Wednesday, February 23, 2011

REVIEW: GI Joe: Pursuit of Cobra - Jungle Assault Snake Eyes

Jungle Assault Snake Eyes | Produced by Hasbro | Released October 2010

Snake Eyes is a Ninja Commando on the GI Joe team and a Martial Arts Master trained in the mysterious Arashikage Ninja clan. As he battles Cobra Ninja Storm Shadow, he expertly swings his Nunchaku and Crescent Blade, then slams his enemy to the jungle floor with a Tornado Kick.

Jungle Assault Snake Eyes uses  the regular GI Joe single-carded figure packaging - a plastic blister-pack glued to a card. So that means you have to rip the box to get at the figure.

That aside, it works just fine and the artwork is nice enough, although I do sometimes find myself having to double-check figures on the racks, as a lot of the Joes seem to like hoods and balaclavas and as I mentioned before, I wish the naming conventions were a little more explicit with the GI Joe line, as I think it's going to get quite tricky/annoying keeping track of which figure is which as my collection grows...

The rear of the pack includes the cut and collect ID card and instructions on how to use Snake Eyes' Tornado Kick...

Tornado Kick Action!
Jungle Assault Snake Eyes features a play gimmick in the form of the Tornado Kick. Twisting his waist ''winds-up'' his Tornado Kick, which may then be unleashed by pressing the stud on his torso. It's a silly, fun little gimmick but ultimately just a distraction - I doubt many kids will get that much fun from it and - given the speed at which the kick is released - I'm sure it'll result in more than one dropped toy/lost accessory. My advice - if you do use it, remove all of Snake Eyes' weapons before you do so.

Jungle Assault Snake Eyes
Where the Desert Battle Snake Eyes was a mix of his Ninja and Commando backgrounds, Jungle Assault Snake Eyes is in full-on Ninja Mode, with his armour and weapons both reflecting this.

The figure's sculpt is nice, with a fairly plain, basic costume dressed-up with some nice armoured pieces to give that Ninja look, complete with nicely-detailed straps to hold it all in place. His fatigues are also nicely sculpted, with details like pockets and nicely-executed creases making it much more than simply being a matte-black jumpsuit. The exposed forearms give a nice break in the colouring, too and it's nice to see a Snake Eyes that isn't completely clad in black/grey from head-to-toe.

One thing I'm not so happy about is the lack of storage space on the toy. It's odd that the GI Joe figures either seem capable of carrying virtually all their equipment (as seen with Desert Battle Zartan and Desert Battle Snake Eyes) or hardly any (I have City Strike Beachhead cued up for Review and he's similarly incapable of carrying his gear). 

Jungle Assault Snake Eyes has no sheaths, pockets, hooks or any other receptacle to hold his equipment when not in use. I found his Crescent Blade - with a bit of coaxing/balancing/praying - can be slipped under his vest for storage (but it's not an elegant solution) and you can hang the Nunchaku around his neck but that still leaves you with the choice of equipping either his twin swords or Kusarigama, as he can't carry all his gear. I wish Hasbro would consider this and not just swamp us with equipment that will wind-up lost or having to be stored somewhere.

Joint-wise the figure is fine, with well-produced articulation and joints that can hold a pose. I find most Joes seem to have slightly-restrictive arms (especially around the elbow joints) but it's nothing to really get too hung-up about. Head movement is a little restricted due to his combat vest, though but again, it's not that big a deal.

Paint-wise the toy looks good. The matte metallic grey of his armour plates really adds a lot to the basic blackness of his fatigues and everything is nicely-applied, with clean, crisp edges. He even has his Arashikage badge on his chest and a tiny GI Joe decal below. It's all very nicely designed and executed.

Another thing I appreciate is that this figure isn't simply the Desert Battle Snake Eyes with a few different weapons - it's a completely different-looking figure and it's possible to stand both side-by-side without it looking like you've got two identical toys. I like that.

Jungle Assault Snake Eyes' chief weapon is surprise... Surprise and fear. Fear and surprise... Our two weapons are fear and surprise... And ruthless efficiency. Sorry...

His chief weapon is - according to his pack blurb - the Kusarigama, the scythe-on-a-string armament. He also comes with a Nunchaku, Crescent Blade and two hook-ended blades that look like something a  Klingon dentist would use. He also has his own stand and a full-colour collector preview sheet, showing other toys from the line.

The string-connected weapons seem out of scale to me. I'd have preferred solid Nunchaku, as seen with the Marvel Universe line, or maybe some kind of ''bendy-wire'' weapons so he could be posed with them mid-swing. I guess they're here so kids can swing him around on the end of the string, but I think they're a missed opportunity.

On the plus-side, he grips all his weapons well.

Final Thoughts
I have to admit, Jungle Assault Snake Eyes is a little disappointing when compared to other toys in the line, due to two main problems:

Firstly, the Tornado Kick gimmick is rather silly and spoils the figure a little. Although you can twist his waist to pose him, it will sometimes ''ping-back'' due to the wind-up Tornado Kick action, which is annoying. It's possible to get his waist to hold different poses but it requires a little bit of work, work that shouldn't really be required.

Secondly, I don't like the fact that he can't carry all of his gear. For the sake of a few C-shaped slots or even a backpack, he could have been a self-sufficient killing machine. As it is, his gear looks ready to fall-off him at any second (unless you pose him with only one or two weapons in his hands) and for a stealthy Ninja Commando, that's not a good look.

I get the impression that this figure - with his Tornado Kick gimmick and lack of weapon-space - is intended to appeal to the younger collector and be used more as a plaything than a displayed collectable piece. And that's fine, because the whole point is that these figures are toys. But with a bit of thought there's no reason they can't be both.

That's not to say it's not a good-looking toy - it is - and - inconvenience of the snappy waist aside - you can get some nice poses out of the Jungle Assault Snake Eyes. It's just that he's not quite as good as his Desert Battle counterpart.

Production QualityA-
Final ScoreB

Image Gallery


  1. I got this very figure from my cousins for Christmas this past year and i find him to be a pretty decent rendition of old Snake. : )

  2. It's a nice toy. I just wish they'd (A) not gone with the gimmicky kick thing and (B) given him somewhere to store his gear. That aside he looks nice and I do like him.

  3. He is pretty good and i will be posting about him hopefully tonight on my blog.

  4. I'll look forward to seeing your comments!


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