#2400: Cobra (The Enemy)



“One of the nameless, faceless legions of COBRA Command. Each COBRA is highly skilled in the use of explosives, all NATO and Warsaw Pact small arms, sabotage, and the martial arts.”

Okay, let’s go back to the well of the randomly generated list of reviews, shall we?  What are we gonna do today, Brain?  Same thing we do every day, Pinky: try to take over the world.  If you’re gonna take over the world, you need some good, solid faceless minions.  Also, if you’re going to launch a toyline with a limited tooling budget which really only covers the main heroes, leaving the space for only a single villain figure, the faceless minions also help there.  When G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero was launched in 1982, they had one villain: Cobra, subtitle “The Enemy.”  Later, that same figure would be more commonly referred to as the Cobra Trooper, as the line grew and Cobra became a much larger organization.  But, that name, Cobra –  The Enemy, stuck with people, so when the 25th Anniversary line was launched in 2007, it was used for a couple of figures before “Cobra Trooper” took hold again as the go-to name.


Cobra (The Enemy) was released in the second wave of single carded 25th Anniversary figures in 2007.  He was the third Cobra Trooper variant in the line, following the slightly different Cobra (The Enemy) released in Battle Pack #1 and the Cobra Officer released in the first wave of singles.  The figure stands just shy of 4 inches tall and he has 22 points of articulation.  As one of the earlier figures from the line, he suffers from some rather restricted movement on the elbows, which can’t quite make a full 90 degree bend.  It affects his ability to properly hold his weapon, but otherwise he manages alright.  He just needs some creative posing.  All three of the ’07 Cobras share the same core body.  It’s a respectable update of the original ’82 design, now with more removable gear and depth to its design.  Both his helmet and webgear are separate, removable pieces.  The webgear’s a little bit on the floaty side, but looks decent enough, but the helmet stays nice and snug.  Perhaps a little too snug, even….I’ll touch on that in the paint section.  Hey, let’s jump over to the paint section.  For the most part, he’s pretty good.  Application’s clean, and everything looks pretty sharp.  Technically, the Cobra insignia being silver’s not really a regular Cobra thing.  Were it not for the black gloves in place of blue, this guy would actually be spot-on for the deco from 1983’s Viper Pilot figure, which didn’t actually get an update, so there you have it.  The only true issue with the figure’s paint concerns that tight helmet, and the fact that it’s placed on the figure in the package.  It got a little stuck on mine and ended up taking some of the skin tone from the sides of the head with it.  It’s a little distracting when the helmet’s off.  Cobra (The Enemy) is packed with a rifle, a short blade, and a display stand.


Cobra (The Enemy) came relatively early into my 25th collecting, which was, of course, after the line had pretty much wrapped.  I had gotten the Resolute sets and wanted more figures.  Cosmic Comix had a handful of figures, including Hawk, Sgt. Flash, and this guy.  He mostly came along for the ride with the other two, because I didn’t want to just leave him behind.  He’s hardly my favorite Cobra Trooper in my collection, but at the same time, he’s not a bad figure.  He at the very least does a decent job of filling in the ranks.

#1872: G.I. Joe Hawk



“G.I. JOE HAWK was the original field commander of the G.I. Joe team before he got his General’s star and was booted upstairs to honcho the entire G.I. Joe operation.  He’s a West Point graduate and has a list of special education credits as long as his arm, but her still managed to get the main body of his experience out where it counts — on the battlefield.”

When the Real American Hero incarnation of G.I. Joe rolled out it 1982, the team’s blonde-haired commanding officer wasn’t Duke, but was instead Hawk, the Pike to Duke’s Kirk.  Duke stepped into the spotlight in 1983, taking the spot of field commander, so when Hawk resurfaced in 1986, he was given his own distinct design, and the rank of General, which has gone on to be a defining trait of the character.  Another defining trait seems to be how hard it is for him to keep a consistent name.  He began as “Hawk” in ’82, which remained for his ’86 figure, before the “General” rank was added to his name in ’91.  When the line returned in ’02, he was “General Tomahawk” for a period, before dropping the code name altogether in ’04 and just going by “General Abernathy.”  By the time of the 25th Anniversary, he had changed again, now under the title of “G.I. Joe Hawk,” which doesn’t quite roll of the tongue, but there it is.


