Polar Blast (2003)
Buying a GI Joe vehicle in the 80s and 90s was akin to the experience of a plastic model kit. Not only did you have to put the vehicle together, there was also the fun of removing parts from a plastic sprue, and placing tiny decals on the finished build. What fun! Once the 2000s rolled around, the building experience was largely gone. Of course, there were some early re-issues of older sets, but most of the new product didn’t require much building effort on the part of the buyer. What a shame. The Polar Blast, although not fun in the kit sense, has its share of nice elements that make it a decent modern effort.
The Polar Blast cuts a quite smaller silhouette than many of its contemporaries. Compared to the clunky copters and four-wheelers of its day, the snowmobile is a slighter piece of machinery. That’s not to say that this is the second coming of the Polar Battle Bear, as the Blast still retains the Tonka-like aesthetic of the early 2000s. The design is also unique in that it features a rear-facing gunner position. Sticking two Snow Serpents on this thing is quite a sight, and for some reason brings to mind the kind of vehicle a Bond villain might provide to hos henchmen for attacks at ski lodges or chalets.
If you like action features, the Polar Blast doesn’t disappoint. Along with the missile-firing gimmick common to Joe product sinxe the 90s, there’s also a rather ingenious integration of a wind-up recoil feature for the gunner position. I really should have done this entry as a video review, as this toy is best experienced by seeing it move. Along those lines, the Sound Attack feature is interesting, and a turn of the handlebars produces a nice snowmobile engine sample.