City Strike Cobra Shock Trooper | Produced by Hasbro | Released December 2010
Shock Troopers are an elite tactical assault unit in Cobra. They prepare for every situation with gear to subdue the enemy and breach buildings and barricades: ''Sanbat'' shock-and-neutralize electroshock batons, high-impact ballistic body shields, sledgehammers and gas masks.
One of the harder-to-find GI Joe figures lands on our doorstep - Review incoming!
Cobra Shock Trooper
The Cobra Shock Trooper is very popular among collectors, thanks to its role as an ''Army Builder.'' Essentially the figure is anonymous enough to be displayed alongside the same toy without anybody noticing, an ability further enhanced by the equipment options on offer. We'll look at those later, but for now, let's start with the core figure.
The Cobra Shock Troopers uniform is a mix of riot police and SWAT officer attire, with a bulky set of dark blue - and very life-like - fatigues topped with a bullet-proof combat vest. There's a nice menace about the Shock Trooper, especially with the full-face mask in place (see Extras below.)
The sculpt on the core figure is nicely produced. The fatigues - as said - look lifelike and there's a multitude of folds and creases to make them look like real cloth, which works well. Armoured pads and pockets are also sculpted onto the body, giving the fatigues a detailed look.
The head is especially well-modeled. Although it initially appears to be the standard Beachhead scuplt, the balaclava mask is actually different, being a full head and neck scarf. Even without any form of headgear, this is still a very cool looking sculpt.
Articulation is fine. The figure moves without too many problems, although details on the vest's left side (some ammo pouches) can very occasionally get in the way when you're posing his arms close to his body. The head is also slightly restricted due to the hood but again, it's nothing to really be too concerned about.
Paint-wise the figure is superb. The details are picked-out in black and a lighter blue against the dark blue of the uniform fatigues and there are Cobra logos on his chest and arms. Nothing here is done to excess - it's a very subtle paint-job that initially could be mistaken for being drab but upon closer inspection, you spot the detailing.
ExtrasAs stated, the Shock Trooper is a popular Army Builder. I can see why, as the core figure itself has enough anonymity to make the Trooper appear a faceless minion and the included accessories allow for a lot of variation. Let's run through what's in the pack.
The figure comes hooded, but there are also a number of headgear options. The helmet (which retains echoes the original Cobra Soldier helmet) can be worn by itself. Or with the included goggles in-place or on the top. Or with the full-face guard. It's a very flexible approach and allows for a lot of customisation. Both goggles and face mask feature clear purple plastic lenses, which is a very nice touch. The only minor issue I had though was getting all the pieces to stay in-place. The goggles tend to not quite fit on the helmet and the mask has a habit of popping out if you're not careful. Just be aware of this when dressing the figure.
Arms-wise, he comes with a shotgun, an assault rifle, an SMG, a pistol, his Sanbat (a kind of Nunchacku) and a sledgehammer. The weapons are all good, on the whole, with the Sanbat being particularly well-designed - a C-shaped connector allows the two pieces to be clipped together for storage. I like that.
There's also a riot shield, which is probably the highlight of the inventory. Cast from clear plastic and with ''rivets'' to hold it in place, it looks real and is an unusual piece for the series, so it lends an extra air of the unusual to the Shock Trooper without breaking the impression of realism.
There's a tiny walkie-talkie radio that clips neatly into his vest and the figure also includes his own stand.
Equipment is nicely painted, although most pieces are cast from black plastic. Where there are details though - such as on the SMG - they're cleanly applied and don't break the real look of the figure by using garish colours or over-the-top designs.
I know I've mentioned it already, but this figure is a superb Army Builder and I can understand why people buy them by the armful (even if it does leave fewer figures for you and I...) However, the lifelike look of the Cobra Shock Trooper is the real winner for me. I love the down-to-earth look of the uniform and weaponry. He looks like a SWAT trooper or counter-terrorist agent rather than some kind evil comicbook henchman.
If there's one criticism it's again, the old too much equipment vs not enough storage space deal. For the sake of a couple of belt hooks and a holster, it would be possible to store all of his gear on him. I like that there's a hook on his vest's back that can be used to slide weapons into but I'd have liked to see just a couple more spots for equipment.
Still though, it's a great-looking figure that comes highly recommended and although he is a little generic (which is the point) Hasbro has still managed to produce a very interesting figure with a great lifelike look and some superb equipment options.