SNAKE EYES – V2
GI JOE: A REAL AMERICAN HERO
The 3 ¾ inch line of GI Joe first launched in 1982, with 16 figures, sharing as many parts as possible. It was a hit, and those original 16 have since gone on to become rather memorable, simply for being there first. However, many people don’t see that first year as the one that defined the line, but rather see 1985, the line’s fourth year. It’s the year that introduced the ball jointed neck articulation that would become standard for the line, as well as introducing fan favorite characters like Flint, Lady Jaye, Shipwreck, the Crimson Guards, and Tomax and Xamot. It also featured the line’s first re-do of a previous Joe, Snake Eyes, beginning his reign as one of the line’s central characters. Today, I’ll be taking a look at that second Snake Eyes figure.
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Snake Eyes was released as part of the 1985 series of GI Joe: A Real American Hero, which was the 4th series of the line. As indicated in the title, it’s the second version of the character in the line. It is also considered by many collectors to be the definitive take on the character. This is the figure that added the character’s definitive knight-style visor. The figure stands 3 ¾ inches tall and features 14 points of articulation. The figure features a brand new sculpt, which interestingly enough never saw any re-use or re-release, which is surprising given Hasbro’s penchant for re-use and the popularity of this particular figure. The sculpt is pretty much par for the course for a vintage GI Joe figure. It’s fairly basic, but that’s part of the appeal of the figure. The simplicity works especially well for Snake Eyes’ design. The paint on Snake Eyes is once again fairly basic, with a few areas of dark grey details and some silver on his right arm. For the most part, it’s pretty cleanly applied, although there is some bleed over on his bandolier. Snake Eyes included a sword, a back pack, an uzi, and his pet wolf, Timber. However, my figure was purchased used, so he only has the back pack.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
Snake Eyes version 2 is a figure that’s eluded me for roughly ten years. When I got into GI Joe with the GI Joe vs Cobra line back in 2002, I was thrilled with the line, and quickly began looking into older figures from the line. Snake Eyes was by far my favorite character at the time, so I was very interested in versions of him. Not too long after, the magazine Toyfare ran a feature on the Top 20 GI Joe toys, with this particular figure ranking #3 on the list. As soon as I saw him, I knew I wanted one, but acquiring one was no easy feat. Toyfar eventually ended up releasing an exclusive Snake Eyes figure, but that one was built out of the first version, not the second one that I really want. Still, I got that one to tide me over (incidentally, that one still remains one of my favorite GI Joes). When Hasbro launched the 25th Anniversary line, I picked up the update of the V2 figure, once again to tide me over.
Last week, while on vacation with my family, we visited a nearby toy store called Yesterday’s Fun. We’ve been there a few times before, and they always have some pretty cool stuff. I walked around and found a few figures I was interested in, and when I walked up to the counter, I noticed a box of loose GI Joes in a glass case. I politely asked to go through them, hoping to find that Snake Eyes figure. Alas, he wasn’t in the box (although I did pick out a few others I’d wanted). Then, as the owner put back the box, I noticed a small selection of Joes sitting next to the box. Sure enough, there sat Snake Eyes, front and center. I can’t begin to describe how excited I was to finally get him after looking for one for so long!