This is the Sit-Rep, soldier, the Situation Report! It's here where we get the intel on the new troops, talk to the big brass, and generally do anything else
that isn't in an archival capacity! So what are you waiting for? It's time for your debriefing!
One thing we’ve had no shortages of with the 25th Anniversary line to this point is COBRA Troopers. We have been absolutely inundated with about every different type of COBRA foot soldier you can imagine, and I think that’s a good thing. Like the Star Wars Clone Troopers, you can conceivably think of hundreds (if not thousands) of different uses for the various grunts or “bullet-stoppers”, and I like how Hasbro is kind of incorporating that idea into the COBRA mythology. Back in the old days (and still to this day to a certain degree) COBRA had different uniforms and different names for each individual specialty, and to me it makes sense that there should at least be some troopers who are still basically the normal Grunts, but who are transitioning into another specialty. Would someone go from being a COBRA Trooper straight to being a HEAT Viper? I’m not sure. I would think there might be a step in between, and in my little world, the COBRA Bazooka Trooper serves that purpose.
To date even though we’ve gotten various different COBRA Troopers, there haven’t been any major differences. I mean we’ve got the standard troopers, the Comic themed troopers, the Cartoon themed troopers, etc… but for the most part, they’re just different types of the normal foot soldiers. Well, with the Bazooka Trooper, the designers took a few extra steps to make sure this figure really stood out, which is awesome, I think.
First of all, the figure itself is a straight up repaint of the standard COBRA Trooper tooling, which has been used ad infinitum for Troopers, Officers, and other functions as well, but the subtle changes throughout make a big difference here.
All of the Trooper’s standard equipment has been changed, with the exception of his knife. This trooper has a very cool “netted” blue helmet that immediately gives the figure a somewhat different look. You don’t see netted helmets quite so much these days, but I think it’s a nice difference that makes him seem like more than just a regular trooper decked out with a rocket launcher. He also has a very cool looking (though somewhat old school) RPG rocket launcher. I think this launcher was a great choice…it really makes COBRA seem like a potential low-budget terrorist force, who can’t afford to give every Tom, Dick, and Harry their state-of-the-art rocket launchers. These troopers are base level, they take what they can get, and these guys get their uniforms dirty in the ditches, using low-rent gear to cause as much damage as they can. But as far as new gear goes, the coolest is, by far, the web gear. I absolutely LOVE this new web gear…it is freaking fantastic. From the bulky pouches on the vest, to the elaborate straps over the shoulders and throughout the torso, this is one great looking figure with this updated web gear. So much more detail! I’m not sure exactly how it ties into an explosives specialty, but it looks cool enough to double for almost anything. I can really see equipping some more standard troopers with this great vest, and I love the fact that the Stinger Driver Commander looks like he comes with it as well. By far the best part of this figure. What would have made it even cooler is if the holster on the back of the belt had made it intact. I’m not sure if it was a factory error, or if something changed in the design process, but during the Joe Convention, this figure was clearly shown with an awesome holster on the small of his back that held his pistol. Since the pistol still comes with this figure, I’d imagine something happened at the factory level, and it’s something I desperately hope gets resolved, because that would take cool web gear and make it even cooler. I would LOVE to be able to attach a pistol on the small of this trooper’s back to give him a little firearm backup in case he runs out of rockets. An awesome touch by an obviously terrific design team.
There’s another great homage in this figure as well that not too many folks may notice. I’m not sure if it was intentional, but looking at the shade of blue on this figure, I can’t help but think back to the Brazilian "COBRA Soldado", which was an international exclusive well-known because of its lighter blue uniform. It could be simple coincidence, but judging by various homages worked into figures to this point, I’d lean towards an intentional reflection towards one of the more obscure international variations.
Sure, there are relatively minor design changes in this figure, but I really enjoy all of the changes, and this ends up being a very cool, understated figure. While everyone is raving about the Para-Viper, I can’t stop playing with this simple trooper update that takes some small changes and makes the figure even cooler. A great figure that will get overlooked by a lot of people.