G.I. Joe Hawk was released in the fifth wave of G.I. Joe: 25th Anniversary’s 2008 assortment.  He’s patterned on Hawk’s ’86 figure, which, for most people is his most distinctive appearance.  I’m definitely amongst those people.  The figure stands just shy of 4 inches tall and he has 22 points of articulation.  Hawk’s sculpt was new to him, and was definitely one of the most faithful translations in the line.  He’s pretty much just a detail for detail recreation of the ’86 figure, but updated to the newer stylings of this particular line.  Apart from some rather restricted elbow joints (an issue that plagued quite a few of the line’s earlier figures), it’s a really strong offering, and perhaps my favorite from this iteration of the line.  The head does a nice job of melding Hawk’s various looks over the years into one cohesive design, and I particularly like the details on his bomber jacket.  The fur collar is a separate piece, glued in place, but it has his shoulder harness weaved through it.  It could have all been one solid sculpted piece, but instead it’s actually separated out, like it really would be, which gives the whole thing a nice feeling of depth.  Hawk’s paintwork is again quite strong.  The base application is clean, and matches well with his prior figure.  There are tons of small little details littered through the jacket, such as his various medals, or his “ABERNATHY” name tag, and he’s even got a little wisp of grey in his hair to make him look a little more distinguished.  Hawk included the same basic assortment of pieces as his ’86 figure: a helmet, a pistol, and a back pack.  The helmet fits snugly on the head, the pack plugs securely into his back, and his pistol can be properly stashed in his belt holster, making for a well put-together figure.  He also included a display stand with his name printed on the front, like the rest of the line, for those that value such things.


Kind of falling into the same line of logic that has me liking Pike more than Kirk, I’ve always been much more of a Hawk fan than a Duke fan.  The ’86 figure was one of the first vintage figures I went to the trouble of tracking down as a kid.  So, when I finally got on board with the whole 25th Anniversary thing, he was one of the first I wanted.  I actually got him as sort of a “get well soon” gift from my Dad and my brother after having my wisdom teeth out; I was on a steady diet of soft foods and the G.I. Joe cartoon at the time, and this guy (and Sgt Flash) made his way home from a trip to the comic book store for me.  Even after jumping pretty far into the 25th line, Hawk still remains a favorite.

#1842: Snake Eyes



“SNAKE EYES is proficient in 12 different unarmed fighting systems (Karate, Kung-Fu, Jujitsu) and is highly skilled in the use of edged weapons. Has received extensive training in mountaineering, underwater demolitions, jungle, desert and arctic survival, and some form of holistic medicine. Qualified Expert: All NATO and Warsaw Pact small arms.”

In 2007, Hasbro was in something of a dry patch.  Marvel Legends was all but dead, the Star Wars franchise was slowly dragging along waiting for Disney to buy it, and their in-house G.I. Joe’s re-branding as “Sigma 6” didn’t pan out quite as they’d hoped.  But, with the looming quarter-century anniversary of G.I. Joe’s A Real American Hero incarnation, they were hoping to at least have a modest, 25 figure celebration.  Little did they know that they’d inadvertently revive the brand for another five years of resounding success.  Yes, the 25th Anniversary line was the breath of fresh air that G.I. Joe needed.  Ironic, given that the whole purpose of the line was fixating on the past, but it showed Hasbro that you didn’t need to totally ditch the past to inject some modern ingenuity into the line.  Today, I’m looking at one of that line’s many, many variants of Joe heavy-hitter, Snake Eyes!


