BTR-Ticles: Cobra H.I.S.S.
The H.I.S.S. was part of Built to Rule series 2, released in a limited test market in 2004.
The primary mode of the H.I.S.S. is a 6-wheeled, high-speed tank with an elevated cockpit and a rear turret. In other words: a HISS tank. The H.I.S.S. is arguably the only popular vehicle from the main toy line that made it into the BTR lineup with its design and name intact.
The set features a dual-swivel platform that facilitates simultaneous rotation of the twin missile launchers from a thumbwheel at the rear of the tank. Notable parts featured in the set include the transparent grey canopy, the black cockpit, the black rubber treads, the angled support bricks in dark grey, the axle bricks in black, and the axle pins in dark grey.
The included figure is the commander of Cobra forces, Cobra Commander. Based on Cobra Commander’s 2003 Spy Troops figure, the BTR figure features O-ring construction. The figure includes a flexible molded uniform “skirt” waist piece that improves the look of the figure but limits the figure’s leg articulation.
Like that of the Spy Troops figure upon which it was based, the skirt piece features an open holster, though it is narrower on the BTR version. A narrow weapon, such as the pistol from the 2011 Renegades Cobra Commander figure, is a good fit for the holster.
One more distinction sets Cobra Commander apart: while all of the other figures feature the BTR logo on their arm and leg studs, Cobra Commander’s studs are emblazoned with the Cobra sigil. It’s a small but impressive touch that gives the figure added style.
The H.I.S.S.’s secondary mode, like those of all series 2 sets, is named neither in the instructions nor on the box. It’s a fast-looking tracked vehicle with a cockpit and spoiler at the rear and what appears to be a turbine engine intake at the front.
With the included parts, it is possible to approximate the design of the Cobra ASP anti-aircraft gun from 1984.
The builder can create a design somewhat reminiscent of the Cobra Water Moccasin from 1984.
The set includes four sloped panel pieces, two of which feature printed Cobra sigils. These lend themselves to the creation of a small Cobra throne…
…or a larger one.
The builder can construct a podium for Cobra Commander’s colorful public appearances.
The structural nature of the parts makes it possible to create a defensive position reminiscent of the 1985 Cobra Bunker and 1986 Cobra Surveillance Port.
The cockpit piece, missile launchers, and wheels make it possible to create a design inspired by Cobra’s unconventional 1986 STUN attack vehicle.