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By Thomas Wheeler

I remember being warned at the G.I.Joe Convention, by a Hasbro representative, that if I wanted the G.I.Joe Night Force Grizzly Tank, that I'd better get it when I saw it, because it was short packed in the same assortment with the Thunderwing Jet.

That theory proved itself to be true one weekend in early August when I went into a Wal-Mart and saw ONE Grizzly and THREE Thunderwings. As of this writing, I still don't have the Thunderwing. But I definitely wanted the tank. So even though I wasn't really in a position to afford it, I decided to haul one home anyway.

The original Patriot Grizzly Tank came out last year. A desert-camouflaged tank, the Patriot Grizzly was known for being the largest tank produced for the G.I.Joe line, larger than either the MOBAT or the Mauler, and for being able to produce a fair range of sound effects and for rapid-firing up to twenty missiles through its long-barreled cannon. About the only downside to the Patriot Grizzly was that it didn't have actual treads, unlike the MOBAT and Mauler. But it was motorized, and was still a very decent-looking and impressive tank.

So now we have the Night Force Grizzly. What's the difference? The color scheme, mostly. And technically, it's not really a match for the original Night Force vehicles, which were molded in all black, with dark grey portions, and bright red trim. And glow in the dark labels. Really, the new Grizzly is closer in color scheme, given its more "woodland" camouflage, to the vehicles from the Slaughter's Marauders line. However, the camouflage on the Grizzly is even more pronounced.

The Night Force Grizzly Tank has a randomized camouflage pattern of black, dark green, and brown. Somehow, this makes it look distinctly more impressive than its predecessor, the Patriot Grizzly, which sported a striped desert pattern of light tan and a sort of greyish-tan. There's just something a little meaner-looking about the Night Force Grizzly.

Apart from that, it's essentially identical, with the same capabilities as before. Fortunately, these are pretty impressive capabilities. It is a motorized tank, and it still has a good range of sound effects, and the missile-firing feature is very cool.

The tank comes with a new-style version of Wild Bill, whose file card still lists him as a Helicopter Pilot. But given that Wild Bill was the main driver for the Patriot Grizzly in the "SpyTroops" movie, it's probably about time that a figure of Wild Bill was sold with a version of this tank.

Overall, I definitely recommend the NIGHT FORCE GRIZZLY. I also recommend that if you are fortunate enough to see it (I've only seen the one I bought), that you do not hesitate in getting it. (I think there are still some in the club store at as well.) It will be a very cool addition to your G.I.JOE Collection.