Discount Store/Dollar Store Cobra Commander (Running Change)

Like the Cobra Trooper I talked about in my previous review, Cobra Commander has had a dubious history throughout the 25th Anniversary line. Wacky proportions and funky parts plagued many of his versions throughout the modern era. Even though Hasbro got it mostly right with their Battle Pack "Best of the 80's" version, his torso joints and weird limbs still left many collectors wanting more.

Hasbro looks poised to answer a lot of those concerns with an "Ultimate Cobra Commander" that is slated for release this year, but before we get to that point, we have the Dollar General/Discount Store versions to get through.

Interestingly, one of my favorite versions of Cobra Commander from the 25th Anniversary line was in an exclusive 4-Pack. It was a set that came out at Target near the tail end of the 25th Anniversary line and the figure used a chunk of Crimson Guard, but with the lower legs of a HISS Driver. I love this version because it was more regal and exciting than the standard version, but because it used the HISS Driver lower legs, it didn't suffer from some of the knee movement ailments that the Crimson Guard legs posessed.

The original Cobra Commander tried the same formula, although it used 25th Anniversary Cobra Commander upper legs and Resolute Cobra Commander lower legs. The end result is a figure that retains the sense of jack-booted European dictatorship, but without the funky leg pads that the HISS Driver had. At the same time, it manages to sidestep the Crimson Guard knee problems, too.

Since this figure is a "running change" version of that one, it uses the exact same construction, only where the previous version was black, this one is blue, and where the add on pieces were silver, this one is gold. As mentioned in previous reviews, when doing a running change there isn't opportunity to add paint deco or anything, so because the original Dollar General Cobra Commander was more or less straight black, this one is straight blue. The repaint makes sense and looks reminiscent of Cobra Commander as most of us remember him. The beauty of the black version was that it really looked like the Battle Corps Cobra Commander that gained the most notoriety for kicking a dog in an issue of the G.I. Joe Marvel Comic. Its blue repaint doesn't necessarily share that infamous backdrop, but it's still a neat repaint that makes sense based on the character.

I won't sit here and tell you it's the best blue Cobra Commander out there, though. That honor still belongs to the 4-Pack version I mentioned previously. I will say, from a construction standpoint, I like this one a lot because of the different legs. The version from Comic Pack #9 is similar, but uses the Crimson Guard legs and suffers for it. Of course this figure would be better with more paint applications, including a Cobra logo on his chest, but I think I've covered the budgetary aspects of these figures already.


Where this figure doesn't cut it short is with the accessories. While some other figures in the discount store line are running pretty slim on gear, this figure has a decent amount comparitively. He has his webgear with sword sheath, the removable sword, and a pistol. I'm not saying this is Pursuit of Cobra level equipment, but he's got all the gear he needs and doesn't suffer from empty holsters or sheaths like some other figures in this assortment.

Cobra Commander isn't perfect. The great thing about these two assortments is that the Hasbro designers behind them tried to use these as templates for potential customs or other characters. Kind of tough to do that with Cobra Commander. At the end of the day, he's a decent figure, and for kids on a budget, would be a great option to lead their Cobra forces. For collectors who already own three dozen Cobra Commanders, he's not a necessity.

Big thanks to Chief for hooking me up with this figure, too!