Cobra Night Attack 4-WD Stinger (1984)
My most vivid memory of the Stinger goes back to a friend’s birthday party back in the summer of 1984. At the time, I had amassed a few early figures and some of the first and second series vehicles, including the original VAMP. My friend made out like a bandit for this birthday; the VAMP Mark II and Stinger were among the Joe gifts. Everybody ooh-ed and ahh-ed when they saw the two vehicles. I had no idea these were out at the time, and instantly wanted to get both myself.
While the VAMP II had some nicely upgraded components like a roof and doors, and the missile launcher, the Stinger was a notch above in my eyes. First off, Cobra finally had a comparable fast-attack ground vehicle to combat the Joes. I liked the HISS tank, but never saw it as an equivalent to the VAMP. With the Stinger, I saw Cobra with an edge. Their new ride netted them missiles, a roof and doors–gull-wing no less! Most impressively however, a couple of extra troopers could hang out on the rear bumper’s deck plate. Granted, the guys would get fried during a missile launch, but let’s suspend our adult disbelief.
The Stinger driver was as big a draw for me as the vehicle itself. Something about the simple repaint of the Cobra Officer mold appealed to me. I’ve covered it in a previous post, and it remains one of my favorite Cobra troops. He certainly looked great contrasted against his all-black ride.