1992 Parasite

1992 Parasite

90‘s GI Joe vehicles were often not on the same level of quality as 90‘s GI Joe figures, at least in my opinion. Certain vehicle options were quite poor, or questionably designed in a way you never saw from the vehicles we got in the 80‘s. One very underrated gem amidst all of this however, is the Cobra Parasite. It’s a simple vehicle, but it’s nicely sized and has a ton of play value, enough that’s hard to believe it shares a release year with the RAT, at the very least.

1992 parasite gi joe cobra vintage arah vehicle

The Cobra Parasite is basically a Cobra APC, and it does a good job of being a go-to party wagon for your 90‘s Cobras. It fills a similar role to the HISS II, and in comparison to that vehicle, the Parasite feels far more basic and simple. However, it overall does the job a lot better, as while it lacks the fancy railing and more detailed construction, it makes up for it by featuring a more spacious troop bay, which can carry 6 figures as opposed to the HISS II’s 4.

One little gimmick that’s often ignored is the top-mounted catapult. I really hate this part of the vehicle, so I can see why it’s usually given no attention. It works in the same way as the Incinerator’s catapult, though oddly enough I don’t think they really share any tooling. The worst thing about it is that it looks completely tacked on, and just detracts from the vehicle’s overall shape, which is quite pleasing otherwise.

The Parasite has an interesting look that I feel is pretty well in line with a lot of Cobra vehicle designs. It has a very angular geometry that fits in nicely with any of the HISS tanks, or other boxy ground vehicles like the Maggot. One flaw that might irk a good number of folks is that the driver is totally exposed in the front turret. It’s a little goofy, but it’s also in line with most other prominent Cobra vehicles, which typically provide their pilots little in the way of protection.

Fun-fact, did you know the wheels on the Parasite are shared with at least two other vehicles? Both the Hammerhead and the Blockbuster use the same wheels as the Parasite. It’s probably another way Hasbro was cheaping out at the time, but it’s actually kind of interesting since I don’t think I’ve ever seen too many people notice this.

The worst thing about the Parasite is by far it’s colors. They’re not only bright, they’re an obnoxious mixture of orange and purple, which clashes with almost everything. It would look a lot better even if it were just solid purple, but the orange is really hard to take seriously whenever you see it. A lot of GI Joe fans have breathed life into this vehicle by giving it a quick coat of paint, which can really show how much potential this vehicle has (see the links below). Sadly, Hasbro never brought this vehicle back in any way, and a repaint in the 2000’s could’ve been pretty popular if they did it right.

The price that Parasites go for now shows almost no consistency, and seems like another indicator of the current collecting bubble. Every now and then, a Parasite will hit some absolutely stupid price, like $40. Most of the time, they go between $10 and $25, which is already a pretty wide price range. Before the era of the COVID collector, these routinely went for dirt, and it was easy to get a complete one for no more than $15. It’s a very common vehicle and I think it’ll return to the $15 price tag before too long.

1992 parasite gi joe cobra vintage arah vehicle 1992 parasite gi joe cobra vintage arah vehicle

1992 Parasite Links:

3D Joes

Custom by Outrider

Custom by Scarrviper

Custom by Scarrviper

Custom by Wes

Custom by GI JONNY

Custom by Scrapiron-Scavanger

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5 Responses to 1992 Parasite

  1. Mike T. says:

    I love the Parasite. Lots of play value and it’s decently armed. You’re right about the colors. They really aren’t great and are hard to integrate with most figures. The custom repaints are excellently done and show how this vehicle could have been saved. It went to Brazil, so Hasbro wasn’t going to look for it.

    I always justified Cobra’s drivers being exposed a test of fortitude for them. Cobra wanted fearless guys who would do anything. Anyone who balked at being exposed at the front of a vehicle was quickly culled as being too cautious. So many Cobra vehicles are just death traps for the drivers that I made it a design choice.

    I’m jealous of your 1993 HEAT Viper army. They have kind of dried up unless you want to pay $25 for one. And, they’re not worth army building at that price.

  2. So much good stuff in this review! I love the 94 Vipers with Black Major red accessories–it’s a perfect fit. And seeing the Parasite with 93 Heat-Vipers is like a flashback to my childhood. I had a lot of fun with the Parasite, and like you I mostly ignored the catapult. I think I lost the rubber band quickly, and then just removed the whole thing.

    I liked the Rat too though. Say what you will about it, but it’s in more classic Cobra colors…and I’d rather drive a Rat into battle than a Parasite. At least there’s a little bit of protection! The spikes and front-end rotating saw blades were fun play features.

    I’d never realized the wheels were the same as the Hammerhead and Blockbuster. One thing I have noticed, though, is that the Shark 9000’s top guns used a modified mold from the Parasite.

  3. R.T.G. says:

    The Parasite is a fun vehicle. It’s one of the better ones, after vehicles became something that appeared to be little more than an obligation to either the stores or the glory days of the past.

    The colours are iffy, even though Purple had become the go-to for COBRA. I wonder how a 91 Toxo Viper would fit in with it, because some aspects of the vehicle scream Eco-Warriors, but that just might be me looking for reason.

  4. DJV says:

    Great review and photos! I love how the HEAT Viper squad looks with this thing, even if the colors don’t match. I love that the 94 Vipers actually DO match, too.

    When I was a kid, my friend across the street had the Parasite. But he had basically everything. I loved it, though. I thought the troop carrier aspect was the coolest thing ever and wished more GI Joe vehicles did something similar. The guns on the front always seemed super mean, too.

    The colors could be better of course, but I actually don’t mind the orange and purple. The orange isn’t as nice as the color on the Paralyzer, but it still looks decent. I think they would have been better served by keeping the purple and picking something else for the body, though.

    I’ve been thinking about tracking one of these down for years, and this was a good reminder that I still need to.

    Also, everyone here is right– the catapult sucks. We never used it, even as kids.

  5. A-Man says:

    When orange became Cobra’s ground vehicle color (Parasite and Septic Tank).

    I was collecting at the time, but put off buying it for like a year. It never left much impression, as I was older and not playing with toys much.

    I don’t like the under turret guns from a design perspective. They overdid the guns in the front and the underside one would just catch debris and dirt. There’s some weird thing in GI JOE vehicles where they deliberately undermine ground clearance for off road machines. But they are not optional, as they snap the driver’s seat part in place.

    Then there’s that rear mini gun, when Hasbro started like mini guns. I guess some in the troop compartment operates it.

    Troop compartment good, but only opens from one side. Guys on right side have to climb over seats. Purple door makes the colors asymmetrical.

    Details are decent, but lost in the colors…except the headlights are paper labels.

    It’s a serviceable vehicle, more than it’s contemporary the Patriot.

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