Snow Serpent (Toys "R" Us Exclusive)

Generally I don't have much need for environmentally specific figures, even though I live in New England. Sure, there are times in the dio-story production process where I require some figures that are equipped for certain climates, but by and large, I'm not a big fan of figures that are made purely for a singular purpose. So, as such, I was not a huge fan of the Snow Serpents back in the day, which is weird, because they incorporate many of my favorite parts of G.I. Joe. They have a great military design, with some definite Cobra flairs, and tons of awesome accessories.

Even for a figure released in 1985, Snow Serpent was large, bulky, and impressive amongst other Cobra troopers. Yet, because he had such a narrow purpose, I never really had too many of them.

Well, Hasbro took that Snow Serpent design and absolutely ran with it in their Anniversary line. Released during the Anniversary's heyday, Hasbro took every cool element of the old school Snow Serpent and made it even better, with awesome webgear, great sculpting, a nicely layered uniform and some excellent design work. But if you'd told me they would be taking the Snow Serpent and slapping a more urban camouflage paint scheme on him for the Rise of Cobra line, I would have said it wouldn't work. Seeing this figure in person, though, I find myself eating those words.

Obviously the paint applications here are designed to work with the already released Ice-Viper in the Rise of Cobra line, and it works to perfection. The elaborate gray and white camouflage pattern is, to put it plainly, brilliant. The pure white fur of the collar and gauntlets really shine against the busy camouflage, and it's all offset greatly by the black facemask and the dark webgear. A nearly perfect blend of colors that really make the figure "pop", yet still manage to blend seamlessly with an existing branch of the Rise of Cobra arctic forces.

Along with the figure itself, Hasbro was able to work some very nice accessories into this Toys "R" Us Exclusive package as well. Sure, we have the tired old spring-loaded rocket launcher, but we also have the standard Snow Serpent backpack and mortar, plus the snow shoes. Adding to this, Hasbro puts in the Ice-Viper's wrapped pulse rifle and a very cool ice pick. It gives this figure a nice mix of the familiar Snow Serpent gear with some stuff that blends it better into the new age of G.I. Joe. A very nice selection.

Initially I wasn't wild about this figure, and really had no plans on buying it. During a recent 2 for $10 sale, my buddy madmac grabbed this for me along with the Bench Press, and now that I have the figure in hand, I'm glad for it. Even though I'm not extremely wild about arctic figures or anniversary repaints, this figure manages to capture the best of both and is a fantastic addition to my Rise of Cobra collection. Very highly recommended, a great mix for old school Joe fans as well as the Rise of Cobra crowd.