#2387: G.I. Joe Resolute Joes Box Set

DUKE, SNAKE EYES, SCARLET, FLINT, SGT. STALKER, ROADBLOCK, & BEACHHEAD

G.I. JOE: 25TH ANNIVERSARY (HASBRO)

“The world is threatened once again by Cobra–and only G.I. Joe can stop them!  The team races across the globe and into space to combat an evil plot by Cobra Commander to control the world.  Cobra even brings the battle right to the team’s doorstep, but the men and women of the G.I. Joe team remain strong, courageous…and resolute!”

Okay, so remember waaaaaaaaaay back nearer the beginning of the site, when I reviewed the massive seven-figure Resolute Cobra boxed set?  Well, unsurprisingly, there was a Joe component as well.  It’s been six years, but let’s cap things off, shall we?

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

This seven-figure set was one of two (the other being the Cobra set) online-exclusives released in the summer of 2010 as a quick way of rounding out and finishing up the Resolute subline of figures that was supposed to run through the 25th Anniversary line at retail.  When it became clear that 25th would not be returning to retail following Rise of Cobra’s tie-in line, Hasbro shunted the molds it already had ready to go, plus a few quickly thrown-together figures into this 14 figure drop.

DUKE

A leader is always in the position of making the tough calls and hard decisions.  Duke, as the head of the G.I. Joe team, understands the burden of leadership all too well.  When it’s the duty of the team to respond to a threat against the world, Duke must be the one to make sure that the priorities are clear: the mission comes fist and everything else comes a distant second.  He demands a lot from his team, but doesn’t ask anything of them that he isn’t willing to give himself.  His hard-won experience and unflinching determination have earned him the respect and loyalty of his team.”

Duke was pretty fortunate when it came to the Resolute stuff.  While the others were making their debut here, this particular Duke marked his third time up to bat for this collection, hence the more environment-specific outfit this one is sporting.  He’s based on his look from towards the end of the mini-series, when he and Scarlet make a run on an arctic Cobra base.  Given how it figures into the climax, it’s honestly a pretty solid choice for a figure.  The figure stands a little over 4 inches tall and he has 22 points of articulation.  He’s mostly compiled from the parts of other figures, with his torso and waist coming from the 25th line’s cold-weather Snake Eyes, the upper arms coming from the second Resolute Duke, and the lower arms and legs coming from the first Resolute Duke.  It makes for an okay approximation of his gear from the show, though it’s hardly as spot-on as some of the designs.  The figure’s head was all-new to him, and marked an improvement over the standard Resolute Duke head we’d gotten previously.  This one was far more on-model for the show, and just generally looks nicer than the previous.  The paintwork on this guy is actually pretty great.  They’ve included all of the important details, and done what they can to use the paint to make the sculpt look a bit more on-model.  They’ve also kept important details like painting the gun in his thigh holster a different color than the holster, which I assure you, is something that will come up again in this review.  Duke included the same rifle as the standard Resolute Duke, plus a pistol, a knife, and a display stand with his name on it.

SNAKE EYES

“Snake Eyes is a dedicated member of the G.I. Joe team, but he is forced to put a personal issue first when his archenemy Storm Shadow raises their rivalry to a deadly new level. The G.I. Joe commando confronts the Cobra ninja in a duel that originated many years ago, when they were friends in a ninja school that taught the Seven Steps to the Sun, a lethal martial arts sequence. Snake Eyes has never revealed how many of these steps he learned…and the answer to this question will determine who lives and who dies in this final duel.”

Snake Eyes had *technically* had a Resolute-based figure before, thanks to his planned 25th figure getting shunted into the Rise of Cobra line under the name “City Strike Snake Eyes,” but that release made a few changes to the color scheme, in order to bring him more in line with the other movie stuff.  It was also really hard to find, so a second version here made a lot of sense.  The figure stands 3 3/4 inches tall and he has 22 points of articulation.  His whole sculpt is shared with the previously mentioned City Strike Snake Eyes, and is a pretty good recreation of Snake Eyes’ design from the show, albeit through the slightly more realistic 25th style lens.  It’s a pretty sleek looking design, and one of the few times we’ve seen a modern redesign that calls back on his V1 figure, rather than keeping the V2’s distinctive visor.  While I’m a V2 man myself, I can really appreciate what’s going on here.  Snake Eyes’ paintwork is a solid match for how he looks in the show, which is to say mostly grey.  The one thing they changed up is the visor, which instead of being a light grey like it is in the animation, is a bright green, calling back to how he looks when he does his glide into is duel with Storm Shadow.  Snake Eyes is the best accessorized of the figures here, with his sword and sheath, a back pack, the same rifle as Duke but in all black, his glide-pack, and a display stand with his name on it.

SCARLETT

“A brilliant mind, outstanding martial arts skills, and lethal accuracy with her trademark crossbow – that’s Scarlett. The G.I. Joe team’s counter-intelligence expert has the cerebral savvy to get inside the mind of her enemies and design a plot that’ll outsmart them at their own game. She also has the combat skills to take on a squad of Cobra troopers and be the sole person left standing when the fighting’s over. She can make a HALO dive into hostile territory in the dead of night, then enter a heavily guarded Cobra missile silo and take it over as one-half of a two-person unit, and not even break a sweat. That’s skill. That’s training. That’s Scarlett.”

