GeneralsJoes continues the 2016 Con Set reviews with the COBRA ADDERS!

Ah, G.I. Joe and COBRA, they really loved their acronyms.  It seemed like every other vehicle in the A Real American Hero line sported a cool name made up of other words.  Well in that way the COBRA A.D.D.E.R.S. fit right in.  The Aerial Deployment Daredevil Elite Recon Squadron is made up of some great characters and 90s troops, including my personal favorites – the Air Commandos.

Today I’m reviewing all five members of the COBRA A.D.D.E.R. team from the boxed set.  You can check out the review at the G.I. Joe Collectors Club Review Page, or the link below.  I also have done a video review which you can see embedded below.

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G.I. Joe Convention 2016 Sky Creeper

AirborneAirwaveAltitudeDrop ZoneSkydive
Static LineAir DevilBlack VultureFlying ScorpionNight Vulture
Sky CreeperCloudburstSkymateHeli-ViperAir Raid
FreefallSky SweeperSkystrikerHydra w/ Aero ViperJUMP Jet Packs
Con Set Recap

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Where you have the Air Devil and Night Vulture, you simply must have Sky Creeper. This guy was an anomoly to me as a kid, an exciting and vibrant looking character with the trademark 90s colors who I just could not figure out. His flat out bizarre sloped and pointy helmet and those super thick pads on his legs just looked strange, and while I loved and appreciated the character of Sky Creeper, the figure itself fell far below the other two
Air Commandos on my favorites list.

However, this modern update takes those elements that I did love and pulls them up into the 21st century in some great ways.

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First of all, the newly sculpted head is great. I’m surprised that they invested serious tooling dollars in a head like this that would be very difficult to use with any other character, but I’m glad they did. It’s a nice rejuvination with twin cameras on each side, and a slightly less pissed off face sculpt going on there. Don’t get me wrong, I love the Sky Creeper’s perma-scowl, but at some point you have to figure he’s going ot have to
close his mouth and not be snarling at everyone.

The Retaliation Snake Eyes torso works nicely here along with the Ultimate COBRA Commander arms. Like in the old days, I’m not quite figuring out the thick pads on the legs, and these Jungle Snake Eyes legs really leave me cold. I understand they’re reminiscent of the vintage look, but those weird gaps in the thighs and the strange texture of the pads themselves just don’t work for me, and I wouldn’t mind if they were retired in favor of some kind of new engineering.

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From a color perspective, Sky Creeper is just what you’d expect, chock full of teal and yellow, and I still can’t get my head around the whole Air Commando color scheme concept. None of these guys are color matched in any kind of way, and they seem much more like three groups of individuals who happen to be working together rather than an actual cohesive team developed from the ground up. Still, even though the colors feel completely distinct and separate, I love them each for what they are.

Accessories

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Sky Creeper follows the Air Commando trend, equipped with the awesome color-matched wingsuit, his COBRA logo the winged COBRA of the Night Vulture. His stark, yellow webgear is the one that came with Retaliation Snake Eyes and I love, love LOVE it. Some of my favorite webgear ever produced, and it’s used to perfection here. He also sports two submachine guns to round off his great group of weapons and gear.

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Sky Creeper is terrific. While I often considered the vintage version to be the weak link in the Air Commandos, this version stands at the head of the class in spite of the legs. Although I am struggling a bit to figure out the command structure. Sky Creeper has always been the Air Commando leader, and the group was pretty small. But now we’ve got Black Vulture, Flying Scorpion and Sky Creeper. Do these tiny Air Devil and Night Vulture groups really need sub-commanders? Ah, probably not, but the two figures are flat out awesome, so we’ll roll with it. Sky Creeper certainly looks worthy of leading the charge.

To check out a video review of the COBRA ADDERS half of the Convention set, watch below!


G.I. Joe Convention 2016 Cobra Black Vulture

AirborneAirwaveAltitudeDrop ZoneSkydive
Static LineAir DevilBlack VultureFlying ScorpionNight Vulture
Sky CreeperCloudburstSkymateHeli-ViperAir Raid
FreefallSky SweeperSkystrikerHydra w/ Aero ViperJUMP Jet Packs
Con Set Recap

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Could the Collectors Club have worked this out any more perfectly? Really, it’s almost as if it were meant to be.

When I first discovered the online G.I. Joe community in the late 1990’s, YoJoe became my home away from home as it did for nearly everyone. The website and the mailing list quickly drew me in and what completely fascinated me was this concept of foreign figures that I had absolutely no idea even existed.

