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.