G.I. Joe: 30th Anniversary - Cobra Commander (G.I. Joe: Renegades)

The minute that G.I. Joe: Renegades artwork appeared at SDCC in 2010, the G.I. Joe fandom was in an uproar over the animated style of the characters.  There were valid concerns about how the toys might be constructed with character models so obviously different than what we had seen in the past.

Would the figures be hyper-animated?  Would they fit in with what we’ve seen so far?

Well, over the next several months, through many sessions of Q & A and various convention trips, Hasbro themselves seemed to be going back and forth, before finally settling on a more realistic sculpting style for the figures, yet still trying to retain that animated “spirit”.  In my opinion, with Cobra Commander, they did the best job of merging the two.
The real question is…  is that a good thing?  I think it is, but others have disagreed.

I think Cobra Commander from a sculpting standpoint is very nice.  He’s got a nicely elongated torso that resembles his tall, lanky appearance in the cartoon, and his half-covered face is extremely reminiscent of his pale, ghostly appearance throughout the first part of the Renegades series.  However, while the rest of the initial wave of G.I. Joe: Renegades figures seemed to go much more into the “hyper realism” department, Cobra Commander remained with a touch of animated style, and ends up conflicting somewhat with the rest of the assortment.

But you know…I’m not sure it bothers me that much.  Just looking over the past several years of G.I. Joe, you already see widely varying aesthetic choices…super realistic Pursuit of Cobra figures, brightly animated G.I. Joe: Resolute figures, and pretty much everything in between.  Does one mildly animated looking Cobra Commander break the bank?  Not to me.  Especially since his secondary head is so cool, and will most likely be my default.  With that head, I think he fits in seamlessly with the rest of his Wave 1 brethren.

From what I can tell, Cobra Commander is largely new tooling.  He has the legs from the G.I. Joe: Resolute version (which in turn borrowed from the Anniversary tooling), but the other parts and pieces look to be new.  He’s got great range of motion in his arms, however I was a bit bothered that his hands ended up spread so far apart from holding weapons in the package.  They are relatively soft, though, and so far I have been able to squeeze them together in order to take the pictures in this review.

I love the colors of this figure as well.  Instead of the bright blue, we get a much more muted, more “realistic” blue color, actually somewhat of a hybrid blue/gray that works very nicely.  It still is quite obviously Cobra Commander colors, but a bit of a different look than we’ve seen in the past.

Coming from someone who has grown used to the Pursuit of Cobra gear layouts, Cobra Commander’s accessory compliment seems sparse in comparison.  He has a very small pistol, a familiar snake staff, a coiled cobra, and of course his secondary head sculpt, which is awesome.  I know there were vocal complaints about the half-covered face that he sported throughout most of the G.I. Joe: Renegades series, but when he started wearing the battle helmet, things got very cool in the cartoon, and I think the figure looks great with that helmet as well.  Much more of a Cobra Commander than the other, though I am very happy Hasbro included the other, since he did look that way throughout the majority of the animated series.

The end result is a figure which isn’t perfect.  His legs are a bit restricted by his coat and he doesn’t come with a whole lot of gear, but his upper-body articulation is great, his resemblance to the animated model is shockingly accurate, and I’m thrilled to have him in my collection.

Not nearly as thrilled as I would be if I had confidence that we’d be getting Mindbender and The Baroness to go along with him, but something is better than nothing, I guess.


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