Had the Rise of Cobra line gone just a little bit longer, Scarlett would have joined Snake Eyes under the City Strike banner, with another re-purposed Resolute mold in new colors.  It was probably for the best that she waited for this set, though, since, while the grey and black deco of City Strike worked okay for Snake Eyes, it was really off for Scarlett.  She finally got her release here, and, well, uhh, let’s just dive right in, shall we?  The figure stands 4 inches tall and she has the same 22 points of articulation as everyone else.  I like to give credit where credit is due, so I’m going to discuss the body first.  Scarlett’s Resolute redesign was one of my favorites from the show, as I think it’s just a really solid boiling down of the basics of her original design, all in a more modern setting.  The sculpt on the body does a fantastic job of taking all of the elements present on the animation model, and then adding a whole new selection of little details to make the uniform feel like a real thing.  It’s also not super small, which was my main issue with the standard 25th Scarlett.  So, why focus on the body first?  Because I wanted to be able to talk about it positively before getting into undoubtedly the worst piece in this whole set: Scarlet’s head.  Oh boy, it’s not pretty.  Baroness from the Cobra set also had some issues, but they pale in comparison to this piece.  I’m not sure exactly what happened here, but there’s a rumor that some sizing was off in both of the molds for the female figures (since they had more complicated two-piece heads), which lead to the whole thing being just…kinda unsightly.  It’s definitely not right for the design.  Fortunately, there are other options for Scarlett heads that are easy enough to swap out; I myself went with the 25th comic pack version, as it was rather cheap.  Scarlett’s paintwork is generally pretty good.  She gets down the slightly washed out palette of the series, and everything’s pretty clean.  The head has more issues here, with the eyebrow placement looking like it’s rather off.  But, I ditched it anyway, so no problems.  Scarlett was packed with her usual crossbow, plus a sniper rifle, a pistol (the same one included with Duke), and a stand.

FLINT

Flint is a classical scholar and graduate of the Airborne School, Ranger School, Special Forces School and Flight Warrant Officers School.  He brings a broad intellectual background as well as finely honed technical skills and tactical knowledge to the G.I. Joe team.  A thorough and meticulous planner, he has led many dangerous and complex missions in the field and overseen them from the team’s base.  His arrogance may be irritating at times, but it comes from firsthand experience, rock-solid skills and extensive knowledge.  As the team disperses around the globe and into space to stop Cobra, Flint advises them all from the team’s base.”

Flint takes on a fairly prominent, if slightly lighter on the action, role in Resolute, and is definitely a well-utilized character.  If I recall correctly, there were more Cobra figures than Joes planned when everything was moved to the boxed sets, and Flint was one of the couple of figures put together to fill out the set.  I might be wrong on that, though.  The figure stands 4 inches tall and he has 22 points of articulation.  The figure is largely built from repurposed parts, with the arms and legs coming from Duke, and the torso and waist coming from one of the RoC Hawk figures.  He does get a new head, webgear, and gauntlet, which all make for a pretty convincing transition into Flint’s design from the show.  The only real inaccuracy is that he’s got two knee pads instead of one, but I’m willing to give them a pass on that one.  The new pieces are really strong, and follow in Scarlett’s footsteps of taking the core elements from the cartoon and then adding lots of smaller detail work around them.  Flint’s paintwork is largely pretty good, but has one glaring issue.  Remember what I mentioned about the gun in the holster on Duke?  Well it doesn’t get painted here, and it looks pretty goofy.  Beyond that, though it’s a solid paint job.  Flint is packed with his usual shotgun, as well as a pistol and a display stand.

SGT. STALKER

“The survival instincts of Sgt. Stalker were honed at an early age on the mean streets of his hometown.  The lessons he learned may have been tough, but they made him a fierce warrior.  It doesn’t matter if he’s facing two or twenty Cobra troopers; he’ll make every one of them wish they’d never gotten out of bed that morning.  Ranger trained and Airborne-qualified, Sgt. Stalker uses his skills, training and instincts to adapt his actions to the changing situation.  He heads to the jungle with Roadblock and Beachhead to rescue hostages held by Destro and Baroness, and teaches that arrogant duo not to underestimate the G.I. Joe team ever again.”

Stalker was another piece of the “fill in the set” puzzle, clearly being chosen because he could easily be built without investing in a ton of new pieces.  Stalker himself has a relatively minor role, with Roadblock getting most of the focus in their section.  The figure stands 4 inches tall and he had 22 points of articulation.  Stalker is again pretty big on the re-use.  He takes the Duke legs, and throws the Snake Eyes torso and arms in with it.  It’s not the oddest choice, since Stalker and Snake Eyes have more than once shared parts.  He gets a new head and webgear, and a collar piece he shares with Beachhead.  The end result is an okay recreation of his on-screen design, though I’m not sure it works quite as well as Flint.  The sweater collar on the skintight shirt looks weird, he’s missing the pockets on his shoulders.  He’s also got gloves, which he didn’t in the show.  At the very least, the new head (which I looked at when it was re-used on the 30th figure) is a pretty good piece.  It’s certainly a unique look for the character.  Stalker’s paint is alright, but suffers from the same lack of paint on the gun that Flint did.  They also painted his skin tone too far down his neck on the back, meaning it runs past the separate collar piece.  Since it’s on his back and obscured by two add-ons, it’s easy enough not to focus on, but it does look kinda goofy.  Stalker includes Duke’s rifle in green and silver, a pistol, a knife, and a display stand.

ROADBLOCK

He’s a gourmet cook who can wield his hand-ground, carbon-steel cook’s knife and his M2 .50 caliber ‘Ma Deuce’ Browning heavy machine gun with equal skill. He wanted to be a chef and attend the Escoffier School in France, when a recruiter signed him up with the promise that the army would train him to be a cook. He later joined the G.I. Joe team, where, on any given day, he can whip up haute cuisine for the team – and mince anything in his path with a barrage of gunfire. Cobra gives him plenty of opportunity to perfect his skill with the Browning, as the evil organization spreads its vile presence from the snowy north to the town of Springfield.”

Roadblock takes us back into the territory of pre-existing figures that Hasbro just wanted to get out.  Like Snake Eyes, his mold found its way into the RoC line, first as a Night Adder, and then as Roadblock in a Walmart-exclusive battle pack.  However, the Night Adder was obviously a different character, and the Walmart Roadblock was painted rather differently, and even ditched the vest overlay from this guy for a different one.  At just shy of 4 1/2 inches tall, Roadblock is by far the tallest figure in this set (and one of the tallest in the line, truth be told), and he’s got the same 22 points of articulation everyone else does.  Roadblock’s design in the show was not only a solid update of his V1 figure, it also managed to work in some of the V2 design as well, for something that is just so unquestionably Roadblock in nature.  For the purposes of these figures, all of the show designs were made a bit more real world, and Roadblock is perhaps the most adjusted, since his animation design had some pretty darn cartoony proportions.  This figure instead goes for something more in line with the classic Roadblock in build and facial stylings, but gives him a proper take on the fancy new animated outfit.  The vest piece on this guy is by far the coolest bit, because the level of detailing included there is quite frankly amazing.  Roadblock’s paintwork is pretty great, taking his classic colorscheme, fitting it into the established Resolute palette and really just running with it.  It makes him the most colorful figure in the set, which is a definite point in his favor.  Roadblock included his usual heavy machine gun, a belt of ammo to feed it, a pickaxe, a missile, a pistol, and a display stand.

