Nope! They may have made a new channel for themselves, and the shelves at the stores may be empty, but there are still GI Joe figures and vehicles trickling onto those previously mentioned empty shelves. Today I found the Black Dragon, Cobra’s VTOL airplane. They also had the VAMP, but we just had one of those, and this one looked just the same. So I went with the new vehicle. And boy am I glad I did.
Some fantastic box art for the new Black Dragon. The vehicle comes with a Cobra Air Trooper, and he is a pretty great figure on his own. Of course only coming with one gun, but the mold is nice and he has a great futuristic helmet molded on.
Somebody was listening. NO STICKERS!!!! Not even one! That seemed to be the biggest complaint that people have about every single toy line involving said stickers. But I sure hope you are not afraid to build. This vehicle comes in something like 15 pieces, not including the bombs and figure. The pieces are all molded in black with red paint highlights. The red paint is not very good, light in some areas to allow the black to show through, and bumpy too.
When the vehicle is finally built, it has rotating turbines, folding wings, an opening cockpit, retractable landing gear, opening bomb bay doors, and a second pop-out gattling gun. There is not much more that you could require your vehicle to do here. Two buttons on the top either rotate the wings forward, or drop the bombs.
Here is a side view of the Black Dragon in flight mode. The body reminds me of the Nerf footballs with the tail attached to the back. That gives me a sense that this plane can really move, since I know I threw better when there was a tail on my football. This vehicle has a really nice design that says it is futuristic, but could be in our skies in the next couple of years.
A little hard to portrait the bombs being dropped without a video. Pressing the button on the top of the plane will drop the two bomb bays, and 8 bombs will be dropped. That is a lot of bombs for this little plane. On top of that, a second, larger gattling gun also flips out to give extra fire power.
And finally the top-down view of the plane. With the bomb bays attached, the plane has a more robust look to it. The wings are skinny both top to bottom and front to back. To solve the problem with breakage, Hasbro molded the wings in a material that is a bit softer than the rest of the plane’s plastic. That is a good thing for the kids who like to see if their Black Dragon can fly. They would only get that chance once. At least this way, they will get more play out of it. I don’t think the engines are heavy enough to make the wings droop over time.
So, there you have it. GI Joe is still around. I am still upset that Hasbro put the new GI Joe Renegades show on their own channel, The Hub, since I don’t get the channel in my area. I was seeing some of the Pursuit of Cobra figures warming the pegs at most of the stores for a while now, and I figures we would never see this plane come out. With the F-14 Tomcat flown by the Joes out there, I was a little more hopeful, but that one seemed limited too. This is probably all we will see in the stores for a while now, so back to ThunderCats, and Hot Wheels for the time being.