Cobra Pogo Ballistic Battle Ball (1987)

by KansasBrawler

The final entry into this series of Field Reports of filling in collection holes is unique because this item was actually a part of my collection growing up. I loved the Cobra Pogo Ballistic Battle Ball, to use its full title. The concept of a bouncing, jumping, flying vehicle really appealed to me as a kid. I’m sure part of why I got it was because the armored Cobra Commander was shown piloting it in the box art and I had that version of Cobra Commander growing up and used him until the day I stopped playing with Joes. I’m also sure I used this vehicle almost exclusively with Cobra Commander as a parallel to my Iron Grenadier Destro with his personal vehicle of the Despoiler. I’ve always thought it was a little odd that other major players in the Cobra hierarchy—most notably Destro, Serpentor and to a lesser degree, Overlord—had their own vehicles (that were also relatively cheap) but the big snake himself never did. I liked that because of the box art Cobra Commander was so uniquely tied to the Pogo, so this made a nice stand in for Cobra Commander until he got his own unique ride. I also appreciated that Larry Hama used the Pogo in much the same way with the Fred VII Crimson Guard impersonating Cobra Commander when I finally had the pleasure of reading those issues thanks to IDW finally getting the entire 155 issue Marvel run out in collected form. I’m sure had I been reading comics at the time, seeing the Pogo how I used the Pogo would have really excited me—and honestly, even when I re-read them a few months ago, seeing the Pogo used that way made me smile.

Much like the Buzz Boar, the Pogo is a pretty odd-looking vehicle, however, its oddness definitely works in its favor. Its three large legs are nicely detailed and look like they can handle the job of absorbing the shock from each jump and help the rocket booster at the bottom propel it back into the sky. Its two missiles are also attached to the legs and are positioned in such a way that regardless of how the Pogo rebounds from its bounce, their targeting lines are still pretty decent. Mounted to the base are its other armament, an unidentified dual cannon (surprisingly, while all the other things are noted on the blueprints, the gun doesn’t really have any sort of identifier as to its caliber) and its pair of booster rockets to start the bouncing. I appreciate that the cannon is mounted on a base that can turn 360 degrees since I’ve always thought the Pogo’s trajectory after its first launch would always be somewhat variable, if not somewhat unpredictable, so being able to automatically reposition the guns to the best firing position would be a great asset. The main body is nicely detailed with hoses running to each leg plus a communications antenna. Like the Buzz Boar, my version is missing quite a few stickers, however, this time it doesn’t seem nearly as bland because there’s just quite a bit more going on with this vehicle than the Buzz Boar. And mercifully, the stickers that are present are the ones that are rather prominent and stick in my mind from childhood memories of playing with the Pogo, so it’s at least a bit closer to complete sticker-wise than the Buzz Boar was. After some comments from the Buzz Boar mentioning various places that make reproduction stickers for Joe vehicles, I’ve already checked to see if they’ve gotten to making reproductions for the Pogo and will give some serious thought to buying them—from what I’ve seen on the various sites, they all do quality work and I appreciate that a few groups in the fandom found this niche market to help collectors finish off some vehicles. Inside, the cockpit is nicely detailed and figures fit nicely in it.

The Pogo saw a lot of play in my collection. Part of the reason I felt the need to replace it is because it saw so much use. I know by the time I retired it, the latch on the clamshell bubble on top was pretty worn out and didn’t close that well, the communications antenna had long fallen off and was lost to the ages and at least one of the hoses was damaged. It still held up quite well, considering I always liked to pop off a leg to show battle damage when it got hit by Joe fire (and then of course crash it into the ground). The Pogo was a very well designed vehicle that could definitely stand up to the rigors of childhood play without much problem. It looked so unique, it even appealed to adults. One of the few Joe things my father ever had was a Pogo I got him for Christmas which I got him because he thought the Pogo was really cool when he helped me put mine together and put the stickers on since I was maybe five when I got my first Pogo. His still sits in relatively pristine condition in his office (save some discoloration from cigarette smoke) and I’m thrilled that I’ve finally been able to find myself a pristine Pogo that also currently sits on my desk.


  • That is a neat story, how you got your dad his own Pogo. That was really sweet. I gave mine a Dick Tracy figure from the Playmates movie line after we stopped off at a Target in Cheyenne, Wyoming, on the way home from watching the film itself back in 1990.

    The Pogo was real bad ass, the way Fred/CC II used it to evade enemy fire so he could land his butt on Serpentor’s turf. He practically invaded Cobra Island using this little guy. That’s some mean feat by ’87 small vehicle standards!

    And what’s this about your “final entry” in the collection hole series? We all enjoy hearing stories about how you got your stuff back in the day, and it’s always cooler when you mention family such as your brother and dad. So keep ’em coming, by all means, says I. 😉

  • I like this vehicle. the Star Brigade repaint was even cooler.

  • Great Review, Kansas! I actually own both this one and the later Star Brigade version with their boxes,but I prefer the first one better. I highly recommend CobraStickers their stuff is extremely high quality. I bought the cobra bunker set, and their repos were better than the originals. Keep ’em coming,Kansas! Don’t stop now!

  • My first experience with this mold was two years ago, when I got the 1993 Star Brigade Invader. I like it in those colors. I wonder what would happen if you swapped out the clamshell latch, the seat, and the legs…..

  • Does this have anything to do with the Roswell anniversary?

    I had both Pogo’s at one point. For seven bucks i got a S.L.A.M, Skyhawk, Persuader [minus gun and Backstop], Pogo, V1 Duke and a slightly dinged up castle grey skull from a thrift store back in the day. I only had them about a week before they were all donated to “needy” kids [who lived in a 3 story house with water feature]

    Know how i used to play with the first pogo before i lost it? I was a big Robotech fan but all my Robotech toys had fallen apart. So i used to pretend G1 Starscream was Skull leader and i took a leg of the pogo to make it look more like Zantradi battlepod

    I managed to get the star brigade pogo when it came out [that thing was a shelf warmer of epic proportions down here]. I still have most of it.

  • I’ve always had a soft spot for the POGO in spite of the hate it sometimes attracts from collectors.

  • @ Clutch (sorry for the long delay, I’ve been on vacation)–
    Don’t worry, this won’t be the last Field Report, but for the foreseeable future, I’ll be focusing on modern style stuff since that what part of my collection is most easily accessible. However, when I can in the modern stuff, I’ll be throwing in stories about the original figure in my collection and memories of the original I may have.

  • I love this thing. Its just so unique and “cobra” in its design. It was an awesome toy and the invader was one of my favorites, neon colors in spaaaccceee!

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