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A huge thanks to Mysterious Stranger, who received his Sideshow Collectibles COBRA Trooper very recently, and took some time this weekend to snap some pictures and write up a GREAT review of this figure.

Sideshow is sure making it hard for us armybuilders. Their first nameless soldier out of the chute is the infamous blueshirt Cobra Trooper and man would I like to have a few more of this guy. From the scowling face to the detailed boots, this figure is literally head to toe awesome. He is lacking very slightly in the accessory department but I’ll get to that in a minute. Overall though he’s a great figure and I’ll tell you why.

I didn’t take any pictures of the packaging. If you’ve seen a Sideshow 12″ figure in the last couple of years and the G.I. Joe figures specifically you know what you’re getting. Magnetic flap opening. Tray for the gear and tray for the figure. Awesome ARAH inspired box art with filecard on the back. Collector friendly and display worthy for you MIBers. Same old same old and it works incredibly well…

Click the “Read the rest of this entry” link below to read the full review and see a bunch of great images.

Now on to the figure itself which is what you really care about. First, the sculpt and uniform are incredible. The headsculpt is a full head balaclava with the cloth mask pulled up from the neck. The only part of his face showing are his eyes and man are they mean. If looks could kill… The sculpting on this one little sliver of flesh is enough to tell you this guy is a badass and not to be messed with. The balaclava is smooth all the way around and the paint is crisp on both the black mask and the face and eyes. I pulled down the face mask hoping there would be a nose and mouth underneath but there isn’t. I feel they could have sculpted a nice scowl under the mask and still kept him generic looking but I understand why they went this way. This head could easily be reused for an under the helmet head for any of the number of Vipers and other Cobra troops.

The uniform is a two piece modified set of BDUs with a full flap across the front of the shirt to allow for the big Cobra sigil on his chest. He also has a smaller one on his left shoulder and two black and white sigils on his lapels, a detail I missed in the online photos. His pants ride a little high over his hips but a little tweaking should get them down to a more natural position. The kneepads, like Snake-eyes are velcroed to the knees and the cuffs blouse at the bottom to show off the boots which are awesome. The fit of the uniform is good and with a little tweaking out of the box it hangs very naturally. I have to say I initially found the blue of the uniform to be a bit bright. But the longer I have him out the more its working for me. I would have preferred the darker blue similar to Cobra Commander’s uniform but this blue works. His helmet is a single piece mold and fits just right on his head, not too tight as to risk damage to the head and not so loose that it falls off if you look at it funny. It won’t stay on for any decent amount of play and I did knock it off when posing him but you won’t be taking this guy into any backyard battles so its not an issue. The webgear is still something I’m fiddling with. The straps are tiny and thin and they made functional buckles, adjusters and velcro closures so everything works like it should. The fine detail and small size of everything makes adjusting the straps to look good a bit of a chore. But man the detail is all there. He has pouches all the way around his belt from buckle to clasp and unlike some of the 25th style figures there’s no lack of gear storage on this guy. If you have the Sideshow Snake-eyes then you know what you’re getting here. Its not the same webgear but the construction and design are similar.

Speaking of gear, the Trooper is armed quite well. He’s not the walking weapons dump that Snake-eyes is but what he has makes sense for a trooper. His main weapon is an AK-74 with grenade launcher and its a very nice sculpt. It is a bit fragile though and I had issues with the cap on the butt of the stock coming off. And there is no shoulder strap for this either making his only option to carry it in hand. The lack of a strap is curious because both Cobra Commander and Snake-eyes have straps for their weapons and it is really odd that it was left off this one. A cost factor perhaps? Anyway, he’s also carrying enough ammo to defend the Alamo with 9, count ’em 9 clips for the AK including the one in the rifle. These are carried nice and snug in the 4 pouches around the front of his belt, 2 per pouch. There were no issues with fit on these pouches like there were with Snake-eyes. The clips slid in nice and easy with no fear of tearing the seams and the flaps closed without a problem. He’s also got 2 grenades for the launcher and these have nice little pouches on the clip pouches as well. Same nice fit. And when he finally runs out of ammo for the AK he’s carrying a pistol (a Glock I believe) with a single clip. There’s also a bayonet sheathed on his left thigh and it is clearly designed to work with the rifle but there is no way to attach it without removing the barrel of the gun as well as the grenade launcher (which is nonremovable from what I can tell, not going to break it trying). And just so he stays hydrated on the battlefield, he comes with 2 black canteens, each with a pouch on either hip.

All in all a nice bit of gear for a soldier of Cobra. He’s not overloaded like Snake-eyes and everything he’s carrying makes sense for him. There are a few extra pouches that don’t have anything to put in them. Two additional grenade or small pistol clip pouches on the backside of the ammo pouches and the big pouch on the back of his belt. I’m sure I can find something to put in there like a claymore or something. But its just sitting empty and deflated. If this was on the front of the figure it’d be a big problem. But hanging on his back it doesn’t bother me too much.

Overall, for $100 this figure is pricey. Definitely not something one could afford to armybuild without some explanations to the significant other. But the quality of everything and the amount of gear he comes with make it a good purchase. Personally, with my discount at the local comic shop I only paid $90 for him and at that price I could probably swing a second one to flank Cobra Commander and not feel ripped off. We’ll see this same figure redone as the Cobra Officer in a few months and I feel a bit more confident with my decision to get him as well now that I have the Trooper in hand. I’m still not happy about a “repaint” in this hundred dollar plus line but if it helps get more characters like Duke and Baroness then I’ll go with it.

I have all four of Sideshows offerings so far and I’m extremely pleased with each one. There are some tiny issues with them all but the overall quality of the figures outshines any personal quibble I might have. The Cobra Trooper is a welcome addition to my 12″ collection and has me excited once again for what’s coming down the line.

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