Snake Eyes was part of 2009’s 10-figure “Hall of Heroes” sub-set of the G.I. Joe: 25th Anniversary line.  He was figure 10 of 10, bookending the assortment, which featured another Snake Eyes as figure 1 of 10.  Even in the limited engagement sub-line, there were still two different Snake Eyes variants!  The figure stands 3 3/4 inches tall and he has 22 points of articulation.  Sculpturally, he’s the same figure as the initial boxed-set 25th Snake Eyes, based on Snake’s original 1982 appearance.  After years of him being a pretty straight ninja, it walked him back to being a commando, who I guess would make more sense on a military task force.  That figure’s sculpt was very good, with tons of great little details littered all throughout.  The mask has tiny little vents at the front, his goggles are now clearly a separate piece, and you can even make out the stitching on his cowl.  His proportions are far more true to life than either the vintage or ‘00s lines, and the use of rubber overlay pieces for his web gear mean his gear has a much higher level of detailing, and he can even properly stow some of his weapons, something of a rarity in prior offerings.  The original Snake Eyes figure was actually part of the assortment as a cost-saving measure; a figure that required no paint applications.  This figure operates as a send-up to that, being predominately molded in straight black plastic.  He’s not completely without paint, though, as that would look rather cheap on a modern figure.  He’s got the slightest bit of accenting on his buckles, and the rim of his goggles.  It’s very subtle, enough that you might miss it, allowing him to maintain the same look as his original figure, while still maintaining that ever so slight extra detailing.  Snake Eyes is packed with a knife, handgun, uzi, and satchel, as well as a display stand with the G.I. Joe logo and his name printed on the front.


Remember a few weeks ago when I was talking about All Time getting in a large collection of vintage Joes?  Well, this past week they followed it up with a collection of 25th Anniversary Joes.  As a huge shock to everyone, I’m sure, I didn’t come home with a huge stack of Vipers this time.  Nope, just this guy, who was one of a handful of Snake Eyes variants sitting at the bottom of the box.  He’s a very nice figure, just like all of the Snake Eyeses built on this body.  Hasbro really was at the top of their game here, and it resulted in great figures, even when they just were minor re-paints like this guy.

This guy was loaned to me for review by All Time Toys.  Like I mentioned above, they just got in a collection of these, which they’ve got available on their eBay Store.  So, if you want Snake Eyes or some of his other compatriots, check them out there.  Of course, I make no promises about this particular Snake Eyes, because he may or may not be staying in my collection.  And, if you’re more in the market for something new, also check out their website.

#0948: Cobra Viper




To be a successful evil organization, you need to have a few metric tons of faceless goons. Nothing says evil like some faceless goons! Evil terrorist organization Cobra (the ones that fight G.I. Joe, not the ones who sell health insurance) are practically the kings of the faceless goon: they’ve got a squad of them for just about every occasion! When the basic Cobra Troopers aren’t quite enough, then it’s time to send in the *slightly* more advanced Cobra Vipers! Let’s take a look at one of them today!


Viper25th2The Cobra Viper was released in the 2008 assortment of the G.I. Joe: 25th Anniversary line. It’s the 16th version of the Viper Hasbro’s released, and it’s based on the classic Viper design from way back in 1986. The figure stands a little under 4 inches tall and has 20 points of articulation. While some of the 25th Anniversary figures made tweaks to the original designs, the Viper is a pretty shot-for-shot recreation of the original toy. The only real change is the move to slightly more realistic proportions (though that head’s a bit undersized). The general quality of the sculpt is pretty good, with lots of really nice detail work. They’ve even made his vest and goggles removable, allowing for a bit more customization and detail than the original figures offered. However, the figure isn’t without some rather notable flaws. First and foremost, there’s the hands. The Viper’s wrists are oddly contorted, which I assume is to allow him to hold his weapon, in theory at least. In practice, this doesn’t work, leaving him with very strangely positioned hands that can barely hold the included gun. Also, the separate goggles, while cool, are incredibly hard to keep in place, due to being just a touch too small for the head. On the plus side, the paint work here is pretty solid. The colors are all nice and vibrant and everything is applied very cleanly. They’ve even added some detail not present on the original, to help add a bit more depth to the design. The Viper includes his standard issue rifle and a Cobra-insignia-ed display stand with his code name printed on it. I do wish the rifle was molded in something other than that weird off-white, but it’s a fairly nice recreation of his original gun.


