The early look at G.I. Joe Retaliation continues, as we take a look at the head snake himself, Cobra Commander.
With the Rise of Cobra long past now, we bid farewell to the drastic change of Cobra Commander. G.I. Joe fans may have some issue with their movieverse, but if they’ve gotten one thing right, they decided to make Cobra Commander have a familiar silver-faceplated mask. Early trailers put our mind to ease with the sneak shots of the commander, and now, we’ll have a movie universe Cobra Commander figure with the silver faceplate, as well. As for the look of the helment, it’s a very detailed and ornamented black helmet with Pharoah-like Snake on the upper forehead, as well as two red eye-like spots on either side of the snake. If the black was considered the snake head, the faceplate should be considered the open mouth. Black fangs on the front top and bottom help convey the snake head helment.Instead of the smooth silver surface that G.I. Joe collectors are used to, the silver is segmented into three parts, an upper, left and right side. It still gives that chrome dome feel that collectors remember from the classic days, and that, I feel, is most important. The back of the helmet drops over the back of the neck, so you have full neck and head protection with the helmet. The outfit that Cobra Commander wears is more ornamental than tactical, he has a vest with a Cobra logo on the left breast. Honestly, it kind of looks like a bullet-proof vest, as underneath, he has a collared long-sleeve shirt. The chest is ribbed with detailing, and there’s a pouch on the lower right side. Cobra Commander has some sort of armored piece attached to his right upper arm, there isn’t a matching one on the left, so it does kind of make him appear unbalanced. Especially due to his soft good belt/bandolier combo, with the ornamental gold bands, also on the right side. The belt and bandolier have all kinds of pouches on them, the belt going all the way around, and the bandolier have three pouches on the front. The Commander has a near elbow length glove on the left hand, while only his right hand is black, with a strapped on armor piece on his right. A welcome sight, he has a functional holster that can hold his handgun, although, while initially pretty secure, once it broke free, appears to rest pretty loosely in the holster. Cobra insigniaed knee pads give the commander that much more flair, and padded tall boots finish off the look.
Cobra Commander is treated to the typical Retaliation articulation. Everything on the figure is standard G.I. Joe modern articulation, minus the knees down. The ball post head, ball hinge shoulders and elbows, the swivel torso, ball pin hips and standard swivel elbows are the norms. Just as a note, I was having issues with my Commander’s right hand, it kept popping off. Easy enough to pop back into socket, but it’s note worthy. This is where articulation changes, as we’re given a single hinge joint knee, and no ankle articulation. I don’t need my Cobra Commander to be hyper flexible… He’s not going to be doing backflips and ninja poses (but, oh, if the 90′s had their way with him…), so I’m okay with him not being super flexible. He’s balanced and flat-footed in the neutral pose, so that’s really all I ask (of any action figure, really), so the articulation cut is not a huge deal for me, personally speaking.
Honestly, other than the Joe Trooper, Cobra Commander comes with the best gun I’ve seen in these figures. A nice, small gray assault rifle looks great, and the gray really jives with the blue and black of the Commander. I like the detailing of it, the size, the fit in the hand, it’s a shame they didn’t treat Duke and Roadblock to a secondary, realistic weapon.The handgun is nice and detailed, as well. It fits comfortably in the hand, and doesn’t look too undersized, it at least makes the sale as a handgun for that scale. Then we come to the gimmick weapon, which is a Snakeheaded staff, that shoots a fireball like projectile. I do like the snake staff, although it’s a bit thicker and top-heavy than it needs to be. Having the Commander hold it with two hands really doesn’t work that well, but he can get a couple single handed poses pretty well. I don’t care for the firing mechanism, which is to tip back the head of the snake, it didn’t even fire a couple times. But I won’t lie, I will bag and forever forget the projectile, and just leave the Commander with the staff.
The Commander’s in a bit of a brighter blue, but it is nice to see a Cobra Commander that looks somewhat similar to our favorite childhood dictator. This is also a figure that doesn’t suffer from the articulation cut, although I’d rather have advanced wrist joints than ankle joints, honestly. The right light kind of blouses out a bit too much and looks a bit off, but otherwise, the figure is a FUN figure. You have no doubts in your mind who this is. Strangers looking at it will know who it is, if they’ve at least seen the vintage line. If you have a G.I. Joe movie figure collection, this is a Cobra Commander that you need. The helmet also harkens to the IDW Cobra Commander, so it’s definitely some fodder for customs if you’re wanting to make the new Commander. He looks like a villain, if you want a bad guy in 1/18th scale, you could do far, far worse than this figure. Pick him up!