Less than a month after reviewing the Figure Subscription Service version of Billy, I’m back with a review of another long-overdue action figure release in the form of Pythona, the evil Cobra La assassin!
I can honestly say I wasn’t sure this day would ever come…I figured Pythona was too obscure for Hasbro to produce, and would be too costly for the Collectors Club, and would be forever stuck in some weird limbo of never-produced action figures.
I’m very happy to say that I was wrong, and equally happy to say that despite cost and tooling limitations, the Collectors Club might just have nailed this one. Check out my full review over at the G.I. Joe Collectors Club review page, or the direct link below.
Is this real life? Only two weeks ago I got done posting my review for Billy, a figure G.I. Joe fans had been waiting for for nearly thirty years. Now here we are taking a look at Pythona, Cobra La’s notorious infiltrator and assassin, a character who made her debut in 1987 and just barely received treatment in plastic form.
My history with Pythona is a weird one. While I actually enjoy the 1987 G.I. Joe animated movie more than most other people I know, at the time of its original airing, I absolutely hated Pythona. I still remember watching cartoons after school as I always did, when an advertisement for G.I. Joe: The Movie came on. Completely out of the blue, not something I knew was coming at all (back in those innocent pre-Internet days) and I was immediately enraptured. I’d already seen Transformers: The Movie and was still living off that high, and my mind went crazy with all the possible angles they could take in a G.I. Joe movie with the same production values.
The opening sequence blew my 13 year old mind, and afterwards, the entire infiltration scene with the Terror Drome was absolutely amazing. A dark cloaked figure tearing through the COBRA ranks, burning dudes with acid, tearing open walls with nasty claws and being just a general bad ass. Again, my mind went crazy considering who this could possibly be and what awesome character was doing all of this cool stuff.
When it was revealed to be Pythona, my initial reaction was pretty much… “who?” Here we had COBRA the most nefarious terrorist organization in the world essentially decimated by one person, and it was someone I’d never heard of and someone I couldn’t own as an action figure. Back then, and still to this day, my love for G.I. Joe and many toy brands is tightly focused on how the surrounding mythology supports the characters, and here was someone who had zero action figures I could play with to live out these incredible adventures happening on screen. It kinda made me mad.
My opinion softened over the years, and I’ve grown to really appreciate Cobra La and Pythona, and she became a figure that I really and truly wanted almost above all others. Her and Billy pretty much stood atop a drastically shrinking mountain of G.I. Joe and Cobra characters who never got action figures, and now within the span of a month, both of those check boxes have been checked.
I’ve said many times throughout the years that I didn’t think the Club would ever do Pythona simply because they wouldn’t be able to do her “right”. The texture of her costume would require significant new tooling and would be prohibitively expensive, but thankfully last year I was proven wrong when the Club announced that she would be the 2016 incentive figure. Now, when I heard they would be mostly mimicking the pattern of her uniform with paint, I was pretty dubious as to how well it would work. I’ve seen plenty of customizers try that over the years (myself included) with iffy results.
Holy crap was I proven wrong.
Now, the Club did invest in new tooling here, going with a new head sculpt, new hands, and what looks like a possible new upper torso for Pythona, but they went with paint for all the shaped circles and ridges in the uniform and it works spectacularly well.
Pythona herself is a mixture of existing parts for the legs and arms, with the Reactive Armor Scarlett lower torso, but the new upper torso, new head, and new hands go an incredibly way towards making her a very unique and deserved update to the missing Cobra La member. Her head is a gorgeous sculpt and features a removable ponytail so you can tuck the cloak’s hood up over her head, a little touch that is really awesome. The ponytail does have a tendency to fall out of her head, but the look of the figure is terrific, and that feature is a welcome one.
Her slim build and impressive articulation allow for all sorts of great poses and movements, allowing us to put her in all sorts of great “infiltration” positions. The newly sculpted hands are terrific, too, and while she can’t really hold anything, the trade off of those long fingers and fingernails is well worth it.
I’m happy to say her paint applications are nearly perfect as well, with dozens of those shaped circles all throughout the paint of her body, very closely matching the color pallet of the animated model and managing to look extremely realistic, even though the mold of the figure isn’t textured to match. Color changes are subtle throughout and excellently applied, really bringing the figure to life nicely. I can’t think of too many complaints at all when looking at the figure’s build, paint, and articulation.
I will admit there isn’t much here as far as accessories go, though I suppose Pythona doesn’t need much. She comes with a great cloak, which may be a newly developed soft good, and it works nicely, fitting over the figure, with the hood coming up tightly around the head (once the ponytail is removed). It adds some great aesthetic to the figure and in some ways I’m really glad Pythona was made now instead of 1987, because I seriously doubt the same effect could have been maintained back then.
She also comes with a foot stand and the same tentacle accessory that Nemesis Immortal came with several years ago. It somewhat replicates one of her nasty hand-held weapons, so it seems like an okay choice.
I had my doubts that we’d ever see Pythona as an action figure, and even if we did see her, I suspected the end result would be less than ideal. I was proven 100% wrong on both counts, and I’m exceedingly pleased with this figure, and am now firmly in the “Modern Era Cobra La please” camp. Like with Pythona, I can’t really think of any way Golobulus or the Royal Guard could be done without some significant new tooling, but maybe, like Pythona, the Collectors Club will find a way to surprise me. Considering the news from JoeCon that their relationship with Hasbro has been extended until at least 2018, that would be a terrific capper to their illustrious convention career.