BEACHHEAD

“Beachhead has one goal: to do his best. That’s what infuses everything he says and does. He focuses on the task he’s been given and ignores anything that doesn’t help him complete it. When things go bad, he channels his anger and frustration into fuel to help him go further and fight harder. He pushes himself to exceed his personal best and be an example to others, such as running ten miles every morning in blizzards, heat waves and anything in between. Along with Sgt. Stalker and Roadblock, he deploys to the jungle to rescue hostages held by Destro and Baroness.”

Beachhead rounds out the set as another “constructed to round out the set” figure.  Who…you know…rounds out the set.  Like Stalker, he’s a character that’s present in the show, but not overly prominent.  I don’t actually believe he even has any dialogue.  All that said, he’s got one of the more memorable classic Joe design, so it makes a lot of sense to include him.  The figure stands 4 inches tall and he has 22 points of articulation.  Beachhead is mostly built from the same bank of parts as Flint, with Duke’s arms and legs, and Hawk’s torso and waist.  It’s a decent enough formula for both designs, so more power to them.  He gets a new head and webgear, as well as using the collar piece shared with Stalker.  The new parts are definitely solid, and this head is honestly my favorite Beachhead sculpt to date.  Given that it showed up on every Beachhead figure that followed, I’d say Hasbro agreed. The vest is a nice piece, with the only downside being how freaking hard it is to get his knife sheath back in place once you remove it…which is why mine doesn’t have his in any of the photos.  The collar piece definitely works better here than it did on Stalker, leading me to believe it was designed for Beachhead and then also used for Stalker.  It all adds up to a figure that doesn’t really feel like he’s at least 75% the same as another figure in the set, despite the fact that he totally is.  Beachhead’s paintwork is all pretty decent, apart from that annoying gun/holster issue that I mentioned on both Flint and Stalker.  It wouldn’t annoy me quite so much if they hadn’t properly painted it on only one figure in the set, honestly.  Beachhead included the same rifle as Stalker, as well as a knife, pistol, and display stand.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

As I noted in my review of the Cobra set, it was these Resolute packs that really got me into the 25th line.  Well, that, and the fact that I got them while recovering from getting my wisdom teeth out, while watching my DVDs of the Sunbow cartoon, which led to me tracking down a whole bunch of the other figures from the line.  I was expecting to enjoy the Cobra set more of the two of them, but the Joe set ended up being my favorite by a fair bit.  I think Beachhead might be my personal favorite of them, because he’s just the best Beachhead figure, but every figure in the set’s pretty darn good.  My only major complaint is the Scarlett head, and I’ve had that swapped out for 10 years now, so it feels minor these days.

#2372: Snake Eyes

SNAKE EYES

G.I. JOE: CLASSIFIED SERIES (HASBRO)

In 2016, after an attempt to revitalize the line with a 50th Anniversary celebration after numerous re-brandings of the core line, the G.I. Joe brand was retired from retail, with its only continuation being in the form of a handful of Collector’s Club exclusives and a one SDCC exclusive from Hasbro that wasn’t even specifically Joe-centered.  In 2018 there were exactly two Collector’s Club-exclusive, and the rest was silence.  With over a year of no new Joe at all, the fanbase kind of folded in on itself, with most of the focus shifting to the old vintage line, because they were desperate to have *something* to buy.  After that year-plus of silence (to the point of even leaving G.I. Joe off of a brand poster that included freaking *Visionaries* of all things), Hasbro went into 2020 with a plan to revitalize Joe again.  The Snake Eyes movie is supposed to be hitting theaters this year, the mobile game was officially launched in January, and Hasbro’s bringing G.I. Joe back to retail in the form of a new 6-inch scale line, much in the style of their LegendsBlack Series, and Lightning Collection lines.  So far, we’ve seen most of the first series (which is tentatively hitting in June, but who knows at this point?), and the line has officially been kicked off with a deluxe version of everyone’s favorite ninja-commando-mute, Snake Eyes!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Snake Eyes is figure 00 in the newly launched G.I. Joe: Classified Series.  He was offered exclusively though Hasbro Pulse, and, as the “00” denotes, he’s meant as a preview for the line proper.  The rumor mill is speculating that the core figure of this release will be going to regular retail with the rest of the line, making all of the deluxe-ness the real exclusive part of this one.  Speaking of the deluxe-ness of this release, before I dive into reviewing the actual toy proper, I would like to mention the packaging of this release.  Though I’m not usually all that interested in what my figures get to me in, this release deserves a special mention, because Hasbro’s really gone the extra mile here, with a heavy cardboard construction, and an almost faux-leather exterior.  The intricate design on the front and back of the box is really impressively applied, and said design is also included as a pretty cool print when you open the box.  Inside the box, there’s a foam tray with spots for the core boxed Snake Eyes (in a variation of what will be the line’s standard packaging) and all of the exclusive extras.  It’s one hell of a presentation, and shows that Hasbro’s really invested in the significance of this release.  Alright, we’ve discussed the beauty that is the box, now we tear it open and look at the guy inside.  Snake Eyes stands just shy of 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 37 points of articulation.  Hasbro’s gotten pretty impressive with their articulation on their 6-inch-scale lines as of late, but Snake Eyes takes that to the next level, adding things like butterfly shoulders, a ball-jointed waist, and drop-hips to the equation.  He also fuses the Black Series double-ball-jointed neck design with the Legends hinge joint, which gives the best of both worlds in terms of range.  He’s a very, very posable figure is what I’m getting at here.  However, it’s worth noting that the figure’s sculpt really doesn’t suffer to grant him this posability.  Said sculpt is clearly patterned after Snake’s v2 figure, which is generally considered his most distinctive look, and a good starting point for any new version of the character.  He’s not a straight adaptation of that design, though, as Hasbro is clearly building a new aesthetic for the Joes for this new line.  The broad strokes are all the same.  He’s got the knight-style visor, the bandolier with grenades, and all the pouches and straps are in more or less the same spot.  However, when you take a closer look at the smaller details, that’s where the changes come in.  They’ve followed a bit in the footsteps of the movies, giving him a more armored appearance, at least on the head and torso.  Within that set-up, he gets some extra webgear on his shoulders, which is really the only part of this design I’m a little iffy on.  Honestly, I don’t hate it, but I think it stands out a little too much from what’s around it.  I think the fact that I can hone in on one specific thing like that and say it’s slightly off speaks to the sleekness of the rest of the sculpt, though.  I really do appreciate how well they homaged the v2 release with this sculpt.  In terms of the paint, Snake Eyes goes a fair bit more involved than the usual figure of him.  He still keeps things predominantly very dark, but it’s not quite as much straight black.  There’s a lot of variance to the browns, and there’s also some nice change-ups in the finish on the black sections as well, making the different sections look like different materials.  It’s really nicely handled, especially given how easily they could have just left things all-black.  In terms of accessories, there are really two groups with this figure.  Firstly, there’s what is actually included in his smaller box with him.  He gets a sword (which according to Tim is more of a messer than a katanna, and I’m inclined to believe him there), an Uzi, a Beretta m93r with a removable silencer, a knife, a backpack, a sheath for the sword (which can plug either straight into his back or onto the pack), and two extra hands, one holding throwing stars, the other flat.  The Uzi, sword, and backpack do a great job of replicating the v2 figure’s accessories, and the Beretta, knife, and extra hands just accent things further.  Outside of his own packaging, Snake Eyes also gets a whole Dojo wall full of weapons.  The wall itself is a nice piece in its own right, and its got spots for the 2 sai, 2 axes, 2 kama, spear, long sword, and katana included alongside it in the box.  Snake Eyes can use these extra weapons if you like, or they make for a pretty killer display behind him.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I got a slight heads up that a 6-inch Joe line was coming, so I was pretty eagerly awaiting its arrival.  Once this guy was shown off, I knew I needed one.  Max was kind enough to let me use his Pulse account so that we could both order one, meaning I got in on the ground floor with this guy.  And then I got him literally the day everything started shutting down around here, so I’ve gotten a lot of time to mess with him.  I love this figure.  I love this figure so much.  This is pretty much everything I wanted out of this line, and I’m really excited for the rest of the line to hit so that this guy can have some companions.  Until then, he’ll just have to face off against my Fortnite Havoc figure that’s totally not just a 6-inch Firefly.

