#1274: Cobra Commander



“The deviously brilliant leader of Cobra has created the Cobra H.I.S.S. Tank, a dangerous weapon that will help him expand his empire. He is prepared for battle in a mask that uses sunlight to power his cybernetic armor. As the showdown with the G.I. Joe Team begins in the desert, he sends in his new tanks for the final attack.”

When G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra was released in 2009, the whole G.I. Joe line was reformatted to tie in with the movie, bringing an official end to the widely popular 25th Anniversary line.  When Hasbro returned back to the non-movie based stuff in 2010, the sort of merged the two, offering a modernized take on the G.I. Joe mythos that used some elements from the movies, but was largely a continuation of the same Joe story from 1982.  Quite frankly, it’s probably my favorite era of the line.  The line offered new takes on a lot of the classic characters, including Cobra’s shrill leader, Cobra Commander!


Cobra Commander was part of the first series of Pursuit of Cobra.  He was officially classified as the “chase figure,” but I don’t actually know what the logistics of that were.  It may have just been that he was short packed.  Whatever the case, he’s not noticeably rarer than any of the other figures from that same assortment.  This figure actually began his life as a proposed mail-away figure for the Rise of Cobra line.  When that line was ended, Hasbro cut one of his accessories (the PoC figures were packed in smaller blisters than the RoC ones), and moved him into this line*.  The figure stands just shy of 4 inches tall and he has 22 points of articulation.  This figure is largely a parts re-use from the main RoC Commander figure, which was loosely based on his movie design.  While the movie look wasn’t my favorite thing, there’s no denying that the figure had a pretty cool sculpt.  The jacket’s probably my favorite part; there’s an air of elegance to it, which seems perfectly in character for the Commander, and between the awesome texture work and the slightly windblown look to it, it really adds a lot to the figure.  The rest of the figure is pretty solid too; the torso has some really sharp detailing on the armor, and I love that this guys got wingtips.  The figure does get a new head sculpt; it’s not too far removed from the RoC head, but it’s a solid piece this time, instead of being pseudo removable, which makes it a bit sleeker.  I’m still not as much of a fan of this design as I am the classic featureless faceplate, but it’s not awful.  The paintwork on this guy is pretty top-notch; it’s super sleek, if nothing else.  The faceplate of the mask has been vac-metalized, and there’s even some slight accenting on top of that to help bring out the details.  The chest is a deep red, a departure for the Commander, who’s usually blue.  Still, it’s a really nice, metallic red, and there’s a black wash over it to make it really pop.  This figure moves the previous Commander’s logo from just to the left of his left lapel to the back of his jacket.  It’s certainly more visible now, and looks a bit less out of place.  With that said, it’s abundantly clear that this sculpt wasn’t intended to have a logo on the jacket.  The interior of the jacket has been lined with a dark burgundy, which is easy to miss if you aren’t looking closely.  Cobra Commander is packed with a small pistol, a weird grey machine gun thing, a Gonfalon (thanks yojoe.com for helping me ID that), and a display stand with his name and the Cobra logo on it.


I’ve always gone through phases of buying G.I. Joe, but despite hitting smack dab of one of those phases, I didn’t pick up this guy when he was new.  I thought about it, but his design was divorced enough from what I consider Cobra Commander to give me pause.  Then, between the Resolute version, the later (more classic Commander-inspired) PoC version, and finding the RoC figure for a discount, this guy just felt sort of redundant.  Back in February, I ended up spotting him as one of the silent auction items in Farpoint’s charity auction.  Like the previously reviewed Kaylee figure, the money going to a good cause was enough to get me to finally buy him.  I’m really happy I did.  He may not be your conventional Cobra Commander, but he’s a really, really fun figure.

*In 2011, they also offered the figure in his original packaging and with the missing mini H.I.S.S. Tank accessory, as a G.I. Joe Collectors Club exclusive.  This has probably contributed to the relative ease of acquiring the standard release.


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