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.
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.