Cobra Commander (Pursuit of Cobra) | Produced by Hasbro | Released July 2010
The deviously brilliant leader of Cobra has created the Cobra HISS Tank, a dangerous weapon that will help him expand his empire. He is prepared for battle in a mask that uses sunlight to power his cybernetic armor. As the showdown with the GI Joe team begins in the desert, he sends in his new tanks for the final attack.
Cobra Commander comes on a variant card, not usually seen in the Pursuit of Cobra line. Themed with a Cobra logo and coloured a deep red, the card is eye-catching and - much as I like the usual artwork - makes a nice change. The theme continues on the rear, with a memo from Cobra Commander appearing in the upper right corner above the clip and collect card.
This Cobra Commander was originally intended as a mail-in special. However, Hasbro changed their minds (perhaps due to the mediocre Rise of Cobra toy sales) and instead issued him as a chase figure, limiting him to one per figure case. How true this really is, is unknown, as personal experience (both mine and of other collectors) seems to indicate plentiful supplies of the Cobra Commander in most stores.
The figure is actually pretty good. He's a repaint/minor retool from the Rise of Cobra Cobra Commander but with some modifications, most obvious of which is his mask. No longer a clear-plastic face guard, the new look uses chrome to good effect. I personally would have preferred to see it in gold, simply to avoid Cobra Commander looking too much like Destro, but that's only a minor issue.
The body sculpt is pretty good, overall. Like yesterday's Paris Pursuit Snake Eyes, his ''coat'' in reality is a long vest, but the effect is still quite cool. There's a cool cloth/scored effect to the coat (and his sleeves) and it's cast in a slightly open position, which gives it a sense of dynamism. Small servo-like mechanisms are also sculpted with some level of detail upon the arms and the chest piece is clearly mechanical - presumably part of his solar-powered cyber-armour.
His lower body is... interesting. He's wearing dress pants and a pair of nice shoes. Maybe he's an office manager by day. Who knows? It does look a little out of place at first but the look kind of works. One nice touch is that his thigh has a port into which his pistol can be slotted when he's not using it to threaten his underlings. Similarly, his two-handed blaster weapon fits neatly into his back port.
Articulation is fine and the coat is cast in such a way as to not inhibit movement too much. Joints feel sturdy but flexible and there are no issues with stiff - or loose - points of articulation.
Cobra Commander's paintwork is impressive. It's a subtle combination of black with a metallic red chest piece and some silver detailing. I particularly like the very subtle plum-colour used for the lining of his coat. It appears quite dark in shadow but when illuminated adds enough colour to give the sense of a lining, rather than the coat's interior simply being black. A dark wash sets off the chrome faceplate well and a very subtle, light grey around the collar finishes the look. It's all applied very neatly and looks great.
Cobra Commander comes with his own stand, two weapons (a pistol and a two-handed sci-fi blaster) and his Cobra banner, which is used - I assume - to rally people to his cause (note this is the same banner as featured with the HISS Tank.)
Paint is nicely applied to the banner, with the glossy red and gun-metal silver adding a lot to the piece.
Cobra Commander holds all his pieces well and can store the pistol and blaster on his thigh/back respectively.
Cobra Commander's new look isn't for everybody. I know a lot of purists are quite upset by this interpretation and it's one of the reasons you'll often find him sitting on the shelves.
As a Cobra Commander it's probably not the best but as a figure in its own right, it's pretty cool. The sculpt is nicely done, the paint is very good (a nice mix of subtle but detailed) and the chrome head is a really neat touch.
A ''classic'' Cobra Commander has been announced as part of the upcoming 2011 Wave 3. From the shots I've seen, he looks quite cool but I'm also a little disappointed to see the figure - and the line in general - slowly drifting back to the more ''characterised'' figures of the 25th Anniversary Range and earlier. Time will tell how it pans out, but for now, I'm very happy with my Cobra Commander as he is.