picture is a picture of all of the accessories that come with the HISS Driver. The pistol. That's it. No stand, no other gear, just the standard HISS Driver pistol, which fits neatly into the driver's holster. Granted, by and large the vehicle is the showpiece, but it would still be nice to see a little assortment of weaponry besides a single pistol.

Back in the 25th Anniversary line, the HISS Driver was a very nice figure. Here in the Pursuit of Cobra, he doesn't carry that same weight, and is a let down when it comes to this vehicle.

Beyond the shoddy driver, though, I was surprisingly impressed with the vehicle as a whole. Something that I initially thought would only be a cockpit slapped between two treads really appealed to me in a very "vintage" way. I think the concept of this being a "Scout" which goes ahead to scout out an area really works, and the sacrifice of armor for greater speed makes sense. The vehicle is small, dangerous, and just plain fun. I dig it.