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The "reality" of the vehicles of the G.I. Joe universe


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Most of G.I. Joe's and Cobra's vehicle designed were based off of real world vehicles. For example, the Dragonfly appears to be based on the Apache or Cobra (THAT would be ironic). Or the Warthog and Bridgelayer are based on real vehicles.. Even the Rattler is, of course, based on the A-10 Thunderbolt. Even the Skystorm is real.


But what about the ones that aren't so real? Basic research has shown that alot of these vehicles are NOT easy to find "real" equivalents. For example, the sky Hawk box says "based on an US Army designs", yet the ohly real world equivalent I could find was a vehicle of similar design that wasn't invented until 2003!


So, basing our information on the toyline and source material, like the toons and comics (unless someone can actually find the "original" design), just how feasible would a lot of the G.I. Joe universe vehicles be?


Wolverine: I couldn't find anything (other than missile attachments to other MBTs). This one is more about the pilot. It doesn't make a lot of sense to me to put an unprotected pilot in front of the missiles. where is that exhuast going to go? Cover Girl probably only last a year as driver before all kinds of lung ailments would have killed her.


Rattler: I could see this working. Moving the A-10's engines to the wings. But would the vehicle's wings be able to withstand the stress of both being able to rotate AND flight? Would they just rip right off at higher speeds?


H.I.S.S.: The problem I always had with this vehicle is the fact that so MUCH tread is exposed. Bazooka's filecard talks about how he was a tank driver who made the realization that a farmer with a $200 disposable rocket launcher could take out a tank with one shot. Would it be extra easy on a H.I..S.S.?


S.H.A.R.C.: This one is a complete mystery on feasibility. It came out at the time when Joe vehicles were at the "realistic" stage, yet, like the Sky Hawk, seemed to be completely unrealistic.


Between 82 and 85, most vehicles were relatively realstic. Exceptions include the above, the H.A.L., F.L.A.K., J.U.M.P., A.S.P., C.L.A.W., Sky Hawk, Armadillo and Flight Pod.


The H.A.L. and F.L.A.K. would probably just be conventional artillery. And the Sky Hawk and C.L.A.W. have both been proven to work.


But then, 1986 and on, we get the WEIRD stuff, like the Stun, H.A.V.O.C., Maggot and Condor. Or Destro's vehicles like the Razorback and A.G.P.


What would be feasible to work and what wouldn't?

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I would also imagine the "based on real designs" part would be not just designs of actual vehicles in use today, but designs of proposed vehicles. The US Military I'm sure has a treasure trove of ideas for battleground "toys" they can use to wreak havok on their enemies. Some more plausible than others and some certainly more fantasy than reality. Take a look at some of the things that are in use today. Some seem pretty fantastic.


The Skyhawk and HISS are clearly fiction, but that deosn't mean some guy in the bowels of the pentagon didn't draw up some blueprints for a proposed idea that was doomed to failure.....Would be cool as hell to see a flight of Skyhawks though.

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Yeah, the early Joe days tended to have a bit of what I call "Tom Clancy Syndrome" going on (and that's not a bad thing, BTW). A lot of the designs were likely based on real world concepts but not necessarily actual real-world vehicles (at least that ever went into production). They were supposed to be a "few years ahead of reality" in terms of their tech/vehicles and such.


Well, at least the Joe vehicles, the Cobra vehicles started out pretty fantastical and stayed that way. The Rattler was an exception, not the rule where Cobra vehicles were concerned. Arguably the Moray and Water Moccasin were at least "semi-realistic" but I don't think they were based on a specific design.

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Gijoe and Cobra has always had an element of futuristic weaponry Claws, Mechs, Trouble Bubbles dont exist in modern warfare but that doesnt mean they can't someday :)

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The "based on real designs" byline is just hyperbole........or outright marketing BS. SOME of the designs are based on real-world stuff, but they are mostly the stuff used by the Joes--the Vamp, for example, is based on a prototype for the Humvee ( the actual vehicle can be seen at the Fort Lewis Military Museum in Tacoma Washington).


But "real world" is a subjective term. In almost every case, the vehicles have been up-gunned to the extreme to make them more appealing and dynamic to kids. One would suppose that even a whimsical latrine set would have the latrine armed with anti-air missiles.


As far as COBRA stuff goes..........I think the sky was the limit and "reality" was decidedly left aside. The more fantastic the bad guys stuff was, the less "threatening" it seems to be and ( more importantly) the less controversial it would become. That means it stays off the radar of parents that don't want to give their kids the "wrong impression".


Most of COBRA's hardware is....accordingly, just plain dumb.....and useless in a military sense.

The HISS is considered their main tank, yet the iconic version mounts only "light" guns on top. The 2nd version of the HISS actually makes more sense as a threat.

Some stuff, like the Ratller, seem to work........but other stuff......like the Buzzboar, and Pogo.......make you wonder if Dr. Mindbender was bending his mind a little too much that day.

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The SHARC was never meant to fly. The kids playtesting it kept using it as a plane so hasbro gave it that capability.

Where did you find that out? I don't doubt you; I just LOVE finding out little trivia like this and wonder if there's more. :)


As far as COBRA stuff goes..........I think the sky was the limit and "reality" was decidedly left aside. The more fantastic the bad guys stuff was, the less "threatening" it seems to be and ( more importantly) the less controversial it would become. That means it stays off the radar of parents that don't want to give their kids the "wrong impression".

The line I've always heard is that with the 'real AMERICAN hero' tagline and patriotic push, Hasbro leaned toward sci-fi vehicles with Cobra because basing them on real designs too often would make it look as though Cobra was meant to represent (or being supplied by) countries that might not be too pleased with American entertainment using them in that fashion. Making Cobra 'everyone's enemy' and representative of no country -or even conventional reality in many cases- made for a much less controversial enemy, as you note, at least where 'politics' are concerned.


This is, to my understanding, tied into the reasoning behind making 99% of the Cobra forces Caucasian.

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