Patriot (1992)

There are a few GI Joe vehicles that have become iconic, that remind one of a magical childhood time of fun and innocence. Toys that when you see them, make you say, “Ooh, I had that. It was so cool!” Then there are a few that elicit the response, “What the hell is that thing?” The Patriot falls in the latter category.

Take the spring-loaded missile launching concept to the ultimate extreme, attach it to a vehicle, and you get the Patriot. This thing is pretty much a super sized missile launcher on treads. Much like the Cobra Paralyzer, it looks low and slow, and I imagine it would have to be, considering the mortar cannon that makes up the entire left half of the vehicle.

One of the weirdest looking rides in the GI Joe arsenal, the Patriot scores points with me for having a few unique features. The canopy opens from the rear, reminding me of the tricked-out custom car hoods seen in my youthful days of reading Hot Rod magazine. I also can’t escape the feeling that this thing looks like some sort of slow moving insect; a cockroach that spent a little too much time dumpster diving. The missiles have a nice little storage rack that they fit into, a plus for keeping those extra pieces from disappearing into the carpet within the first five minutes of play.

The mold is that 90s combo of one piece body with simple snap-on attachments, a far cry from the model kit nature of the vehicles of the line’s early years. But like its goofy brethren the Cobra Rat and the Mudbuster, there’s a fun and funky kind of style at work here that is unique to its time in Joe history.


  • I found this and the Rat at a thrift shop a while back–they also had the chassis of a Brawler (the tank), a Battle Wagon, and a beat up 1990 Destro’s Dominator.

  • If you ignore the neon attachments and paper stickers, it might not look as bad. Sadly enough, the Patriot’s one piece structure assures that it won’t ever rival such classics as the VAMP.

    Cool name, not quite as cool vehicle.

  • Nice observation. It does look a little bug-like. That green also looks like a shade of slime green, giving it kind of a weird look too. It looks like one of the underwhelming vehicles that signalled 1991 & 1992 were a pale shadow of GI Joe’s previous vehicular glory. It lacks the goofy badness of the Buzz Boar or the Rat.

  • Reminds me of the attack track from MOTU

  • Is it me, or are the tracks on upside down ?

  • Throughout most of the entire run of the ARAH line, if it had the GI Joe name on it, I probably bought it. Except for this. At the time, I thought this was one of the dumbest looking vehicles ever. It still applies today.

  • I wonder if you could modify some Raider treads to fit this vehicle. The slow-and-low thing isn’t so bad, but the treads aren’t very detailed and seem a little small for the vehicle. I kinda like the cannon; it’s like a Slugger Mk.2.

  • The small treads are dumb, and make no sense. The treads stick out further than the bumper, too. The cannons are goofy large barrelled things with no connection to reality. It also has too much going on for a single operator. Maybe the guns are computer controlled? The idea of a mobile artillery vehicle isn’t bad, though.

  • Ethan, the tracks are indeed presented the right-way up on the above image. Though from a brief glance, it’s easy to see why some would get confused.

    Anywho, the primary reason I’m posting is to thank Rob for sticking to the original box art for photo inspiration, thus having my favourite version of Duke at the driver’s seat. 😀

  • Here’s one of those vehicles that was available when I had some cash and I lived in an area that had stores that had GIJoe stuff.

    That Duke is a great figure for the thing since his arms can’t tuck all the way to the torso; won’t be squeezing that guy into a Slugger.

    Patriot did get used by me, as did the Parasite, but as the days went by, Patriot just didn’t capture my imagination.

    I don’t think it is horrible. It seems more like a mobile artillery machine to me these days. The armored shell can take incoming fire, the triple-barrel anti-aircraft gun provides defense, and one small single barrel gives the driver some on-the-move defensive capability.

    Of all the action gimmicks, I think Patriot is interesting in that it takes Thunderclaps big detailed/ more realistic long range cannon, and sort of shortens it up and allows a person to “LOAD” their shells from that rack right behind the armored shell, and “FIRE” a good distance.

  • no but the front bumper is.

  • ”The 1992 G. I. Joe Patriot,doesn’t look to bad ,for the year it came out in.But, If you want a very popular vehicle, collectors,have been talking about for the past 28 years,that would be” The 1986 Cobra Night Raven S3P Black Jet Spy Plane.A cross between ,the ”SR-71 Blackbird”, and the ”1982 Firefox”(From the Clint Eastwood Cold War movie).-”RAVEN”

  • Pingback: Saturday Flashback: Patriot (1992) »

  • “Death Trap” might’ve been a more apt name for this thing. How many Joes were lost falling into the treads while under fire? Or fell in after the cannons inches from their heads started blasting?

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