G.I. JOE: ULTIMATES (SUPER 7)
When Super 7 first launched their Ultimates branding, they used it to continue Mattel’s Masters of the Universe Classics line, revisiting some of the core characters, but with more extras, at a slightly higher price point. When Mattel decided to bring Masters back in-house, Super 7 decided to keep the brand going, and has been filling in with other ’80s and ’90s properties. Up til now, perhaps one of the bigger omissions from that era has been G.I. Joe, which Hasbro has classically kept rather under wraps. Super 7 first picked up the license for a run of ReAction figures, and now they’re adding a line of Ultimates to that as well. It’s taken a little while for them to get out, but the first wave is finally hitting, with the second and third slated for a close follow-up. I’m kicking things off with a look at the Joe who’s certainly the most numerous of the franchise’s leads, and who is just always the best way to kick off a new line, really, Snake Eyes!
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Snake Eyes is part of the launch wave for Super 7’s G.I. Joe: Ultimates line, alongside Duke, Cobra Commander, and the B.A.T. It’s a pretty heavy-hitter laden wave, and Snake Eyes is perhaps the heaviest hitter of the bunch. The whole line is specifically animation based, drawing from Sunbow’s animation models for the show. Snake Eyes notably had two models on the show, following his two main toy looks during the era. This figure goes with his V1-inspired commando look, which was used during the first two miniseries for the show. The figure stands 7 inches tall and he has 31 points of articulation. Articulation can be a tricky spot for Super 7, and I’ll admit I was a little concerned here. The elbows and knees are still a little bit restricted, but they’re certainly serviceable. On top of that, the movement on his neck and waist in particular is really impressive, and adds a lot of personality to his posing. Snake Eyes’ sculpt is an all-new one, and, for the first time, it’s a truly animation-based Snake Eyes. Others have at best homaged with paint, but not fully committed at a sculpt level. It’s quite a clean look, and it matches up with the animation design really nicely. I especially like how the mask has translated; other figures go a lot heavier on the detailing, but the simpler approach feels truer to his V1 figure. The cartoon’s colors for Snake Eyes were one of the most distinctive parts of his look. Interestingly, where most animation models of the era stripped down the colors for simplicity, that wasn’t the case for Snake Eyes. His V1 figure was designed as a cost-saver for the first year, and thusly he was all black plastic with no painted details. However, black is trick to work with in animation, so he got switched to a navy blue. He also got some funky purple accenting, and he looses the gloves, so as to make all of his movements more visible. The figure does a great job replicating it, and the paint application is all pretty cleanly handled. Snake Eyes gets a decent stock of accessories. He, of course, lacks any of his ninja stuff, since he was still just a commando at this point. However, he does get his pet wolf Timber, who’s his own fully articulated figure. Timber’s movement is a bit more restricted, but he’s still a lot of fun, and it’s great that he’s included at all. Snake Eyes is also packed with four sets of hands (in fists, trigger finger, tight grip, and loose grip), a rifle, a pistol, a jetpack, and the canister from the Weather Dominator, which is perfect for pairing with Timber.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
I’m a fan of the whole G.I. Joe franchise, in all of its aspects. Hokey as it may be, I really do love the Sunbow cartoon, especially the first two miniseries. Due to his lack of a speaking role, Snake Eyes was largely a minor player in the cartoon, but “Revenge of Cobra” gives him a decent little focus, which has always been one of my favorite bits. I was quite excited when this line was announced, and this figure in particular was the one I was most looking forward to getting. I was hoping to like him, to be sure, but exactly how much, I didn’t know. This guy honestly blew away my expectations. He’s just so much fun, and a really good start to the line.
Thanks to my sponsors over at All Time Toys for setting me up with this figure to review. If you’d like to see a video of this guy in action, I actually helped out with one for their YouTube channel, so check that out. And, as always, if you’re looking for cool toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.