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

Ah, Ross... Ross, Ross, Ross. You're a mean-spirited ole wench.

Over the past few months, Ross has become synonomous with G.I. Joe close outs, including the lost third wave of Alpha vehicles, the Cobra Sand Serpent, and now, the elusive Black H.I.S.S. Tank. However, as much of a mecca as Ross is, it's also not exactly widespread, and many folks don't have one locally (myself included).

Thankfully, I have friends in high places, and my buddy Phil from YoJoe.com was able to give me the old hook up with this (along with the Sand Serpent and an alpha vehicle). What folks want to pay attention to is the date code on the box. That will help you decide which version you're getting:

I added the blue numbers for clarification

As far as I remember with the date codes, the format is essentially, the first number is the year, the next numbers are the day, and the last number is the "warehouse". So this particular HISS was boxed on the 239th day of 2010. And from what I can tell from this thread on HissTank.com, any of these that you find with a date code after 02381 should be the black one.

It's going to be tough to do a full blown review of this, just because it's largely the same vehicle as we already got, but as much as I enjoyed the original PoC H.I.S.S., this one is amazingly improved simply by adding a new coat of paint. Perhaps it's because the HISS is meant to be in black, or maybe just because black doesn't relegate the HISS to a specific environment (the same way that brown does) but this new color scheme is a massive improvement over the original.

Without diving too deeply into it, Hasbro totally revamped the color scheme entirely, not just slapping some black on the vehicle, but also tooling the weapons in different colors, and even making adjustments to the sticker sheets and the instructions.

The one thing I wish they had done differently is to give the driver a new color scheme, too...the brown uniform just doesn't mesh with this new black.

I loved the original PoC H.I.S.S., even more than I think a lot of other Joefans did, but as much as I loved it, seeing it here in black really does showcase just how unfortunate it was that the more widespread release received the shoddier paint scheme. Hopefully anyone who wants a black one is able to get it.


See the original instructions here.