I actually own three Vipers, all gotten at different times. I picked up the first one loose from All Time Toys, when I was on my first 25th Anniversary buying spree. The second came from Amazon so that I could get free shipping on another order. The final one was added much later, and I believe it also came from All Time Toys, though it was packaged. Is this Viper a perfect figure? No. The hands are pretty annoying, and there’s no real fix. The goggles, however, can be fixed with a small dab of superglue, so there’s that. The Viper’s my favorite human Cobra trooper, and this figure’s definitely serviceable. Hasbro’s produced far worse.


#0514: Sgt. Flash




YO JOOOOOOOOOOOE!!!! If you’re gonna review action figures, every so often, it’s important to take a look at something from the original action figure line, GI Joe. And, while the original 12 inch Joe was the one who created the whole freaking industry, when you mention GI Joe, most people are probably going to think of the A Real American Hero incarnation that first appeared in 1982. In ’82, Hasbro was looking for a way to revitalize their brand. Instead of selling one large figure, why not a bunch of smaller ones? Each of them could have their own specialty, and if done properly, they could make use of a lot of the same parts, keeping costs down. Thus, the line started off with a group of figures affectionately known as the “Original 13.” The figures offered a mix of more realistic soldiers and some that were a bit more sci-fi inspired. Today’s figure is one of the latter, a laser trooper by the name of Sgt. Flash!


SgtFlash2Sgt. Flash (originally just Flash, but I don’t think a certain Distinguished Competition was too happy about that name) was released in the 2008 assortment of the GI Joe: 25th Anniversary line. He was part of that year’s first wave of single-packed figures. The figure is about 3 ¾ inches in height, with 22 points of articulation. Flash is obviously based on his original 1982 figure, though a few liberties have been take here and there with the sculpt. The original Flash figure shared more than a few parts with his teammates, but that’s not the case here. The good Sergeant has been fitted with an all-new sculpt. It’s not one of the greatest sculpts the line had to offer. The head is easily the figure’s weakest point. The original was sort of plain and generic, but here he’s kind of a little dopey looking. Something about him really makes me not want to trust this guy with the lasers. Another problem with the sculpt is something that actually affected a lot of the initial 25th figures. The nature of how the lower/upper arm pieces were sculpted seriously inhibits the range of motion on the elbow joints, which ends up being quite limiting on a figure like Flash, who needs to hold stuff. There’s also the issue of his chest armor being divided in half, but that’s a more minor thing. The articulation is actually pretty nice to have there. The rest of the figure’s sculpt is actually pretty great. His jumpsuit has lots of great work on the folds and such, and being able to see the collar of the knit shirt underneath is a cool touch. The quilted pattern of the armor and the etched patterns on the gloves are also very well handled, and add some character to the figure. The paint ends up being the weakest part of the figure. The red, in particular, is pretty bad. It’s uneven, it frequently bleeds over, and there’s a rather noticeable spot on his chest where something got stuck to it while it was drying. The paint on the head does an already lackluster sculpt no favors. The eyebrows are really thick, and just a tad too high, and his eyes look rather lifeless. At the very least, the boots and gloves are well painted, so there’s that. Sgt. Flash includes a helmet with a flip up visor, his trusty laser rifle, a backpack that it can plug into, and a GI Joe logo-stand with his name written on the front.


Sgt. Flash was picked up for me by my Dad and my brother. I had just gotten my wisdom teeth out at the time, and I was sitting at home watching my DVDs of the cartoon. They felt kinda sorry for me, so they bought me Flash (as well as General Hawk, who was the real winner of the two). The original Flash figure is one I’ve always wanted, but never gotten. This one’s not quite the same thing, and he’s certainly not one of the best figures this line had to offer, but he does make for a decent stand-in, and he really isn’t that bad.

#0218: Captain Ace




“He’ll fight for freedom, wherever there’s trouble, G.I. Joe is there!” or here rather. Yep, it’s another G.I. Joe review. Yet again, I’m pulling a figure from the A Real American Hero incarnation of the franchise. This time around, is one of G.I. Joe’s trusty pilots, Ace. Or, as he’s been named due to trademark issues, Captain Ace. Hey, he lucked out compared to some of the others, believe me.


