The AWE Striker has been around for a long time. Since 1985 in fact. It’s been repainted several times and is somewhat of a staple of the line. That said, I’ve never owned one until I saw this one at a good price.
I was pleasantly surprised when I opened the box. The backdrop folds out into a mini diorama. It’s just packaging, but it shows some forethought.
I was just as surprised by the vehicle it self. I was expecting something of early VAMP quality, but this is much better. How you ask? Well, let me tell you.
First, this thing has a nifty trick with some flexible pieces that simulate 4 wheel suspension. I know for folks just putting it on display that won’t mean much, but it make it fun as you are scooting it along on your desk. On top of that, the front wheels can steer a bit.
One of the things I loved about the early days of GI Joe was their roots in the real world, and this vehicle is a great example of that. There’s nothing here that doesn’t look real world. It just looks like a tough little military dune buggy. Molded in black, tan and green, the AWE Striker almost seems more relevant in today’s world.
It’s the little details that real sell this thing. The headlights have clear inserts that go through the housing that gives them a bit of shine. Mounted on the dash is a camera that is wired into the gun. Even the whip style antennas make sense for this kind of vehicle.
The engine end of the buggy is pretty cool. There’s a removable engine cover that protects a removable engine! Want to have a vehicle in a Joe garage diorama for Clutch to work on? This would be a good choice.
The body and tires have been given some dirt effects so this bad boy doesn’t look like it just rolled out of a car wash. I actually thing this pretty effective on the wheels.
There are two minor things I don’t like about it. The first is the over size gun. It’s not badly sculpted. It really looks like a large cannon. I just suspect it would flips this thing over when fired. I much rather would have seen a way to mount Night Fox’s heavy machine gun in its’ place.
The other thing is the decals. Some of them go over dirt. Which means the decal looks like it is painted over dirt. Just looks off. Some of them are black decals for the black body areas. They don’t really show up at all. Lastly, the roll bar ones just don’t want to stick well.
I have to say other than the new VAMP, this is probably one of the best value for the money vehicles I’ve gotten in recent years. It’s a solid little realistic looking dune buggy. Consider it was back with a fairly decent driver and accessories, and you really have something.