#2204: Snake Eyes

SNAKE EYES

G.I. JOE: A REAL AMERICAN HERO (HASBRO)

“SNAKE EYES honed his combat skills as a Long Range Recon Patrol trooper in Southeast Asia and perfected his mystical martial arts techniques with the same Ninja clan that produced STORM SHADOW. Although he is as equally adept with submachine guns as he is with swords, Snake Eyes is most dangerous and unpredictable when he’s armed and cornered. When HAWK went to Snake Eyes’ cabin to recruit him for duty with G.I. Joe, the silent Ninja was out hunting rabbits – bare handed!”

After around 1988, there’s something of a downward shift for G.I. Joe.  They really hit their groove in ’85, but the movie really through them for a loop.  Despite gimmicks and really far out concepts largely being the thing that people deride the movie and its associated characters for, Hasbro would nevertheless double down on such concepts as they embarked into the ’90s.  Interspersed with the likes of Super Sonic Fighters and Eco Warriors, they did manage to have some slightly less gimmicky Joes, I suppose, including a rather surprising go at returning Snake Eyes back to his pre-ninja roots, going back to his original backstory as a commando, albeit one in bright 90s-esque neon colors.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Snake Eyes was released in the main 1991 assortment of G.I. Joe, as the fourth version of the character to grace the line.  The figure stands 3 3/4 inches tall and has the usual 14 points of articulation.  By the ’90s, the sculpts were definitely changing again, morphing into a style that would more closely match the rest of the stuff that would come out of the decade.  Snake Eyes showcases a lot of these changes, being way more bulked up and exaggerated in his proportions than the character’s prior incarnations.  Poor Snake looks like he barely fits into his gear this time around.  Maybe it’s time to put down the weights?  Or lay off the steroids?  Something.  Well, it’s gonna get worse before it gets better.  Snake Eyes sculpted design is perhaps not the most radical departure from prior designs, although the artful nature of prior looks is largely lost, with everything adding up to a design that doesn’t quite have that same cool factor as prior versions.  All of the elements to make a Snake Eyes are certainly there, but they come together like some sort of off-brand product.  The goggles in particular just seem…goofy and unimposing.  More like safety goggles than anything combat ready.  The artwork for the figure honestly doesn’t make them look that bad; there was something lost in translation.  Of course, the biggest thing against this figure’s probably the paint, where he departs the most from every other version of Snake Eyes.  Previous Snake Eyes figures all were very heavy on black, and very light on pretty much anything else.  This figure’s still got some black, but it’s interspersed with a lot of light blue, grey, and even some red.  While he’s hardly the most garish figure his year produced, by Snake Eyes standards, he was pretty obnoxious.  Also, inexplicably in Cobra colors, for whatever reason.  More than anything about the sculpt, these colors are the thing that remove this figure the most from being Snake Eyes.  Repaints of this figure in more Snake Eyes-esque colors aren’t perfect, but do at least make him more recognizable.  My guess would be that the sculpter and the person who chose the colors were not one and the same on this figure.  Snake Eyes was packed with two swords, a submachine gun, a backpack with a built-in missile launcher, and a display stand.  With the exception of the pack and stand, the accessories are all a vibrant red, again removing the usual Snake Eyes brand a bit.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

When the very large Joe collection that came into All Time over the summer came in, this figure’s file card was in the mix, but he was nowhere to be seen.  Unlike Falcon, he did not miraculously appear out of one of the vehicles, however.  Instead, he miraculously appeared out of a small bag brought into the store by the person who sold us the rest of the collection, who had apparently found Snake Eyes and another figure while cleaning.  As an unabashed Snake Eyes fan, I have this weird desire to own all of his vintage figures, no matter how goofy, lame, or off-brand they may be.  This guy’s not great, but I honestly love him anyway.

