G.I. Joe: Retaliation - Cobra Commander

Ahh, Cobra Commander... at one point the bane of every Joe collectors existence during the 25th Anniversary line, Hasbro took the failed template for the classic Cobra leader and updated it in every important way to give us pretty much the trademark version of ole Snake Face in a modern format.

While he borrows the head from the Battle of the 80's boxed set, many elements of the figure are updated for this new figure, giving us the same familiar look, but with much improved sculpting. The torso joint is far more seamless in this Cobra Commander figure, as are the wrist and ankle joints. He's got the added articulation, and a terrific bulk to him that makes him a far better figure than his 25th Anniversary predecessor, yet still maintains an almost perfect vintage look and feel. I can see this figure being the perfect compliment to a figure like the canceled Destro, a figure we saw in the Convention Concept Case last year. Very vintage themed, but with all of the modern tooling and construction required to make it work with modern figures and not look so dated.

The colors are excellent here as well, with a pretty rich blue and black, avoiding some of the baby blue unrealistic issues of the original 25th Anniversary version.


Like Storm Shadow, this update of the classic character has a large vintage-themed backpack, this one designed to look like the FANG Gyro-Copter with the trademark red missiles, black coloring, and deco. I have to admit I absolutely love this helicopter backpack. I'm really thrown back in time to those packaged motorized backpacks, and even though this one isn't motorized, the size, the look, and the feel just send me reeling back in time. Pretty awesome. The backpack features a push-button activation making the helicopter blades twirl, and a swing-out bomb dropping mechanism with a couple cool blue bombs included.

The Commander also has a spare hooded head, which is probably the best hooded head we've seen in the line, a knife for his sheath, and an updated laser pistol.

I don't feel like I'm talking on and on about this figure, mostly because there isn't much to talk about. This is the classic Cobra Commander we've all wanted for a long time, I believe, and even though we've received countless versions of this figure over the years, this is the one that brings it all together perfectly. I can appreciate that some folks are bothered by the fact that the head sculpt isn't new as early images seemed to indicate, but beyond that minor hiccup (and honestly I love the Best of the 80's head sculpt anyway) I can't find much to complain about here.