Monday, March 21, 2011

REVIEW: GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra - Snake Eyes (Paris Pursuit)

Snake Eyes (Paris Pursuit) | Produced by Hasbro | Released 2008

Ninja Commando.

Packaging Shots

Snake Eyes (Paris Pursuit)
One of the earliest GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra tie-in figures released, the Paris Pursuit version of Snake Eyes is a toy with some redeeming features, but ultimately it's not the best the line has to offer.

The sculpt isn't bad, but it's not particularly interesting, either. The problem is that there's not much really going on. It's a guy in a trench coat and some stuff on under it and... yeah. It's odd, given that Snake Eyes is a fan favourite and most of the previous Snake Eyes releases have been quite cool.

The trench coat - although technically an Extra, as it is removable - is the real stand-out piece of the figure. There are some nice details such as fasteners and a sword harness (which also acts as the securing point to hold the coat in-place) and even stitching along the edges of the coat. There's also a nicely-sculpted hood, which is (sadly) thrown back, away from Snake Eyes' head.

Speaking of which, the head takes after the body more than the coat. It's a dull rendition of Snake Eyes, a featureless visored piece of plastic with no character. The visor may be lifted to reveal... more nothingness. This is probably the weakest part of the sculpt and although it may be close to the movie version, that doesn't make it good.

Articulation is slightly problematic, due to the trench coat. It's fairly inflexible so getting him to kneel whilst wearing it is impossible. His knee joints are also odd (at least on my figure) - bend at the knee and the knee-pad goes with the shin, leaving a large ''chunk'' missing from his lower thigh/kneecap. It just looks very odd. Everything else is fine, though.

The figure is cast from black plastic and the only paintwork appears on his silver-bladed sword and a couple of gun-metal details on the harnesses he wears. It's all very cleanly applied but I'm left on the fence about it. On the one hand, he needs more paint and colour to make him pop, but on the other the very underplayed colouring works well. I think I like it, but I'm not sure...

Snake Eyes comes with his pet wolf Timber (a non-articulated piece.) Although it's nicely painted, the sculpt looks as if it has an injured paw and I can't help feeling it looks like something from a farm animal set.

He also comes with a dagger, pistol, assault rifle, Katana and sword sheath. It's possible - with a bit of creativity - to get him to carry all his gear, but I was disappointed to find no holster/knife sheath on the figure.

Snake Eyes also comes with his own stand.

Final Thoughts
I know Snake Eyes is supposed to be a Ninja and be stealthy and shadowy, but this bland sculpt - combined with the downplayed paint and colouring - don't make him particularly interesting to look at. The real problem though is there's simply no character about this figure. Yes, the trench coat looks nice and the solid black minimalism is kind of cool, but he looks more like some kind of faceless Goth-Viper Army Builder figure than Snake Eyes - one of the most popular characters in the GI Joe franchise.

With that said, though, he is a stand-out figure, for all his drabness. There's something quite bold about the total use of black that makes him catch the eye and although not a great toy, as a display piece he's quite interesting. I'm left puzzled over how I feel about this figure. The more I look at it, the more I like it but I really dislike the head sculpt, lack of articulation and general blandness of the figure's details.

At the end of the day, unless you can pick him up cheap (as I did - $3.99) he's really one for the collectors and die-hards only. Don't expect too much from it and you might like this figure. Just be prepared to be left a little cold by it.

Production QualityB
Final ScoreB-

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