G.I. Joe: Retaliation - "Cobra Invasion" Cobra Invasion Trooper

It seems so strange to me that the two G.I. Joe: Retaliation themed "Cobra Troopers" that we have received to date have looked considerably different from the actual "Cobra Trooper" who will be appearing in the film. Of course, we are getting the "Cobra Combat Ninja" in Wave 3 in May, but it still is a somewhat strange state of affairs when Cobra Troopers are not the Cobra Troopers that will be in the big budget Hollywood feature hitting theaters in less than 30 days.

That being said, I'm sure there are Joe fans who are happy about that, as many of them prefer G.I. Joe a bit more organic and a bit more true to G.I. Joe and not "Hollywood-ized".

This particular version of the Cobra Trooper should look familiar to fans out there who were into the Pursuit of Cobra line. It is, of course, a blow-by-blow repaint of the Cobra Shock Trooper. The Shock Trooper was an excellent action figure, all told, even if it was famously non-Cobra like (at least in my opinion). It certainly looks as though Hasbro designers went over the SWAT Breacher concept with a fine tooth comb, and the figure design is exemplary. It just seems almost too "real world" to be Cobra.

But as I said, purely from a design and execution standpoint, this figure is fantastic. Intricate, almost flawless sculpting. Detail work like crazy, from the draped face mask to the bulging chest, right down to the finely wrinkled and tucked pants legs. This figure is so fantastic that it spawned parts for many other figures down the line, and you won't hear me complaining. He's got the new wrist articulation, the great baggy uniform, and has all of the fantastic qualities of the original Shock Trooper, only in a red color scheme.

I think most fans who collected G.I. Joe in the early 2000's have expressed a mild resentment for Crimson. It seemed like every other Cobra figure released throughout the first part of this century ended up with the crimson treatment at one point or another. It hasn't been quite so evident in recent times, so this figure isn't so bad for using that age old concept, but I would have almost rathered he be done up in a more traditional "Cobra" blue (since the previous version was so dark). That being said, the figure looks pretty cool in red, with the gray trim. Not very covert, especially for being a paratrooper/infiltrator, but with the black vest and helmet on, he blends in well enough.


Folks familiar with the Cobra Shock Trooper will be ultimately familiar with the accessory compliment as well. This figure has the same helmet, guns, goggles, facemask, and vest as the old school Shock Trooper. Hmm... did I just call a 2 year old figure "old school"?

As an added bonus, he's got the parachute pack (in black) from the Wave 1 G.I. Joe: Retaliation Cobra Trooper and the parachute, too. A fun added accessory, to be sure.

No, there's nothing startingly new or different about this figure, even with the accessories. He is pretty much a Cobra Shock Trooper with a parachute pack and colored red, but he's still a pretty neat looking Cobra army builder. I almost wish Hasbro had gone all out and made him even a little bit different shade of red to blend him in better with the Alley-Viper. That would have created an awesome sense of cohesion in Cobra's ranks, instead they look close, but just enough different to not work quite perfectly.

While undoubtedly Firefly is the star of this set, this trooper figure certainly isn't bad, and could provide some encouragement to folks who want more reasons to stock up on Fireflys.