Buzz Boar (1987)

by KansasBrawler

I figured I’d break up my usual run of figures this time with a small vehicle. As a kid, I always loved the small vehicles. You could pick them up, grab a figure and just start playing. They were also really cheap which meant it didn’t have to be a special occasion to get one from my parents growing up. However, there were still a few random small vehicles that I really liked that I could just never find. Enter the Cobra Buzz Boar—another wacky Cobra vehicle that appealed to my kid brain. However, this neat little vehicle didn’t enter my collection until my birthday in 2011, courtesy of my local comic/action figure shop.

The vehicle itself is pretty simple, with four main pieces for the body (left side, right side, center buzz wheel, and the pilot’s chair) with a very 80s gull-wing door and a pair of small missiles on the left side and a dual-barreled cannon on the right side. While this was an inexpensive and uncomplicated vehicle, the Hasbro design team still gave it a lot of attention. The little detail I honestly love is the raised Cobra sigil on the pivot point for the hatch. A sticker would have sufficed, but the team went the extra mile and molded in a very nice piece to make even that relatively forgettable part of the vehicle look nice. My only real complaint with the vehicle is how the missiles are attached. The fin of each missile slides into a slot on the side of the vehicle and honestly, with my sample, they don’t always fit the nicest. I can’t count the number of times I’ve heard the missiles fall out and hit my worktable when I turned my desk chair too quickly and smacked the chair arm into the table. I realize that this may not be a universal problem with all Cobra Buzz Boars, but mine has that problem and figure I should make a point of it. I also should note that my version came pre-assembled from the comic shop and appears to be missing most of its original stickers for whatever reason. I do think that does make it look a little blander that it probably would otherwise, but I’m still very glad to have added it to my collection, even if it is somewhat incomplete as I later discovered. It’s a very fun looking vehicle and, by virtue of having very few small parts, would have been great for any kid to play with back in the day. The central wheel blade turns quite nicely and freely, and those teeth do look really wicked. The color scheme, while simple, works very well and is pretty classically Cobra. While just from the design, it’s pretty clear it’s not a Joe vehicle, the red, black and gray color scheme also nicely meshes with a lot of Cobra vehicles out there so it doesn’t look out of place working alongside the rest of the Cobra ground forces.

It’s hard to look at the Buzz Boar and keep a straight face. It’s definitely goofy…and I believe it made an appearance in an article on the comedy website Cracked about the worst vehicles in the Joe line which referred to it as something only considered a dangerous weapon if you happen to be the groundskeeper of the G.I. Joe headquarters. However, much like Rob (who reviewed this piece a few months back), I see some real potential. Though the box art shows it more as a tunneling vehicle, I see it as a high-speed attack vehicle designed specifically to disrupt supply trains by tearing up the roads they need to drive across. Tactics may be important to winning a battle, but the logistical support is the key to winning wars. When viewed from that standpoint, the Buzz Boar is a pretty addition to the Cobra arsenal. The role of battlefield disruption also, to me, fits better with its somewhat limited armament. While I can understand how an ambush from below the ground would be served with a pair of small missiles and a gun, it also wouldn’t last very long after said ambush, leaving the Buzz Boar woefully outgunned. However, as a vehicle whose sole purpose is to create problems either well-behind or well in advance of enemy positions, a light compliment of weapons isn’t nearly as problematic as it would largely be pitted against opposition scout vehicle or supply convoys which don’t have as much weaponry as an armed column or fortified position would.

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  1. Neapolitan Joe

    A nice vehicle…I’d see it on Ethernia…

  2. Skymate

    Recently i thought of it as a climbing vehicle. Something that can scale cliffs.

    I know its a stretch but could it have been the inspiration for General Greivious’s wheel bike?

  3. Little Boa

    @ Neapolitan Joe
    Ethernia? Did Eternia & Etheria collide?

    @ KansasBrawler
    Never could find the Buzz Boar? Was that back in 1987/88? I recall it and the Pogo were pretty well stocked, the Road Toad too. Hard to tell if it was them being shelfwarmers or not because a fair chunk of 1987 had the toy industry-wide slowdown leaving a lot of overstock. Later on, Crystal Ball became a visible shelfwarmer, though I don’t recall any vehicle really piling up.

