Ice Snake (1993)
Believe it or not, the end of the Real American Hero line produced a few nice vehicles. Although the line was going the way of less intricate multi-part kits and also incorporating spring loaded action features, several of the releases transcend these elements and emerge as solid and fun vehicles.
The Ice Snake continues the long tradition of GI Joe arctic vehicles that began ten years earlier with a simple armed skimobile called the Polar Battle Bear. After that small beginning, the snow vehicles kept coming, with the likes of the Snow Cat, the Cobra Wolf and the impressively weird Avalanche. In the final year of the line, a bulky behemoth of a missile firing tank, the aptly named Blockbuster ended the original line’s complement of vehicles.
The Ice Snake is one of the smaller Cobra snow vehicles, and is a light, fast attack hybrid of wheeled and ski designs. The wedge shaped design makes for a fast appearance. Even the surface is highly detailed, with panel lines and rivets throughout. The Ice Snake shares a few common parts with another 1993 vehicle, the Mudbuster. The roll cage, cannon and wheel assembly are the same for both vehicles. A cost saving measure to be sure, but I don’t think either vehicle suffers for it. Paper stickers are another cost saving element common to the end of the line. In this case, the silver background of the stickers doesn’t help the chintzyness of the paper, but they are easily removed. In fact, most loose Ice Snakes’ stickers are in less than pristine shape anyway, so its probably best to remove them. In the stickers’ defense, the icicle font is a nice touch.
The Ice Snake is a real diamond in the rough; a useful, tasteful ride that won’t embarras your Snow Serpent forces.