G.I. Joe: Retaliation - Snake Eyes (Ninja Duel)

I've been pretty vocal about my love of the G.I. Joe: Retaliation Wave 1 Snake Eyes, and especially the version that came with the three-pack, but as much as I love that figure for what it is, as a movie accurate Retaliation Snake Eyes, it doesn't come close to the coolness of this one.

The minute I saw the design for Snake Eyes within the G.I. Joe: Retaliation film (from an IDW comic cover) I was pretty happy with what I saw. Instead of the skin tight rubber suit from The Rise of Cobra, they elected for a more form-fitting armored look with leather shoulder pads, tight armored tunic, and form-fitting arm guards. This did nothing to sacrifice the look and feel of the Snake Eyes character, yet added some great movie-friendly elements that make the character look a bit more exciting on screen.

Every time that the G.I. Joe ninja commando has appeared on screen, he definitely looks the Snake Eyes part, but also looks a bit more Hollywood, which is a fine combination in my eyes. And this toy mirrors that effect perfectly.

First and foremost, the head sculpt has that great armored chin-guard just like the movie costume does, which has quickly become a defining feature of the costume design. He's got those great brown colored leather deltoid guards as well, and the muscular armored plating just underneath. The belt secondary and the forearm pads are keys parts of the movie design, yet are form fitting enough to not restrict articulation or look too funky, even on a smaller figure. Snake Eyes has all the look you want for the film representation.

From an articulation standpoint, as we've seen since day one, this figure (along with each Snake Eyes figure) has maintained his full level of articulation, even with the wrists and ankles, and with such a sleek body sculpt, he is extremly flexible. Hasbro has been able to make a figure that looks rugged, armored, and tough, yet can still post, stretch, flex, and move like a normal action figure, which is great. As one might expect, the figure is mostly black with just a hint of brown on the chest/shoulder pads, which helps break up the monotony of black just a bit, but still leaves the character dark and commando, as it should.

Snake Eyes doesn't come loaded down with accessories, but what he does come with is very effective. His unique backpack can be worn separately, or with the sword sheath embedded within (or he can just wear the sword sheath itself) offering a very interesting design concept. His two knives and two swords unfortunately cannot all be held on the figure, but one knife, one sword, and his pistol can be, which is better than nothing.

I am absolutely in love with the machine gun Snake Eyes comes with as well. If it's based on real weaponry, the connection is minimal, I believe, with a lot of artistic license, but the gun still looks very cool. Yes, Snake Eyes does come with one of the hated Zipline Launchers, but it takes absolutely nothing away from the overall coolness of the figure and he has plenty of standard weapons to make up for it.

Yes, Hasbro has done it again. They've managed to make a Snake Eyes that I absolutely love, in spite of the fact that I already own close to 50 of the buggers at this point. The movie accuracey and the overall coolness of him forces him immediately into the "must buy" pile, and I'm starting to have a hard time fathoming how I can possibly display all of these cool versions of this great character from the same toyline.

This figure won't be released at mass retail until next February, so start saving your pennies, it is definitely worth the purchase.