|Code Name: VEHICLE DRIVER|
The Cobra Vehicle Driver is another reworking of the ubiquitous 25th Anniversary Cobra Trooper mould. In this case, it's based on the 1984 Stinger Driver, a straight recolour of the original swivel-arm Cobra Officer figure. I don't think they were in either the cartoon or the American comic, where regular troops handled driving the Stingers, but weirdly they tended to crop up as Cobra NCOs in Fleetway's Battle Action Force strips, usually without a Stinger in sight.
It's probably a good thing they did, as it gives the character some sort of independent purpose. See, the Vehicle Driver was only issued in 2007 as part of the recolour-heavy Cobra Legions pack, before Hasbro realised how successful the 25th Anniversary series would be. As such, no thought's been given as to whether he can drive vehicles.
Disappointingly, he doesn't come close to fitting in the Stinger. Admittedly, with its' roof and everything the original Stinger Driver is a bit of a squeeze, and the 25th Cobra Trooper mould isn't the best at sitting anyway. When Hasbro did reissue the Stinger in 2009 they used the Bazooka Trooper mould with its' thinner crotch piece, though sadly this kept the distinctive patterned helmet and revised webbing. The Driver's incompatibility can be solved with a bit of modification, i.e. cutting down the hip housings with a knife, but this can be tricky to get right.
About the only vehicle the Vehicle Driver can comfortably drive of those I own is the roomy Rise of Cobra Steel Crusher APC (about the only particularly good vehicle to come out of the RoC line) - otherwise I tend to use them as sappers. The colour scheme's nice, though I do wish they hadn't extended it to the rifle, which would have looked much better in black. Nevertheless, I like the guy, despite his incompatibility with the Stinger.