COBRA FANG BOAT 2012
Back in May of this year the first G.I. Joe : Retaliation figures hit store shelves. It was to be the first wave of many to coincide with the release of the G.I. Joe live action film sequel. The tail end of 2012 was shaping up to be a great year for G.I. Joe toys. But just weeks before the movie’s original release date it was announced that the movie was being pushed back almost a full year to March 2013. And so 2012 ended with a dull THUD instead of a loud BANG as was anticipated. Hasbro opted to hold off shipping any new product until the movie was released so the only Retaliation toys we got were the ones that had already shipped out prior to the announcement. This had fans worried that the toys would quickly disappear from store shelves and so it created a sense of urgency to go out and buy them all, unless you wanted to wait another year for them. I admittedly was driven into a bit of a frenzy which you can read about in my Swamp Viper version 3 review. Swamp Viper was the figure that came packaged with this vehicle, The Cobra Fang Boat. At least that’s what they’re calling it these days. Every true Joe fan knows that this is the Cobra Water Moccasin. The original Water Moccasin was released in 1984 and came packaged with Copperhead. The swamp boat was featured heavily in the cartoons and comics and quickly became a classic and fan favorite. Like the HISS tank or the trouble bubble flight pod, this boat became synonymous with Cobra.
When we were kids Doug owned the Moccasin and Copperhead. I didn’t own my own until the vehicle was retooled to fit the larger 25th anniversary style figures and rereleased in 2009. In 2009 they called it the Sting Raider but at least it still came with Copperhead. The Sting Raider was basically identical in appearance and color to the original. In 2010 it was released again in a green and rust colored camo pattern and included two-figures, Copperhead and Swamp Viper version 2.
With this 2012 release the boat has been given a new name yet again and has lost its usual pilot all-together, this time only including the aforementioned Swamp Viper version 3. I’m fine with the change in driver actually as I really don’t need another Copperhead. He’s a “name” character so I prefer not to have multiple versions of him on display. Swamp Viper however is just one of Cobra’s many nameless grunts so multiples are welcome. I quite liked the sculpt even though he was severely lacking in articulation but you can read all about that in the post I devoted specifically to him.
As for the boat, I love it. The design holds up great even after nearly 30 years. The only major difference in design from the original is the addition of the right mounted missile-firing gun. Also the gun turret doesn’t seem to swivel for some reason. Maybe it’s just mine as I don’t understand why they would do away with that feature which was present on every previous version. The boat holds two people comfortably, in the driver’s seat and manning the turret, however there are foot pegs near the back so you can load up to 4 more figures on there if you want to. Just like on the original there’s a spinning propeller on the back which is activated by a small spinning gear behind the turret and there’s a detachable secret launch drone on the bottom of the boat. While I’m partial to the aqua/green color of the original I think this is a pretty nice alternate paint job. The gray base with hints of red, black and blue looks great and very serpentine.
I wish I had more room to display my vehicles because this item sadly just sits in a box in my closet and has since the day I bought it. I wouldn’t have even bothered to pick it up had I not wanted the included figure so badly. And yet I don’t feel like I wasted my money on a pointless vehicle as I sometimes do. It’s a great looking boat which I’m sure will see action one day. 7 out of 10.