Pursuit of Cobra Ice Cutter w/ Snow Serpent Officer

In 2009, I was extremely happy with a good percentage of the toys that were being produced, even if they were being geared specifically for a film that didn't really have a toy friendly aesthetic. So many of the Joe figures were simply guys (and girls) in normal military camouflage or in black spandex, but there were certain elements of the toy designs that I still really enjoyed. However, things were certainly not all rosy last year, and if there was any specific branch of the toyline that I didn't like last year, it would be the Alpha class vehicles.

Certainly there were some highlights like the Snarler, the Sky Sweeper, etc... but by and large the Alpha vehicles were uninspired at best.

With the Pursuit of Cobra, though, this is not a problem at all. At least not to this point. The Ghost Hawk and Doom Cycle were both very, very nice vehicles, and the Ice Cutter certainly follows that trend for the most part.

The Ice Cutter is a totally newly tooled vehicle from soup to nuts, and has some of those very unique elements that make Cobra vehicles what they are. In fact, this vehicle looks like it was pulled straight from the 90's, which is very cool to me, though might not make everyone quite as happy.

The vehicle itself is nicely designed with sloped, angular armor and a ton of very cool detailing throughout the main body. I love the shape and overall design for the cockpit and body section itself...it's a small, yet sleek and dynamic looking vehicle that seems able to withstand some punishment, even at its smaller size.

Propelling this small armored ground craft is a mammoth single rear wheel which is a terrific design aesthetic. For some reason I absolutely love this look. I loved it for the Sigma 6 Street Razor, and I still love it now. For whatever reason it makes it look like it can move really fast, and just gives it some serious "oomph". I really dig it.

Along with the great rear wheel and a nice overall body style, the twin cannons on top of the vehicle are pretty cool as well. They don't look like they pack a huge punch, but they're sleek, poseable, and make for some very cool offensive weaponry for an obviously fast moving mini-vehicle that needs quick strike capabilities. By and large, the vehicle is incredibly cool.

Unfortunately, though, where Hasbro tried to add some play value, in my opinion, they ended up sacrificing some fun.

The Ice Cutter's main draw, according to the toy designers, has been the front treads. The rotating and gripping action as they flip end-over-end is supposed to be a great play feature...but it really doesn't work. I must admit, my initial thought was that the treads would be locked in place, yet could be flipped up and around if needed, but that's not how it works. They are on fairly loose mounts, and they push forward automatically as you move the vehicle, and flop around on their own. The end result is something that really doesn't move very smoothly unless you're on a very rough surface, and ironically, probably wouldn't be a whole lot of fun to play with in the snow. I do think there was some awesome potential for a very fun vehicle...perhaps if they had just made the treads movable and kept the mounts in place? I don't know. Regardless, the play feature takes some of the coolness away, which is a shame to me, because the majority of this small vehicle is absolutely awesome.

Snow Serpent Officer

Even though I never really liked the Snow Serpent back in the day, I can't argue that he makes for one incredible 25th Anniversary figure. Using the more modern sculpting with a secondary parachute pack, this figure ends up looking fantastic in ways that the original Real American Hero version just couldn't quite muster.

However, I'm really not sure this new Snow Serpent Officer brings anything new or exciting to the table. He appears to have much of the same color scheme as the original 25th version (with a bit brighter base uniform color), with generous helpings of red trim instead of blue. I don't especially mind the red, I guess, but it doesn't really vibe with an arctic environment, and I'm not entirely sure why they chose that particular color. Sure, some of the other Pursuit of Cobra villains have some red trim, and the cancelled Elite-Viper utilizes it pretty well, but honestly, the color scheme looks pretty out of place here.

The Snow Serpent Officer comes with the familiar accessories, though they are in a pretty bizarre paint scheme. The rocket launcher and backpack match the red of his straps and boots, which are some very strange colors for items like that. Has anyone ever seen a bright red mortar before? Yeah, me neither. The bipod and machine gun are also a bright white...not a normal dirty arctic white, but a pure bright white that ends up making them look fairly unrealistic.

The figure isn't terrible, but is really nothing exciting, and frankly it pales in comparison to the awesome Toys "R" Us Exclusive version. The vehicle has a terrific design, but the flakey play features take it down some notches as well. So the Alpha Class Ice Cutter certainly isn't perfect. It's not bad, and if you can find a way to secure those front treads, it becomes a lot more worthwhile.

It's not a bad vehicle, all told. It looks really neat, but unfortunately some of the play features reduce the desirability, at least to me. Just on display, though, the vehicle still looks very cool, and I can recommend it from that standpoint.

Buy this vehicle at BigBadToyStore!