Tagged: COBRA

GI Joe Renegades Cobra Trooper Review

By Loran

Well, in addition to not getting anything close to a full line, it seems as though the toys for G.I. Joe Renegades are going to be a pain to find, as well. Some of the main characters have proven easy to find, but side characters and Cobras have proven to be a challenge, especially the amazing Storm Shadow figure which I have yet to see. Still, it’s better to get a bunch of impossible-to-find figures than none at all, I guess. This makes me glad they only ever did one army builder, which I happen to have right here…

What G.I. Joe toyline would be complete without a standard Cobra Trooper? Yep, thankfully, Hasbro gave us the Cobra Soldier from Renegades in toy form. Although, I actually have a bit of a hard time calling him a “Cobra Soldier” or a “Cobra Trooper” considering Cobra’s role in the television show. They aren’t as much of an evil terrorist organization as they are an evil business trying to destroy the world’s infrastructure from the inside-out. As a result, the Cobra Troopers are less like footsoldiers, and more like security guards. I like this concept, as it can easily be worked into Joe lore as a whole. Gotta have someone at the front desk of Extensive Enterprises, don’t you?

Like many of the other Renegades figures, the Cobra Trooper reuses older parts to save on costs. What amazes me is what figure they chose for it. With the exception of the kneepads and head, obviously, the Cobra Trooper shares his mold with the fantastic Pursuit of Cobra DUSTY figure! Yeah, it surprised me, too! And amazingly, it works!

The vest is the most essential new piece. The turtleneck covers a good chunk of the figures face, which makes him seem almost sinister. The back has a white Cobra emblem with SECURITY written underneath it. See, even Hasbro saw the whole “Security Guard” aspect of the figure’s design!

The figure includes a choice of two heads, one in the animation model and another wearing a mask. I actually don’t like the masked one that much. It almost looks… TOO evil, and actually kind of un-Cobra-like. I like the regular head more because despite the expression, he still looks like your average schlub that just so happens to be working for an evil corporation trying to take over the world. But then again, aren’t we all?

Also like many of the other Renegades figures, there’s a serious lack of accessories here, but it doesn’t hurt him too much. He comes with a standard-issue pulse rifle, a new-sculpt nightstick, and a pair of handcuffs. All of them suit his purpose nicely, and I’d rather have a figure with a few well-thought-out accessories than a bunch I’ll never end up using. The handcuffs are probably the coolest ones, even if it can be hard to get them around the wrists of some figures. They’d be better with a longer chain.

While he’s far from the last Renegades figure I’ll be reviewing, I’m saddened by the fact that I’m running out. He’s a good army builder, and I suggest getting at least one, provided you can find it at some place like FPNYC. I won’t be happy until I get… hmm… two more. 😀

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GI Joe Retaliation Toys!

By Loran

I know I’m in the minority here, but I LOVED G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra. It was a big dumb action movie, but it was a FUN one. It was great to see live-action versions of Joe characters on the big screen, even if some of the likenesses and character selection left something to be desired. But hey, it was better than those commercials from the 90’s. The idea of a sequel was pretty up in the air, but it seems that it did well enough to warrant one. I just wanted to see how the end would get resolved!

Hasbro’s putting a lot of effort into G.I. Joe this time around, seemingly more than the first movie. Things are going to be different here, and I’m okay with that, for the most part. There’s going to be some reused tooling to cut costs, but unfortunately some figures will also be losing articulation. Hasbro stated this was done to cut costs, and it’ll be given “as needed”, meaning figures that need a lot of joints like the ninjas will get them, but others like Cobra Commander and the generic Cobra soldiers won’t have as many.

Where the articulation thing really seems to hurt the most is for the vehicle drivers. Remember those awful Iron Man and Captain America figures that came with the vehicles in those toylines? Yep, that’s happening here. For the past ten years, who drove what vehicle has been becoming less and less significant, and it’s finally hit rock bottom here. Really, I’d rather have no driver than these things. Still, judging by the price points, it seems as though vehicles are going to be a bit bigger than they’ve been previously, which I guess is a good tradeoff.

But of course, the best thing here is the celebrity likeness figures. Of course, we’ve got several figures of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson as Roadblock, RZA as Blind Master, and the most important of them all, Bruce Willis as G.I. Joe Colton. What an awesome casting choice. I like what I’ve been seeing of all three, though Roadblock’s second figure wins out in every way. Blind Master looks like fun, but I don’t know how much use I’ll be getting out of him. Joe Colton is the obvious winner, even with all the reused tooling. He’s Bruce Willis in a white t-shirt and camo pants. Do you need anything else? Continue reading

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Review Cobra Hazard Viper

By Loran

I’ve always been a fan of the wilder aspects of G.I. Joe. Sure, sometimes they went a bit too far with the Mega Monsters from Mega Marines and the… Manimals but stuff like Star Brigade, the Venom Troops, and the hordes upon hordes of Battle Android Troopers? I eat that stuff up. Even the more obnoxious stuff like Eco-Warriors can be made cool if you ignore the color-change gimmick. That stuff can easily be repurposed into hazops Joes and chemical warfare Cobras. It also introduced one concept to G.I. Joe that’s going to be important here and even more so later on: Zombies.

