GI Joe 25th Anniversary Sting Raider

25th Ann Sting Raider 1

Okay. Let's get this out of the way first. This is the "Water Moccasin," not the "Sting Raider." I don't keep up with GI Joe lore. I don't know much of anything about GI beyond what I consider the toy line's glory years of the early to mid 1980's. In fact, the number of figures I like from GI Joe are mostly concentrated in the 83-84 years, with that number gradually tapering off each subsequent year. By the time I get to 1988 (with some exceptions from 1989), I'm hard-pressed to come up with more than 1 or 2 figures per year that I like. And "Sting Raider" is kind of a pansy name for a terrorist organization that is usually so serpentine in demeanor, no?

25A Sting Raider 2

I'm glad Hasbro didn't double-dip here and give us the same Copperhead figure they gave us in the Copperhead vs. Shipwreck comic pack, instead they included a Python Patrol version. Yes, the Python Patrol figures are ugly as sin, but for some reason I dug them back in '89 and they still fill me with some warm, gooey nostalgia. I think this may have something to do with something I call "Insecticon Syndrome." Put simply, uniformity found within a subset of characters makes the affected person irrationally drawn to and ghey for said subset.

One of the things that always struck me funny about the Water Moccasin was its box art which features Cobra Commander riding into battle on one of its running boards, and Destro manning the gun turret. Now, I could buy Destro maybe, but no way would Cobra Commander do that. He was the human equivalent of Megatron. He'd stand there and bluster the mighty so-and-so's attacking, but the minute Brawn or Flint show up, it's full on time to retreat. In my personal GI Joe canon, Cobra Commander's a smart guy and just keeps his ass at home.

I decided that I'd do a pic of something a little more mission-appropriate. I see it as primarily suited to "brown water ops." Namely, a high-speed transport for some Cobra Eels. It ferries them to the target area, drops them off, runs around doing a little distraction work, meets back up with the Eels at the rendezvous point, then speeds off. Since its basically a heavily armed airboat it can go where potential marine-based pursuers can't follow.

25th Ann Sting Raider 3

Yes, I'm a grown man that thinks about the Order of Battle for his GI Joe figures. Sue me.


GI Joe 25th Anniversary Cobra F.A.N.G. and Cobra C.L.A.W.


Alright, we've gone over all the toys I got for my birthday, now we're doing all the stuff I got for Christmas. I got this set just for the FANG. I could care less about some glorified hang glider. The FANG was one of the few Joe vehicles I wanted but never actually had when I was a kid. I don't know why, in a toy line full of Rattlers and AWE Strikers and Night Ravens, this plain little helicopter appealed to me.


There's not really much to say about it. I wish some of the earlier 25A figures were better engineered. Because of their infamous "diaper crotches" they can't assume a sitting pose, so that means no Cobra Troopers piloting the FANG (as pictured in the box art. I guess it looks okay with the Viper pilot, which is kind of a reverse color of the regular 25A Viper. Definitely looks better with Wild Weasel or an AVAC piloting it.


One interesting thing about the CLAW is that this is not the original mold. The orginal '84 version of the CLAW had landing gear, retractable wingtips and movable ailerons. I don't know enough about GI Joe to know where this updated mold came from, though.