Monday, June 17, 2013

GI Joe 25th Anniversary: Cobra Sting Raider

One of the dilemmas I had with the original line of G.I. Joe toys growing up wasn't the cost of the toys necessarily, it was the size of the toys - vehicles in particular.  Let's not kid ourselves.  As cool as some of the action figures were, the vehicles and play sets are what made the Joe line of toys so much fun.

Over the last 15 or so years I've been able to acquire a lot of these bulky toys I never owned as a kid.  My favorite purchase was a near complete Terror Drome from an old BigBadToyStore vintage clearance sale.  As with many things I've collected over the years space is always a very valuable commodity and something that I don't always have a lot of.  As I've grown older and shifted my focus back to Transformers, I still have a special place for certain G.I. Joe toys and this is one of them.

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I bought nearly everything released in the 25th Anniversary series of G.I. Joe.  In fact I have all but 3 of the 25th Anniversary Cobra figures, sealed on card, hanging on the wall effectively making a wall paper like border across the top.  While I've liquidated much of the loose stuff recently, I decided to hold onto the Cobra Sting Raider...better known as the Water Moccasin.  I can remember getting the Joe's Killer W.H.A.L.E. vehicle for Christmas one year and always wanting a cobra watercraft to pit against the big hovercraft.  When the Water Moccasin was released I instantly asked my parents for it.  A couple of good report cards later and it was all mine.

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Despite the name change (legal reasons I assume), the new Cobra Sting Raider retains pretty much everything I can remember about the old Water Moccasin.  Most importantly the driver figure was still included and the same great character, Copperhead!

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Copperhead was one of my all time favorite Cobra characters, though I'm not entirely sure why.  Perhaps it was the teal and neon green colored outfit, or the cool looking helmet.  Whatever the reasons I love the new updated 25th Anniversary figure.  Most of the old vehicle driver didn't come with accessories, or at least not weapons.  This new Copperhead however comes packaged with a menacing shotgun.  Now he doesn't have to be inside his watercraft to be armed so watch out Joes!

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I really can't find any major differences with the vehicle itself over the original.  The fan propeller still spins via a small wheel, there are compartments on each side towards the rear, same clear removable canopy on the cockpit, 360 degree rotating gunner's seat, side cannons and even the small torpedo sled underneath the watercraft.  This is a very fun and what I liked about it as a kid and to this day is it's size.  It isn't too small (as it can carry an additional 3 figures), but it isn't too big either.  Honestly I don't understand how full on Joe collectors have enough room to display their collections as large as some of the toys are.  That said this is an excellent walk down memory lane toy and one that should be easily attainable on the secondary market.


  1. The vehicles and troop building have always been the main draws for me to G.I. Joe. Well, Cobra. I'm still sad I had to put all of mine in storage because of space issues - the vehicles are huge! The version of Copperhead that came with the Sting Raider is miles better than the 2 pack version that came with Shipwreck.