SNAKE EYES & TIMBER
G.I. JOE: CLASSIFIED SERIES (HASBRO)
I haven’t actually gotten to talk about G.I. Joe, specifically it’s most recent re-launch, Classified Series, since all the way back in October, which on one hand doesn’t seem that long ago, but also really does. It’s not really like I’m missing much that’s worth reviewing, of course; there hasn’t really been much new. When last discussing things, I brought up the line’s Original 13, the debut line-up for the Real American Hero incarnation of the franchise. While some of them remained more or less confined to those early years, a few of them took off. Most notable was the first year’s resident cost-saver, Snake Eyes, who would become the franchise’s most distinctive character. Today, we turn our sights his earliest incarnation, or at least a re-imagining of it, alongside his trusty sidekick, Timber!
THE FIGURES THEMSELVES
Snake Eyes and Timber are a deluxe-sized release, thus far unseen in the main retail line, for Hasbro’s G.I. Joe: Classified Series, where they are item 30, placing them right after Breaker and the RAM Cycle in the numbering sequence. Though pairing off Snake Eyes with Timber is nothing new for the brand, it’s not usually this version of Snake Eyes that gets paired with Timber, since Timber was first included with Version 2. However, with the initial Snake Eyes being V2-inspired already, it made sense not to double back on variants.
We’ve had no shortage of Snake Eyes variants in this line up to this point, with this in particular being the fourth version. There have been two versions based on V2, and one based on the film, but this one goes back to the original commando-based V1 design. The figure stands just over 6 inches tall and he has 37 points of articulation. Snake Eyes is built on a mix of parts, largely stemming from the Beach Head-version of the Duke mold. It’s a good starting point for an update on Snake’s classic turtle-necked design, and just a good starting point in general, as it remains one of my favorite figures in the line. He borrows the holster from the first Snake Eyes, in a nice bit of cross-use, and then gets a new head and shins, along with new overlay pieces for his webgear and the sheath for his knife. As stated above, the aim of this sculpt is to capture the V1 design, or at least to offer something of an update to it. It does a good job of that, and in fact stays a lot closer than the more sci-fi-inspired figures from the rest of the line. It’s a fitting choice, since this is supposed to be an earlier in his career Snake Eyes, presumably from before the Joes get quite as tech savvy. I particularly like the new head, especially how you can see the separate parts of the assembly. The webgear likewise has a lot of depth of detail to it. In general, it captures all of the broad strokes of the original figure, but at a larger scale and with more going on. Still, it’s not over designed, or anything like that; it’s the right level of detailing. Snake Eye’s paint work is much simplified compared to the prior figures. This is on purpose, no doubt to call back to the V1 figure’s complete lack of paint. This one is a little more detailed than that one, but does have a slight variance to the exact finish of the blacks, just to give him a little bit of variety. He also gets one small bit of white detailing on his grenade, which is a nice touch. Snake Eyes is packed with his classic Uzi, as well as an ump45 with, to quote Tim, “a whacked out front end,” an assault rifle that appears to be a combination of a number of things with a lot of customizations, a Beretta m93r (with removable silencer, just like the first release), and a large knife. The rifles are fun, since they both feature removable magazines, which I always enjoy. Snake Eyes includes no sword, of course, as is proper for a true commando Snake Eyes.
First included with the V2 Snake Eyes back in ’85, Timber had appeared in other media prior, notably in the cartoon as the wolf that guides an irradiated Snake Eyes back to safety in the second mini-series. Over the years, he’s been featured in the main line a good number of times, but it’s rare that he’s ever anything more than an unarticulated accessory. For his debut in Classified, Hasbro’s given him the proper figure treatment. He’s about 3 inches tall and 5 1/2 inches long, and he has 29 points of articulation. While his articulation doesn’t have as full a range as I might like, there’s still quite a bit of range to it, and he can get into a decent selection of poses. The sculpt does quite a nice job of capturing a rather basic wolf look, with an impressive level of detail work. He includes two different heads, one calm, and the other snarling, again adding to the display options for the figure. The paint work on Timber is generally pretty solid. There’s a pretty nice two-toned thing going on with the fur, which has a rather subtle change-over. I also really like the gold irises on the eyes, as well as the slight shading to the scars on the face.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
While I generally do angle towards the V2-style for my default Snake Eyes, I’ll admit I have quite a soft-spot for the commando look for the character, especially as sort of a “starter” look for the character. I was hoping we’d see at least some sort of a nod to it in the modern line, but wasn’t expecting a full-on update. I’m very happy with how this one turned out. He’s just a very nice figure. Timber’s also kind of an essential piece, and I’m happy to see Hasbro give him the proper deluxe style treatment here. In general, this is really one of the coolest sets to come out of Classified, and I look forward to seeing what else Hasbro might do with this price-point.