The Hazard Viper fits a niche inside Cobra’s ranks that I guess we didn’t need until now: Hazard Operations, of course! While the original Eco-Warriors Cobras like the Sludge and Toxo-Vipers were more suited to working in hostile environments, these are the guys that would be cleaning up a mess after a gas attack, searching for survivors. Of course, that’s just how I see them. Their true purpose is something far more sinister: spraying innocents with the deadly new compound “Compound Z” to turn them all into zombies!

Yeah, Cobra’s employing zombies now, go figure. This little story arc actually started with the “City Strike” Cobra Commander figure, which I dismissed as kind of lame. It turns out all the containers he came with held Compound Z, I guess making him a battlefield commander for the Hazard Vipers. Guess I’ll have to track him down now…

By and large, this figure uses tooling from the [mostly] unreleased Volcano Viper figure. See, that’s what I love about G.I. Joes: even if a figure doesn’t get officially released, chances are you’ll still see the parts pop up somewhere. The only parts (not including weapons) that didn’t come from the Volcano Viper mold are the arms, which came from Pursuit of Cobra Ripcord/Skydive. The rest of the parts are the body and head from the MARS Trooper and the legs from the Ice Viper. The Ice Viper legs may lack a double joint, but they’re nice-looking and work with the whole aesthetic. Continue reading

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Cobra Black Dragon VTOL Review

By Loran

With the miniscule amount of toys G.I. Joe Renegades seems to be getting, it’s a miracle we’re seeing any vehicles at all, especially one that isn’t the Coyote. We did get to see the new HISS in action (which I still need in some form), and the HISS is always great; really, it isn’t G.I. Joe without one. But there was one vehicle from Renegades that stood out to me, one that just jumped out, mostly because it was a variation on the Osprey, one of my all-time favorite pieces of military aircraft. Sure, it’s not as big as it is in the cartoon, but that sure doesn’t hurt it.

The Black Dragon VTOL takes its name from another faction in the G.I. Joe Universe, one introduced through the collector’s club back in 2005. Really, I think it’s an attempt to keep the copyright, but hey, the name works well enough. This heli is sleek. I swear, I’m gonna need a few more of these. This whole aesthetic goes perfectly with my vision of Cobra, always being one step ahead of the game in terms of military tech. On that note, actually, I might grab one of these to paint up in an Iron Grenadier color scheme. I can definitely see a lot of these patrolling good ol’ Castle Destro.

Like any good vehicle, there’s “some assembly required” and it really impressed me how Hasbro fit a vehicle this big into a box smaller than that of the VAMP. But there’s one thing that won me over: NO STICKERS! Yes, all the detail on this puppy is painted, and it looks fantastic. Stickering vehicles is okay until there gets to be over, oh, FIFTY for a single vehicle? I remembering buying a case of 25th Anniversary vehicles back in 2009, and it took me about four hours to put the stickers on all of them.

This vehicle has a good selection of gimmicks that don’t hurt it in ANY way, shape, or form. Both wings can be positioned to the rear and with a push of a button they swing into place. The second button opens up a pair of containers each loaded with four bombs and deploys a machine gun. AND IT WORKS! AMAZING. Continue reading

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Renegades Cobra Commander Review

By Loran

G.I. Joe Renegades was probably my favorite incarnation of G.I. Joe of all time. In many ways it felt like G.I. Joe how I would have done it, namely the whole “Cobra is watching you” angle. The show was absolutely fantastic, and it was clear that the writers were having a blast with it. At the 2010 G.I. Joe convention, I got to see the panel that the show’s creators were hosting, and one of them said, “We’re writing this show for us, in the hopes that kids will like it, too.” A great way to approach writing a children’s show in a franchise you love, in my opinion.

I absolutely LOVE the design for Renegades Cobra Commander. It’s a departure from designs we’ve seen previously yet it’s still immediately recognizable as him, unlike his design from the movie. While I liked the design from Rise of Cobra, it’s really hard for me to use it as the “original” Cobra Commander because of how different it is. Plus, I don’t exactly like the idea of the Commander being disfigured. I always saw him as someone who just wants his face concealed. After all, remember what Fred VII said: “It could be anyone behind that mask…”

Indeed, my enthusiasm for the Renegades design mostly comes from how it was executed. Instead of looking like a straight-up dictator, Cobra Commander now looks halfway between “dictator” and “businessman”. There is nothing showy about this design. It’s very nondescript, and looks more like he’d be seen behind a desk instead of some elaborate, snake-shaped throne. I like my Cobra Commander behind a desk, running Cobra like a business enterprise. Something about that seems a bit scarier to me.

