H.I.S.S. TANK (Burger King) (2014)
The majority of my collection consists of action figures I either owned and played with as a child or purchased as an adult for display. Most of them are based on bad-ass characters from major properties that have been well established in literature and film like Luke Skywalker or Spider-Man. However, there a few rinky-dinky dollar store toys in my collection as well. Silly little things from my youth that I have an attachment to for some unknown reason. As a young teenager I got rid of almost all of my Transformers, He-Men, and Star Wars figures and yet I held onto things like Georgie, Turtle Man, and this bird smoking a pipe. There’s not always a method to my madness.
One category of toy I never got attached to was Happy Meal Toys. I loved getting Happy Meals when I was a kid and I acquired a bunch of forgettable toys from McDonalds over the years but they almost always ended up in the garbage. I know there are some people out there who specifically collect Happy Meal Toys but they just don’t do it for me. Even when Happy Meals tie-in to well-established properties the results are usually pretty underwhelming. Though there have been a few decent fast food toys released over the years like Hardies’ California Raisins or McDonalds’ animated Batman line.
A month or two ago somebody on one of the G.I. Joe sites I frequent posted pictures of a small line of G.I. Joe toys that they found at their local European Burger King. It caught everyone by surprise as there’s no current Joe movie or cartoon to justify a cross promotion like this and overall the brand seems to have been put on the back-burner by Hasbro for the time being. The toys generated a bit of buzz and excitement amongst the fandom which just goes to show you how starved we are for new product. I had my doubts that the BK G.I. Joe toys would make their way to me in Canada but I wasn’t to heartbroken about it. They were kind of neat looking, and I was happy to see the brand getting some love, but I really had no use for them.
But yesterday I was out at my parents place for dinner and my brother Doug and his family were there. My nephew Alex told me that he got a HISS tank at Burger King earlier that day. Once I knew they were just down the street I kind of needed one. I had already been wanting to go to Burger King to take advantage of their “10 chicken tenders for $1.79” deal which is insane so it was a no-brainer. After dinner, and after watching Edge of Tomorrow with our Mom (which I recommend but she doesn’t), Doug and I went to Burger King. I wasn’t sure if I’d buy all 3 Joe toys ( the Sharc and the Awe Striker being the other 2) or if I’d only buy the HISS tank which the brand’s most recognizable vehicle and my personal favorite. When we got there it turned out that all they had available was the HISS tank so that’s all I got. The toy is cute and has a charm about it but is hardly worth getting excited about.
This thing barely even looks like a HISS tank. It’s got the triangular treads and the canopied front but it’s so compressed that the iconic shape is lost. It’s got a grey back end and a red front which snap together. In the back, manning the turret, is Cobra Commander (or perhaps a standard Viper, I can’t really tell). When you press down on the Commander the front of the tank launches off. I think this is supposed to be an attack feature but it seems more like a self-destruct mechanism. Cobra Commander would be a sitting duck in the battle field after he launches his pilot off into the fray.
The BK HISS came with a few stickers which help to add some life to this otherwise dull-looking hunk of plastic. Unfortunately some of my stickers have already begun to peel off since I applied them last night. I’m glad to see kids enjoying new Joe product but I can’t exactly endorse this thing as a collectable. 2 out of 10.