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Wave 3, 2008 Snake Eyes (v34)
This time around we're going to take a look at the latest version of Snake Eyes from the 25th Anniversary line, based on his version 3, 1989 design.
For a little back history on this very dark version of Snake Eyes (from the Marvel comic), I will refer you to issue #95, part of the second "Snake Eyes Trilogy" story arc. In that pivotal issue, we see a newly recovered from reconstructive surgery Snake Eyes captured by the Baroness and her torture experts - the Paine brothers, Torquemada, DeSade, and Crispo. All three Paine brothers are wearing the components that, after their rather uncomfortable demise, becomes the new uniform for Snake Eyes. Ouch, huh? This is a version of Snake Eyes that doesn't mess around!
Well, regardless of the origins, this is a very unique design for Snake Eyes. Previous versions were a basic black commando in a sweater and a pseudo-ninja with a medieval visor; the latter really didn't scream "commando" to me. This version though, like his v3 inspiration, is totally black, with silver highlights, a very commando looking mask, knee-high glossy boots and a textured body suit with a ton of details.
And speaking of details - Snake Eyes features grenades attached to each bicep, they are glued in place and are of a slightly metallic shade of black. You would think black-on-black would be impossible to see details, but on Snake Eyes, it really works well.
For the most part, the body is covered in a mesh pattern, like an armor, with gloss black details like boots and pads. Really, the figure is pretty light on paint details and applications. Just a handful of silver paint masks on the wrists, belt and goggles decorate and otherwise all black figure.
What really makes this figure stand out are the accessories. Unlike a lot of other Joes, where the accessories just add gear to an otherwise complete figure, Snake Eyes feels absolutely incomplete without them. First of all, are the slotted trenchknives that adorn Snake Eyes' chest, which unlike the version 3 Snake Eyes, are now fully removable. Snake Eyes also has an updated version of his silenced UZI, which can hook and hang from the harness on his right flank. We also see the familiar backpack, this time in silver, along with a newly sculpted, slotted sword. Personally, I prefer the original sculpt sword, it seemed more substantial and better detailed.
Also, Snake Eyes comes with a newly re-sculpted 3-part mace/nunchuck weapon. But what's missing? The v3 Snake Eyes came with a really interesting accessory that made him seem more like an assassin than a commando - a blow gun. I know, it's kind of cheesy and contrived, but it was a really neat accessory (one that you can still see on the new packaging too!) and instead it's been replaced by a set of Sam Fisher-looking night-vision goggles that attach to the nub on the side of SE's ear. The night-vision goggles are a nice, new addition, but they are soft PVC, so they do not hold their pose well and gravity tends to warp the plastic. Oh well.
My overall thoughts on Snake Eyes v34 are really good. This is one of a few figures in the entire line that has all original parts (finally!) that haven't been released a dozen times and the engineering is terrific and allows Snake Eyes to be fully poseable without a lot of articulation impediments.
He may not be the most iconic looking version, but the design has a great origin thanks to Larry Hama and this truly is the best Snake Eyes in the 25 th Anniversary line - YoJoe!