Wednesday, March 16, 2011

REVIEW: GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra - Snarler Cycle with Wayne ''Beachhead'' Sneeden and Rollbar

Snarler Cycle with Wayne ''Beachhead'' Sneeden and Rollbar
Produced by Hasbro | Released August 2009

The Snarler Cycle is a high-powered bike that combines speed, maneuverability and fire-power into one compact machine. It's perfect for urban combat situations that can challenge all but the most skilled drivers with tight turns, small spaces and congested surroundings. A gunner operates the missile launcher from the sidecar, allowing the driver to focus on pursuing his quarry.

Beachhead is a member of the GI Joe team and a former Army Ranger. He has led numerous direct action missions and specializes in urban combat operations. His expertise proves invaluable when he must race through Paris to recapture the deadly Nanomite weapons before they are unleashed.

Rollbar is a mobile weapons specialist for the GI Joe team. Experienced in urban combat and close quarters battle, he takes part in a motorcycle chase through Paris to recover the Nanomite weapon technology from Cobra operatives.

Packaging Shots

Wayne ''Beachhead'' Sneeden
Well, there's quite a lot to get through in this Review, so let's start with Beachhead. This Beachhead is a repaint of the 25th Anniversary version of the character and - I'm informed - even comes with the same equipment (see Extras below.)

The sculpt is pretty interesting, with plenty of pouches and details. I like the way his sweater has a cabled-effect to it and there's quite a lot going on when you examine the figure.

Unfortunately, I'm not sure about the model's proportions. His arms seem quite skinny and when he's being posed, the joints feel very weak. I was genuinely worried I was going to snap-off his arm and that's not good. The figure's flaws don't end there. His hip-mounted holster doesn't hold his pistol (and no, I didn't mix the handguns up!) and the backpack slot - intended to hold his rifle - doesn't work too well, either.

Articulation - aside from the arm issues - is fine, although he does tend to splay his legs when bent at the hip, making it a little difficult to get him into the sidecar. Indeed, even when standing upright, his feet seem widely planted. 

Paint is well-applied and nicely designed. There's a nice camouflage effect to his pants and the details on his uniform, such as grenades and his beret, are cleanly highlighted.

There's not really much else to add, though. This Beachhead is a pretty generic GI Joe and if you've seen any figure from the line, you'll probably be familiar enough with Beachhead, too.

On the other hand, Rollbar is a very eye-catching figure.

Again, he's a repaint (in this case, of Sgt Airborne) and is another urban combat specialist - hence the grey and black camo.

The sculpt is well-produced, with some lifelike creases in his fatigues and, although he's not wearing any kind of ''stand-out'' parts in his uniform (with some head-swaps he'd be a great Army Builder), he's bizarrely a more visually-interesting figure than Beachhead.

Over his camo fatigues he's clad in a short-length vest (which doesn't restrict movement at the waist) and a set of leg harnesses. There's some great detail here, too, with a variety of weapons, plates and pouches decorating the figure. His leg-mounted holster holds his pistol well and his hands are nicely grippy.

I especially like his jacket detail, with its lifelike elasticated cuffs. I know that's an odd detail to pick-out but it's nice to see Hasbro paying attention to details like that.

Again, articulation is fine and there are no problems with Rollbar's joints. They feel much sturdier and stronger than the elbows of Beachhead, which is good to see.

Paint is very well-applied. The camo looks great, details are picked-out cleanly and best of all, his face looks pretty lifelike. His skin-tone is a more natural colour than Beachhead's and the detailing on his eyes and facial features is well-applied.

Snarler Cycle
Just like Beachhead and Rollbar, the Snarler Cycle is a game of two halves.

The bike itself (which can be detached from the sidecar) is superb. I love the sportier design of this bike compared to the Ram Cycle (which I always thought had all the styling of an Eastern Bloc motorcycle) and it just looks so much less toy-like than the other bike. Although it's only a single-seater, it's designed to accommodate the rider well. He can sit on the seat and have both feet on the pegs quite comfortably and without looking perched upon it.

The tires are made from rubber, a rarity in GI Joe toys, and they look great. They roll cleanly and in a touch missing from the Doom Cycle, the front forks can be twisted, meaning this bike can go around corners and there's a fold-down stand on the underside, so the bike can still be displayed without the sidecar. In terms of ''articulation'' it's definitely a winner.

Paint is nicely applied, with the basic grey and black being augmented with red details. There's also a silver painted headlight. A piece of clear plastic would have been a nice touch here but this works pretty well, too. The app is very cleanly done and there are no messy lines or splodges.

The sidecar on the other hand, looks like something from the Victorian era. Despite the sleekness of the nose, the remainder of the sidecar is a clunky, squared-off, bolted-together mess. Sidecars have and never will be cool and this not only does nothing for the cause but actually sets it back.

Everything that's here functions well-enough. The wheel spins nicely and the underside casters allow it to roll along with the bike (it can't operate independently though) and the clip-on rocket launcher is a nice touch, with the firing button actually being the scope, but it's just like some kind of cast-iron bath chair. Even the seat padding looks like something from a Chesterfield chair.

Paint is, thankfully, well-applied. The black and grey theme is continued, with - again - red detailing and it's all where it should be so at least that's something it's got going for it.


Beachhead comes with a removable vest, backpack, pistol, assault rifle and crossbow. Rollbar comes with a removable vest, backpack, pistol, assault rifle, helmet and pre-cut clip and collect card. I wish all Joes came with their cards like this, as it's much neater than the regular cards will ever be, no matter how carefully you cut...

Their weapons and accessories are all nicely painted, with Beachhead's backpack and Rollbar's rifle being the real stand-outs, although the helmet is also a cool touch. There's also a missile (in gold plastic, for some reason) that fits into the sidecar's missile launcher.

Neither figure includes a stand.

Final Thoughts
Rollbar and the sidecar-less Snarler Cycle are great. I wish Hasbro had just released the two together as a Deluxe Figure set rather than saddling them with the forgettable Beachhead and lackluster sidecar, as that would have been a much better deal. Not that there's any reason you can't simply ditch the sidecar and display Rollbar with the bike alone, something I'm seriously considering.

The thing about both Beachhead and the sidecar is that there's not really that much wrong with them. They're not terrible. They're just very underwhelming and really add nothing to the set. Perhaps Beachhead by himself would be fine and it's simply the bike and Rollbar both being so good that's making him seem weaker by comparison. I don't know.

The Snarler Cycle is definitely worth picking up, if only for Rollbar and the bike. Of all the smaller-scale vehicles, I think it's the most fun. Just don't expect too much of Beachhead or the sidecar and you'll certainly enjoy owning this vehicle.


Production QualityB-
Final ScoreB-


Production QualityB+
Final ScoreB+

Snarler Cycle
Production QualityA-
Final ScoreA-

Final ScoreA-

Image Gallery


  1. Now i like this set! Its the perfect size for me because of the limited space i have and you get two figures so its a win i would say.

  2. It is. As I say, the Beachhead one isn't so hot (nothing wrong with him, but not much to get excited about, either) and the sidecar is a bit limp, but the bike and Rollbar are great.


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