Cobra Dice - Figure Subscription Service (Wave 1)

It was the early 90's. A quartet of reptiles had taken the world by storm, and ninja fury was everywhere. As luck would have it, the Ninja culture had been firmly integrated into the G.I. Joe mythology for a number of years thanks to Larry Hama's astute focus on Japanese history and weaving an intricate backstory behind the scenes for Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow.

Throughout the uber popular Marvel G.I. Joe comic over the years, ninjas played a larger and larger role, so in a way it only made sense that they would get an even bigger role in the early 90's with the formation of "Ninja Force". Unfortunately, even though the concept was relatively sound from a marketing standpoint, some of the execution could have used some work. Even though ninjas are typically the most poseable warriors in the world, the figures were designed with restrictive "play features" that ended up making them even less articulated than many of their non-ninja peers.

Leading the Cobra team at that time were the immortal Slice and Dice, two best buddies in red and purple respectively that shook things up quite a bit. Gone were the pseudo-military aspects of the characters. Slice and Dice totally eschewed any tie back to combat and jumped headlong into full martial arts territory. Slice became a relative mainstay in the G.I. Joe world since his debut, appearing a couple of times in the vintage line, in the G.I. Joe vs. Cobra line (using his old o-ring tooling) and also showing up in various forms in Valor Vs. Venom, too.

The irony is, though, in the modern era, Slice has not yet appeared, while his arguably less popular teammate, Dice now has his own dedicated figure. Have the tables turned?

Whatever the reason for getting this figure before Slice, the fact remains that the Collectors' Club took a somewhat forgettible concept in Ninja Force, and took a fairly obscure character, then updated it pretty nicely for everyone's modern collection. Using only parts already in existence, most of them from Arctic Threat Storm Shadow, Dice ends up looking like a figure that's not a direct translation of the original, but close enough to function in fans' old school displays.

Tooling throughout the figure is fairly effective, though not perfect. Because many of the parts were pulled from early generation Pursuit of Cobra figures, (and one of the more lackluster ones at that) I don't see the level of detail and range of motion that we're used to. That being said, the parts work well enough and from appearance's sake, Dice is successful.

The head sculpt from the Aqua Viper Officer is an interesting choice, revealing Dice's face for the first time.

For the paint apps, the Collectors' Club elected to stick old school, going with a nice shade of deep purple, complimented with black, just as the original Dice appeared. It's nothing revolutionary, but some nice color throughout.


Where the FSS version of Dice is really successful is the accessory compliment. The Collectors' Club doesn't get bashful with the weapons that they have included with this figure.

Of course the most defining aspect of Dice is the facemask, which was repurposed from the Temple Guardian Snake Eyes. The webgear comes from an old 25th Anniversary Comic Pack Storm Shadow, which isn't vintage accurate for Dice, but it does the job. Where the vintage elements are pulled from is the spear and the axe, both of which are pretty awesome translations of the original bladed weapons this figure came with. The GIJCC also nicely tosses in a pair of great climbing claws and throwing stars for good measure.

While I'm not necessarily a huge fan of Dice, and this figure isn't something I feel like my collection has been missing, I can appreciate those folks who want one for their shelves, especially with the Ninja Force Storm Shadow from Dollar General last year. The color is nice, the packaging has a fantastic vintage look and feel, and the end result is a fine update to one of the founding members of Ninja Force. He's not exactly my bag, but the figure is a decent update.