The original Kobra Khan was basically the forerunner to the Snake Men, and in 2002 he was sort of their dorky kid brother. In the cartoons, he was running around while all the super-powerful ancient Snake Men were imprisoned in some intergalactic doorway until he freed them along with Rattlor. When freed, Khan was sort of a weasel and was given a lot of hassle from the others, making him a little more interesting than a typical stooge. Oh, and he started off working for Skeletor, just to gain access to the ancient imprisoned Snake Men. Crafty dude.
The figure is made up of a ton of new parts, with new reptilian forearms, a new torso, new head, and other bits and pieces bringing him to life. The good news is he really stands out as a very different looking figure, as his outfit is molded to his torso (rather than being a snap-on garment) but the bad news is that the arms weren't fully debugged. As you can see below (far below) the figure is unable to straighten his arms or bend them at a 90-degree angle at the elbow without modifications, which basically means you'll need to perform minor surgery if that is important to you. I enjoy the figure as it is, but it is a minor quibble when a joint can't be fully used.
Accessories are pretty good, all things considered. His gun in the 1980s was just Zodac's weapon, here we got a new sculpt that's inspired by the original gun and the 2002 version of his blaster. It's mostly red with some orange highlights, which really look great. Painted weapons are less and less common on toys these days, so it's nice to see it here. His little lizard buddy Fang is present, previously seen in the cartoons from the 2002 series. While it can't stand on its own, its underside was sculpted to fit specifically on Khan's shoulder ridges. There are no pegs or tabs, so it might fall off during play, but he does sit there quite nicely.
Rounding out the set is a second head with a full neck frill. I'm impressed! I figured they would just have a snap-on frill, but no, you get a second fully-painted head which no doubt adds to the cost (and of course, value) of the figure. The head is largely based on the 1980s version, as in 2002 his eyes were a different shape. The mouth retains the big open round look originally sculpted to incorporate a water-squirting mechanism. Rather than update the form with the loss of the function, they kept the original look and feel which, unsurprisingly, still looks great. There's a glossy wet look inside his mouth plus big white teeth and nicely textured skin. The deco is good, but if you get in really close with a really nice camera, you can see a tiny bit of slop. It's no big deal, particularly if you're like me and live in a cave where it's dark.
While I never had the original toy, I did get the one from around 2003 and I like both of them for different reasons. Obviously the 2012 release removes some of the toy functionality, but it looks fantastic and really does feel like an updated version of the original toy. Seeing him for as little as $30 shipped, I'd say he's a bargain-- get one. Even at $40 or so delivered, it's a good figure with an excellent sculpt and fans of the original should like it, but as a big fan of action features I really wouldn't have minded it if they included the squirt mechanism. Since they had to sculpt him an all-new torso anyway, I don't know if it would have added too much to the cost of this one. Having said that, I like this one bunches.
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