Tiger Paw (1988)
The Ferret is for my money one of the coolest and most iconic low price Joe vehicles of the 80s. Heck, I think it’s also one of the overall most memorable toys of the era. What better embodies a ride for action figures of the decade than a four wheeler? Add on machine guns and missiles and you’ve got a fun little toy for the ages. Paint it in a white/brown/yellow gradient and add Flying Tiger-esque markings and the package reaches new heights. The Tiger Force vehicles are so vibrantly colored that no one will mistake them for an attempt by Hasbro at portraying military realism. For some, this period is where the the 1980s GI Joe jumped the shark–or the Tiger, if you will. I appreciate the inherent toy-ness of it, bright red accessories and all. The fact that the Tiger Force vehicle color schemes are more uniform than the figures is a bonus.
The concept of the Joe team refitting captured Cobra equipment is a novel one. It also allowed Hasbro to save some bucks on tooling by going back to the well with older releases. Say what you will about the Tiger Force color scheme, the mold choice was very smart. The same process went on with the next year’s Cobra Python Patrol vehicles. Someday I’ll get around to covering the beauty of the Cobra Conquest jet.