It only makes sense that within the furious whirlwind of G.I. Joe news over the past week, Pythona’s arrival would make its way in there somewhere.
Over on HissTank a G.I. Joe Collectors Club member from Florida reveals that his 2016 incentive Pythona arrived in his mailbox. Keep your eyes out, everyone! Between this, possible ComicCon reveals, and JoeCon about 10 days away, business is about to pick up!
So it’s March 16th, and for the past several years that’s meant the cut off for signing up for the annual membership to the G.I. Joe Collectors Club. This year is no different (though next year is looking drastically different).
One major difference, though, is that this year the Collectors Club is offering up Pythona as the incentive figure for signing up! This is HUGE. Pythona has been a long in demand figure since her first appearance in the 1987 G.I. Joe animated film and to celebrate the final sign up day, they’ve released some awesome new images of the upcoming figure over on their Facebook page.
I love that you can detach her ponytail to put the hood over her head, and I’m really pleasantly surprised at how effective the figure looks with paint deco representing the raised pattern of her uniform. The new head, hands, and upper torso definitely help as well.
Check out the images below, and if you want this figure, I strongly recommend joining the Collectors Club! After 2016 is over, I suspect this figure will be in MAJOR demand and will be very difficult to come by.
At any given time throughout 2015 it felt like a pretty slow news year for G.I. Joe, but as always, when you stop and look back, suddenly things don’t look quite so small.
Granted G.I. Joe product at retail was pretty much focused to a singular burst in late summer as the 50th Anniversary exploded, then faded, even though we got Convention product and FSS figures earlier in the year. With all that being said, it still feels like there were plenty of “banner moments” in G.I. Joe news for the year that was.
News was breaking right up until the last moment, and I’m actually a bit worried that if I post this prior to December 31st I might end up missing something!
Click the “read more” link below to check out the full list!
Ohh yeah… I’ve been waiting for this one ever since it was announced at JoeCon earlier this year. Finally, after 28 years, for the first time ever, we’re getting a Pythona action figure!
Cobra La is a polarizing element of the G.I. Joe mythology, but fans at large seem to be unified in the fact that Pythona was a necessary addition to their G.I. Joe collections. Well, the Collectors’ Club has officially filled that void, and filled it pretty darn nicely.
Featuring what looks to be a new head, new hands, and possibly a new cloak (or perhaps the comic pack Storm Shadow cloak), most of the heavy lifting is being done with very intricate and detailed paint applications.
I’m pretty surprised with how nice it looks. I had some concerns that without significant new tooling this figure couldn’t be done right, but based on the Photoshop mock up at least, those concerns were for naught. This is a great looking figure, and it will feel fantastic to finally have Pythona in my display.
Check out the image below, and keep watching GIJoeClub.com for all the details. If you want Pythona, make sure you’re a member of the G.I. Joe Collectors Club as of March 16th. You’re not gonna want to miss this one!
We’ve had a nice few day break from the whirlwind of G.I. Joe: Battleground Events, but according to DeNA, that break ends today!
It was hinted at a while ago, and today it’s official… Cobra La is back!
I love how they have built up this story over the past few events with Snake Eyes infiltrating Cobra and stealing documents, and Cobra trying to recover those documents, and now the existence of Cobra La is out in the open and its up to Falcon to stop them before it’s too late.
Wrath of Cobra-La Event Description
Thanks to the courageous efforts of Snake Eyes and other Joes, the Joes have discovered that Cobra-La did not perish as originally thought and that the threat of a Cobra-La resurgence is very real. Using data obtained from Shipwreck’s commando raid, the Joes were able to pinpoint the Cobra-La’s revival to a remote region of the Himalayan mountains. Now the Joes gather their most elite squads for an all-out assault on Cobra-La’s clandestine operation.
Are the Joes ready to face the dangers of Cobra and Cobra-La’s forces in their underground burrows and put an end to return of this ancient evil race?
I’ve been on the ARAH Old School bandwagon for a month or so now, mostly based on what I’ve heard and read on their forum. Well, we now have a glimpse of some of the great sculpting work going into these figures, and I can say without hesitation that this will totally be worth my hard earned money!
Over on the forums they have now revealed some images of Pythona, the Cobra Sniper, and the Iron Grenadier Sniper…and they are fantastic. True vintage o-ring beauty. Check out the mirrored images below, and if you’re not a member yet, for crying out loud, go join!
A scant twenty-three years after it’s initial broadcast, the infamous G.I. Joe: The Movie hits retail shelves today on Blu-Ray or DVD. Produced by Shout! Factory, the movie finally rounds off the long awaited process many fans have gone through waiting for the entire collection of Sunbow features to be released to mass retail on DVD.
The ’87 animated movie will forever be a point of contention and talking point among the G.I. Joe fandom, so don’t miss your chance to own this DVD today.
GeneralsJoes will be reviewing this in its entirety very shortly, but trust me when I say it’s worth a look. It holds up surprisingly well over two decades after it initially aired. Granted, I thought it was pretty damn cheesy back then, and these days I’ve learned to better appreciate the finer arts of Sunbow ham, but I still don’t think you’ll be disappointed. If for nothing else, Buzz Dixon’s excellent commentary.