The G.I. Joe Classified line is like a dream come true, but finding the Cobra Island Target Exclusive Cobra Trooper has been a bit of collector’s nightmare. In my town, your choice was to stalk Targets like a madman, pay scalper prices, or go without. Not great choices when wanting to build an army. Well, Hasbro has added a fourth option, you can also pick up this repaint that has fewer accessories. How does the repaint stack up to the original? Let’s take a look!
The repaint gets his own unique box number and title, he’s now Cobra Infantry where the Cobra Island figure was a Cobra Trooper, though the ability symbols on the side are the same as the Cobra Island version. The artwork is also a little different, showing the normal eyes rather than the red eyes of the Cobra Trooper.
The most obvious difference between the two figures is that the Cobra Infantry has fewer accessories than the Cobra Trooper. He has two pistols, a knife, a rifle, and a removeable helmet, but is missing the goggles, sniper rifle and rank badge from the Cobra Trooper.
The pistols fit snugly in their holsters and the knife in it’s sheathe, and the rifle works in either hand and attaches via peg to the harness. The sculpting is fairly sharp and I personally like these sci-fi guns okay, though an AK-47 would have been cool. The knife is super rounded off to meet safety standards so it does look a little lame. The different piece count does rankle a bit. I get wanting to make it different from the exclusive, but losing the stuff feels like a rip-off. The one thing I really miss is the goggles because you could add a lot of variety to the army with that one piece.
The sculpting on this figure remains awesome and I think in some ways this paint scheme brings out the sculpt detail a little better than the original figure. Both figures start with the same dark blue in the pants and bulk of the arms, but where the Cobra Island figure goes black with accents, this figure goes for a dark navy blue. I find it easier to see the details on the Cobra Infantry figure (left in the below photos).
The straps on the vest also get a little more detail with gray highlights which I feel like gives that overlay a more polished and finished look than the all black overlay on the Cobra Island Figure, even though the gray is applied somewhat sloppily on my figure.
The eye paint is also a bit different on the Cobra Infantry with darker skin and eyes. He still looks amazingly pissed and I like the variety.
The articulation is the same as the original, though I feel like the overlay is slightly more flexible and I could get more use of the ab hinge on this figure than I did with the Cobra Island version.
Overall, I think I prefer the color scheme on this repaint to the original Cobra Island Trooper. Waiting for my army pre-order to show up in the mail is also infinitely more preferable to me than haunting Target for weeks on end or paying through the nose to scalpers. I do feel like I need to mention here, that this figure was pre-ordered from Walmart and I ordered two. They canceled one and sent one and I’ve already heard from a couple guys today who weren’t so lucky and got both their figures canceled, so while much easier, the process is still not perfect. Hopefully other retailers will come through better than the notoriously flaky Walmart pre-order system.
On the downside, this figure is missing one of the coolest accessories from the original figure, the goggles, which limits the figure’s utility as an army builder. That said, assuming my other pre-orders are fulfilled, I think I’ll be happy with my one Cobra Island Cobra Trooper with goggles and rank badge leading a squad of Cobra Infantry. The ideal solution to the Cobra Trooper problem would be to issue more of that figure, and while I cannot understand why they are unable or unwilling to do that, this solution is preferable to paying scalpers or going without.