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Back in my childhood days, I was the resident G.I. Joe expert. If my friends wanted to sell their Joes, they called me. If they found a pile of discarded weapons and didn’t know who they went with, they called me. I knew it all. But when I discovered this whole world of South American (and European for that matter) G.I. Joe and COBRA characters that I didn’t know about, I was instantly captivated, and especially captivated by Abutre
Negro and Escorpaio Voador. We’ll talk more about Flying Scorpion later, but what was so intriguing about these figures was that in Brazil, they actually mixed and matched some parts and created this whole new person. They weren’t just paint variations or the same characters with different file names, these were completely new creations and I loved that.

I have no doubt these guys have been on top of many collector surveys for many years now, and considering Black Vulture was a Sky Patrol figure down in Brazil, including him here lines up perfectly.

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Not to mention the fact that one of the COBRA Air Commandos is Night Vulture, and this character’s name translates as Black Vulture. Again, it’s almost like it was meant to be.

So not only did the Club make a genius call with the character, but the execution is spectacular. His head is from the Renegades COBRA Trooper, which works pretty well, and they went with one of the Rise of COBRA Accelerator Suits for the torso, with the paint applied just right to approximate the look of the raised COBRA logo on the chest. Beyond that distinct pattern of red, the rest of the figure is a striking contrast of black and silver, all applied to expertly developed parts. G.I. Joe: Retaliation Snake Eyes arms are great, and I always support the use of Pursuit of COBRA Beachhead legs. The filecard developed writes Black Vulture as some kind of next generation computer hacker, so the technology strapped to the leg makes sense as well. From head to toe, Black Vulture is terrific. If I had any complaints it would be that the black and silver color scheme doesn’t necessarily jive with the Night Vulture, who this guy is supposed to be the leader of, but to be honest, I’m thrilled that they just maintained the classic color scheme rather than try to work in purple or orange somewhere that would look way out of place.

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If I had to dig around for a complaint, it would just be that the sloped back of the torso does keep the jetpack from sliding down the post all the way, which can cause it to fall off somewhat easily.  This is a minor complaint in the grand scheme of things, but it should be noted.

Accessories

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The Club hit a home run with pretty much every accessory compliment for the COBRA A.D.D.E.R.S. and Black Vulture is no exception. He has that wonderful jetpack that was initially released with the Pursuit of COBRA Skydive, a nice, different look from the wingsuits of the other Air Commandos.The color scheme of this jetpack matches him very nicely and he has the winged COBRA logo on each wing.

Along with the jetpack and removable bombs he’s got a great, jagged blade knife and machine gun which he can hold to perfection.

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Black Vulture was an early infatuation of mine when I discovered the online International world of G.I. Joe and I’m thrilled that the Collectors Club has given him a modern update. Not just a modern update, but a fantastic modern update. Excellent all around.

To check out a video review of the COBRA ADDERS half of the Convention set, watch below!


G.I. Joe Convention 2016 Cobra Night Vulture

AirborneAirwaveAltitudeDrop ZoneSkydive
Static LineAir DevilBlack VultureFlying ScorpionNight Vulture
Sky CreeperCloudburstSkymateHeli-ViperAir Raid
FreefallSky SweeperSkystrikerHydra w/ Aero ViperJUMP Jet Packs
Con Set Recap

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As much as we all complain about it now, in the late 80s and early 90s, ninjas were freaking awesome. I still remember going to my local video store and renting Enter the Ninja, Revenge of the Ninja, and countless other ninja films all interspersed with the Hand in Daredevil, the Foot in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and of course Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow. Back then ninjas were pretty awesome.

It was for that reason that the Night Vulture held an immediate appeal. Many folks seem to think this figure is based off Snake Eyes with the skintight mask, commando goggles, quilted vest and martial arts weapons scattered throughout. I think that’s certainly possible, but all I knew as a younger collector was that in spite of his resemblance to Snake Eyes, Night Vulture was a completely new entity and he was pretty damn great.

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Yes, the figure was sprinkled with healthy amounts of purple and orange, and as such would never be able to sneak around steathily at night as a ninja should, but with the nunchuks on his legs and the all around excellent figure design, I could get past that. As one might expect, based on what we got with the Air Devil, this update is executed to near perfection as well.

The base figure here is the 25th Anniversary ’89 Snake Eyes update which is probably one of my favorite 25th Anniversary figures, which is why I don’t mind that the somewhat dated parts are being used here. The head sculpt, I believe, is from the Steel Brigade Delta figure, which looks sort of like a Snake Eyes update, but not exactly, which makes it the perfect use here, as we get a head that looks reminiscent of the goggled commando, but not like any actual Snake Eyes release we’ve seen to date. It’s a very nice update to the Night Vulture original.