As noted above, Snake Eyes came from All Time Toys, who got in a rather sizable vintage Joe collection, the remnants of which can be checked out the Joe section of their eBay page here.  If you’re looking for other toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.

#2024: Snake Eyes & Scarlett

SNAKE EYES & SCARLETT

G.I. JOE: NINJA FORCE (HASBRO)

For its first three decades, G.I. Joe was in a rather frequent state of change, attempting to keep itself matched with the times.  Since hitting a smash success with the A Real American Hero incarnation in the ’80s, there’s been a bit of difficulty updating, since a lasting fanbase has prevented them from completely revamping things the way they may once have done.  In the early ’90s, they made a bid at a more informal re-vamp, by breaking out some of ARAH‘s established characters into smaller sub-series, each following a popular theme of the time.  Mainstays Snake Eyes and Scarlett found themselves at the hoist into the “Ninja Force” brand, a decidedly foreign tone for a line that had “American” in its title.  Given the line’s hiatus just a year after this re-branding took center stage, it was perhaps a little too foreign for the established fanbase.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Snake Eyes and Scarlett were both released in 1993, during Ninja Force‘s second year running.  The comics by this point had interwoven both Snake Eyes and Scarlett with Cobra Ninja Storm Shadow, whose move over to the Joe side had led to him being Ninja Force‘s central character during its debut year, and these two coming along to join him seemed like a rather sensible move, at least from a marketing perspective.

SNAKE EYES

“SNAKE-EYES excelled in Long Range Recon Patrols and high-risk covert missions in Southeast Asia. His success was based on his ability to use everything from trees to fog when making himself virtually “invisible,” even to skilled Cobra Ninjas. He perfected his mystical martial arts techniques with the same ninja clan that trained STORM SHADOW. Snake-Eyes was living a self-disciplined, tranquil life in the High Sierras when HAWK recruited him for the G.I. Joe team. Since then, he has proven himself an invaluable asset to the Ninja Force and one of the fiercest fighting menaces against all Cobra legions.” 

This Snake Eyes marked his fifth time gracing the small-scale line, which made him the most prevalent character in the line (though Duke would catch him by virtue of getting two figures released that same year).  Snake not joining the Ninja Force until its second year may seem a little odd at first glance, but it’s likely that his very recently released V4 figure from ’91 prevented his presence for the sub-brands ’92 launch.  Up to this point, Hasbro hadn’t really done the same character two years running (apart from Cobra Commander, who was granted a new figure every year from ’91-’94), so I guess they wanted to let the Commando Snake do his thing a little longer.  Snake Eyes stands 3 3/4 inches tall and he has 13 points of articulation.  Snake Eyes’ articulation was a marked change from where the line had been for it’s prior nine years, by virtue of the addition of an action feature.  Squeeze the legs and his arms swing up and down for his “Basami Slice”.  Said feature limits the hip movement to more simple swivels and removes the waist.  Removing movement for a figure that’s part of the “Ninja Force” does seem like an odd choice, but it was the direction things were going at the time, so you can’t really fault Hasbro from leaning into that curve.  This figure’s design took the opposite position to the V4 release, which had almost completely abandoned Snake Eyes’ ninja side, and in contrast plays up the ninja side about as much as is possible.  In fact, you’d be forgiven for not realizing this was Snake Eyes at all at first glance.  He’s got actual, visible eyes, for Pete’s sake!  Where’s the signature eyewear?  Morphed into some sort of full faceplate thing, I guess.  He’s also bulked up substantially from his prior figures, because that’s what the ’90s does to you.  It’s actually not a bad sculpt all around, with solid detail work, showing a definite progression from earlier in the line.  Snake Eyes’ paintwork is actually pretty involved for an Snake Eyes figure.  He’s got TWO colors!  That’s crazy!  Snake Eyes was packed with an impressive selection of accessories.  He included three different swords of varying sizes and styles, plus a small knife, nunchucks, a pair of claws, and a display stand.  Mine is missing the knife and claws, but with that many accessories to start with, he doesn’t feel like he’s missing too much.

SCARLETT

“SCARLETT began her training in the martial arts at age nine and was awarded a black belt at age 15. She was not only physically ahead of her time, but mentally as well. She graduated summa cum laude from two Ivy League universities and went on to excel in training courses at all four branches of the armed forces. Cobra often mistakes her for just a pretty face rather than a member of G.I. Joe’s elite Ninja Force, which makes her perfect for undercover missions. She is great friend to each of the Joes, especially SNAKE-EYES, and a deadly enemy to Cobra.”

Despite being in the line’s first year and being a prominent fixture in both the comics and the cartoon, this was only Scarlett’s second figure, a full decade after the original figure.  She wasn’t previously as linked to the whole ninja-thing as Snake Eyes, but the two have been linked since very early on, so her place here as a companion to Snake Eyes was reasonable.  The figure is just under 3 3/4 inches tall and she has 13 points of articulation.  Like Snake Eyes, she has an action feature that limits the hips and waist.  Her action feature, the “Kato Kick” works a little differently than Snake Eyes, since it’s a kick, and there’s a sort of looser way of activating it.  If Snake Eyes’ design was a departure from his usual design, Scarlett’s is even more so. There’s really nothing left of her original look, apart from her red hair, I guess.  The rest of her look leans really heavily on the ninja thing, enough that this same sculpt was easily re-purposed into Chun-Li the same year.  Scarlett’s headsculpt was actually a notable improvement over the less attractive original Scarlett head, better matching her depictions in other media.  She makes use of soft-goods for both her pony tail and sash.  They sort of lend themselves to being all sorts of curled up and messy, but they were a decent enough idea.  Her paintwork is nice enough.  She’s very green, which was an interesting contrast with the red hair.  Not the most attractive color scheme, but not terrible when compared to some of the other figures from the same period of the line.  Scarlett includes the same accessories as Snake Eyes, but molded in yellow instead of blue.  My Scarlett’s missing even more of the extras, but again, with this many, it isn’t quite as much of a loss.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

When I first started getting into G.I. Joe, I was always rather perplexed by this subset of the line.  To my younger self, they seemed kind of pointless and goofy, but I’ve kind of gained a new appreciation for them.  I’ve always been a big fan of Snake Eyes and Scarlett, so when this pair showed up in a big ’90s Joe lot at All Time Toys, I fished the two of them out. Are they hokey?  Yes.  Are they the best versions of the characters?  No.  Are they a lot of fun?  Absolutely.

