G.I. Joe vs. Cobra - Cobra CLAWS v.2

When Wave 1 first hit, and I picked up the original Cobra CLAWS, I dreamed of how cool this figure could be if only he got the O-Ring treatment! The body armor, the cool, evil looking mask. Even the uniform design was sharply done! I was certain that if Hasbro had made these guys with an O-Ring, that this would be my permanent new Cobra heavy weapons trooper. When I heard that they were doing it for Wave 4, I was thrilled!! When I finally got the figure...I was...less thrilled.

First of all, the inclusion of the O-Ring does make a lot of difference. The legs seem longer, he is, obviously, more poseable, but he does still suffer from a lot of the original's problems. His chest is abnormally large, and his arms are just plain HUGE. Seriously, he looks WAY out of proportion. So much so, that the figure is kind of ruined for me, which is a shame, because it has the capabilities of being a formidable figure and another standard trooper in the Cobra army.

One nice thing about the change, though, is that his colors are at least very nicely done. I did like the red and black scheme before...the white I thought was just gross...but this blue, gray and brown looks excellent! He is a great match for the brand new Cobra Commander, his uniform being a very similar shade. Which also makes another change kind of appetizing...thanks to Tim Frankovich fromĀ Tim's Corner, I tried swapping out the new O-Ring CC's arms with the 2001 Sure Fire's arms. Sure enough, they were a perfect match, color wise, and the new CC looks worlds better with some slimmer arms. Well, the same thing goes for CLAWS! Unfortunately, Sure Fire's arms are not a real good fit with CLAWS' torso, though...there is a little separation. But the color scheme works perfectly, and the figure looks a TON better with these new arms! If anyone has a couple spare Sure Fire's, or just pairs of his arms, please let me know. I'd love to take the Dremel to them, sand off the American Flag on the shoulder and give my two CLAWS some decent arms.

Which brings me to the subject of army building these new troops...well, it just isn't gonna happen. I bought a pair, and I think that's what I'm going to stick with. They just aren't terrific enough to stockpile, although, if I can get some more replacement arms for them, I can at least have a couple decent looking Cobra Shock-Troops!

One thing that does make this CLAWS stand out a little bit, is his wicked new rifle. I LOVE this thing! Of course, I'll love it even more once I hack the Sound Attack tab off, but as a sniper rifle, or has a high-powered stopping weapon, this gun is the bomb. Cool, modern design wih a pretty nasty looking punch!

All in all, with some changes to the arms, I think Hasbro could have a potential winner here. The mold still holds up, with the cool shoulder straps, thick body armor, and that awesome facemask! They are very close to making an excellent Cobra Trooper, but they still miss the mark slightly. It's a good thing Dart is such a cool figure, or else this 2-pack might be one you'd want to skip...