G.I. Joe: Resolute - Snake Eyes
Back in the day (like, oh six months ago) I unconditionally labelled this figure as the best 3 3/4" figure of the last ten years. I don't see a whole lot here to make me change my mind.
This figure is essentially the same exact figure as we got in the fifth wave of the Rise of Cobra figures late last year, and remains one of my all time favorites. Very rarely are toy designers able to totally update a characters look, yet still retain all of the vintage elements and style that made the figure great twenty-five years ago. Somehow, even with almost a total uniform revamp, Hasbro and Titmouse did just that with Snake Eyes for G.I. Joe: Resolute.
Since I've already spoken the wonders of the tooling in my review of City Strike Snake Eyes, I don't feel a need to continue dwelling on the positive with this review as well, since my opinions are probably perfectly clear at this point. So I should probably merely focus on the differences and figure out if the differences make this figure better, worse, or just different.
First and most obvious is the paint scheme. Where the initial release of a Resolute themed Snake Eyes had a share of gray and purple, the black pants was quite a departure from the Resolute look. For whatever reason, Hasbro went with that color pallet, whether it was just to break up the gray a little bit, or because an earlier piece of art looked that way, I'm not sure, but whatever the case, the figure had much darker pants.
With the boxed set version, Snake Eyes goes gray all the way down, and ends up being considerably more accurate to the animated model. Not only that, but the purple is toned down quite a bit, his face mask is more one color, and his goggles are now green.
Why green? Well, during Snake Eyes' dive scene towards the island, his goggles actually turn green to help him with night vision. I think it's an awesome touch.
So, yeah, seeing the two figures side-by-side there are a lot more paint differences than one might initially realize. Is either one better? Tough call. I think purely from an aesthetic standpoint, I like the color scheme of the "City Strike" version better, just because it mixes things up a bit more. However, from the point of view of accuracy to the source material, the 7-pack version has the clear edge.
This is another difference...and in this case, the edge, I think, clearly goes towards the 7-pack version.
Where City Strike Snake Eyes had an oversized grappling hook backpack, the new iteration carries the spring-loaded glide wings that were initially slated to come with Pursuit of Cobra Storm Shadow. I love this. A great homage to the aforementioned "dive scene" and even if the uniform doesn't necessarily match the pseudo-wet suit he wore in the cartoon during that point, I love having the option of the backpack.
Snake Eyes can also tote around his familiar machine gun, but a quick look at his back reveals that he has a totally new sword and scabbard! One much smaller and more show-accurate than the previous version was. I'm excited to see this, too, and is a terrific improvement. One additional note on the machine gun...it's not the same assault rifle he came with previously, it's an all black repaint of the standard Resolute machine gun, but it's still a cool one.
All in all, I think there are plenty of positives for both versions of this figure...heck, technically there are three versions with the Target Rescue Set, but I'm trying to focus on the ones purely based off the Resolute look.
Sure, I can understand why folks might get irked about Snake Eyes' inclusion. In truth, I think the set would have been perfectly fine without him. The City Strike version looked enough like the animated model that this figure feels a little redundant. But we all know how marketing works, and I have a feeling in order to even get these sets made, certain concessions were agreed to, and that's most likely why you'll find Duke, Snake Eyes, and Cobra Commander included here, even though two of those three figures might have been unwarranted.
So, it's kind of tough to grade this figure. Graded on the pure coolness of the toy, he should get five stars. Graded on the fact that I'm not sure he really needed to be included in this set, he should get less. Eh, split the difference? I hate to detract from the awesome new accessories that came here, or the improvements in color scheme, but there does seem to be at least some unnecessary redundancy here, and the grade's gotta reflect that, no matter how awesome the figure is.