As I noted, I got this pair from All Time Toys, who have been getting a rather steady stream of G.I. Joe collections as of late.  So, if you’re looking for old Joes or if you’re looking for other cool toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay Store.

#1842: Snake Eyes

SNAKE EYES

G.I. JOE: 25TH ANNIVERSARY

“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!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

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.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

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.

#1761: Snake Eyes

SNAKE EYES

G.I. JOE MIGHTY MUGGS

What’s this?  More Mighty Muggs?  That’s crazy!  But wait, this one’s different!  This one’s vintage….ish.

After their success with their licensed properties of Marvel, Star Wars, and Indiana Jones in the Mighty Muggs format, Hasbro decided to go all-in and start offering up some of their in-house properties in that same style.  While that did eventually grow to include the likes of ROM and the Visionaries, the primary focus was on Transformers and G.I. Joe.  I’ll be looking at one of the latter’s characters today.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Snake Eyes was released in the first series of G.I. Joe Mighty Muggs, which hit stores in late 2008.  He’s based on Snake Eyes’ 1985 v2 look, which is kind of the go-to for Snake Eyes.  The figure stands 5 1/2 inches tall and he has 3 points of articulation.  While the legs are a separate piece, they aren’t actually articulated, or at least there’s no practical movement to be had from them.  Snake Eyes is built on the basic Muggs body from the old days.  It’s a fair bit taller than the newer Muggs, and the proportions are slightly different, with the head being noticeably smaller in comparison to the rest of the body.  He doesn’t have any add-on pieces or anything, which is rather sensible for Snake Eyes, and also fairly common for the older Muggs.  The detailing of course all comes from the paint work.  The original Mighty Muggs were a bit different in terms of how the details were handled.  They had more of an art-deco/designer vinyl sort of vibe to it, where it boils down things to the most simple designs, but also adds in some creative shading.  It’s the sort of look that really fits well with the general design of the character.  In particular, I quite like the faux-reflective nature of the visor.  Though accessories were not the norm for the line, Snake Eyes was actually pretty well armed, betting both his sword and machine gun, allowing for him to go for that whole commando/ninja combo.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

While I liked the original Mighty Muggs quite a bit, by the time this line came along, my focus had moved to other things, so I didn’t get this guy new.  Instead, I actually picked him up just a couple of weeks ago, as sort of a birthday present to myself, from 2nd Chance Toyz.  Obviously, he’s as much an acquired taste as any of the others, but I really like him, and I think he was a really good choice for the style.

#1600: Snake Eyes

SNAKE EYES

G.I. JOE: A REAL AMERICAN HERO

“SNAKE EYES served in Long Range Recon Patrols in Southeast Asia. He left the service to study mystic martial arts with the same Ninja family that produced STORM SHADOW. SNAKE EYES was living an ascetic existence alone in the High Sierras with his pet timber wolf when he was recruited for the GI JOE team. He is a qualified expert in all NATO and Warsaw Pact small arms, has a black belt in 12 different fighting systems, and is highly skilled in the use of edged weapons.”

Ah, look at that.  Another hundred reviews.  That means it’s time for—wait, sorry, hadn’t updated the script.  Right.  Hi there dear readers!  Welcome to the Figure in Question’s 1600th review.  Usually on the hundred mark I do a special high-end deluxe review, but I like to mix things up occasionally and space those particular reviews out a bit more as I go along.  So, the deluxe reviews are new going to be every 250 reviews from now on.  So, in honor of this not at all monumental review, I’ll be taking a look at a Snake Eyes figure.  Wooo-eee.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

This particular Snake Eyes figure was packed with the Kid Rhino DVD release of the first two mini-series of the G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero cartoon, which hit in 2003.  It’s the 16th version of the character released, and is actually just a slight re-working of his very first figure.  This figure stands 3 3/4 inches tall and he has 14 points of articulation.  Sculpturally, he’s the exact same figure as the ToyFare-exclusive Snake Eyes figure from the same year (already reviewed here).  It’s the original Snake Eyes mold, with the version 1.5 swivel arms, and Roadblock’s pelvis piece.  It’s a sculpt that shows its age, but one I still very much like.  The main difference with this figure and that one is coloring (though not paint, as the actual paint applications on these two are identical).  Rather than Snake Eyes’ usual all black palette, this figure is molded in a dark blue, which mimics how he was colored in the cartoon.  Given how this figure was released, it’s certainly a reasonable change, and makes for a somewhat unique looking figure.  Snake Eyes was packed with a pretty decent accessories complement, given his nature as a pack-in.  He included a sword, an Uzi, a pack of explosives, a back pack, and his trusty canine sidekick Timber.  Sadly, I lost Timber at some point, something I still kick myself about.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I got the DVD set that included this guy as a Christmas present from my parents some years back.  I know I’d seen it somewhere and expressed interest in it, and they took note of this and got it for me.  Of course, I certainly didn’t ask for the set just for the figure included with it.  That would be preposterous, right?  Who would do something like that?  Not me.  Not me at all.  Despite essentially having reviewed this figure before, there’s just something about this particular variant that I really like. 

#1461: Snake Eyes & Storm Shadow

SNAKE EYES & STORM SHADOW

G.I. JOE VS COBRA (HASBRO)

Heyo!  As all my faithful FiQ-fans are undoubtedly aware, today marks four years of reviews here at the site.  In honor of this momentous day, I wanted to take a look at a pair of figures that are somewhat important in the grand scheme of my collection.  I’ll be setting my sites on G.I. Joe, a franchise that I feel I don’t look at quite as often as I should around these parts.  I mean, it is the *original* action figure, after all.  The line definitely deserves some respect.  Today, I’ll be looking at two of my favorite characters from the franchise (as well as two of the most popular characters in general), Snake Eyes & Storm Shadow!

