G.I. Joe: 50th Anniversary - Night Landing Raft w/ Cobra Eel (Danger at the Docks)

Where the ComicCon release of Danger at the Docks had the vintage themed Flint/VAMP, and a more modern interpretation of the Night Landing and Eel, the regular TRU release does the opposite. We get a new concept for Flint and the VAMP MK II, but the Eel and Night Landing end up being a throw back to the "good old days". It's interesting that Hasbro went this route, but judging by many collectors' needs to have modern updates to their vintage figures, I can see why they would do it. The way they did it, if collectors want modern updates of all vintage designs, they need to buy both sets. Frustrating for fans, I can see that, but a good financial decision for Hasbro in the long run, I estimate.

The Night Landing appears to use the same tooling as the vintage, not that there are many moving parts, but instead of black, this version is decoed in blue like the original. The color is nice, and works well with Cobra, using the classic blue and red color scheme. Instead of using decals, the Cobra symbol and "878" are tampoed directly on the raft surface (the ComicCon version was the same) which is a neat touch.

All of the various compliments to the Night Landing remain the same, with the black machine gun, oars, engine and engine cover, radio, and shovel. It's basically the same deal, only in blue for those folks who want their vintage Night Landing redone.

Cobra Eel

Using an interesting formula of parts, the Cobra Eel has many throwbacks to the original (and the 25th Anniversary version) but adds several new elements from more recent figures. Keeping the familiar Torpedo torso, but using Retaliation Ninja Duel Snake Eyes upper arms and legs, the figure still looks sleek and as if he's wearing a dive suit, yet has some nice enhanced articulation. There are still some minor issues with elbow range of motion, but beyond that, the more detailed sculpt work and articulation enhancements are welcome additions to the Cobra water trooper.

While the rocker ankles still turn some folks off the wrong way, the added wrist movement is a definite good thing. As folks can tell, too, this Eel uses the more traditional gray, black, and red paint scheme that puts it fully in line with the classic, and I can see why they went this way in the mass version, too. One might think that fans are more likely to troop build the classic Eel, and at least this way, that classic Eel is more available to them so it's a little easier to buy multiples.

ACCESSORIES

Like the ComicCon version, this Eel comes with a plethora of accessories for both old school and modern interpretations of the trooper. He's got his classic helmet, backpack, flippers, and speargun if you prefer the '85 load out, but he also has the more modern hinged flippers (which are freaking awesome) and submachine gun. The two knives are there, too, but present the same issue as the other version, where the sharp blade swings loose in one of the sheaths and looks pretty dangerous!

Also included in this set as a really nice added bonus is the same weapons locker that the ComicCon version had which almost makes this worth the cost of admission itself! For consistency sake, I am going to simply copy and paste the description of the weapons locker from the ComicCon review, because it's exactly the same as the ComicCon version. Again, big thanks to Boss Fight Studio founder and former Hasbro designer Dave Proctor for spending some time with me to answer some of the questions in regards to the weapons included in the footlocker.

BELOW IS COPIED FROM THE COMICCON REVIEW -----

Weapons Locker

So far I've covered the Night Landing, and I've talked about the Cobra Eel...but there's one more piece to this set that has a lot of fanboys drooling. Yep, the Weapons locker. I'm giving that its own section because I really wanted to cover all of the different weapons that come with it. Something that folks might not realize as well is that many of these weapons have significant changes when compared to previous versions. Some of them are even all new! The reasons for some of these weapons are varied...some of them the Hasbro design team just wanted to improve or change something. For others, they had been removed from a previous figure for cost reasons.

I was fortunate enough to be able to speak with Dave Proctor, former sculptor for Hasbro, and he gave me the low down on all the changes that we see with these guns, and other accessories...keep in mind this was a phone conversation, and I might have missed some details. Any inconsistency is my fault, not Dave's.

Click the images to see them larger

Scope Removed
Added Silencer
Removed top handle, improved grip
Grips changed

 

Road Pig (removed for cost)
Significant changes
Silencer Added
Slight cosmetic differences

 

Unchanged - Wanted it in black
Unchanged
Unchanged
Unchanged

 

PoC Clutch (removed for cost)
Battle Kata Roadblock (removed for cost)
Ret Zartan (removed for cost)
Originally came with a Wolverine figure


Unchanged

Another great element from these footlockers is that there are two holes and two pegs so the lockers can be "stacked". The pegs are also the same size as figure foot holes, so someone can stand on the locker if you so choose. These are great adjustments and a very cool assortment of new weapons.

END OF THE COMICCON REVIEW COPY -----

If you're a vintage purist, you'll love the Night Landing and Eel in this set, and even if you're not they're pretty cool additions, especially with the weapons locker. While there have been some heavily discussed QC issues in this set and throughout the 50th Anniversary line, they have managed to keep costs down, which makes sets like this a great value as well as a lot of fun.

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