Street Striker (1994)
The venerable VAMP. What a great signature vehicle for the 1980s GI Joes. Amazingly versatile, able to be translated and refreshed throughout most of the eras that proceeded after the glory days of the Real American Hero line ended.
One of those later repurposings came in 1994 as part of the Street Fighter toy line. GI Joe ended its first rebirth run that same year, but Hasbro were still making use of the parts that made up the movable fighting man’s toys. Several classic vehicle molds, including the Dragonfly and Snow Cat, saw toy shelves again as part of the tie-ins to the Street Fighter film.
The VAMP received a decent enough subdued recoloring, with greys and greens. The stickers provided label the vehicle as belonging to Guile, and the look meshes well with his military background. It’s actually a more sensible ride than the previously released Sonic Boom tank, a recolor of the 90s Cobra Paralyzer. It’s funny to think that the VAMP would get a re-release without GI Joe branding after the end of the ARAH era.
The mold is mostly the VAMP Mark II, with its doors, covered roof and missile launcher. The missiles included are of the larger, brighter 90s variety rather than the originals, and they protrude out of the missile box thanks to their purpose as firing missiles. Interestingly, the box art depicts a spring loaded Battle Corps type launcher on top of the old Stinger missile rack in place of the more familiar missile box. The vehicle itself simply had a launcher that plugged into the top of the box.
I have bought the VAMP in just about every release, despite varying color and accessories. It’s a great, small workhorse of a vehicle whose quality of design always seems to allow it to transcend whatever current use its been been assigned. Even if that use is to transport a karate kicking special forces lunk who can perform handstands on his flattop.