I think most of us saw this coming, what with the release of the 50th Anniversary VAMP Mark II last year, but it’s still pretty neat to see it in production.
Like the previous VAMP and the Stinger, Hasbro added some key parts to make the VAMP MK II for Toys “R” Us retail last year, and the Club has now leveraged that into the Tiger Sting, a Tiger Force version of that same VAMP.
Like the retooled vehicle, this one is bulkier and has more “bling” than its vintage counterpart, plus a nicer rocket system with tubes and other tooling adjustments to make it stand out from the original.
Step-for-step this updated Tiger Sting is painted like the vintage version with the yellow and black stripes as well as the unique faded white towards the nose of the jeep. The technique is pretty flawless, and one has to wonder if that was part of the “complicated deco” that lifted prices a bit higher this year than they have been in the past. It’s a great look, even if those of us in attendance did have to fork over some extra bones for it.
The vehicle feels solid and sturdy, and I’ve been a big fan of the modern retools of vintage vehicles since they started doing them. On the surface, it’s tough to tell many differences between this vehicle and a much less expensive vintage counterpart, but if you’re using modern figures and getting your hands on the vehicles often, you will certainly notice the difference.
Then of course, we have Sgt. Katzenbogen, AKA Bazooka behind the steering wheel. Both Bazooka and Roadblock were rumored 25th Anniversary figures before the line phased out in 2009, and so you had to think they would make an appearance here somewhere. I’m actually a bit surprised that Roadblock didn’t appear somewhere in the Con set, but considering his new role as Hollywood icon in G.I. Joe land, it probably makes sense that Hasbro wants to keep him in their back pocket for future use.
Bazooka simply uses the same base figure as the 25th Anniversary version, which is fine, because he was a later generation 25th Anniversary figure and looks pretty good. He’s got a very unique appearance with his baggy football jersey and moustached face, so rather than reinvent the wheel, it totally makes sense to carry that look forward into Tiger Force.
His deco is spot on for the vintage, with the new white jersey and green pants, though it’s an odd departure compared to the rest of Tiger Force. It actually speaks to some of my issues with Tiger Force to begin with… I mean what are they really? They’re supposed to be a cohesive subteam, but there are so many different looks, colors, and decos going on… I struggle with it.
But Bazooka maintains that vintage look nicely into a modern format, and part of me smiles at the fact that they put him an Alpine together in a Con set. It makes sense.
Pretty much the typical stuff here. He comes with his helmet (mine has some unfortunate black splotches on it), rocket launcher, with four rockets, and his familiar backpack which holds the rockets. He’s got everything he needs to have.
The rockets feel a bit soft and “gluey”, and I’m not entirely sure why, but that’s a minor little issue, I suppose.
For vintage fans who are looking for new versions of their Tiger Force favorites, congratulations, the Tiger Sting does that for you. It’s not necessarily what I’m into, but the Club executed it really nicely, so fans who are looking for that (and I understand that many of you are), go crazy. It’s a fun vehicle with a great paint scheme and comes with a really nice looking rendition of Tiger Force Bazooka.
Tiger Sting w/ Bazooka
Vehicle Paint Deco
Vehicle Play Features
Figure Paint Deco
With the 50th Anniversary line bringing us the VAMP Mark II, its appearance in the Tiger Force Convention Set was all but assured. Looking back at the box art for the Tiger Sting, too, we should have guessed who would have come with it. Bazooka comes to us as a straight repaint for his 25th Anniversary version, something that would kind of irk me originally, but Bazooka’s tooling actually still works pretty well, and he matches his vintage colors well. A good update that fits with the Con theme nicely.