Cobra Imp (1988)

The Imp is an impressively squat and stocky little one man missile tank with a secret. What look like three large missiles hide an extra surprise payload. Just for this reason, it’s a neat addition to the Cobra ground forces. I also find a lot to like in the design itself. It has a real throwback look to it, and reminds me a bit of the earliest tank designs of the 20th century.

It’s one of those little known pieces that doesn’t have much renown among collectors, yet adds a lot of interest to the Cobra arsenal. The elevating missile rack is well designed, ratcheting up and down in a satisfying “clicky” manner. Some folks may be turned off by the bright yellow parts, but I don’t find them all that distracting. Okay, maybe the machine gun could have been black. And maybe the mines should blend into terrain, but hey, let’s not overthink this.

The three missiles split apart, spilling mines along the ground. I wonder if this is meant to rain destruction directly on the enemy, or is it simply a means to lay down a quick and dirty mine field. The HISS tank may be the star of the Cobra tank divisions, but this little powerhouse makes for a lethal and interesting addition to the field of battle.


  • This is one of the vehicles I hope to get at some point. I’ve always liked the look of it.

  • Lovely little artillery piece. Sadly the 2nd hand one I got is missing 2-3 of the Life Saver sweets.

  • Acer, you can get your very own here. Just spotted this a few minutes ago. In box, too.

  • The fact that the Imp is a cluster munitions deployer gives it a chilling sense of relevance. Unlike today, there was little talk of kids stepping on land mines in late 80’s pop culture.

    I would have gone with black or gray instead of yellow, though.

  • Judging by its size, i wonder if the Imp started out as a 1/35th scale WW1 tank model kit either that or Cobra had sevre budget cutbacks in ’88

  • Yeah, I never realized that the Imp had cluster mines inside those giant missiles. I’d always like the look of it (even though the driver would get pretty crispy when he launched his payload) but there’s just something cool about the angular design that I like. I realize it’s not a fan-clamored for vehicle, but cool, well-done vehicles like this one are what I think the line’s really been missing the last few years and I’d love to see a modern version of the Imp slowly moving towards the frontlines.

  • I guess I never really knew there is a tow hook and troop deck on the back until that rear shot.

  • I’m a big fan of this tank.

  • Woah, you gotta be pretty brave (more likely dumb) to stand on that rear decking! Hope the driver doesn’t press “FIRE” until we’re clear!

    The IMP is a cool little tank, would look awesome to have two of these flanking the maroon POC HISS.

  • It cracks me up how ToxoViper always seems to be manning this thing! Like Cobra’s former artillery engineers are the ones getting transferred to the leaky suit brigade. I like the tank, but it needs a hatch. The maroon color is a bit odd, too (previously used on the Moray Hydrofoil).

  • I always liked it. Good vehicle for its price point (compared to its 1988 Joe counterpart, the Swampmasher). It was meant to deploy mines which was limiting in use, so I probably used the missiles as solid warheads at some point, though the Adder filled that role, too. I think it makes a nice tractor for the Python ASP, too, as the colors are close and there’s no python vehicle to pull the ASP (unless you are rich enough to own the convetion stinger). Toxo-Viper is decent operator choice, maybe because he was shown on the box art or maybe because I used to use less combat oriented characters as drivers/gunners.

  • It’s decent. Far better than the Adder, not to mention the Swampmasher.

  • I have always loved this vehicle, although I don’t think I’d want to be the guy riding on the back

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  • ”You begin to wander, if the Cobra Imp might get itself into a jam, when two G.I.Joe Rolling Thunder Tanks cut off it’s escape route, with all of those land mines just lying around?”

  • Pingback: Review – G.I. Joe (1988) Cobra Imp

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