Review and photos by Phillip Donnelly
I've reviewed the Joes, so now it's time to look at the other side of the coin, the Cobras! It's another seven pack of figures based on their looks from G.I. Joe: Resolute, and I gotta say I may like this set more than the last. Primarily it has to do with the fact that they have more varied uniforms, so there's more variety among the toys. That said, watch as I complain about a repack further down!
It still surprises me that Hasbro can make pretty good approximations of character designs with so many reused parts. Take Alley Viper here, for example. He's got the Cobra Trooper (v15) body and legs and Storm Shadow (v28) arms. Give him a new head and gear and he's pretty spot-on for how these troops looked in the show. There are times when reusing body parts doesn't quite work, but it certainly does here. Just keep him away from any grenades. These Alley Vipers don't seem to do well when they're around those things.
Remember when I said there are times when reusing body parts doesn't quite work? You should, it was just a few sentences ago! And I pretty much repeated it when I started this paragraph. No memory? You should probably see a doctor about that.... At any rate, this figure of the Baroness is, from the neck down, a hand-me-down of a previous version. The paint job makes an admirable attempt to replicate her Resolute digs, but for me, it doesn't quite work. I'd like to see the shoulderpads, the poofy arms, and the sleekness of her bodysuit. As it is though, this is far from a terrible figure. It's a pretty good attempt given the parts choices, but there's just a little something missing for me to fully embrace this figure. And yes, I said poofy. I don't know clothing nomenclature, okay?
If the Baroness was a slight letdown, this Cobra Commander is a full on collapse. But that's just because I got this figure about a year and a half ago. And I already own the repaint. I guess I can understand that Hasbro needed to keep the budget down and wanted collectors who did not get a chance to own the Commander before a second opportunity, but I'd rather see a new character than get another of one I have. The knife is nice, and he's a slightly different shade of blue. But really, what will I do with two Cobra Commanders? An Ice-Viper or Major Bludd would be my preference for this slot. Okay, maybe not dead, bloody corpse Major Bludd, but the Bludd from the profile image Scarlett looked up!
Oh Destro, you are definitely my favorite figure from this set. You don't quite have the huge build your animated form did, but you have an awesome European look to you that works oh so well. The long cloak restricts the leg movement a bit, but the accessories are enough to forgive that. A briefcase that holds a submachine gun and has an adjustable monitor? Great! And he comes with a second arm! The cybernetic limb was only shown on a character turnaround sheet designed for the cartoon, but it's neat that they took this idea and ran with it. And it's swappable: if you don't like your Destro as more machine than man, you can just ignore it!
Firefly is probably the character with the least screen-time of any other in this set. And yet they do a pretty nice job of rendering him in three dimensions. With a knife that stores in his flak vest, his trademark backpack and cover, and the huge missile launcher originally seen with Cobra Trooper (v16), he also has a ton of accessories. And the missile launcher makes sense since, you know, he was the one who actually used it in the movie!
How do I tackle Storm Shadow here? Do I talk about the faithful recreation of his costume? The fact that the hood and shirt are removable? Or do I acknowledge that I've just done those things in the previous two questions? At any rate, I like this figure. The removable clothing allows you to change up his look rather easily, giving you a couple of different options for how you want to display him. I like to go down to the base figure for those final battles he always has with Snake Eyes. Very Bruce Lee-esque.
And finishing off this set is Zartan. Though he was caught monologue-ing by Duke, you have to admit he came off pretty sinister before that. An unrepentant killer working for hire? Not the Zartan we're used to, but I'll take it. Just like I'll take this toy of him! (Oooh, segue!) The use of Flash (v3) parts as his limbs works so well that you wonder which figure it was designed for - true, the Zartan in the cartoon had kneepads, but I hardly miss them here. That Hasbro gives him both his sniper rifle and grenade launcher is just icing on the cake. My Hard Master figure is officially on notice.
One repack, one fairly nice figure, and five excellent ones. I'd say the good in this set outweighs the bad, and that it's worth the purchase. After all, your Joes need someone to fight don't they? Playtime would be pretty boring if they just stood around waiting for something to happen. So throw some bad guys their way! Pick up this set!
Alley Viper (v12)
Cobra Commander (v39)
Storm Shadow (v38)
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More action shots:
Images from the collection of: Phillip Donnelly
Figures courtesy of BigBadToyStore — get your G.I. Joes and much more at BigBadToyStore!