I think if Cobra had the HISS tank as its iconic land vehicle, the Joes had the VAMP. Sure, it may not be as well known as the Skystriker or the USS Flagg, but it’s definitely one worth mentioning. The original was there since day one, and its successor was around for several years after the fact through its initial retail release and countless mail-in offers. I’ve always been partial to the Cobra Stinger, myself, but the VAMP is far easier to come by, and it was always great even without anti-air guns and a slavish black color scheme. The new VAMP may be pretty far off from that little jeep, but that doesn’t hurt it in any way; in fact, it helps it.
The new VAMP, specifically the VAMP Mk. II here, is basically what would happen if the original VAMP mated with the Warthog from HALO, and produced a sexy baby. This thing dwarfs the original VAMP, coming closer in size to the fantastic Humvees we got during Valor vs. Venom. This version can fit three passengers and a gunner, with a few guys running sidearm (if that’s the proper term. I doubt it is).
Naturally, this vehicle needed some assembly. Not as much as the Black Dragon, but still enough to be satisfying. What I liked the most was the wheels and how the spare tire is no different than the four on the chassis. It’s a weird thing to be excited about, but it’s nice to see a spare tire that’s, you know, ACTUALLY A SPARE TIRE. Also, the axles have an actual suspension! It isn’t spring-loaded or anything, but it’s still neat nonetheless.
The front of the vehicle is adorned with a… very obvious grappling hook/tow cable. This thing sticks out like a sore thumb. It’s also not the best at allowing the jeep to hang from stuff… trust me, I tried. The dial on the hood retracts it, but I wish there was something a bit more… efficient. It takes FOREVER to get that thing back into place!
Two guns are included; a spring-loaded launcher for the kiddies, and an awesome Gatling gun. Either of them can go on the roof or the back turret. While the back turret has a much welcome swivel, the ammo belt gets in the way and it’s kind of floppy.
Of course, it wouldn’t be the VAMP without tons of tiny crap that can easily get lost! A sledgehammer, shovel, two gas canisters, and two sets of small canisters of… something. I especially like the sledgehammer. I’ll have fun with that one.
And it wouldn’t be a modern G.I. Joe vehicle without TONS OF STICKERS! About a hundred, too. I’m going to wait to do these…
While the Black Dragon’s pilot left a bad taste in my mouth, the Steel Brigade Delta makes me hungry for more. Utilizing the Shock Trooper body, vest of Beachhead (with both knives!!), a helmet from one of the DTC Steel Brigadiers, and a head that looks based on the one from my favorite Snake-Eyes mold, this figure is GREAT. The colors and design work together in excellent harmony, and if I ever get some of the new Steel Brigades, this guy will be their commander.
A great update of a great vehicle, looking even more slavish in green instead of tan. Whether your prefer the Mk. I or the Mk. II is really a matter of taste, but I think the new Steel Brigade is WAY cooler than Clutch. I’m glad to finally have a vehicle for Stalker and his team. If you want one, take a look at FPNYC for one of your own!