REVIEW: G.I.JOE - COBRA CRIMSON ATTACK
By Thomas Wheeler
In the mid-80's, SEARS was the center for most G.I.Joe exclusive items,
of which were assigned either to Cobra or the Dreadnoks, for some reason.
One of these included the original CRIMSON ATTACK TANK. A recolored
MOBAT, the motorized tank first released in 1982 and assigned to the
G.I.Joe Team, the C.A.T. was recolored in black with red guns on its
turret. Although it
didn't come with a figure, the box illustration (dang, I miss those
showed a Crimson Guard driving the vehicle.
The MOBAT/C.A.T. has always been one of Hasbro's best. A battery-operated
tank with actual treads, although it is somewhat smaller in size than
tanks, such as the excellent battery-operated MAULER and other non-battery-operated
vehicles, this tank was very realistic in appearance. Arguably it is
one of the most military-looking vehicles in the entire G.I.Joe line,
and its popularity remains to this day, enough so the the MOBAT was
re-released in 1997 and 1998 with a new camouflage color scheme.
Well, the C.A.T. is back, too, this time as a K*B Toys
exclusive. Designated the CRIMSON ATTACK TANK II, or simply C.A.T. II,
this new version of the Cobra answer to the MOBAT has been given a color
scheme reversed from its original. The tank is a dark brick red, and
the guns on the turret are black. It's
been given some extra detail, notably silver-painted vents in the back.
And it comes with a figure! The figure included with the C.A.T. II is
a traditional-style figure, a recoloration of the CRIMSON GUARD IMMORTAL,
first released in 1991. I've always like the CGI better than the original
Crimson Guard for several reasons. That's not to malign the original
Crimson Guard, but somehow that figure always looked like he was wearing
a dress uniform that just happened to include a helmet. Even his file
card said that the Crimson Guards were too valuable to waste on a battlefield.
They were mostly businessmen, working behind the scenes at corporations
to advance the cause of Cobra.
What fun is that going to be at playtime!?
The Crimson Guard Immortal looked much more ready for action. The helmet
was more detailed, the figure was wearing protective body armor, and
with bigger weaponry. And yet he still looked very much like a Crimson
A Crimson Guard ready for the battlefield, it should be noted.
The original CGI is not an easy figure to find these days. There was
something a little odd about 1991's figure distribution. Many of the
figures were not easy to find, and still aren't, to this day. That it
included many popular characters such as Big Ben, Snake-Eyes, Cobra
Commander, a new B.A.T., and the Crimson Guard Immortal only adds to
the frustration. So a new Crimson Guard Immortal is a welcome sight.
Granted, there's not that much "Crimson" about him. The figure
is dressed mostly in a dark steel blue uniform. The only real "Crimson"
about him is his
faceplate, which is a metallic dark red. That, and the tank he drives,
But the figure has always been an excellent design, the new colors are
superb, it's a traditional-style figure, and I have no complaints whatsoever.
I haven't seen the C.A.T. II in any of K*B's stores yet (although as
of this writing the one closest to me did get in a huge load of Night
Attack Choppers for twenty bucks, so if you were holding off on that
because it was too expensive, here's your chance). However, it is available
on K*B's Web Site - www.kbtoys.com - and I most definitely give the
COBRA CRIMSON ATTACK TANK II my highest recommendation! Cool tank, cool
figure, battery operated vehicle with plenty of play value -- you can't