We started down this road on Monday and we keep plowing ahead. Today I offer FOUR new reviews of recently released 50th Anniversary figures!
The Troop Build Up pack with Steel Brigade Trooper and Iron Grenadier, as well as the Hunt for COBRA Commander with Shipwreck and the big kahuna himself.
Check out these reviews on my 50th Anniversary Review Page, or via the direct links below.
One of the best, if not the best, version of Cobra Commander ever released, the G.I. Joe: Retaliation Ultimate Cobra Commander did pretty much everything right. I think the only complaint I really have is the shallow holes in the feet and rocker ankles that don’t allow him to stand on display very well.
Beyond that, the figure was perfectly sculpted, excellently detailed, and amazingly well articulated, giving us quite simply the best classic version of the Cobra Commander we’ve seen. Pretty exceptional.
For this 50th Anniversary re-release, they chose that figure as a base, and who can fault them for that? It’s pretty much the perfect choice, and ever since the mid 90’s, repainting Cobra Commander in black has been a staple deco choice. For this particular release, they went to black and red, and it’s an aesthetic I actually really enjoy. I loved the colors of the repaint G.I. Joe vs. Cobra Cobra Commander, even if the t-crotch figure itself was lacking a little in execution. Black and red is a great color scheme for him, in my opinion. The only real question I have is with the red boots. I’m not sure what the thought process for that choice was, to be honest. I love the red hood, the red gloves, and the red shoulder cape, but I’m not too sure about the red boots, mostly because they kind of look like red spats with the pants and shoes combination.
The look I enjoy most is probably the red cape with the battle helmet, it’s got a great split of black and red and looks good, plus it pays a neat homage to the Spy Troops era, in which a Shipwreck figure came with a Cobra Commander disguise.
Cobra Commander doesn’t come with a whole lot. He’s got the two heads (black helmet and red hood), shoulder cape, two canisters of a mysterious red liquid, his pistol, and a Rise of Cobra pulse rifle. It’s an interesting combination of weaponry, but is pretty fun and actually brings some new stuff to the table here.
I could see the red liquid being some kind of power source for his futuristic rifle…that’s the thought process I’m going with.
Cobra Commander is a decent enough update to the more familiar blue suited original from the G.I. Joe: Retaliation line. I’m not sure it was a figure that folks were clamoring for, but it’s a nice update and I find myself liking the black and red paint scheme (minus the weird color breaks for the boots). He’s got some fun gear, and the whole “battle in a box” concept works well here, too.
50th Anniversary COBRA Commander
Not sure if we really need yet another COBRA Commander figure, but he’s been sporting black ever since the 90’s, and it’s tough to turn down any uses of the excellent G.I. Joe: Retaliation Ultimate COBRA Commander tooling. It’s a great base figure, and the black is striking, though the red trim is a little hit or miss in its placement and application.
1 – COBRA Commander in his most immaculately sculpted figure ever
2 – Great inclusion of both the battle helmet and hooded heads
3 – “Battle in a Box” concept works well here, and I like the red liquid canister bombs
1 – Red boots don’t work especially well and look more like bright red shoes
2 – As with the previous figure, the rocker ankles hurt the depth of the peg holes in the feet and make the figure hard to stand
3 – The red trim in general would work better as a compliment rather than a predominant color on the hood, cape, and gloves. The color breaks don’t look especially natural
To be honest, out of all the concept case figures this Shipwreck repaint was one that I couldn’t quite get my head around. I really loved the two variations of the discount store Shipwreck, and while the “Navy” shirted version was interesting, it didn’t bring a whole lot new to the table compared to some of the other concept case figures. Considering the figure is pretty much a 30th Anniversary/Renegades Law from the neck down with the Shock Trooper vest and Rise of Cobra Shipwreck head, I had trouble figuring out the appeal. Don’t get me wrong, there certainly seemed to be a strong segment of the fandom who were clamoring for it, I just wasn’t one of them. Give me that awesome looking Pursuit of Cobra Clutch or HISS Driver any day.
Regardless, getting this figure in hand, he’s not bad. Not bad at all. I’m a fan of the version of Law that was the template for this figure, he’s greatly detailed and extremely well articulated, so it’s tough to go wrong there. The Navy on his chest is a neat touch, though with the vest on, you can’t see it much. A white t-shirt and khaki pants is a good combination, even if it feels a bit segregated from Shipwreck’s classic look. Perhaps my favorite thing about this version is that it seems to walk a good line for Shipwreck. Previous versions were either a straight-up sailor, a wet-suited Navy SEAL, or a commando soldier hardcore military guy. Shipwreck has always been a casual lay about who also happened to be a highly trained special ops soldier. This combination of parts strays more towards the “lay about” side with his t-shirt and pants, but it’s fairly easy to slap the vest on him and put him more in a military commando role.
If I have any complaints about the deco work it’s that the differences in the green shades throughout his legs are pretty evident, as well as the white on the torso and white on the sleeves. Not sure if that’s a plastic type/quality issue or more of a paint vs. production color issue. It’s a little bit distracting, though, I have to admit.
It’s a figure that didn’t especially appeal to me in the concept case, and doesn’t use any new parts, but the final execution ends up being a bit more fun than I anticipated.
The G.I. Joe sailor is equipped with pretty basic accessories. A machine gun and submachine gun, as well as the tactical vest, two knives, pistol, and silencer. Of course he also has his trusty parrot Polly. None of the accessories are exceptionally different, but they compliment the figure nicely, which is all I can really ask for. He can hold the weapons really nicely with those great Law arms, and is just a fun figure to sit and mess with. The Shock Trooper vest has that handle on the back that can double as a mount for Polly as well, which is a neat touch. I don’t know if that was planned (he fits, though the rubbery material of the vest doesn’t keep him there very sturdily).
I should also say that I assume both knives are his. There isn’t an especially clear indication, but that seems to be the case, at least in my mind.
This is one of those few Concept Case figures that I just looked past and was never really captured by. I didn’t see much of a reason to push him through to retail release, but getting him in hand, the figure has a lot of promise, and walks that great line between Shipwreck’s familiar slacker personality and more military edge. I like it more than I thought I would.
50th Anniversary Shipwreck
A figure I wasn’t expecting to really love, but one that took me by pleasant surprise. A great balance between Shipwreck’s slacker sailor look and his more true-to-life military roots. Nice figure build and a fun compliment of great accessories adds to the positive feel of this figure.
1 – The 30th Anniversary Law build is a great template
2 – I really like the NAVY deco t-shirt
3 – Lots of great accessories
1 – Some strange color differentiation with the legs, depending on the material used it seems. Could be a difference between production plastic and painted plastic as well.
2 – Paint on Polly looks like it’s supposed to be detail paint wipes, but looks somewhat messy
Congratulations goes out to Terror Drome member harkiri for winning the Terror Drome & GeneralsJoes “The Hunt for COBRA Commander” contest! He was able to decipher the clues, dig for the answers, and provide the requested images to win a free copy of G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra on DVD.
Courtesy of The Terror Drome, the final results can be found after the “Read the Rest of the Entry” link!