    Anyway, 1987 had some exotic vehicles. I think I outlined some possible uses for it when the regular blogpost on it was posted, like it being great for digging trenches. Of course, if Cobra ever tried to make the world’s largest pizza, the Buzz Boar would be the pizza cutter needed to cut it. It could really cut the cheese!

    I agree on the battlefield disruption. Notice 1987 seems strongly focused on support personnel (trainer Big Boa, security perimeter guard Croc Master, battlefield technician Techno-Viper) and it extends into vehicles too. There was the Road Toad, so why not the Buzz Boar? I would also add if it can dig, it can tear up water pipes. It might even be able to knock down telephone poles and powerlines (the wooden ones) if they can kind of park at an angle and spin (cutting it off at the base). It can also tear up airport runways. That’s a major disruption. if it can cut through rails, it could also cause train derailments.

  4. KansasBrawler

    @ Skymate–The climbing idea is pretty neat, actually. I hadn’t thought that with careful driving (and some willing suspension of disbelief) that could pretty readily climb cliff faces

    @ Little Boa–Yeah, weirdly, I had a Pogo growing up (and loved that vehicle a lot) but I never had the Buzz Boar. I don’t know if it just moved off the shelves really fast where I was, but I don’t ever recall seeing it out there.

  5. Skymate

    @KansasBrawler
    I’ve been studying armoured warfare since i was 14. I only thought of it climbing last night when i was looking at it in Bolormo’s book [my bible]

    Its been twenty years since i last saw the mass device mini series but didnt the Joes use some sort of climbing tank at one point?

  6. KansasBrawler

    @ Skymate
    Yeah, they had some sort of weird climbing platform that all the vehicles were loaded in. I watched the full series a couple years ago and remember that wild idea pretty distinctly. The Buzz Boar climbing a cliff definitely seems a lot more reasonable than the spindly-legged climbers they used there.

  7. Clutch

    I remember most of the 1987 vehicles sitting on the shelves for a lot longer than earlier years, possibly because the line had begun to peak by then.

    The Buzz Boar did resemble a Masters of the Universe vehicle more than a G.I. Joe one. But in a year of weird characters, having weirder vehicles to go with them didn’t seem so out of place. However, the line had clearly steered away from its militaristic roots by then.

    @KB: For quality replacement stickers, keep your eye on cobrastickers.com. They should be getting around to the Buzz Boar any day now.

  8. KansasBrawler

    @ Clutch–Cool, thanks for the heads up on that. It would be nice to get those on there. The only sticker it has is the one for the control console inside.

  9. Skymate

    @KansasBrawler. Down here the only DVD’s we got of the cartoons are season 1 & 2 of Sunbow. The first three 5 parters and the movie [ the 1987 one] were never released.
    The only DIC one available is a bootleg with poor quality and ninja turtles commercials

    And yes, the buzzboar would climb verticle surfaces more easily than a spider tank

  10. Dreadnok: Spirit

    I never had the Buzz Boar, but it always looked like a cool little vehicle to me.

  11. NFCJD

    I ♡ the Buzz Boar. Totally love it. I need a new one.

  12. Anonymous

    Hello, you can get the stickers at http://www.rattlerrepros.weebly.com

  13. jfaria

    @ Skymate/Kansas Brawler
    The Buzz Boar was featured in the GI Joe video game for the NES in 1991. It was one of three Cobra vehicles you could comandeer and drive around, and it could climb on walls and ceilings.

  14. Skymate

    @jfaria thanks for the intel

    I had no idea [until recently] that the joes had any video games

    On a simmilar subject. Iam extreamly bad at and very unfamiliar with video games. My Dad got me a super nintendo for my tenth birthday but i wasnt allowed to play it incase i got addicted. The only game i had was Ghosts & goblins and that put a pretty foul taste in my mouth. I sold the nintendo for fifty bucks a few months later.

    I have noticed some people really like that old N.E.S Joe game. I like the fact that you could play as Blizzard

  1. Joe A Day » New Field Report: Buzz Boar by KansasBrawler

    [...] KansasBrawler is back with another vehicle review, the 1987 Cobra Buzz Boar. I’ve covered this one too, but there’s enough goofiness here to go around. Check it out here. [...]

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