Wednesday, March 16, 2011

REVIEW: GI Joe: Pursuit of Cobra - Desert Battle Snake Eyes (With Timber)

Desert Battle Snake Eyes with Timber | Produced by Hasbro | Released August 2010

Snake Eyes is the GI Joe team's Ninja Commando. As he and his wolf Timber cross the sand, he encounters his enemy Storm Shadow. The Cobra Ninja is heavily armed, but so is Snake Eyes, with an electromagnetic railgun and PDV-2 personal defense variant weapons. Lowering his solar-modulating visor, he prepares for battle.

Desert Battle Snake Eyes... Again?
As mentioned in yesterday's Desert Battle Duke Review, the Pursuit of Cobra line was subjected to a number of changes from prototype to final release. One such change was that this figure - originally intended to be Arctic Threat Snake Eyes - was re-coloured and renamed ''Desert Battle Snake Eyes.'' Which would have been fine, except Hasbro released another Desert Battle Snake Eyes in the line's Wave 3.

Frankly I wish they'd stuck with the Arctic Threat theme (and colouring), as it would have made life a whole lot easier for everybody.

Packaging Shots

Desert Battle Snake Eyes With Timber
Desert Battle Snake Eyes comes with a bonus ''mini-figure'' in the form of his pet wolf, Timber (although how anybody knows its name is a mystery, given Snake Eyes isn't prone to talking. Any GI Joe experts want to field that one?) We'll cover Timber in the Extras section and for now, focus our attention on Snake Eyes himself.

This is - like the other Desert Battle Snake Eyes - the GI Joe Ninja in Commando mode, whereas the Jungle Assault Snake Eyes sees him in a more Ninja-y get-up. I personally prefer the Commando look for Snake Eyes, as I think Storm Shadow works well when he's in the more traditional Martial Arts garb and it defines the two well against each other.

The sculpt is really very good, even if there's not much going on. Snake Eyes is clad in thick, black fatigues with a heavy (removable) vest over the top (complete with popped collar.) There's a lot of detailing in the sculpt, with creases and folds in the cloth, pouches, armoured plates and even longer-length cuffs all giving Snake Eyes a very different look to how we've previously seen him.

The head sculpt is simple but effective. One nice touch is that his ''solar-modulating visor'' can actually be tilted open, thus allowing you to see Snake Eyes's upper-facial features. You can certainly see where he got his name from.

One thing Hasbro has done well here is provide carrying space for Snake Eyes' gear. Admittedly he's not over-burdened with weaponry (more on that below) but for once the designers have given us more than enough space. His jerkin includes two carrying hooks and his Katana sheath fits into his back port. The leg harness he's wearing also includes two hooks on the side, plus indents/kinks at the front and rear that also fit the weapons perfectly. Whether by coincidence or design, I don't know - all I know is they work and that's fine by me.

The only oddity is that his knee pads are rather large and - as a result - when his legs are bent their movement leaves some large gaps in his pants. It's not noticeable in every stance, but try making him kneel or crouch and you'll see what I mean.

Articulation is good. Despite the extra few millimetres of bulk his vest adds, it doesn't get in the way and he's quite flexible. His storage hooks/spaces are also well thought-out and don't get in the way too much, so there's a wide range of posing options here.

Paint - what there is - is nicely applied. A dry-brushing is used to accentuate the details of his jerkin, arms and knee pads and there's metallic detailing on his visor. It's all very cleanly applied and looks good, but I wish they'd gone with the Arctic Threat theme, where the prototypes showed his jerkin with some dark blue panels. It added some much-needed colour to the figure without making him day-glo neon.

Desert Battle Snake Eyes With Timber - as his name implies - comes with his pet wolf, Timber, plus four weapons, a Katana sheath (that fits into his back port) and his own stand.

Timber isn't poseable, but does have a ''biting action'' gimmick: move his tail and the connected head nods up and down. It's not great, to be honest, but I could imagine a kid having fun with it for a while. He's nicely painted (with some good facial detailing) and doesn't look out of place beside the other figures, which is a plus.

Snake Eyes' weapons - a ''rail gun'' assault rifle, two Uzi-style machine pistols and a Katana - are all well-produced. He can hold each without issue (including a two-handed grip on the rifle) and there's storage space for every weapon, excluding the rail gun. The firearms are all cast from black plastic but the Katana has a silver painted blade.

Final Thoughts
I'm torn between this Desert Battle Snake Eyes and the previously Reviewed version. Both are excellent examples of Snake Eyes as Commando, both have great accessories and both look great. I think I prefer this version over the other, though, simply because he's more tactile. When he's fully-loaded and posed, I don't worry about losing his gear should I wish to move him, which isn't something I can say about the other Desert Battle Snake Eyes.

It really comes down to personal choice and both would make superb additions to any GI Joe collection, even if it is not only another Snake Eyes but also yet another Desert Battle Snake Eyes.

I just wish Hasbro had stuck with the Arctic Threat theme.

Production QualityA-
Final ScoreA-

Image Gallery


  1. ya know the funny thing about these G.I.Joe figures is that they make them with so much hard wear accessories that you almost wonder how they could function with all stuff to lug around out in the field if these were real soldiers.
    but at any rate the flack jacket looks good on Snake Eyes. although i wish they had just stayed with the goggle ski mask look instead of the visor for Snake Eyes. i think the visor would be ok for certain mission specific needs but it's hard to imagine the character having this thing on 24/7.
    this reminds me of when the original line of Joe figures came out with the "swivel arm" joints which allowed for a more realistic two handed grip on their weapons and in general made them even more articulate. my friends and i at the time were pretty excited about it.
    i just don't understand how toy manufactures never picked up on the fact that the more articulate a figure series was the more likely it would be popular back in the 80s and early 90s. the only exception being figures that came from super successful genres like Star Wars and Marvel's Secret Wars series.
    i always thought it was kinda funny how the G.I.Joe universe seemed to have at least in general more interesting characters when it came to the villains then the good guys. also, who else that was a kid back then took the longest time to figure out that their was no actual G.I.Joe character or figure?
    saw the ROM/Micronaut posting looks good. good job on the write up too. i hope that bathroom painting project is coming along ok.

  2. Yeah, that's my biggest beef with a lot of them. OK, so they might have vehicles (not that there are many with space for passengers) but the amount of gear they clunk around in is at times quite silly. The other Desert Snake Eyes also has some weird straps between his legs, which I'm sure would get in the way in a fight. I dunno...

    No worries on the Fan Article! Thanks for the image and info.

    And the bathroom's mostly finished now. Until tomorrow, anyway. :D

  3. There are too many Snake Eyes figures! I love the character and all but they could of gave us some other ones like Jinx,Chuckles,Footloose,Falcon,ect. Just to have more and different ones to pick from.

  4. Yeah, or even if it had been the Arctic Threat one, it wouldn't have been so bad. They're both good but - as you say - it would be nice to see some other characters.


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