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Over the purple base body we have an orange version of the MARS Trooper vest, which honestly I’m not a huge fan of. This vest is thinner and less detailed than many more modern vests, but considering the skin tight nature of the vintage version, it’s a look that works. Not only that, but with it being so thin, the double trench knives fit nicely over it. The purple color is dark and muted and meshes nicely with the black, and even where
the orange sparks things up a bit, I don’t mind.

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As a whole, the Night Vulture is a quality update to the vintage version. There are some differences, of course, but those differences work.

Accessories

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As I mentioned, Night Vulture comes with a removable vest and the twin trench knives, which is a great touch. Like the Air Devil, he has the Resolute wingsuit, and he also comes with a crossbow. I do kind of wish he came with some kind of firearm, but I know the classic version only came with a crossbow, so I understand why they did it that way. The accessories are all well chosen and make sense.

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Night Vulture was a favorite of mine back in the 90s, and this update does nearly everything right. Even using the 25th Anniversary parts gives us a figure with decent range of motion, a really nice paint deco and just the right amount of new flair. I’m not sure I like this guy quite as much as the Air Devil, but he’s a quality addition to any JoeCon collection, and I’m ecstatic to get him in modern style.

To check out a video review of the COBRA ADDERS half of the Convention set, watch below!


G.I. Joe Convention 2016 Cobra Air Devil

AirborneAirwaveAltitudeDrop ZoneSkydive
Static LineAir DevilBlack VultureFlying ScorpionNight Vulture
Sky CreeperCloudburstSkymateHeli-ViperAir Raid
FreefallSky SweeperSkystrikerHydra w/ Aero ViperJUMP Jet Packs
Con Set Recap

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Even back in the old days (if one can consider 2000 – 2002 the “old days”) I was infatuated with 90s COBRA army builders, and the Air Devil was near the top of that list. The Air Devil was that rare breed of COBRA trooper in the 1990s that had a great design as well as quality colors, decked out in classic black and red, a color pallet that was appealing to G.I. Joe fans of all era’s. In a year when many of his fellow COBRA operatives were roaming around in purple, pink, and yellow, the Air Devil stuck with the classic black and red, and as such became a big favorite of mine. As I’ve said many times, my love for the 90s figures isn’t necessarily because of their bright colors, but in spite of it. I didn’t have to worry about that with Air Devil.

Now, obviously with such a love for the classic figure, I was a little hesitant when I heard the Club was revisiting these soldiers, because I was worried that these modern versions wouldn’t be able to live up to the classics.

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Well, I’m happy to say I was wrong. The Collectors Club took all of the cool elements of the Air Devil and brought them forward in intriguing ways, but also managed to inject some of their new style, and it all comes together pretty spectacularly. The majority of the Air Devil is made up of the fantastic Pursuit of COBRA Jungle Viper, which has that unique quilted style uniform that looks like a great update to the vintage COBRA Air Commando.
The splits of red and black are perfect, and the silver pouches are a great link back to the grenades that the classic sported on his thick quilted chest. The arms here are the Pursuit of COBRA Alley-Viper which are great, and I never get tired of the removable knife on the wrist.

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Where the original Air Devil had a clear plastic mask that flipped down over a mostly exposed face, the new version goes completely covered, which was an excellent idea, especially considering the goggles of the alternate Ultimate Duke head are a good match for the classic. Joints are nicely poseable and the figure feels exceedingly well put together. All of the great colors and design aesthetics of the original are represented here with some excellent updates, and this feels like a true evolution of the original rather than just a carbon copy.

Accessories

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COBRA Air Devil is a terrific figure and he comes with great accessories. To mimic the look of the original, he has the head piece with clear facemask, along with the Retaliation Snake Eyes firearm that I love. He also has the removable pistol and knife from his ankle holster and wrist sheath.

But obviously the focal point accessory here is the wingsuit. Originally released with G.I. Joe: Resolute Snake Eyes, the Collectors Club repurposes here for their COBRA Air Commandos, and it is wonderful. Each wingsuit is color matched to the requisite COBRA air trooper, and the appropriate COBRA logo is decoed on the cloth surface of the wings. Air Devil’s wingsuit has the unique Air Devil logo with the COBRA and arrow tail, and it’s a great look. I absolutely love the concept of this wingsuit, and they executed it spectacularly well.

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Air Devil is a fantastic introduction to the COBRA A.D.D.E.R. team. Great colors, excellent figure build and nearly flawless accessories bring this figure into the 21st Century with plenty of vintage throwbacks, but a nice helping of modern twists. Great, great stuff.

To check out a video review of the COBRA ADDERS half of the Convention set, watch below!