Hasbro didn’t do much for Vintage construction collectors in the modern era. From 2007 on, the number of releases in the classic construction were pretty minimal, and by the dawning of the 2010s, they became non existent. Though, while there weren’t any figures being made (which was eased by Factory Customs), Hasbro did tend to slip in some pretty decent vehicles, that often times were quite compatible with vintage figures. By 2014, when it was established that G.I. Joe was for the most part, dead at retail, Hasbro actually put out a couple of vehicles that were damn close to being reissues of 80s releases. One of those was the COBRA WOLF I’m not really a fan of arctic figures and vehicles. I never have been, because it’s a pretty restricted environment, that is a pain to recreate in non-winter months, and not a lot of fun to be in, during the actual winter. Still, that’s never stopped Hasbro from making numerous high quality arctic pieces. One of the best ones is definitely the WOLF
1987 was a strange year for vehicles, as it was one of the only years that G.I. Joe and COBRA were even for releases. 1986 was the beginning of a shift in the Joe team’s motor pool becoming less grounded in reality. On one hand it made for some real fun toys, on the other they were definitely not the same as the Mauler or the VAMP. With COBRA, they’d always had some fairly outlandish vehicles, and in 1987 there stuff was weird, but not all that much weirder than it’d ever been. To be perfectly honest, the WOLF was no stranger than the HISS, a vehicle it obviously took some design cues from.
The WOLF features a fairly COBRAesque design. The twin guns and glass canopies harken back to the HISS. It’s also not a COBRA vehicle if it doesn’t feature LOTS OF RED MISSILES. However, unlike most COBRA armor, this one shows a little restraint and has the missile rack be hidden when not elevated (a fun play feature). It also has a pair of ski torpedos, which I have to say, are a better take on the concept than the ones included with the Snowcat. It’s nice for a COBRA vehicle to not be undergunned.
One of the nicest things about the WOLF is the shape of it. It’s got a nice sloping design, and the elevated rear of the vehicle looks pretty sharp. The twin glass canopies are cool, and it’s a nice change of pace from the driver and passenger style cockpits that had been the case with most vehicles. Of course, on my sample, the rear canopy is damn tight I can’t even get it open (and it developed a nice stress crack in storage), not sure if that was the case on the vintage version, or just shrinking plastic in the last 6 years. Oh well, I managed to fix it by shaving a slight bit of the front tabs.
This version of the WOLF, didn’t feature too many modifications, like some Modern Era vehicles did. It’s for the most part the same as the vintage vehicle, with changes to the foot pegs on the side skis. However, that change isn’t even too damning, because they left the pegs on the side of the actual WOLF, vintage sized. So you can work a way to have figures of both era hanging off the side. It’s not really a big deal to me, because I’ve never been a huge fan of figures on running boards. Honestly, I was mainly glad they didn’t change any of the cockpit area, because when they do that, it often makes the vintage figures not fit correctly.
The WOLF is a nice vehicle, and the fact that Hasbro had the mold for the entire repaint era, and didn’t bother doing anything with it, is a shame. The new sculpt era featured some of the worst designed and even worse looking vehicles, and I think we all would’ve benefitted from Hasbro not pissing away the budget on horrific things like that pick up truck with running board machine guns, or that boxy looking Humvee that launched a manned flying pod, but didn’t have doors that opened, and just doing things like repainting the WOLF.