G.I. Joe: The Pursuit of Cobra Cobra Trooper

As most of you know I've spent a lot of time and energy decrying the whole Anniversary concept where Hasbro essentially takes existing designs and just makes "newer" figures out of them. I complain that without the injection of new concepts or new ideas, G.I. Joe loses a lot of that appeal. Without bringing new stuff to the table, what is there to look forward to?

Yeah, scratch all that.

Turns out there is a way to take existing designs and "reformat" them...the 25th Anniversary line just had some issues with their execution. The Pursuit of Cobra line doesn't seem to share the same issues, and they take the familiar, well-established Cobra Trooper design and totally slam it out of the park. This, fellow Joe fans, is THE Cobra Trooper you need to own. This is it, right here. With this figure Hasbro has successfully taken a concept nearly three decades old and completely reinvented it for the 21st Century without sacrificing any of the classic greatness that permeated the line back in the early 80's. This figure is truly fantastic, and that comes from someone who has little desire to see the classics re-released umpteen times.

This Cobra Trooper utilizes the head sculpt and removable helmet that we originally saw in the Battle of the 80's DVD pack, which was already a huge improvement over the original Anniversary version. In fact, it's almost stunning just how improved the head sculpt is, initially produced only a year or two after the original. I find the whole thing pretty amazing, because if you line this figure up next to the standard 25th Anniversary version(s) I can't even believe the difference in design and execution over the past 4 years. What a stark contrast in style. Impressive leaps in execution and technique.

From the neck down, the Cobra Trooper uses a hefty share of Cobra Shock Trooper tooling with the torso and arms, but then breaks out the Wave 3 Snake Eyes for the legs, which is a great touch. The end result is a figure that looks very solid, muscular and insanely well detailed, yet is also impressively articulated.

This Cobra Trooper is colored a bit darker blue than we've seen before, but it nicely matches the Cobra Viper released in Wave 6 and the Cobra Commander released alongside the Trooper in Wave 5, and immediately gives Cobra a nice uniform look. Another awesome aspect is that the relatively smooth surface of the torso gives Hasbro a large template for the Cobra logo, and they take advantage of it, but plastering on a very big version of that trademark snake.

If there are any shortcomings to this figure, they probably lie in the accessory compliment. The Trooper comes with a removable helmet (that I initially hadn't removed, because it felt glued on). Only after messing with the figure for about an hour was I able to get the helmet to sort of "click" and come off. He also has the standard Cobra Trooper webgear which some fans have complained about, but I think is a great throwback, just to make him fit in with the vintage style.

He's got two pistols with silencers, a removable knife, the Dragonov sniper rifle, and a roll of barbed wire as well. The pistol fits neatly into his holster, but be warned...if you don't have the silencer attached, it kind of floats around in there, and you risk losing it.

One of the coolest things about this figure, to me, is the potential for customizing...and that's really a benefit that mo.st of these modern era figures have, with the removable vests. Simply by mixing and matching some webgear, you can create an awesome customized Cobra fire team:

I can can certainly understand some of the complaints about Hasbro revisiting the past...I've made those same complaints myself many times over the past four years. But in this case they are able to take very familiar designs, translate them, and execute them perfectly in a modern style, and I can think of nothing wrong with that. Not only do we get a great looking classic era Cobra Trooper, but an awesome modern take on the Cobra cannon fodder that fits seamlessly with the modern day. This figure is pretty much the best of all worlds. A must buy.

Like what you see? Buy this figure now at BigBadToyStore!