Review: Pursuit of Cobra Commander

By Loran

I’m a big G.I. Joe fan. I love the toys, I love the characters, and I love the vehicles. But what I love most of all is COBRA. It always seems that they have the more interesting stories, characters, backgrounds, and well, having armies of silly-looking soldiers and awesome vehicles helps their case quite a bit. Most importantly, though, is their leader-the Cobra Commander himself. Whether it be the washed-up used car salesman in the comics, a crazy snake-person in the cartoon, or an unstable ex-soldier who likes to science in the movies, the character is classic, and while he’s underwent minor revisions to his outfit over the years, he hasn’t seen anything too major.

Until now.

Yes, the movie Cobra Commander outfit (as well as his backstory) was a HUGE departure from the norm. Honestly, I don’t see that as being a bad thing. With the exception of the 1987 Battle Armor and that horrid red mask… thing from 1991, all of his outfits remained largely the same. Naturally, when the movie outfit was revealed, there was a lot of outcry from the fandom, demanding the return of his classic hood or battle helmet. I, however, welcomed the change. I felt it was time for the big boss snake to put on something new, and boy, this sure was it.

As much as I liked the outfit, I had one issue: the facemask. In design I thought it was really cool, but the mostly transparent appearance was kind of offputting to me. I never liked the concept of the Commander (or rather, anybody in G.I. Joe aside from Snake-Eyes) wearing a mask to cover up a deformity, and making it very clear that there was one didn’t sit well with me.

Thankfully, my prayers were answered in the form of the Pursuit of COBRA Cobra Commander. Sporting a new head sculpt with a chrome-plated mask, this new Cobra Commander looks even more intimidating than his predecessor. The chrome mask evokes images of the classic battle helmet and makes him fit in better with the classic-style figures, and covering up the deformity makes his identity more ambiguous, as it should be.

But Hasbro didn’t stop at his face for the chrome-they even did his torso in a very awesome chrome red. I LOVE this color. It matches perfectly with the Crimson Neo-Vipers from the Rise of Cobra line, making this outfit appear more ceremonial. His right breast is adorned with a white “CC1”. I don’t really know why Hasbro saw the need to put this there, but it adds to the feel.

His articulation is superb, with the only limitation being his coat (in fact, that’s the only thing keeping this from being my default CC). The back of his coat has a giant COBRA symbol imprinted on it, like his capes of old. His arms bend at perfect 90 degree angles, and the legs bend very well too. Even his heels point down without any difficulty (though I find the shoes he’s wearing to be rather… unintimidating).

Cobra Commander comes equipped with the basic COBRA pistol of the Rise of Cobra figures, a very awesome COBRA standard, and this… very strange gun that looks more like it belongs to a Predator. Maybe it’s really his dustbuster of evil, or something. He also includes a stand similar to the 25th Anniversary figures, but this one has TWO footpegs! FINALLY, he can stand up properly!

Cobra Commander is a difficult figure to obtain, despite not being an army builder. He’s a chase figure so he won’t appear in as many shipments as subsequent figures. He was originally planned as a mail-away figure, but those plans sadly fell through-I miss collecting the points on the backs of figures and mailing them in. Regardless, come on in and grab yourself a Big Boss Snake. He’s an awesome figure, and trust me, you won’t regret it!

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