G.I. Joe Black Dragon VTOL Cobra vehicle with Cobra Air Trooper

by Jay Cochran
September 15, 2011
The new G.I. Joe Black Dragon VTOL vehicle with Cobra Air Trooper figure is a very cool vehicle and will make a nice addition to your G.I. Joe collection. Based on a design from the short-lived G.I. Joe: Renegades animated series, this new vehicle adds some serious fire power to Cobraís arsenal.

Decked out in traditional black and red Cobra colors, the toy comes packaged in a sleek box showing some nice box art of the vehicle on the front with a window displaying the figure in the bottom left corner. The layout and design of the new G.I. Joe packaging is very reminiscent of that used in the classic Real American Hero line. White markings with red highlights help it stand out well as a Cobra vehicle on the toy shelves. On the back of the packaging, you get a picture of the actual toy and figure along with some images depicting the vehicleís features. There is also a brief description of the vehicle on the back.

Once you open the packaging and pull out the inner packaging, some assembly is required. Not to worry though, it is very simple assembly and should take roughly five minutes to complete. The decals have already been applied.

The vehicle sports a number of features for playability. You can push the wings back for landing mode and pushing a button on top of the wings automatically deploys them back out for flight mode. Two working propellers on the end of each wing can be turned upward for landing mode or forward for flight mode.

Landing gear on the bottom can be pulled out in the back, and a small cannon in the front swivels to the right or left. A larger cannon pops out when you push a button on the top of the vehicle to provide added firepower. Thatís not all for weapons though. Pods on each side of the vehicle pop open and drop 4 bombs each when you push the button on top.

Just for added fun, a hook on the bottom looks as if you could tie some kind of tow-cable to lift up large objects for transport like a Jeep or other land-type vehicles. Two holes on the bottom of each wing may allow you to attach additional weapons of some type, although I am not really sure what these are for. There arenít any weapons included with this vehicle that would fit in the holes, but possibly cannons or something from another vehicle might work here.

As cool as it is, the toy isnít without its share of faults. The cockpit holds one figure, and only one figure, snugly. The issue is that the vehicle is billed as a transport vehicle. Besides seeing it carry more than one person in the cartoon, the back of the package indicates that the Black Dragon is used to carry powerful Cobra leaders to a secret meeting.

Another fault (at least my toy) was that the right wing tends to pop off when pushed back. Yes, it pops right back on but it gets somewhat annoying when itís always falling off every time you touch it. This may be a problem unique to just my toy, but I felt it was worth mentioning.

A personal dislike more than a fault with the vehicle is how all the bombs just fall out of the pods when you push the button. The bombs just sit in the pod instead of attaching to anything, and the door on the bottom of the pod simply pops open and the bombs just fall when you push the button. It would have been cooler if the bombs were attached to something so they could drop one at a time.

The biggest disappointment for the Black Dragon is the figure. My biggest problem with it has to do with how the knee pads on the figureís legs are designed. He canít straighten them out totally. This makes the figure next to impossible to stand without the figure stand (which does come with with a pistol and filecard); it also just makes the figure look kind of funny. Out of all the different Cobra pilot figures Hasbro has made over the years, I would have to say this is one of my least favorites. I will say the Cobra Strato Viper figure (or I guess as he is called today the ďAirĒ Viper) goes quite nicely with the Black Dragon.

The Black Dragon isnít perfect but overall it is a very cool-looking design with some pretty cool features. As I mentioned in the beginning, I think will fit in nicely with your Joe collection. Look for it on store shelves now.

Check out our GALLERY for more images for this vehicle below.

Appearance 10/10
Features 9/10
Playability 9/10
Articulation (Figure) 7/10
Final Judgment 35/40
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