Thursday, September 15, 2011

REVIEW: GI Joe 25th Anniversary - Cobra Trooper

Produced by Hasbro | Released 2008

He's one the the nameless, faceless infantry troopers in the vast COBRA army. These ground fighters have given their allegiance to COBRA COMMANDER (but just until someone more powerful usurps the head snake). The majority of these troopers come from the countless criminals and lowlifes that are found in every shadowy corner of the world, eager for a chance to wreak havoc on a grander scale and enticed by the promise of rich plunder. They are highly skilled in various weapons, qualified in the use of explosives, and experiences in the martial arts.

Packaging Shots

25th Anniversary Cobra Trooper
With the Cobra Trooper making an appearance in the 30th Anniversary line (even if he is a re-release of the Pursuit of Cobra version) it's as good a time as any to take a look at an earlier version of Cobra's grunt, in the form of this 25th Anniversary release.

I'm going to try to avoid too many comparisons with the modern figure but given that there's already a Review of the Pursuit of Cobra/30th Anniversary Cobra Trooper on the site it's difficult not to draw some parallels, so forgive me if I do occasionally make them.

The figure's basic sculpt is actually very good. His basic uniform features an assortment of fold-details and pockets, which are all nicely modeled. There's also a working knife ''holder'' I guess would be the word, that can be used to carry his knife/bayonette. Whilst the 30th Anniversary figure retains much of this design, it adds a more modern take. As I mentioned in the other Review, I'm not a fan of this figure's collar, as it reminds me of a school or Boy Scout uniform but despite that, it's certainly well-sculpted.

The basic figure's sculpt is augmented with a webbing/combat harness that features a pop-closed clasp at the waist and a (molded) pistol in a holster along with an assortment of belt pouches. Although it's not as complex (or large) as some of the other vest pieces seen in the GI Joe line, it works well and adds a nice depth to the figure.

The head sculpt is a little nondescript, which is fine though, as he's supposed to be a ''faceless minion.'' The bald head and mouth scarf combo here is the same as that found with the Cobra Bazooka Trooper (indeed, the figures are - a few accessories aside - identical.) 

Articulation is pretty good overall. Granted it's not as advanced as the set-up seen on the more modern GI Joes but it's still much better than, say, the Marvel Universe line of figures. My Cobra Trooper had no problems griping his weapons and joints were nicely mobile without being slack.

The Cobra Trooper's paintwork is simple but effectively applied. There's some nice detailing on his boots, kneepads, knife sheath and harness, both of which include a cleanly-applied silver buckles/fasteners. A Cobra tampo is present on his sleeve and chest and although it's a clean app, the paint on his face could be better. My Cobra Trooper looks a little cross-eyed. That aside though, it's a neat application.

The Cobra Trooper comes with his own base, an assault rifle, removable helmet and harness and a combat knife/bayonette.

His choice of equipment isn't particularly inspired but it's functional enough. He grips his weapons without any issues, although the rifle feels just slightly too bendy for my liking and I could imagine it becoming warped quite easily. The helmet and harness both fit well though.

Final Thoughts
It's always difficult to ''back-track'' to an earlier version of a toy, especially when the newer version is so good. However, aside from his retro-styling (both in terms of articulation and appearance) there's really very little to differentiate this figure from the Pursuit of Cobra/30th Anniversary Cobra Trooper. And given how good that figure is, that's high praise indeed.

OK, his uniform isn't as detailed or streamlined as the modern figure and no, he's not as finely articulated as the 30th Anniversary figure. But if you're a fan of the Cobra forces - especially from the earlier releases or the animated shows - then none of that matters. This is a very cool, albeit simplistic, figure that looks good, is nicely produced and is a great nostalgia piece.

He may not be the most complex or detailed of toys but he's certainly a very cool addition to any collection.

Production QualityB+
Final ScoreB+

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