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Once again, GeneralsJoes contributor Mysterious Stranger comes through with some very nice, well detailed reviews of recent Sideshow Collectible releases.  Knowing I don’t have the budget to get my hands on this stuff these days, he’s right on the ball, this time covering the Sideshow Cobra Officer and Cobra Sniper all in one shot.
Click the “Read the Rest of this Entry” link below to check out his review!

Repaints.  Just the mention of that word alone can ignite a firestorm of discussion among G.I. Joe fans.  Love ’em or hate ’em, repaints are part of the profitability of an action figure line.  They’ve been a part of the G.I. Joe line since nearly the beginning in one form or another.  Whether its the Original 13 sharing a handful of tooling or the 25th Anniversary line putting out a half dozen variations of Duke, repaints are a fact of life in the toy world.  So it should come as little surprise that the newest manufacturer of G.I. Joe figures is issuing its share of repaints in the form of Cobra troopers.  Here today I’m looking at the two newest troopers, the classic Officer and the new Sniper.
If you have the Cobra Trooper then you know most of what you’re getting with these two figures.  I covered a lot of the same ground in my review of the Cobra Trooper so rather than rehash that same information I’ll be focusing on the new parts these two have.
First the basics.  These two figures come in the same style of magnetic flap, plastic tray, fold-out boxes that Sideshow uses for most of their 1/6 scale figures.  The artwork matches the previous releases in style and honestly I couldn’t ask more better packaging.  Also, I need to mention the filecards here.  They are written in the same style as the ones we know but with new text.  Its just a nice touch that Sideshow threw in that makes this line so much fun.
The Cobra Officer and Sniper share about 90ish% of their parts with the Cobra Trooper, with a few color changes and new accessories thrown in.  The Officers uniform is identical to the Troopers in color with the only change being the silver rank insignia on the collar (the Troopers being black Cobra sigils instead).  The webgear is also identical though the Officer gets his in yellow/tan instead of black matching the comic version.  His head is the same only with a red head stocking and cloth mask again like the comics.  The Officers helmet has the black Officer crest painted on and this is one area that could have used new tooling.  I realize that most military don’t put raised elements such as this on their helmets but for the Cobra Officer I think it would have looked much better.  And for a $100 figure little details like this make all the difference.  The Officer also carries the same type of gear as the Trooper with a new assault rifle and flash suppressor, 6 additional ammo clips for his new rifle, a second tiny muzzle suppressor for the rifle, pistol, canteens (molded in yellow/tan to match) and knife.  And he has pouches and holsters to carry all of this.  I do wish Sideshow would include something to put in the big back pouch as it just hangs there loosely with nothing to store in it.  Filling it with crumpled newspaper or something would fill it out but it would be nice to have something included.  Some claymore mines or a radio set perhaps?  Again at $100 another detail that could really push this over the top.
The other repaint Sideshow has offered is the Cobra Sniper.  This figure, unlike the Officer and Trooper is not based on any particular 1/18 scale counterpart.  Instead its a new designation and one I think comes out quite well.  Like his Sideshow brethren he is about 90ish% reused but the slight differences make this figure stand out much more than the Officer.  The Sniper is decked out in black fatigues with gray Cobra sigils on his chest and sleeve and his helmet sports a gray Officer symbol.  Again like the Officer I’d prefer this be a sculpted element but I’ve covered that already.  His head sculpt is again the same as the Officer and Trooper but done in black with a black cloth mask.  The Sniper has nearly the same webgear as his mold brothers but his ammo pouches are smaller and wider allowing for the different shape of the Dragonov clips.  Oh yes, this figure comes with the classic Dragonov sniper rifle and boy is it a beauty.  Unlike the ARAH Trooper, who came with this rifle as well, this time it actually makes sense for the figure.  A standard grunt carrying a sniper rifle is a bit silly.  But a dedicated sniper carrying one, well that’s just perfect.
One thing I was excited to try with the Sniper was getting him into a laying down firing position green army man style.  But even though the articulation would allow it I just didn’t feel comfortable forcing a $100 figure into a position that didn’t come naturally.  The odds of breakage, though unlikely, were enough to sway me to leave him in a standing position.  He can still hold the rifle in a nice firing position and get it up to his eye with a little work.  But now that he’s in that pose it makes me want the Recon at Waypoint 12 diorama because he’d look awesome poking through the broken out window of that piece.
One thing I want to point out here is the paint work on the Officer and Sniper heads.  Though they share the same sculpt with the Trooper they look quite different.  That’s because of two things.  First their eyes are a darker color than the Troopers blue/white, making them stand out much more.  Second they don’t have the same dark wash as the Trooper, making the details much softer.  The Trooper by comparison has “crazy eyes” where the Officer and Sniper aren’t quite as “focused.”  Also the Sniper appears to have his eyes painted in more of a squint than the others.  Its a nice little change that suits the figure something that sets these figures apart from one another.
Overall, I’m quite pleased with these two figures.  The Officer is a welcome addition to my Sideshow Cobra Army but the real surprise is the Sniper.  While I won’t be armybuilding these beyond what I have and a possible additional Trooper, they are all really well done figures and I’m very happy with them.  Yes they are repaints but like all good repaints they bring something new to the table.  That’s all I ask.  If we’re going to get repaints (and we are) at least make them special and Sideshow did just that with the Cobra Officer and Sniper.

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