When I first saw this HISS Tank I honestly wasn't real sure about it. While I really loved how it was so strongly based on the excellent DTC version of the HISS, and colored more like it appeared in the Sigma 6 cartoon, there was something that just seemed odd about it. It turns out the problem was that the cockpit was lowered into a "fast attack" position, which made the tank overall look kind of weird. Happily, that's an adjustable feature, and with the cockpit up in the "right" spot I find this tank much more enjoyable over all.


Like the first wave of Deluxe vehicles, the HISS and Iron Hammer use some great presentation on closed box formats to really draw your attention to these items. The art is fantastic, the tech metallic texture and the overall look of the item is fantastically well done.

While we don't get the fun Mission Manuals with these deluxe vehicles, they aren't really missed. The HISS, I was happy to see, does require a little bit of assembly, and you get to put your own stickers on, which is always fun.

The Toy

Upon first glance the H.I.S.S. looks remarkably like it's DTC counterpart, but the overall molding of the vehicle looks even more dynamic. The cockpit is aerodynamically sculpted and that terrific fanged front grill just looks menacing and terrific. Armor is deeply sloped, yet gives this tank a real "fast attack" feel, which is just how it should be. This version of the HISS takes everything about the venerable vehicle and just makes it even better.

Even though the turret sticks down and kind of limits the compartment use, the several flip up doors gives the impression of a nicely developed troop transport system in the back, which adds another terrific dimension to this vehicle.

Intricate armor plating detailing throughout, lots of dramatic, angular sculpting, and a load of weapons to attack with really gives this tank an almost deadly, powerful effect.

However, things are not quite perfect with this item, all told. I'm still not really wild about the missile launcher turret system, and would have much preferred some kind of cannon. Granted, these use the familiar DTC ports and joints, so it remains somewhat customizable, but the included weapons are not all that exciting. Also, the ratchet joint system of these junction points also really limit decent positioning of the launchers. They either have to be tilted up like the pictures above, or they're slightly pointed downward, which just doesn't look right. Ratchet joints work to keep the weapons secure, but unfortunately they do tend to limit the versatility of the positioning.

The play features of the HISS seem somewhat forced, too, I do have to admit. Hasbro advertises a few different configurations, including a "troop transport" and weapons bunker format, but each of them is kind of iffy. The troop transport is seen here:

This is actually kind of a neat configuration for the HISS, using railings and lowering the cockpit into a lower format and gives it a pretty neat, different look that could be used either to transport troops or equipment. The "pickup" methodoligy is an interesting one for the HISS, and it's not all that bad. Obviously weapons are seriously limited here, but it's an okay look, and there are still some spots to plug in some weapons as well. Now the turret also pops out and the compartment of the HISS separates to become a turret and bunker of sorts.

The turret is kinda neat, and I like the fold-down feet, but the bunker just isn't all that interesting. When it comes right down to it, I'd much prefer the actual HISS Tank to any of these different configurations.

Overall, the dynamic shape, the cool color scheme and the overall potency of the weapons gives you a pretty neat vehicle. There are some adjustments I would make to improve it, but all in all it makes an excellent armored vehicle for the COBRA side and could obviously hold its own against any other 2.5" vehicle out there.

The HISS comes with a pair of figures, the driver being a standard COBRA Trooper, which is pretty nice to see. The figure manages to fit in the seat all right, though standing up he does have some funky knee positioning going on here. His legs are weird with both knees bent at strange angles. His left hand is permenantly in finger-pointing more and he's got a rifle attached to his clenched right fist. He has a swivel joint in his forearm with gives him a little flexibility, though I have no idea how he drives a tank with a rifle in his hand.

The detailing and paint on this figure is really well done, I'm just not wild about how he's posed. I do wish we had a few more troopers out there, but this one works for now.

The original COBRA Commander released was the familiar hooded version, but was permenantly stuck in forcefield mode, which bummed me out a bit. Well, now we get a second version, in his battle helmet...but he still bums me out. First of all, I would have loved it if he appeared here in his black uniform (which is the uniform he's got the battle helmet with in the 8" line), I would have really loved it if he had his cape, and I would have really, REALLY loved it if he wasn't in perma-point mode. The non-articulated statue-forms of so many of these figures just seems like some real lost potential, and I think if we could have gotten more generic articulation some of these would be infinitely more successful. The sculpting itself isn't bad...this really does look a lot like a scaled down version of the 8" COBRA Commander (minus the coloring issues) but this frozen pose just ultimately lets me down a bit.

3 3/4" Compatibility

One of the first things I did when I saw the HISS at the convention this past year was scrounge up a 3 3/4" figure to take some pictures with it...and was pretty amazed to see just how huge the figure looked next to it. For whatever reason just seeing the pictures alone of this HISS Tank didn't clue me in to how small it really was. Well, as you can see, it is pretty small, and without modification, there is no way this will work for the bigger figures.

As you can see the seat and cockpit are simply way too small for this to remotely work out of the box. Thankfully, though, there are enterprising Joefans like Recondo out there who do some of the legwork for us, and he was able to do some modification to his 2.5" HISS which actually makes a 3 3/4" figure work remarkably well! Check out this thread in the forums (with pictures and everything!) to see just what he did. I gotta give him a big thanks for tearing his HISS up so I didn't have to. ;)

So ultimately, do not expect this thing to work straight out of the box, but with a little desire and some Dremel work, it seems like anything is possible!


With a more cartoon-accurate appearence, and a fantastic design scheme to build off of, this new reduced scale HISS Tank is a very fun vehicle with some customization options and lots of great features. I'm not wild about the weapon systems and the separate bunkers and such, but ultimately this is a fun, exciting, and necessary vehicle for your COBRA ranks.

Great job scaling this thing down, and a nice addition to the 2.5" scale. Definitely recommended, especially on the now reduced $9.99 price point.














    Top of the Page  
text links HomeThe StoryThe SeriesThe ToysThe FilesThe ForumsThe Staff