I’m an army builder collector, so when the original G.I. Joe Classified poster hit and showed Alley Vipers, I wondered if the line would skip the classic Cobra Trooper, a figure I really wanted, and jump straight to the Alley Vipers. Fortunately for me, the Hasbro Joe team quickly showed a standard Cobra Trooper in the Cobra Island Target Exclusive wave. Unfortunately, it’s pretty tough to get, but I did get one so let’s take a look at the Cobra Trooper!
Once again the artwork on the side and front is pretty killer and these guys look scary as heck with the fiery backdrop and glowing red eyes.
The Trooper comes with a ton of accessories so he’s armed to the teeth and ready with multiple display options. The one accessory that was a bit of a head-scratcher for me when we first saw it was the red piece. Turns out it’s a rank badge of some kind and it slides easily over either arm and sits securely on the bicep allowing for regular range of movement. This will be more useful when I get more troopers so I can pick one to be the leader!
The helmet is removeable and is designed to work around the goggles, so there are quite a few helmet and goggle combinations available. I think the angry eye sculpting is so on point here, I hate to cover them, but the goggles have a neat snake eye motif that combines well with the snake mouth motif on the balaclava.
The goggles can stretch to fit over the helmet, but that might be stretches them out, so they don’t fit as tight around the regular head. The pistols have a sci-fi feel to them and both fit securely in the holsters. The knife has a nicely detailed snake motif but the blade looks pretty dull. It fits a little looser in the sheath and I did almost lose it when I was putting the figure away after shooting it.. The knife does fit loosely in the hands and when in the sheath it can block the face somewhat.
The rifles both have pegs to attach to the holes in the back of the web gear. They fit in there pretty securely, though you do have the downside of the fairly unsightly pegs on the guns. I do like that they seem to be trying different methods to allow the figures to store all their weapons on their person, so I’ll take the trade-off there and I think it works better than Gung Ho’s clips. It would be cool if they could add flexible plastic straps, similar to the strap on the Target Exclusive Black Widow figure’s rifle to these guns.
The rifles also have a distinctly sci-fi feel to them and the ends of the barrels are all squared off. I think I would prefer a real-world gun, but the sci-fi works for me too and I like these designs fine. I grew up with the laser guns on the show, after all.
All the weapons are cast in plain black plastic, which while not ideal, I prefer it to the Beachhead green and the Gung Ho silver sparkle plastic.
I love the sculpting on this figure. I know I originally wanted more faithful adaptations of the ARAH card art, but I’m really enjoying the modern detail in these figures. The texture detail on this figure is off the charts with all the cloth and different levels of armor and gear, all while giving me that classic Cobra trooper silhouette.
One thing I’m noticing is that they are really ramping up the snake motif saturation in these Cobra characters in this line. This guy has five Cobra symbols on his outfit and his balaclava mouth area feels like a stylized snake snout.
At 6.5 inches, he’s around average height for the line, a little taller than Snake Eyes and Scarlett, but a little shorter than Duke. He’s a little short for a Marvel Legends, but I think you can fudge this guy in to a ML collection just fine if you want. Articulation is what we’ve come to expect in the line with:
- Swivel/hinge shoulders, wrists, hips, and ankles
- Ball and socket head, neck, and waist
- Double-hinged knees and elbows
- Boot, bicep, and thigh swivel
- Single hinged mid-torso, pecs, and neck
- Drop-down hips
I really like the combo of the ball and socket joints in the head and neck with the hinge in the neck. It allows for expressive head tilts and also he can look up well. I love that I can get these figures in a classic green army man crawl pose.
The wrist hinge is up/down for the left hand and in/out for the right and I do find that the thickness of the flack jacket, particularly the knife sheath can make rifle firing poses a little tricky, but they can be done. I also noticed my figure has a slight defect in the right hip where it doesn’t want to close the legs all the way. The mid-torso hinge is blocked somewhat by the flack vest/ web gear, but you can get it to move a bit due to the soft plastic of the vest.
Paint is decent, if not plentiful as the figure does seem to be mostly cast in appropriately colored parts. The eyes really do pop and I like the red of that Cobra chest symbol and the slightly metallic grey of the wrist and shin armor. There are some areas on my figure where the grey textured pieces on the blue outfit have a somewhat sloppy paint application.
Overall, I love this figure. As an army builder fan, I thought I got the apex of army builder figures already this year with the Hoth Rebel soldier, but this is a real contender with the customizability and plain cool factor of the design and sculpting detail. This guy almost looks like too much of a bad-ass to be just a grunt trooper, too cool for cannon fodder. The only thing that’s holding it back at this stage is the availability. At this point, they are only a month old, so I still have hope the figure will get easier to find eventually because I want at least two more. I would love Hasbro to address this officially and reassure fans that more of this particular figure are on the way.