In the world of toys it's pretty much agreed that G.I. Joe and Transformers are two brands that not only stand the test of time, but also have some nice releases regularly hitting shelves-- regardless of the various incarnations. Well, like last year, Hasbro is combining their two flagship-franchises for a brand-new exclusive set at the 2012 San Diego Comic-Con international! This time, fans get a shot at picking up a Cobra H.I.S.S. Tank that features a deco and extra pieces to give it the appearance of every Trans-Fan's favorite cyclopian, purple, laser-pistol: Shockwave! While the previous Starscream and Cobra Commander set was fantastic, this year's goes one step further in delivering even more of a "story" by adding extra accessories like Energon cubes, a briefcase full of cash, a Constructicon-colored B.A.T., and even a tiny Soundwave! Read on as we review this SDCC-Exclusive set to see if it more than meets our eyes! (Yes, that WAS horrible.)
The packaging for this year continues the awesome tradition of featuring a mocked-up comic book cover on the front of the box in the style of the classic Marvel Comics' mini-series. Destro points the way forward as Shockwave carries him into battle, leading a regiment of Constructicon B.A.T.s. The linework and coloring harken back to the 80's comics and also makes us wish we had more of those B.A.T.S.!
The back of the box shows a cut-away top-view of the Shockwave H.I.S.S. and includes both actual play features, like the opening canopy, and imaginary ones, like the "spark chamber". There's also a brief bio for the crossover toys:
In the 1980s, Marvel Comics produced a four-comic series that told the story of G.I. Joe and Cobra discovering the existence of the Transformers. This special series briefly brought together these two epic worlds and chronicled the dramatic consequences of this discovery. First there was the "lost episode #5" and now... The legacy of this meeting continues as these two forces join together again in this exclusive Shockwave H.I.S.S. Tank!
The Shockwave H.I.S.S. Tank is a repaint of the recently released version and comes in a few separate pieces, that easily (and securely) snap into place in no time. Most of the changes here are in the deco-- and what a nice deco it is! The metallic purple paint really helps it stand out as something different, and of course the addition of Decepticon logos doesn't hurt either. The ball-joint at the base of the undercarriage works well in allowing for the canopy to tilt forward and the cannon turret spins without any trouble. The gatling turrets also rotate and the barrels of the guns can be turned. One big addition to the Tank is the barrel shroud. While the H.I.S.S. comes with a missile that can be fired by the spring-loaded cannon, the shroud can be inserted down the barrel instead and has the familiar shape of Shockwave's original alt-mode.
Destro is made up of various parts re-use from the Pursuit of Cobra and Renegades line. Still, he comes off looking like a million bucks thanks to his purple paint scheme, vac-metal head, Decepticon emblem-- and the million(s) he has stashed in his briefcase! Our figure has a problem with the left side of his flak vest being open since the peg and hole closure absolutely refuses to stay together. Not a huge problem, but it IS very noticeable and breaks up an otherwise incredible looking figure. His rifle is bright green and comes from the recently released Techno-Viper figure. The only oddity lies in the peg normally used to attach a hose to that now hangs down from the gun with no purpose.
The Constructicon B.A.T. is a straight-up repaint from the last version to be released. Thankfully, that version of the Battle Android Trooper just so happens to be one of the best figures to be released in the G.I. Joe line in recent years! He comes with a number of arm attachments that can be stowed on his backpack, along with a pistol that fits tightly in his drop-leg holster. we had no problems with this figure, although we wish he had a place to hold his third arm attachment when both regular arms are in use while he's pushing around a pallet full of Energon.
Soundwave makes an appearance in the set in the form of his alt-mode. He is a small accessory that has a peg on the backside so he can be worn as a backpack (for tunes on the go). There are also three small "cassettes" that can be singly inserted into the top of Soundwave. In the comic panels on the back of the box, Soundwave is present during Destro and Shockwave's Energon exchange and is spying on the event.
While we managed to get lucky and score a review sample of this exclusive, it has been on our radar (and Want List) since Toy Fair 2012 when it premiered. We were planning on picking one up at the HasbroToyShop.com booth #3329 before this, and it's great to know that we wouldn't have been disappointed. Now, next year it's about time for something from the Autobot/Joe's side of things, right?!
As a bonus, here's a gallery of images to help decide if you're ready to stand in line to bring the Shockwave H.I.S.S. Tank into your armament!
Stay tuned to MTV Geek for all your Hasbro coverage from SDCC 2012!