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GeneralsJoes semi-regular contributor Alexx has taken a number of good (and funny) pictures of the newly released G.I. Joe and COBRA 5-Packs.  He originally posted his feelings in these three threads on JoeBattleLines, but I loved his pics so much, I asked if I could show them here as well.

Alexx’s opinions seem to really go in parallel with mine as far as these two sets go.  While I applaud Hasbro’s desire to get out definitive versions of each of these characters, some of the changes strike me as a bit arbitrary and unnecessary, especially considering the upcoming Hall of Heroes assortment.  Many folks thought that the best version of Lady Jaye to date was the one that came with the DVD Battle Pack, and I would agree.  Yes, it’s true that this new version trumps that one in nearly every way, but was it necessary?  Yes, it’s nice to have a Shipwreck with a less angry face and less popeye forarms, but from what I’m gathering, the construction is a bit sketchy and the face sculpt actually loses some of the character.

Hawk?  Eh, not necessary, again.  The single pack version was everyone’s favorite, I don’t see how some minor paint alterations really make him a whole lot improved over that version.  I love that Flint finally has the short sleeves and gloves, so that’s great, though the Hall of Heroes version sports the same look.  This 5-pack seems so built on the Animated style, why not do Flint in his somewhat greener colors as he appeared in the Sunbow cartoon?  That would differentiate this version enough, I would think.  Snake Eyes does look really cool, I have to say, in the all black, but with the Pyramids of Darkness tooling.  But you just kind of sit back and see all of the new tooling that was done just to make some minor improvements on existing characters, and sort of lament the fact that the dollars couldn’t go to something a bit more worthwhile, especially since Hall of Heroes will most likely negate the cooler of these figures.  You end up dropping $30.00 for an improved Lady Jaye, because Hawk and Shipwreck aren’t all that nice, while Snake Eyes and Flint are each getting the HoH treatment.  I dunno…  anyway, here’s Alexx’s G.I. Joe 5-Pack gallery:

As for the COBRA 5-Pack, it’s an even larger anamoly.  It makes me happier, but more ticked off all at the same time.  On the one hand you have Storm Shadow and COBRA Commander, two of the most overrused COBRA’s since day one of the Anniversary line, and they each only get minor alterations here.  Sure, Storm Shadow’s sleeveless look is nicer, and it’s cool to see the new feet, but worth a totally new $30 investment?  Absolutely not.

Then we have Zartan, who is a great figure, and has some interesting alterations, but honestly isn’t different (or cool) enough to expand on the version we got in Wave 11.

Which brings us to the last two…  the Baroness and Viper are oustanding figures.  Outstanding.  Great tooling, a world of improvement over the original versions.  The Baroness is quite possibly one of the greatest female figures ever made in the 3 3/4″ scale, and the Viper with his chrome faceplate (borrowed from COBRA Commander) and fixed wrists is the seminal COBRA trooper released so far in the Anniversary line.  Yet both figures are released as “tagalongs” to a $30 set that contains mostly over-exposed characters with minor changes.  Thankfully at least the Viper is coming in the Hall of Heroes line, so there is at least an opportunity to own that figure, but it still leaves me feeling somewhat disappointed.

But enough of my blabbering.  Here are the rest of Alexx’s great pics: