One of the neat things about G.I. Joe and Star Wars from a product development perspective is that both Hasbro (as a company) and collectors freaking love troopers. With few exceptions, figures like this Cobra Trooper are like catnip to both parties-- when Hasbro makes them in abundance, fans may buy several or even dozens of the same product to build a small army. Sometimes it's as diorama filler, but some times it's because Hasbro makes a figure that's so good that it feels like a crime to not buy art least a few. That was my feeling after picking this guy up, that I should go out and buy another few.
Standing at about 4-inches tall, the sculpt is really good. So good, you might not realize it's a figure made from mostly existing toys. The legs are from the 2011 Snake Eyes, the arms are from the Cobra Shock Trooper. Even the head is from an existing figure, the Resolute Cobra Trooper. It's amazing how great some figures can be with just a little bit of creative painting. A lot of toy collectors have complained that repaints are a bad thing, but after getting my hands on this figure I can't think that Hasbro would have made a better one with an entirely new sculpt. This is great, there's a reason they reuse some of these parts. (Heck, with figures like Steel Brigade, reusing parts is a proud tradition.)
Like Snake Eyes, this figure is loaded with articulation. It's basically a standard 25th Anniversary buck, but with swivel-and-bending wrists plus the unique articulated knee pads as seen on our favorite commando figure. The same legs work really well on Cobra's troops, the holster still stores a silencer and a pistol, and all the straps and pouches look fantastic painted up in Cobra colors. Writing this review makes me jumpy, I want to go out and buy more of this guy rather than finish writing the review, which is one of the best things I could say about it.
The helmet is one part I found weird-- rather than being molded in blue plastic, it's molded in flesh color and painted blue. It looks good, the texture is great, but once you pop the helmet off his head (complete with crew cut) you'll notice the bucket for his noggin matches his skin on the inside. It's weird, but not a problem really. His other gear is all great-- his pistols and silencers come from Snake Eyes, the barbed wire was reused from Dusty, and the rifle and RPG launcher come from existing Cobra Trooper figures. There's a lot to like here, particularly if you have a squad of the guys. There's enough gear to keep it interesting.
The only thing I would like to see Hasbro do with this figure is make more. Keeping this guy in circulation will be good for business, and if they feel like doing him up in other ethnicities, I'd buy one of each. I'd also buy Python Patrol versions of this figure. Hasbro succeeded in taking the cartoony blue outfit of the 1980s, but giving it the realistic update we've seen from the likes of Sideshow as of late. So in short: thanks Hasbro, now sell me more please. I'm sure Hasbro may find a way to make these even better later, but if this is the evolutionary high point of the pain Cobra Trooper I'm quite happy with it and I assume most collectors will be as well.
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