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Hot Toys 12" G.I. Joe: Retaliation Snake Eyes
Review and photos by Phillip Donnelly
Time for another figure review by yours truly - hold your applause! Okay, I was hoping for some applause. Nothing. Really? Moving on.... Today I'm looking at Hot Toys' new Snake Eyes figure, as featured in the movie G.I. Joe: Retaliation. This can be a little confusing: Hot Toys is an independent company based in Hong Kong that creates high-end collectibles. In the United States, their products are distributed through Sideshow Collectibles, an independent company based in Los Angeles that creates high-end collectibles. They both create 12" G.I. Joe figures. So while they're technically two different companies, we're getting them from the same source.
Headache over yet? Let's get to the figure in question. Instead of Sideshow's folding box setup, Hot Toys gives us an impressive slipcase featuring artwork from the film's posters. Sliding the slipcase off reveals the figure in a plastic window, lounging inside a plastic tray. The box is pretty enough, but I'm sure you're all like me and are more concerned with the figure inside!
And right away you'll see an issue. There's no easy way to say this, but while you're paying just about the same price for this Hot Toys Snake Eyes as you would for a Sideshow Snake Eyes, the Hot Toys Snake Eyes just does not come with as much stuff. It's practically bare-bones in comparison. Sure, you get 5 pairs of gloved hands, but only one submachine gun, one pistol, two daggers, and two katanas. The firearms do have removable clips, so that's a mark in their favor, but the amount of accessories just does not compare to a standard Sideshow release. I guess we'd have to chalk that up to licensing and importation fees increasing the price. But you know what? You really have what you need. For my money, I might have preferred adding in a set of sais and another submachine gun - all items Snake Eyes uses in the movie. But for what we have, I'm okay with it. I tend to think the Sideshow figures have too many accessories, anyways. Am I contradictory, or what?
My biggest gripe really, is that he comes with ten hands, but only four wrist connectors to connect the hands to his arms. That doesn't seem like proper math to me. Fortunately, I found an online store that sold wrist connectors cheaply and bought enough for each hand. Sharp-eyed viewers can find them in my pictures - the wrist connectors Snake Eyes ships with are black, not flesh tone. But this is a minor gripe, especially if you only put on display Snake Eyes in one pose on your bookshelf.
What is really cool are his swords - we have the silver bladed one that's made out of real metal, and matches the sword he used in the first movie. The other sword is the Blade of Justice. I'm not sure if this one is metal as well, but it definitely has some heft to it. It's a carbon-fiber blade in the film, so it being made of metal here isn't really an issue. As an aside: really guys, a carbon-fiber blade? Really??
Snake Eyes' costume is well represented here. The ammo pouches don't open like they would on a Sideshow figure, but this is kind of a moot point since you couldn't fit anything in there normally. You can tug on the glue and open the pouches if you really need to, though. Aside from the cloth pants and undershirt, his body armor is a stiff plastic with some faux-leather trim on his shoulders. Everything's kind of tied together with a series of tiny straps that make me immensely frightened to try and undo. Sorry guys, the archive entry for this one won't show the bare body underneath. It's just as well, he has some stuffing in place to make his muscles seem bigger. It's kind of like padding a bra, only with an action figure. Get that mental image out of year head!
If I may, I'd like to take a moment and talk about Snake Eyes' helmet. Unlike the creepy molded-lips look from the first film, we got something like a racing helmet this time around. It looks pretty incredible on this figure! In fact, if you look closely enough where the mouth would be, you can kind of make out some breathing vents underneath the surface. It's a great effect. And I'm happy to point out that the helmet size doesn't seem out of proportion here. There were times in the film it looked like he was ready to jump in a F1 car. Some say he and the stig were separated at brith, you know....
In the end, it all comes down to this: do you want this figure? IF you're okay with the price, and the amount of accessories you get with said price, absolutely. This is an absolutely stunning reproduction of the character from the film. He's not without his faults, but they're minor enough for me that I wouldn't hesitate to display him on my shelf with pride.
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