G.I. Joe: ARAHC - AWE Striker

Well, it took quite a while, but I was finally able to locate a stash of AWE Strikers, so I could satisfy my need for a couple of them. I am amazed at how early my local TRUs get some Joe stuff, but how late they get others. But I have them, and that's all that matters! On to the review:

The AWE Striker was a vehicle I always loved as a kid. The minute I got it, the poor Vamp got relegated to the drawer of unused toys, and to this day I continue to use the 'Striker with joy. Of course, my original version is now beat beyond recognition, which is why I am thrilled to see this new version appear! And what a version it is!!! Even if my original was mint and complete, I think this newer AWE would still get precedent in my playtime. It's just THAT cool!

All righty then...

Presentation: Well, similar to all the other Joe items out there, the boxart is very dramatic and eye catching. The actual art on this one is a little odd, portraying Duke and Pathfinder as vein pumped muscle bound superhumans, but still, the action is dynamic and the colors are great! Pathfinder is well displayed and the overall presentation is good.

Assembly: Assembly was a joy as always, the thrill of "creating" this new Joe vehicle brought back with great effect. All pieces snapped together easily and well and I had no issues with building the item itself. Some issues did come up with the stickers, though. In a few places, the stickers are meant to curl around a curved surface, but it just didn't work. Whether the sticker stock is too stiff, I'm not sure, but my many efforts were foiled by the sticker resuming it's normal shape and falling from it's location. In retrospect, though, it does nothing to take away from the actual product. Good grades on assembly!

Construction: Old school all the way!! While I LOVE the new Joe figures, it's the vehicles that REALLY shine. They are as tough and rugged as the originals and it would take a LOT to hurt this thing. The antennas are fragile, of course, but the wheels roll beautifully, the gun moves well and the suspension is nice.

Playability: Now this is where it really counts! This thing is a BLAST to play with!!! From rolling it along the carpet, to running over hapless Cobras, to taking on the HISS Tank itself, the Striker is the Joes primary small ground assault vehicle! Sorry, Vamp, but this one rules the battlefield. It can jump, land great with the suspension and fit four figures in there. Downright perfect.

Color Scheme: Couldn't be better. The black is AWESOME! An all purpose color, to be sure. It makes the Striker a great night assault vehicle in any environment, but if so wished, it can also easily be converted to Cobra. This is the only possible color better than dark olive green that I could think of, and Hasbro did it! Yeah!! One thing to note, is that there are many little light flecks of paint all over the Striker. In my opinion, this does NOT take away at all, it only adds to the "texture". Great little feature.

All in all, the AWE is just a shade ahead of the Locust for best Joe vehicle rerelease. I love it and will use it a LOT! Be sure to look for it in my later episodes of my diostory, Power Struggle, you can be assured it will show up there.

Just in case you haven't seen any, here are some pics of my new AWE Striker.