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Snake Eyes & Storm Shadow were released in Series 1 of Hasbro’s G.I. Joe Vs Cobra line. This series served to bring brand-new 3 3/4-inch Joes back to mass retail after a one year absence and a few years of repaints.

SNAKE EYES

“SNAKE EYES learned his top combat skills in missions around the globe. A tragic helicopter mission took away his voice and scarred his face. That’s why he communicates with sign language and never removes his mask around others. He studied mystical martial arts with the Arashikage clan, which is also the family of master ninja STORM SHADOW, SNAKE EYES is an expert in all disciplines of martial arts and silent weapons. He can move silenty and without being seen. At one time, he and STORM SHADOW were sword brothers, linked by spirit and tradition. Now that STORM SHADOW is part of the evil COBRA organization, there is no escape from a final battle between two of the world’s greatest martial arts fighters.”

As perhaps the most popular Joe ever, it was no surprise that Snake Eyes turned up here in the first series.  The figure stands 3 3/4 inches tall (he’d be taller without the wide stance) and he has 14 points of articulation.  The first series of Vs were distinct in their construction.  Hasbro abandoned the more typical O-ring construction, and went for a more solid construction.  This results in figures that are a little sturdier than their predecessors, but slightly more limited in their posability at the hips.  It wasn’t a perfect solution, and that’s why Hasbro ended up going back to the O-ring build in the next series.  This Snake Eyes had a unique design, which made use of elements from all of his prior figures.  I may be a little biased, but this has always been a favorite look of mine.  His sculpt definitely shows its age….or an age.  Given the sheer size of this guy’s muscles, he looks like he should be straight out of the ’90s, not the early ’00s.  Guess Hasbro was still shaking off a little of the Extreme days from the ’90s.  That being said, whoever worked on this sculpt was certainly having a good time of it.  The details in the wrappings, the straps, and the pouches are all really well rendered, and indicate real attention being paid to this figure.  The head’s my favorite part of the figure, as it’s probably the least affected by the stylization.  I like that you can clearly see the face under the mask, but it’s not quite as ridiculous as the sculpted lips from Rise of Cobra.  The paintwork on this figure is a bit more involved than most Snake Eyes figures tended to be.  He’s actually molded in a very, very dark green, allowing his visor to be made straight black and still have contrast.  The rest of the work is all in the accents, which all go pretty well.  He’s got some color without it getting too garish.  Snake Eyes was packed with a pair of swords, a backpack to hold them, a knife, and a sub-machine gun.  After 15 years, all my figure has left are the swords.

STORM SHADOW

“STORM SHADOW grew up in the Arashikage clan of ninjas.  During his training, his sword-brother was SNAKE EYES, the commando and martial arts master of the GI JOE team.  The evil COBRA organization recruited Arashikage members.  This corruption split the clan in two.  After a COBRA agent killed STORM SHADOW’s uncle, he went undercover within COBRA to find the assassin.  When the killer was revealed, STORM SHADOW joined the GI JOE team to get revenge.  But now, STORM SHADOW is back with COBRA.  Are all Arshikage ninjas evil? Or does COBRA COMMANDER hold some special power over STORM SHADOW?  Whatever the reason, the anger is clear when he meets SNAKE EYES.  The battle between the ninja masters will be legendary.”

Ah, the revolving door that is Storm Shadow’s affiliation.  Yes, one of the notable things done by the relaunch was placing Storm Shadow back on the side of Cobra, which was explained in the Devil’s Due comics of the time as the result of brainwashing.  The figure has the same height and articulation as Snake Eyes.  Thanks to a slightly straighter stance, that actually makes him a little shorter.  The sculpt for Storm Shadow as another all-new one, and while Snake Eyes would get another sculpt very quickly, Storm Shadow’s stuck around for several years.  It’s not anywhere near as exaggerated as the Snake Eyes sculpt, so I guess it had a slightly longer shelf life.  That being said, I can’t help but feel this sculpt is a little less inspired than that of Snake Eyes.  The details seem a lot flatter, less organic, and just generally a little less developed.  And then there’s that hood; what’s going on with the hood?  It’s all stuck to the head, and generally un-hood-like.  The Storm Shadow figure just prior to this one clearly showed that sculpting a hood was totally within Hasbro’s grasp, so this just looks…strange.  It’s as if they didn’t decide until the last minute whether they wanted the hood or not, so he just has this amorphous could-be-a-hood-could-be-a-mask thing.  Storm Shadow’s paint is alright.  It’s pretty basic stuff, really.  Red, white, gray, and black.  It’s relatively clean, and makes for a good contrast with Snake Eyes.  The white is all molded plastic, though, so he’s done some serious yellowing over the years.  The figure was packed with two swords, a backpack, a knife, and a sub-machine gun.  Apart from the backpack and knife, the pieces were actually unique to Storm Shadow, not shared with Snake Eyes.  That’s actually pretty cool!

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

These two are my very first small-scale G.I. Joes.  I had several of the 12-inch ones, but the smaller line was on the back burner for my earlier collecting years.  When the first series was first shown in ToyFare magazine, I was pretty excited, and I knew from the very beginning that Snake Eyes was the first one I wanted.  Storm Shadow sort of came along for the ride.  My dad bought these for me, as a reward for patiently waiting for flooring with him at Home Depot.  They aren’t amazing figures.  None of this era of Joes really were.  But they were my first, and they were fun.  I loved having them, and they got me into the whole franchise.  Now I have over a hundred of these little guys.  Lots of them are better technically than these two, but these two are still my favorites.

