How’s that saying go? Things can change in an instant? It wasn’t that long ago that the G.I. Joe community at large was questioning just what sort of life was left in the brand. I’m not sure that specific question has been answered, but at least we know there’s something to look forward to in 2020!
In fact, if my suspisions are correct– there is a LOT to look forward to in 2020, not the least of which is Hasbro’s new 6″ G.I. Joe: Classified line.
I know, I know… “but GeneralsJoes, we grew up on 3.75″ G.I. Joe’s in the 1980’s why fix what ain’t broken??”
Well, let me start by saying– just because there’s a 6″ line coming doesn’t mean there isn’t a 4″ line coming. There’s still a lot of time left in 2020 leading up to a brand new movie in October, so I think given the next few months, 4″ G.I. Joe fans will have something to look forward to as well.
Now, as for this figure.
Holy crap. I mean, you all knew I was going to love it, right? Anyone who has followed my site for any length of time knows that my love of G.I. Joe isn’t necessarily restricted by scale or format. I was one of the biggest fans of Sigma 6 (both 8″ and 2.5″) back in the day, and as long as the toy is cool, I like it.
This toy, Joe fans, is damn cool. It also marks a milestone. For the first time in G.I. Joe’s 50+ year history, we are getting figures in the 1:12 (or 6″) scale. Figures that can stand alongside Star Wars: Black, Marvel Legends, DC Heroes, Power Rangers, etc…
Let me just say at a 6″ scale, this Snake Eyes figure is fantastic. I mean, I had high expectations as it was, being a fan of Marvel Legends, but I have to say this figure surpassed them.
First of all, the design work. Where Hasbro could have easily just taken a blow-by-blow replica of the ’85 version and done it in 6″ scale (and made many Joe fans happy) they went a different route and made something totally new. Granted, there are elements of the ’85 version here, with the knight’s visor and the bandolier, but there’s also a heavy influence from his Resolute version, which is one of my favorite looks for the Joe ninja commando, with just the right hints of the Retaliation version mixed in.
He’s got a good mix of body suit and military style, with baggy pants, shin-high boots mixed with knee and shoulder armor, gauntlets and some awesome layered armor sculpted on the torso (alongside the removable bandolier, belt and secondary webgear). On the surface and at a quick glance, the figure could easily be mistaken for a more modern version of the ’85 figure, but in truth, when you really look at him you realize just how new and different the figure really is, and I couldn’t be happier for that fact.
The color scheme is subtly fantastic as well. On first blush you figure, oh it’s another Snake Eyes, another black figure, big woop. Well, one thing I didn’t notice with other images was just how rich this figure was in different colors and hues. The brown leather harness and brown straps around the armored forearms and fingers really adds some nice different elements to the figure and takes away from that same old same old black Snake Eyes blandness.
Along with the overall design and sculpting work, Snake Eyes has a few functional holsters/sheaths, one for his pistol, one for his knife, as well as sheaths for his swords. He can’t hold everything he comes with, of course, but he’s got that handy weapons rack that I’ll talk about a little further down. The straps with pouches on his arms are removable, as is the bandolier, and if you were an enterprising enough customizer (I’m not) his belt and thigh holster/sheaths would be removable as well.
So, yeah, the sculpting is pretty amazing throughout this figure with all sorts of excellent details worked in which are even more evident on the larger 6″ scale. I guarantee if they did this exact same figure in a 4″ scale, G.I. Joe fans everywhere would be losing their minds.
Here is where I am totally blown away. Being a Marvel Legends collector off and on for a while, I know what sort of articulation is possible on a 6″ figure, which was a big reason why I was so excited for this line. But trust me when I say Snake Eyes goes a step beyond even my own high expectations.
The joints are tight and double jointed pretty much everywhere. He’s got great range of motion in all ball joints and is not at all restricted by any of the sculpting from what I can tell. Nearly any pose you can think of, Snake Eyes can achieve, and perhaps the best thing is that due to the tightness and fit of the joints, the figure has amazing balance, to boot. It’s one thing to be able to pose a figure, but to be able to balance him in those poses for display is another thing entirely, and this version of Snake Eyes hits that mark in spades.
The ab crunch isn’t noticeable at all with the armor sculpting, and he’s got very subtle swivel cuts in the thigh and calf which give his legs some nice range of motion. Ball joint hips, shoulders, rocker ankles and wrists– yeah this guy is crammed full of articulation.
His impressive elbow and shoulder articulation allows for any number of fantastic weapons holding poses, including rifles (courtesy of Marauder “Gun Runners”), swords, submachine guns and pistols.
Uh. Holy crap. Now, granted, this version of Snake Eyes was designed as an exclusive to Hasbro Pulse, so he naturally comes with a lot more gear than the standard retail release figures will. That being said, he comes with a LOT of gear.
There’s a smaller group of accessories that come within his single box, that I believe will likely come with the retail figure as well, which includes those in the last image of the gallery you see above. Basically it’s an Uzi and pistol (which share a common silencer) a knife, two replacement hands, a backpack with sheath and his sword.
I’m thrilled to see that he does come with his trusty Uzi, which seems to be almost a miracle considering what Roadblock is saddled with. Along with the Uzi is a pistol with removable silencer, a sword that looks amazingly like the original ’85 classic, plus a bevy of other ninja-oriented bladed weapons. These weapons all helpfully fit on a very nicely designed ninja-themed weapons rack.
He also comes with a nice military backpack, and his bandolier is removable, so I guess we’ll consider that an accessory as well. Lastly, he’s got removable hands, one in a “karate chop/salute” pose (which actually has ninja climbing claws sculpted to his palm) and one holding a ninja shuriken. You want it, you got it with this version of the G.I. Joe ninja commando.
Normally I don’t talk about this much– after all, I’m primarily a loose collector so the way the box looks doesn’t matter to me a whole lot. But I felt like I had to mention it here. The design of the box, the artwork and everything surrounding this figure is top notch. You can tell a ton of thought and effort were put into it, from the Timber influences on the included paperwork to the great embossed detail of the packaging. The interior package is more similar to the retail releases, though the subtle differences in color schemes may be an annoyance to some.
When it comes to G.I. Joe, there is a time and place for nostalgia, but as a fan, I love seeing new concepts and new ideas. This version of Snake Eyes seems to walk that line very nicely. The larger scale provides a robust canvas for impressive sculpting, detail work and accessory integration, and the articulation of this figure is some of the greatest I’ve seen throughout G.I. Joe’s long and storied history.
Yes, the larger scale will upset some people, and yes, the chance of a widescale vehicle line for these figures is very slim, but taking a step back and looking at this version of Snake Eyes for what it is, I love it and I’m eagerly looking forward to having another retail G.I. Joe line to support throughout 2020 (and hopefully beyond!)
G.I. Joe Classified Snake Eyes (Hasbro Pulse Exclusive)
What can I say? Did anyone really expect anything less than five stars? To be honest, I almost gave up the star ratings with this re-introduction to the G.I. Joe brand, but I figured I would set a new framework for some of the other Classified figures to match. To my mind, Snake Eyes deserves every one of these stars, even though it’s a new scale and a new look at our favorite brand.