Snake Eyes is the Spider-Man of the G.I. Joe franchise. Literally almost every wave will have a Snake Eyes variant of some kind - Arctic Snake Eyes, Commando Snake Eyes, Bushido Snake Eyes, Flying Grappling Hook Snake Eyes, Sunday Morning Barbecue Cookout Snake Eyes, Anxiety Attack Snake Eyes with real therapeutic sessions, etc. This is why most Joe collectors suffer from what is called "Character Fatigue." With every announced wave, you will hear a collective sigh from Joe collectors who don't want more than one definitive Snake Eyes on their shelves.
Thankfully, I have never experienced this as I am not really a Joe collector. However, because of the pseudo-militaristic look of the Pursuit of Cobra line, I thought it'd be nice to own a 5 or 6 man squad. Snake Eyes just had to be there, and when I was picking out which one I want - one that looks awesome and iconic - the choice was easy to make - Commando Snake Eyes!
Snake Eyes has always played the line between being a military commando and a ninja. The Pursuit of Cobra figure leans towards the commando side, evident by his commando head part, while giving his ninja side enough room to shine. In fact, this particular figure gives you the option of making him go full commando (*snicker*) or full ninja; just pick a head and the proper accessories.
The Pursuit of Cobra line has pretty cool packaging because you can see everything the figure has with nothing in the way. It also has pretty nice card art.
Not much to say about this; it's pretty standard stuff, but what I like most about it is the way the accessories are arranged.
You can clearly see each accessory, neatly arranged, in their own little pocket. I especially like the way the katana are partially unsheathed to show them off. Each gun and each suppressor get their own slots, which I think was pretty cool. With this many accessories, seeing them organized very neatly makes it look manageable. We'll talk about his accessories more later.
Snake Eyes is usually a very plain-looking character, being an all-black garbed ninja. This time around, they found ways to make Snakes more interesting. Let's start with the head.
The commando head has those goggles and breathing holes sculpted in. The ninja head has the iconic visor, which does look a little plain. To make it a bit more interesting, they added furrowed brows to give him that angry/ constipated look.
His torso is a knitted sweater that doesn't look very ninja-y but is very detailed and gives a militaristic vibe. On the sweater, there are a couple wrinkles here and there and a shoulder pad on both sides. Other than those design elements, that's pretty much all there is to it, which is fine because it is normally covered up by his fantastic webgear.
Snakes' webgear just looks fantastic. It has various buckles, pockets, clips, straps and two hanging harnesses made from real elastic. Considering the size, this thing is amazingly molded.
Snake Eyes' arms have the same knitted texture with pockets on both arms. The gloves are sculpted in nicely with knuckle bumps.
The legs are far more interesting than Snake Eyes' upper body. He's wearing cargo pants with a holster that can hold a pistol with a suppressor. On the same holster, there's a loop that one can fit another suppressor. Beneath that is another holster for another knife. On the other side, there's a pocket purely for aesthetics. He has knee pads just to break up the pattern a bit. The boots are pretty standard military boots, but with nicely sculpted in laces.
Snake Eyes has always been a flat black character and it suits this figure very well. Hasbro put in some effort to make some parts pop out, though. The commando head has some gloss on the goggles. On his right arm, he has the Arashikage symbol, and on his left, the new G.I. Joe symbol. The apps on both logos are crisp and clean. His knuckles are gray, and so are his knee pads.
The pants are shinier than the sweater. It's subtle but it looks great.
My only gripe is the ninja head. I wish they had painted the visor a lighter shade of black/dark gray. This has been the case for previous Snake Eyes figures; why not this one? Of course this is easily fixable, but we all know I won't go through that much trouble.
He has the standard G.I. Joe points of articulation. Ball joint neck, shoulder, torso, single elbow, twisting wrists, hinged wrists, pegged thighs, double knees, swivel and hinged ankles. What's interesting are the hinged wrists - the move up and down instead of left to right, which makes for fantastic sword and gun poses. This is the new gold standard for Pursuit of Cobra figures and I hope they keep that in all future figures and integrate it into Marvel Universe figures who need it.
Snake Eyes is a pretty agile guy, because the dude's a freakin' ninja. Thankfully, none of his accessories get in the way of his movement, not even his webgear.
"..." - Snake Eyes, 2012
Okay, this is where it gets awesome.
He comes with:
- An extra head
- A pair of katana with a scabbard each
- Two knives
- A satchel for explosives (like his 1980s version!)
- An Arashikage notched sword
- A pistol with suppressor
- FN SCAR assault rifle
- Uzi with suppressor
- Pistol with no suppressor
- Figure stand
He doesn't have accessories as diverse as Low Light or Lifeline but he has the more practical ones. Also unlike Low Light, he can't have all his accessories on him at all times not unless you get creative. And by "creative," I mean you will put shit where it shouldn't be.
The head pops off and can be replaced no problem. What you use really just depends on which one you like better. Removing the webgear was trickier than expected. It's so tricky, in fact, that I can't describe it. I still can't figure out how I was able to get it off and put it back on. It opens up on one side then you kinda slide it out somewhere, and you need to get his feet out. One tip, though - take the head off. It makes it easier.
Snakes' swords fit perfectly inside his scabbards, and those have pegs that fit into holes on the back and near the waist on his webgear. They fit snuggly but they rotate freely to avoid restricting possible poses.
His two knives fit into holster/sheathes on his webgear shoulder and pant leg. He can hold those very well, too. The Arashikage sword doesn't fit anywhere on his body, but you can have him hold it. Because of the color and the weird shape of it, I wasn't all that drawn to it though I imagine a bunch of collectors love it.
His guns are awesome. One pistol has a removable suppressor and it fits in a holster that also accommodates the suppressor. The other pistol is a standard pistol that looks like a Beretta, but I couldn't tell for sure. The Uzi comes with a suppressor, too, even though it looks weird with it on. The other gun is the FN SCAR, which just looks amazing. He can hold all the guns very well.
Out of all his accessories, the biggest disappointment is the satchel. It's too damn stiff, and it can't really fit anywhere. Putting it over his shoulders looks awkward. Looping it around his neck is way too weird. Making him hold it makes him look like he's got a purse. Throw that shit away, you won't need it.
Value for money
I got this figure off the shelf from a specialty shop so you can imagine how expensive they'd get. These were never released for retail in the country. They came in sets along with the rest of the wave, which made getting it very expensive. I think I paid about P1000.00 for it, and with all the accessories it comes with, I'd say it was worth it.
If you're looking for a default Snake Eyes that has that iconic look, you may want to opt for another figure. This Snake Eyes is in a league of his own but doesn't look like the ninja most Joe fans grew up. If you're looking for a redesigned Snake Eyes with a more militaristic feel, then there is no better figure. Get this one.