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.
Cool. I have never seen this one.
The launcher looks a bit similar to the one that came with Hi-Tech a year later.
I liked the concept of this one. It was armed to the teeth and I’ve always found rear gun positions to be a very useful play feature. The Snow Serpent that came with it was the best coloring of the mold. But, like pretty much that entire era, this just doesn’t hold up. Strip it of its stickers and put it in a thrift shop and pretty much no one would know it was a Joe vehicle.
But, I bought one at the time since it was better than a lot of the other stuff Hasbro was putting out.
It’s a fun design and not a bad vehicle. But that vintage has a very “toy” aesthetic that prevents them from mixing well with older vehicles. For example, park this next to the Polar Battle Bear and it’s like something from outer space!
That mini gun has 6 bullets on that ammo belt. LOL.