G.I. Joe vs. Cobra - Dr. Mindbender

Dr. Mindbender rounds out a solid group of Cobra Hierarchy that Hasbro has released since 2002, and is a part of a great group of Cobra higher-ups released in this Wave alone. Rather than base this figure highly on the '86 version as Hasbro has with a lot of the other figures, the big H goes in a different direction with Mindbender...for the most part it works, but in some places they kind of missed the boat.

First of all, the mold is good. The short sleeve vest works for him, and while he does expose his manly chest, it's still better than the weird silver suspender thing from 1986. He's got some pretty cool forearm guards and gloves and his baggy pants and knee-high jackboots all look pretty cool. The Cape is now plastic rather than cloth, and works as such. It doesn't get in the way too much, and stays fastened as a backpack well, and the connections to the shoulders look nice and natural. His head is fantastically done, with an extended "Fu Manchu" mustache and he even has a gold chain connecting his monacle this time! Some very cool little touches.

Like his comrade, The Baroness, Mindbender is also vastly adorned with Cobra symbols. One in a medallion on his chest, two cape clips, a belt buckle, and two nicely done symbols on his hands. A very nicely done array of Cobra sigils.

The colors are pleasing as well...nice shades of purple and green...black and gray. The colors are vastly different than Cobra's normal colors, but they are still nicely done shades and cool different colors that really match Mindbender's personality. The pattern on his arm guards and baggy pants match each other well and it's a neat different snake related pattern. Very, very cool.

But unfortunately, all of these nice points are muted by the way his arms are sculpted. If Hasbro had included swivel-wrists, this figure would have been fantastic. Unfortunately, the way his arms and hands are positioned is very similar to what Hasbro did with Blowtorch which makes it nearly impossible to put his arms in a natural looking pose. This is especially unfortunate since Mindbender comes with two super-cool pistols, and yet can't hold them very well with any manner of realism.

It does appear that with the coming of Wave 5, a large number of Joe figures will once again include swivel wrists...this is welcome news to me! Swivel wrists make a huge difference, especially when arms are sculpted like this, and can make the difference between a good figure and a terrific one. It's a good thing Mindbender is not really a man of action, or else this version would see seldom use by me...as it is, it's a great figure to man the laboratory and plan behind the scenes, which is what Mindbender does.

Still, the figure is a nice display piece and compliments the Cobra Corps well, and will end up seeing some use in my Joeverse for certain.