Ace is one of the figure’s from Hasbro’s G.I. Joe 25th Anniversary line. He comes from one of the line’s two-packs, where he was packaged with a figure of Cobra pilot, Wild Weasel. I picked up Ace on his own, so no Weasel review, I’m afraid. Ace stands about 3 ¾ inches tall and has 22 points of articulation. He’s based on Ace’s original design from his ’83 figure, and, according to yojoe.com anyway, features an all new sculpt. I know several pieces of this sculpt were also used on the 25th Anniversary version of fellow pilot Wild Bill, but I guess Ace came first. Ace’s sculpt is very nice, with lots of great detail work in the folds of the jumpsuit. His head sculpt also has the appropriate “hotshot pilot” vibe. Ace also features a harness add-on, which helps to further emulate the look of the original figure. It’s a nice piece, and it sits pretty well. Ace’s paint is a bit on the messy side. There’s a few spots of bleed over and his face paint is just odd, giving him a bit of a wide-eyed stare. It’s a bit of a letdown, given how nice the sculpt is. Ace includes a helmet and a display stand with his name and the G.I. Joe logo.


I picked up Ace a while after his release, from a local toystore. I got him loose, hence the lack of pack-mate Wild Weasel. I’ve always liked Ace, though this is actually the first figure of him I ever got. He’s a cool figure, but I do wish the paintwork were a bit better.

#0167: G.I. Joe Resolute Cobra Box Set



Hoo boy. Yep, this review is gonna be a long one. Typically, I try to do boxed sets as one review for the whole thing whenever possible. That’s not usually that much extra work, until I run into something like the set I’m reviewing today.

This isn’t the first time I’ve looked at GI Joe’s A Real American Hero incarnation, but it’s the first time I’ve looked at this particular branch of it. After the early 2000s GI Joe VS Cobra interpretation started to dwindle, Hasbro once again relaunched the line as GI Joe 25th Anniversary, to coincide with the titular anniversary. It was a combination of boxed sets and single packed waves of figures. Eventually, the line’s sales fell, so Hasbro moved several of the remaining figures to a few online exclusive seven – packs. Yep, I’m going to be looking at seven figures today. Hang in there readers!


This was a one of two online exclusive boxed sets released in the summer of 2010. Both sets were based on 2009’s GI Joe: Resolute, an animated movie that was aired as a series of shorts on [adult swim]. The script was written by comicbook writer Warren Ellis, and it served as an update of sorts to the cartoon from the 80s. This set featured the Cobra characters from the series.


Cobra Commander, as the name implies, is the leader of terrorist organization Cobra. He’s one of the few characters that had more than one look over the course of the series, so they’ve decided to give him his more standard uniform that he wears for the majority of the series. It’s a cool design, and serves as an update on his original 1982 figure. The figure stands about 3 ¾ inches tall and features 22 points of articulation. The Commander shares his torso, waist, upper and lower arms, gloves, upper legs, and shins with his first 25th Anniversary figure, and was also an almost wholesale re-release of the Resolute version of the Commander released in the main line. The sculpt looks like a pretty great representation of the Commander’s appearance in Resolute, despite the re-use. Most of the figure’s success comes from his add-on half cape and skirt piece, which both cover up the reused pieces and give the Commander the regal dictator look he should have. The head adds to that, with a nice, more angular update to his traditional mirror faced helmet. The paint on the figure is all very well done, with no real signs of slop or anything. He’s conveyed here in the cartoon’s more muted tones, which accent the figure’s sculpt very well. It would be nice if there was perhaps some more detailing or a wash of some sort to bring out some of the sculpted folds and such, but at this scale, it’s not a huge issue. Cobra Commander includes a sword, a pistol, an ornate knife/dagger and a stand bearing his name and the Cobra logo. That’s a nice assortment of accessories!


Storm Shadow was Cobra’s resident expert in all things ninja. He served as a counter point to GI Joe member Snake Eyes. Storm Shadow’s design was based on his original design, with some thorough tweaks to update it a bit, I suppose. He stands about 3 ¾ inches tall and has 22 points of articulation. He shares his torso, arms and waist with the 25th Anniversary Quick Kick figure, but everything else is new. Storm Shadow also features a hood, sash and shirt as add-on pieces, allowing you to dress him how you like, I suppose. All of the pieces are well sculpted, doing a decent job of capturing the character’s look from Resolute. The add-on pieces look a bit bulky from certain angles, but it isn’t too bad. The paint is serviceable, but not the greatest. There’s a few spots of sloppiness, and he could really benefit from a wash of some sort. The details really get lost in the white. Storm Shadow includes two katana, a backpack with sheaths for them, a claw attachment for his hand, and a stand with his name and the Cobra logo.