Both of the Commander’s facemasks from the cartoon are included; the half-mask from the first part of the series and the more “traditional” full mask from later on. As much as I like the mask from the earlier portion of the series, it doesn’t work for me in plastic. The skin tone is just TOO white, even for something that’s supposed to be cartoony. A lighter skin tone like the 2000-2001 figures would have been far more effective. The “classic”-style mask is a bit better, and probably how I’ll be displaying mine. I actually got the helmet from the DVD Battles figure to fit on it, and I love the way it looks. I wonder if I could find a hat and make an Old Snake custom… Continue reading

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Transformers DOTM Icepick Review

By Loran

After my disappointment with Thunderhead, I decided to seek out another Human Alliance Basic for my Dark of the Moon collection. I wanted one that had an actual weapon mode, one that could enhance my other Dark of the Moon figures. I needed a Decepticon, since I always seem to end up with more Autobots than Decepticons (even though I always like having the bad guys outnumber the good guys, regardless of toy-line). After seeing some pictures, it seemed like the only Decepticon in the HA Basic line thus far was the perfect choice: Icepick. Continue reading

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Review: Pursuit of Cobra Sandstorm,ER, Zartan?!?

By Loran

While there haven’t been many new characters or trooper types in the Pursuit of Cobra line, what new ones we have gotten have been quite welcome. This guy here is Sandstorm, the new desert specialist! Sandstorm was originally the name of Dusty’s pet coyote from the 1991, which was… never seen again after that toy. Sandstorm also got a figure in one of the Target vehicle sets, which didn’t get released. Sorta. Unlike that figure, this one takes a much different approach and gives him a bit more character instead of being a generic soldier in Reactive Impact armor.

While he’s not as decked-out for desert combat as Dusty is, Sandstorm does come with a nice pair of removable goggles and a sculpted beanie hat. His face doesn’t have as good of a sculpt as Dusty does, unfortunately. It seems kind of doofy and lacking character. Almost like… a mask. Hmmm.

Sandstorm also has a very nicely sculpted removable vest. My favorite part about it is probably the canteen. While it’s not removable, it’s a very nice touch, and something you don’t see properly scaled to Joes often. Continue reading

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Pursuit of Cobra Commander Alley Viper Review

By Loran

As I mentioned previously in the Cobra Commander review, it was COBRA that truly got me into G.I. Joe in the first place, but what kept me into it were all of COBRA’s soldiers. I seem to have an odd hardon for urban combat (maybe it’s the close-quarters setting that makes it so cool to me), but I always had a hard time getting a bunch of Urban Troopers. I joined the hobby a little too late to get a significant amount of JvC Alley Vipers (and subsequently, 1000 Big Ben figures), so I had to get them secondhand, which, let’s face it, wasn’t easy.

Enter the Pursuit of Cobra line, with the first single-packed Alley Viper since the hideous red one from Valor vs. Venom in 2004. So far, he’s one of the only two army builders available, and I’ve been trying to buy as many as I can find (which sadly has only been 3 so far, and I have a goal of at least 5). He manages to succeed where almost every previous Alley Viper has failed, but why? Well, let’s take a look…

First off, he uses the same mold as the Alley Viper from the “Defense of Cobra Island” seven-pack last year. Unlike that figure, he uses an awesome red, black, and gray color scheme as opposed to the hideous orange and blue of the original 1989 Alley Viper (remember kids, the original isn’t always better). The mold is mostly new parts, with the upper legs, waist, and torso coming from the awesome 1989-inspired Snake Eyes 25th figure. Like many modern figures, his vest is removable. Continue reading

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Megatron vs. Skeletor vs. Cobra Commander

In the world of competitive commerce there are “Good Bosses,” “Great Bosses,” and “Terrible Bosses.” THEN AGAIN, in the world of toys there are Megatron, Cobra Commander and Skeletor.

For those of you tuning in expecting a “Who would win in a fight” article I have disappointment both swift and harsh. Megatron. Those of you with slightly more on the ball, however, might have figured out where I’m going with this.

Who is the best boss, Megatron, Cobra Commander or Skeletor?

COBRA COMMANDER

I love C.O.B.R.A. as an organization. It has dedication, passion, a clear business plan and a very lax dress code. Cobra Commander as a CEO on the other hand leaves much to be desired.

The Old Hooded Honcho’ is NOT what you call an idea man. We have all had this guy as a boss. “Hey you,” he hisses. “Yessss you! I need you to go down to SSSSsssssstaplesssssss and buy all the paper clipssssssss. Buy them out entirely!” “How does this help our business, sir?” you might reasonably ask. “ARE YOU QUESsssTIONING MY ORDERSSsssSSSS?!” He’ll reply, typically avoiding your question.

Never mind that you have plenty of paper clips and that this plan makes no sense whatsoever, He’s also NOT going to give you any petty cash for this. “SSsssshow ssssome initiative!” He’ll sputter! Continue reading

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How To Join COBRA

By Devin T. Quin

One of the secrets of success in life is connections, knowing the right people and mixing in the correct social circles to ensure a prosperous future. The hardest part about making these crucial connections, however, is stopping yourself from punching every single human being you meet in their pathetic, mewling faces for not letting YOU rule them all like the simpering cattle they are! Bwa-HA-Ha!

Prepare to hear the good news, brother (or sister): There is an organization dedicated to the same principles you hold dear, the high rewards and low accountability of being an elitist, evil global dominator! You may have heard of this incredible body of like-minded individuals: they call themselves COBRA! Continue reading

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