G.I. Joe vs. Cobra - Cobra CLAWS

First and foremost for all of these 2002 reviews, I am going to streamline a little bit. If you want basic information and pics of filecards, packaged figures and what weapons came with whom, go check out YoJoe. Eugene has all of the basic pictures up and they’re great as usual! He’s got the necessary information. Me, I’m just gonna tell you what I think of ‘em!

C.L.A.W.S. stands for Cobra Light Armor Weapons System. A very cool acronym, I think for a very cool idea. A Cobra trooper with light, but powerful armor…an elite trooper and heavy weapons specialist designed for plain, ordinary, old fashioned combat assault. A great concept, and a pretty cool figure.

C.L.A.W.S. is your basic Cobra grunt, but an elite Cobra grunt. Dressed in streamlined red and black armor with a slim, composite helmet and facemask, he has all the equipment he needs built right in. And he wears it well. His colors are nicely muted, but ring true to the colors Cobra troops have used throughout the run. He is quite reminiscent of both the Crimson Guard and the Battle Android Trooper, and appears almost a mixture of the two of them. The red uniform is dull and deep, a great color hue, and the black highlights really help this figure stand out. The gold trim is a little bright, but looks realistic and metallic enough not to be too obnoxiously garish, and actually adds quite a bit of color to this figure.

The figure comes reasonably well equipped, with a backpack, Uzi and Rocket Launcher, all fitting his assault trooper persona very well. The Uzi fits in his holster (well, sort of, anyway…) and also looks good in his hands. Unfortunately, the rocket launcher seems woefully out of place with a long hose leading off that has nothing at all on the figure to connect to. Still, equip him with a nice rifle or a grenade launcher, and C.L.A.W.S. is all set.

But, as with several of the 2002 new mold figures, C.L.A.W.S. does have some drawbacks. The biggest one I see right off is his proportions. I think in trying to make him look large and forboding, Hasbro got a little carried away. His shoulders are wide, broad, and thick, but his legs are almost comically short and scrawny. The effect is quite unfortunate as an imposing Cobra shock trooper becomes a little less threatening with his Tick-esque proportions. The legs are also designed in such a way, that while able to be posed nicely straight, once you try and bend them, his knees bend far too close together to make any kind of realistic crouching or kneeling pose. This does limit his use and capabilities.

This figure is a nice addition to the 2002 line, and works within that realm. His colors and detailing are fantastic as per the usual for this series, but as with the other figures, his legs lack of “proper” movement really does hamper his use. Standing straight, he looks good (other than the aforementioned leg shortness issue) but try to get him to look realistic in an action pose, it just doesn’t work as nicely as I would have hoped. Over all, a decent figure, and I cannot wait to see him retrofitted with the O-Ring!!