Cobra Basilisk (2015)
When I first saw press photos of the Desert Duel set, I was concerned that another Snow Cat remold was on the horizon. It also dredged up memories of the classic snow vehicle’s less fondly remembered revivals. Seeing the mold in any color other than white at first made me think of the Street Fighter Devastator. That re-release was an odd combination of purple, grey and silver with an added spring-loaded missile launcher. Then I remembered the Spy Troops iteration, with a Sound Attack tumor growing out the back. I will say however in that toy’s defense, the gimmick was removable and its arctic camo scheme and repainted Snow Job driver were very nice. As much as I was not enthused by such a radical change to an old favorite, the FOE Striker also included with the set looked like an interesting vehicle. So I thought I would try and pick it up. I’m glad I did, because this is actually a pretty nice addition to the Cobra arsenal.
At this time of collector focus within the modern GI Joe line, I’m encouraged whenever I see elements of the brand that might still appeal to kids. The semi-reflective blue and bright red color scheme are definitely eye-catching, and a welcome return to bold color within the Cobra motor pool. Yes, the red canopy is weird, but it also feeds into the color scheme’s overall appeal. I don’t think the Basilisk on the whole would look quite as striking with a clear or smoky canopy. It actually makes me wonder how a Snow Cat would look with a white front windshield. As I noted in the Elite Horseman review, the vehicle is also nicely coordinated with its driver. Again, I can see this kind of trend appealing to a kid. My son at times is very particular about vehicles with drivers, and making sure that the pilot stays with his ride. I know they skew a little younger than the GI Joe age group, but Fisher-Price seems quite adept at striking color combos with its Imaginext line. It’s even managed to reel me in a few times. Maybe Hasbro can take a page from that book if they want to get kids back into GI Joe.
As I was putting the Basilisk together, I thought I’d seen the missile-firing launcher before. I remember another recent vehicle that featured a sliding lever to activate a rapid-fire missile mode. I knew that the Pursuit of Cobra remold featured it, but something else did as well. Then I looked at my Ninja Combat Cruiser. That was it! I had never put two and two together before I saw this tonight. Maybe that says something about effective parts re-use when I don’t even notice for almost three years. Then again, I’m also getting old. By the way, the act of putting a vehicle together and placing the stickers on it is still quite a bit of fun.
There is a certain amount of mold burn-out with the Snow Cat. After all, we’ve seen it in several forms and colors within the last several years. For me, the colors have saved this one. So far with the set overall, I’ve been pleasantly surprised once the product was in-hand. Tomorrow is KansasBrawler’s Field Report, and then I’ll be back on Saturday with the final part of the Desert Duel–the Joe team’s FOE Striker. Will it live up to the excitement of its new feature, or has the AWE Striker finally run out of gas?