Review by Justin Bell
As is usually the case, the first figure we got a glimpse off from Resolute ends up being probably the worst of the first 3. It was a small, somewhat grainy picture that we got, and it was tough to see what parts were used or what the articulation was. But the good news is that this is a COBRA Commander for a new generation, yet is very reminiscent of the vintage version. A figure that stands out a bit from the classic, but resembles him to a strong degree.
Of course, a big reason why he so closely resembles the vintage version is because this figure uses a lot of the Anniversary parts, which is a bit of a mixed blessing. I say “mixed” because using these parts makes him fit in with the classic figures nicely, but looking at the Trooper and Duke, I can’t help but remorse a bit that we couldn’t get a totally macked out “true” Resolute version of COBRA’s leader. Seeing how the Trooper and Duke are sculpted makes me really wish we could have seen a fully new-tooled COBRA Commander, rather than just using the same parts we’ve gotten ad infinitum over the past 18 months. Granted, there are different lower legs (which are actually pretty cool), and a new helmet, but in the end, the figure mostly looks the same. It’s actually funny in a way, because while this version of COBRA Commander has the familiar arms and upper legs of the Anniversary version, his torso is actually new, even though it’s designed nearly identically to the original. He’s got a chest strap that the original doesn’t have, and his back is totally tooled differently with no spot for his hand cannon. However, the articulation point is in the same spot, underneath a belt that looks remarkably similar to the Anniversary style, too. So even with a healthy dose of new parts, the figure ends up very reminiscent of the original versions.
Where this COBRA Commander stands apart is mostly due to his shoulder cape and the flair of thigh-length jacket that sweeps dramatically out from his belt. Both of these touches add a nice design aesthetic, though his leg articulation ends up pretty severely restricted, which is a shame. The Indiana Jones line experimented with cloth on one of their German soldiers, I wish G.I. Joe would at least attempt something to see if they could make it work. Granted the sculpted rubber looks very cool, but if there’s one thing us Joe fans like, it’s for our toys to move. With this thick rubber molded “skirting”, his legs are practically immobile, and it’s glued to his belt, so it’s not easily removable either. Definitely a down point for this figure, even if does add a nice design flair.
Along with the new cape and jacket, COBRA Commander comes with a “Mauser” pistol and ceremonial sword. Both are pretty cool aspects of the character, though they give him a slightly dated look. For whatever reason the old German handgun just seems to fit the character, and overall I’m happy with the overall “look” for this version of the Commander. I do wish there were some newer parts and more dramatic new tooling, but as it stands this looks okay, too.
Not the best Resolute figure, but still a neat addition to the line. While at first I was fairly disappointed, the more I’ve posted him (especially alongside the Troopers) the more I’ve grown to really like him, and all in all, even as a minor disappointment, he still manages to be a fairly successful figure that’s a nice new invention for the COBRA Commander mythos. His new helmet adds a nice new design element, and I’m glad they used the head sculpt from the Best Of DVD set, and I find myself fully enjoying his more muted, more “gray-blue” color scheme as well. A lot more reused parts than Duke or the COBRA Trooper, and maybe a little less excitement throughout, but ultimately a solid figure and an imposing figure standing in front of his new age COBRA army.
GRADE: out of 5
COBRA Commander (v39)
More action shots:
Images from the collection of: Justin Bell
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