The Alley Viper is this set’s army builder. Admittedly, not the most practical way to release such a figure, but don’t let that color your opinion of the figure. He stands 3 ¾ inches tall and has 22 points of articulation. Most of his basic body comes from either the basic Resolute Cobra Trooper or the previously released samurai version of Storm Shadow. He has a new head, helmet, goggles, and chest armor. These pieces make a world of difference, making the Alley Viper look like a brand new figure. The sculpting it really great here, with lots of little texture work, especially on the torso piece. The paint on the figure is clean, and looks great all around. The Alley Viper includes two large rifles, and a display stand.


The Baroness is the right hand…woman, I guess, and has been a fixture of Cobra since the beginning. Her figures in the past haven’t been the greatest. This one’s not the worst, but it’s not an amazing. She’s a little under 3 ¾ inches tall and has 22 points of articulation. She shares her body with the previous version of Baroness from the 25th Anniversary line, with a new head. The body is perfectly fine. Nicely proportioned and all. The head is another story. It seems like it’s more of a molding issue than a sculpt issue, but nonetheless, it’s not a very good piece. The paint is serviceable. It’s all very cleanly applied, but there’s nothing super impressive. She includes a removable pair of sunglasses, two sub machine guns, and a display stand.


Destro was Cobra’s weapons supplier, though more often than not he was just treated as a part of the Cobra hierarchy. His design deviates the most from his original look, but that’s understandable. His original design was probably the most dated of the original designs. He’s the tallest member of the set, clocking in at a full 4 inches and featuring 22 points of articulation. Destro’s only shared piece was his head, which he shares with all of his previous 25th Anniversary releases. Everything else is brand new, and it’s all very sharply sculpted, which is really cool. Like Cobra Commander, he’s got a very regal sort of look to him. His paint work is simple, but it’s all cleanly applied. It looks accurate to the show. Destro includes a machine gun, a briefcase containing a sub-machine gun, two pistols, an alternate cybernetic arm, and a display stand.


Zartan was the leader of the Dreadnocks, and the resident master of disguise over at Cobra. He stands about 3 ¾ inches tall and features 22 points of articulation. He shares a head with the previous 25th Anniversary version of the character. I believe all the other pieces are new. He looks pretty spot in to the character’s look in the cartoon. The sculpt is decently detailed, and properly stylized, which looks pretty good. The paint is perfectly fine, with no real slop or bleed over. He’s done nicely, but the color scheme is pretty bland, so he kind of blends in. He includes a smaller gun, a sniper rifle, and a display stand.


Firefly was a beloved show by creator Joss Whedon, cancelled after just 13 episodes… No wait, sorry. Firefly is a Batman villain who…no, that’s wrong too. Firefly is actually Cobra’s something expert. Not certain what, but he looks while doing whatever it is he does. He stands 3 ¾ inches tall and has 22 points of articulation. He shares his body with the Resolute Cobra Trooper, with a new head and a body armor add-on piece. All of the sculpting work is solid, with some great detail, particularly the stitching on the mask, which is a cool touch. The paint is once again solid work, but like Zartan, it’s really drab. For as cool as people seem to think the character is, he’s not the most exciting figure. He includes a rifle, a missile, a rocket launcher thing (not pictured), and a display stand.


The Resolute box sets were what really got me into the 25th Anniversary line. I had enjoyed the cartoon quite a bit, and I really liked the updated designs, so I was all aboard for the figures. I had initially really wanted the set for Cobra Commander and Storm Shadow, but once I got the figures in hand, I really enjoyed the Alley Viper, way more than I thought I would. Not that Commander and Storm Shadow are bad. Sure, the set’s not all perfect (I’m looking at you Baroness), but it’s a lot of fun and it was a great way to get an instant set of all the main Cobras.