HISS IV (2003)

My name is Rob, and I am a HISS IV owner. I can’t quite say how I came to that point in my collecting journey, but being a completist between the years of 2002 to 2006 may have something to do with it. That’s right, I was snapping up every new figure pack and vehicle at the time. If I can place blame for that, it would be squarely at the feet of Generalsjoes.com and Mike T’s Forgotten Figures. You were unknowing enablers, and I forgive you for keeping the Joe collecting spirit alive, even during the dark times. Luckily, the 25th anniversary came along and its throwback HISS tanks set me right again.

Hiss IV

I think most Joe fans would enjoy any other version of the venerable Cobra fast attack tank more than this vehicle. Disappointing, underwhelming, and just plain crappy are fitting descriptions of this second generation small Joe version of the classic Cobra vehicle.

I’m normally a huge fan of action features, and while the HISS IV’s are unique, they just can’t make up for the ho-hum design of the toy. Most of the newly designed early 2000s relaunch vehicles just didn’t feel like GI Joe. From a construction as well as design standpoint, they just didn’t exhibit the unmistakable style that set Joe apart from other action figure lines in the previous decades. The old HISS tank’s bold lines and distinctive silhouette gave way to a bloated lump that relies too much on a snake motif.

All was not lost however for those who stuck with the line for a bit longer. The chunky style evident here would later be improved upon with vehicles like the Quickstrike, Thunderhawk and  Patriot Grizzly–fun Joe vehicles all.

Hiss IV Action


  • It always seemed strange to me that the 2000 HISS repaint was called the HISS III. Seriously this version should have been HISS III.

  • Hi. I’m Mike T and I take no responsibility whatsoever for anyone owning this vehicle. Even the dust riddled version sitting out in my garage is a complete mystery to me. It must have just appeared magically. I surely would never have bought this item, much less have been happy to find the Spy Troops box variant. That doesn’t sound like me at all. 🙂

    In a lemonade out of lemons mode, though, the gun seat on top is a feature that is kind of cool. As the main weapon on an armored tank, it’s ridiculous. But, it was kind of fun in some regards. When there wasn’t much to buy, you made due.

    • Speaking as an armoured warfare enthusiest; the HISS in general is a terrible vehicle as the drivers and gunners are usually exposed. This rendition in general would be redundant as its main weapon is a heavy machine gun and in order for it to use its heavy weapons [the missiles] it needs to make itself an even bigger target. Hiss tanks also have a high profile so attempting to hide them would be a nightmare.
      I have no regrets about my one though. I eagerly picked up all the Spytroops stuff i could as it was really unpopular with the public in my country in 2003. Parents didnt want kids playing with ‘war’ toys because of what was going on in Iraq and kids were more interested in Yu gi oh at the time. I worked at a toys R us at the time and we sold more Yu gi oh crap than anything else that year.

  • I have one of these in my basement, It was donated at a soup kitchen where I volunteer, I actually kinda like this vehicle.

  • I got one of these on Ebay a few years ago for about five bucks. It’s a fun little toy with a good amount of play value. My four year old niece likes to play with it with a lot of the SpyTroops and Valor v. Venom stuff I picked up back in those days when I was starving for new Joes.

  • I like it as a ceremonial tank for parades that Cobra command can use to get into an area, raise the cockpit and give some sort of speech to their underlings, then be on their way again. In this case, just the 1 is more than enough.

  • I had more chances than needed to buy this, this was one of the very last G.I.Joe toys hanging around at a nearby Kmart with multiple reduced sticker price tags. Nope.

    Whatever happened to the Neo-Viper concept? Are there any big active Neo-Viper armies built up out on the internets?

    I don’t want them, but it would be really, really cool to see the GvC era Cobra armies that were built up. While not my cup of tea, I like seeing those non-mainstream collections.

    • My greatest dislike is that the cockpit cannot be opened without raising the head. Second beef is that in down mode, the head leans towards one side because it’s only got one latch.

      And, yes, they overdid the snake motif on Cobra vehicles of the time…made them feel Masters Of the Universey or something.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.