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

It's ironic that the Night Landing set has been on the collectors radar for pretty much as long as the "Concept Case" Flint, but in a Retaliation format, not in a vintage update way. Even packaged samples of an updated Night Landing have been seen going back a couple of years now. The tie-in to Retaliation made sense, especially with the "Cobra Special Forces" promotional campaign showing all of those Cobra Troopers riding black rafts down various bodies of water.

The first rumors were that the Night Landing was going to come with a figure tooled up based on the canceled Rise of Cobra Ripcord with the dive suit, and that would have made me quite happy, seeing as how that dive suit was an homage to Sigma 6. However, those rumors were apparently just rumors, and soon enough it was revealed that the figure would be a variation of the Cobra Eel. As time went on, the formula for the figure altered somewhat, but the vehicle itself remained consistent. It was going to be a vintage Night Landing with vintage accessories, plus a newly tooled footlocker filled to the brim with great weapons.

I'm happy to say that part remains, and remains in full effect.

The Night Landing itself remains the same vehicle that was originally released in the 80s, for better or worse. It's a nice, plain, small vehicle for Cobra water-based infiltrations, though this version is a black one rather than the classic blue (which comes with the retail version of the Danger at the Docks set). Everything here is the same as it was back in the day, including the radio, knife, submachine gun, oars, etc... what's neat about these accessories now, though, is that modern figures can actually hold them, when back in the 80s, the narrow "c grip" couldn't do it.

Now the main selling point of the Night Landing is no doubt the new footlocker and accessories. I'll be covering that in great detail at the end of the review.

Cobra Eel

The Eel is a great vintage figure, and one they did a very good job updating in the 25th Anniversary using the Torpedo base body. Well, we've come a long way since Torpedo, and I was happy to see the Eel is using more modern parts this time around. While he still uses the Torpedo torso, he now uses Retalation Ninja Duel Snake Eyes legs and upper arms, while maintaining the Eel lower arms. The result is that aesthetically he still looks like he's wearing a wet suit, but has better articulation, at least in the legs. The fit of the elbows is a little clunky, and he can't quite bend there as well as I'd like. Just from an appearance standpoint, though, things look good.

There are no newly tooled parts here, but I really love how the updated Eel works, it's far better than I thought it might be, purely from a design standpoint.

I find myself really enjoying these colors, too. They're not vintage accurate (that's saved for the non ComicCon release) but the black and red are a great combination. It's a darker hue than the standard Eel, but still meshes with both the Eel and the 25th Anniversary Cobra Diver as well, which is a very nice touch.

Accessories

The Eel comes with his familiar removable helmet, backpack, and air hose, along with the standard spear gun, flippers, and knives. One strange addition to this figure is that they kept Ninja Duel Snake Eyes' belt, I think with the idea that the holsters could work for the two knives (that went into the leg holsters on Torpedo's legs originally). The only problem is the left holster has no bottom, so you end up with a sharp knife hanging free right above his leg. Seems kinda dangerous, you know?

He also has the submachine gun that was released with several other figures recently along with the familiar shoulder armor that originated with the 25th Anniversary version. Like the original version, it doesn't stay on his shoulders exceptionally well, but it does all right.

One set of flippers this figure comes with are some terrific updated flippers that have an actual hinge in the middle and look spectacular. You don't realize just how dated the previous flippers look until you see these. I love them. I'd love them even more if they came with the Sigma 6 accurate dive suit they were originally slated to come with, though.

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.

Even without the footlocker, the Night Landing would be a great addition to this set...adding in the footlocker, it's a true no brainer. This is one fantastic set with a lot of great extra elements. Really great combination of characters, parts, and design work.

As a complete package, it's tough to find much to complain about. The Cobra Eel is an interesting reinvention of the classic Cobra diver, and the Night Landing (or Night Raft as its called here) is a fantastic infiltration vehicle for one trooper or a few. You can't go wrong with stocking up on Night Landings. Add the fantastic footlocker to that, and suddenly you have a high value set with many great parts and pieces. Whether you're able to score the ComicCon version, or even just the TRU retail version, it will be money very well spent.

GRADE: