The Scientific Fact That the Cobra Ferret is the Coolest Cobra Vehicle


It was always an extra-special toy day when you could get a vehicle for the Joe or Cobra Forces.

The first vehicle I got in the Joe line was the Cobra HISS. It was a dual-cannoned tank on upward-tilted treads that looked aggressive and dangerous. That first leap into the realm of vehicles pretty much guaranteed that I wasn’t going to be solely sticking to figures. It was just too much fun having the HISS plow through a small Joe army, or nuking the bejeebles out of some good guys. And that fact that it came with its own driver—one who happened to be dressed in my favorite color combo, red and black—was so much concentrated coolocity I could barely stand the surge of adrenaline coursing through my tiny little veins.

The HISS was the first of many many vehicles that I was able to add to the rolling armory of my Joeverse. The HISS was bookended by the Mean Dog, an angry and aggressive vehicle that marked my final childhood Joe vehicle. There were some that I regret never getting, like the Rolling Thunder or the WHALE. There were a few I willfully passed on, like the Skystriker or the FLAGG. But there was one that I never saw in its initial run in the toy aisle, but got a second chance on with a mail-in offer: the Ferret. And it may have been the coolest little vehicle of them all.

Some of the smaller vehicle-types in the line could be the most fun. The RAM, the CLAW, the FANG, The Chameleon, Serpentor’s Air Chariot, Destro’s Despoiler…they were small, they usually seated only a single operative, but for tiny kid hands they felt like the perfect size. It was much easier to have them zip around and wreak untold amounts of damage to the opposing forces.

The Ferret showed up in both the GI Joe comic and the cartoon. The Dreadnoks scooted around on Ferrets in zero-G while terrorizing some Joes on a space station. That was the episode with those big Fatal Fluffies that proved the Joe cartoon writer’s room was downwind of a gas leak.

The Ferret showed up plenty of times in the comic as well. Scrap Iron and Firefly showed up on one while zipping around killing random Soft Masters, and Tomax and Xamot used one to get away from the Joes. Each and every time it showed up, I salivated like a hungry dog. Must…have…Ferret.

I must not have been the only kid who wanted the damned thing, because I never saw it on the shelves, regardless of the store. Hills, Best, Maxway, K-Mart, Roses, Brendles…they all failed me.

Just look at that card art. Look at it! It has a ninja assassin and a ninja saboteur body-hugging each other while twin .50 caliber machine guns and a CMF-1 ten round launcher are at full roar. That’s not stealthy at all, but they don’t care, because they look badass doing it.

Ninjas and saboteurs, man! It had my favorite things about 1984’s lineup smooshed together delivering death on four bouncy tires.

A few years after its release it returned as part of a mail-away offer with a few other vehicles and figures, for those of us that missed out the first time around. All you needed was a bit of money and Flag points. I still have some flag points saved up, waiting for the chance to use them on another offer. Any day now.

Once I finally had the Ferret in my hands, it was every bit as fun as I had believed it to be. I had Cobra agents whooshing around and killing everything in sight. I could finally give Tomax and Xamot what I felt to be their ride. I even was able to have Firefly and Storm Shadow emulate the card art. All finally felt right with the world.

The Ferret feels like a decent-sized item that would fit into the Classified Series line without being prohibitively expensive. It doesn’t have the bulk of a HISS tank, so it wouldn’t have to be some high-end Haslab thing, and it’s sized so that it could even come with someone, like the Ram came with Breaker. Maybe a classic version of Firefly. I don’t know. It could even get a Tiger Force repaint into the Tiger Paw, to maximize the mold use.

Regardless of the how, I’d be all in for it.



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