Snake Eyes is quite possibly the most overused character in G.I. Joe. Over the past 30 years the guy has gotten over fifty figures. It’s not without good reason, though. His image is rather iconic as far as 3 ¾” Joes go, but not quite as much as Cobra Commander. He’s often considered the Wolverine of G.I. Joe, since he started off as a side-character that pretty much became a main character with all sorts of stories revolving around him. Sure, Snake Eyes’ backstory makes much more sense than Wolverine, but it’s still a central part of almost every continuity. I’m pretty sure every Joe fan has at least five figures of the guy.
And there’s a damn good reason for it.
When I first saw this figure at the 2010 convention, almost everyone shared the same opinion: “Damnit, Hasbro, you just made another Snake Eyes figure I have to buy!” Yes, the famed ninja gets about five figures every year, and the Pursuit of Cobra line already had two, but this one was different. Every few years a Snake Eyes figure comes around to be “The Snake Eyes to End All Snake Eyes”… and that would be this figure.
While some of his figures over the years have attempted to go back to the character’s commando roots and succeeded pretty well, this one COMPLETELY goes that route. He has straps, pouches, holsters, and knives all over his body. The only part about him that’s slightly “ninja” would be the pair of swords mounted on his back-yes, this figure comes with two swords, and this time, they’re NOT in the same scabbard.
His paintjob is very minimalistic, and that’s just how I like it for ol’ Snakes. He’s entirely flat black with some pouches in gloss black and some hints of gray on his knuckles and kneepads. His right shoulder has the classic Arashikage tattoo, and his left has the new Joe team logo. They’re both small and don’t really stand out, unlike some earlier versions of the character.
Whereas most Snake Eyes figures come with either the classic “goggles” or the 1985 knight visor, this one does something new: You have a choice! Yes, this figure gives you the option of either head type. I actually like the knight visor head a bit more for once, but they’re both incredibly well-done.
One of the best features of this toy is his new articulation. While we don’t have double-jointed elbows yet, we have something I never expected to see on a toy this small: hinged wrists! Snake-Eyes can finally point his sword now. What a wonderful thing. I know the upcoming Low-Light figure uses these arms, and I’m hoping to see this new articulation on more figures down the line.
As it should come to be no surprise with these Pursuit of Cobra figures, Snake Eyes is LOADED with accessories. And I mean LOADED. A removable vest, three swords (including his trademark notched sword), two sheathes, a machine gun, an uzi, two silencers that are compatible with his uzi and one of his pistols, two pistols, removable kneepads (I didn’t even know those came off until I started this review!), a pack of explosives, two knives, and a removable knife holster. Phew! I feel winded just typing that out.
Every era has its definitive Snake Eyes. The 80’s had the second version, Joe vs Cobra had the first o-ringed figure, Valor vs Venom had the 80’s homage figure, Rise of Cobra had City Strike, and now we have this one. I have to say, this one reigns supreme. It’s amazingly detailed, comes with oodles of accessories, introduces a fantastic new joint, and is quite possibly the best design I’ve ever seen the character have. Forget the weird jacket Snake Eyes and the one with the stupid tornado kick gimmick-this is where it’s at! I shouldn’t have to recommend the figure because the pictures speak for themselves. Make sure you grab yours off the Forbidden Planet shelves… before someone else does!