#0740: Snake Eyes – Commando

SNAKE EYES – COMMANDO

GI JOE: A REAL AMERICAN HERO

SnakeEyes90s1

When most people think of Snake Eyes from G.I. Joe, I’m pretty sure the default thing that pops into people’s heads is the whole “ninja” thing. It’s kind of become a defining trait of the character.  That’s actually pretty funny, because he wasn’t originally a ninja. His official designation was commando, and his original figure didn’t even include a sword! Over the years, Snake Eyes has gone up and down the scale of ninja-ness, as Hasbro tries to bring him back to his original roots as just a faceless commando, but it never sticks. Still, it results in some interesting figures!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

SnakeEyes90s2Snake Eyes was a part of the first series of Dollar General exclusive G.I. Joe figures. Yes, that does seem like an odd place to sell exclusive action figures. Just go with it, I guess. Also, point of reference, this is 59th version of Snake Eyes in the small scale line. That’s a whole lot of Snake Eyeseseses. The figure stands roughly 3 ¾ inches tall and has 22 points of articulation. This figure is meant to replicate the somewhat unique look of the fourth version of character, released in 1991. It was the first attempt on Hasbro’s part to take Snake Eyes back to being a commando, before they threw caution to the wind and went full on Ninja Force. This figure has been constructed entirely from re-used parts. Most of them are from the 25th Anniversary update of the third Snake Eyes figure, with a few other assorted pieces thrown in. There’s also an add-on piece for his web gear, which I believe is also a re-use, but I’m not sure from where. The end result is a figure that looks kind of like the original figure, like if you squint or something, but isn’t anywhere near as accurate as some of the other entries in the line. That said, the pieces all work pretty well together, and he still looks pretty cool, so it’s hard to really complain. The paint on this guy certainly does a lot of the heavy lifting in terms of conveying the design this is based upon. That figure was pretty distinct with this color palate, playing up the whole “American Hero” part of the title a bit more. This one does a pretty serviceable job of capturing the look. The colors have been toned down ever so slightly, but the overall look is still there. Snake Eyes was packed with a katana and a black display stand.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I never had any luck finding this guy at Dollar General, so I kind of missed out on him for a while. I ended up finding him at nearby small toy shop All Time Toys. I never actually cared all that much for the original figure of this design, so I really don’t mind the changes Hasbro made. He’s a pretty nifty toy, and that color scheme certainly sets him apart from the other Joes!

#0347: Snake Eyes & Agent Scarlett

SNAKE EYES & AGENT SCARLETT

GI JOE VS COBRA

SnakeEyes&Scarlett

In 1965, Hasbro invented the action figure with the very first GI Joe. The figure offered a take on the traditional doll idea, but meant for boys. He was 12 inches tall, had a cloth outfit, and was a pretty straight forward military man, offered in a variation for each of the four branches of the US military. After the end of the Vietnam War, soldiers and war were seen in a more negative light, so Hasbro had to change things up. This led to the Adventure Team era, which prevailed for most of the 70s. At the end of the decade, they faced another issue. Thanks to Kenner’s smaller scale Star Wars line, the industry was moving to smaller, less accessorized figures. Hasbro had to move quickly to reinvigorate GI Joe for a new audience, leading to the creation of GI Joe: A Real American Hero, which reworked the scale and made the line a collection of unique characters. It also provided the Joes with their first real foe, Cobra. It has remained the definitive take on the GI Joe concept pretty much since its inception. While the line never went away, after the 80s the line dwindled, until it was once again re-worked in 2002. That’s when I came on board. The line operated mostly on new sculpts, but there were a few re-releases mixed in. Today, I’ll be looking at one such release, with Joe mainstays Snake Eyes and Scarlett.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

This pair was released as an exclusive two-pack through Toyfare magazine. They were meant to tie-in with the then current GI Joe VS Cobra.

SNAKE EYES

SnakeEyes&ScarletWilson1This is the 15th version of the ever silent ninja/commando/everything but the kitchen sink, Snake Eyes! Snake Eyes is 3 ¾ inches in height and he features 14 points of articulation. He’s meant to be a slightly more high quality recreation of the very first Snake Eyes figure, so he unsurprisingly used a lot of the same pieces. He’s mostly built out of the version 1.5, after Hasbro added the now standard swivels to his biceps, but instead of the original, he’s been given that of the second version of Roadblock. Not sure why that is, but I assume Hasbro had a good reason. Anyway, it’s a pretty great sculpt, even if it does show its age just a little. Obviously, it’s a tad more simplistic than most modern day sculpts, but that’s not too bad. He still has his fair share of detail, and he looks pretty great! The paint is a key point on this figure, as the original Snake Eyes didn’t actually have any. For this one, they’ve added some additional details to the various pouches and straps on the body to give him a little more variety. There is also a shade of very dark gray applied to the visor on his head, which was so subtle I almost didn’t notice it at first. Overall, the paint is pretty good, but there are a few areas where he has some bleed over. Snake Eyes included a submachine gun, a sword, some explosives, and a back pack, which a pretty impressive accessories compliment!

AGENT SCARLETT

SnakeEyes&ScarletWilson2This is the 6th version of Scarlett, or Agent Scarlett as she’s called here. She’s 3 ¾ inches in height and she has 14 points of articulation. Like Snake Eyes, she’s meant as a recreation of the original Scarlett figure from way back in the very first series of GI Joe: A Real American Hero. The figure is a complete re-use of swivel-armed version of the original figure, which is reasonable. Admittedly, the Scarlett sculpt is not as nice as Snake Eyes. Her arms sit a little bit far out at the shoulders, and the face is rather on the mannish side. It’s not terrible, but it’s not the greatest. The paint on Scarlett is a bit more intensive than that on Snake Eyes. All in all, it’s pretty good. There’s no real slop or bleed over, so that’s good. They’ve also made her a bit more colorful than her original incarnation, which is probably for the best. Scarlett comes armed with a crossbow and two swords, as well as a backpack.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

GI Joe was mostly in a lull when I came into the world of action figure collecting. As such, my first real introduction to the property was GI Joe VS Cobra. Once I had gotten the newer figures, I began looking into the older figures, particularly those of Snake Eyes. Thanks to an article run in Toyfare magazine, I learned of the second version of the character, which I really wanted. It didn’t prove easy to find, so I had to go without it until recently.

In the meantime, I purchased this set from Toyfare to hold me over. I remember being extremely excited when I first saw the order form in the issue in which they were offered! My always supportive Mom was feeling particularly awesome, so she ordered the set for me. Since then, it’s easily remained one of my favorite pieces of my GI Joe collection. It’s a great set and I really love it!