Review by Justin Bell
Part of doing these reviews for YoJoe also involves doing the archive entries, which can sometimes be a bit of a challenge, especially when it comes to Cobra Commander, Duke, and the Cobra Trooper. In fact, when I received this set in the mail and started doing the archive entries, I suddenly realized that both Cobra Commander and Cobra Trooper had multiple figures that hadn’t been entered in the archive yet. Even though YoJoe was 95% caught up with current releases, there was still one Cobra Trooper figure (from the 5th DVD Pack) that was not yet in the archive. This is simply one example of just how much product, and how much redundant product is being flooded to market these days. Trust me, I’m as sick as everyone else is of all of the Cobra Commanders and Cobra Troopers…but man, if they’re going to keep on making improvements on them like this version of the Trooper got, then by all means, keep them coming!
If you told me 6 months ago that within 4 weeks of each other we’d get two different Cobra Troopers that I would be absolutely in love with, I would have told you that you were out of your mind. Yet, here we stand, shortly after I latched onto the Cobra Paratrooper from the “Best Of” DVD Pack, we have another Trooper (using the same head sculpt) that is on yet another plane of “awesomeness” and quite honestly puts the old school blue shirts to absolute shame.
I’ve heard complaints that the Cobra Trooper doesn’t come emblazoned with Cobra logo’s, but honestly that doesn’t bother me. I can see Cobra as a much more covert, secret organization using less fanciful uniforms, especially considering this is an alternate universe. With the facemask, the colored uniform, and the state of the art weaponry, this guy is absolutely still the same Cobra cannon fodder we all know and love, just with an updated, more military look. And I love it.
As I mentioned, he has the same head sculpt as the Cobra Paratrooper from the 5th DVD pack, yet everything else appears to be totally new tooling. The commando sweater, baggy uniform with arm and knee pads, and the awesomely detailed flak vest all give you a sense that Cobra is a much more “military” organization, more in tune with the modern style, yet not nearly as over the top as the Cobra Vipers of old. Every wrinkle, every sculpt from the gloves to the knees, and beyond, are all faithfully represented in near plastic perfection. This figure looks terrific. More important than looks, though, is functionality, and the Trooper has that in spades. Where the original had issues holding weapons, bending his arms, and sitting properly, this version of the trooper can do all of these things with ease. His elbows bend more than 90 degrees, his hands are sculpted more open and accommodating to different weaponry, and his hip joints have full mobility. Nothing to complain about there either.
The paint applications only serve to match the sculpting as we have a really cool shade of blue that isn’t quite as bright or deep as your standard Cobra blue, but ends up looking a bit grayer and almost more animated in style. It really matches the color that the troopers had in that animated short that everyone went crazy for during Joe Con last year. There’s a nice mix of blacks, and grays as well, which are perfect Cobra Trooper colors that compliment the sculpting about as well as can be. On top of the great colors and functional, intricate detailing, is an equally great accessory compliment. From a slightly more stylized helmet, to a fully detailed flak vest and backpack, this figure is well equipped for anything. He comes with a slightly oversized grenade launcher, but the real gem weapon is the small “bull pup” submachine gun. The troopers used this exact machine gun in the animated short as they pursued Duke and Roadblock through the jungle, and I LOVE it. Hasbro managed to translate it perfectly to plastic form, and the trooper can hold it in all manner of realistic two-handed positions. The firing handle is a bit tricky to get lodged into the grip, but once you get it, he can hold this weapon VERY nicely and looks awesome while doing it.
Long before we saw pictures of this wave, I knew I was going to love it for the Resolute figures alone, and I was right. All three of these new figures are really good, though the Duke stands a bit taller than the other two (and I’ll cover Duke in a later review). These are some of the best figures that Hasbro has done in the Anniversary line to date, and I am giddy in anticipation of the cartoon to go along with them. Great work all around.
GRADE: out of 5
Cobra Trooper (v15)
More action shots:
Images from the collection of: Justin Bell
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