Last time I said we were moving on to a controversial character for me and that is indeed Snake Eyes. Why? Because I hate how he got perverted into some kind of ninja. F’cking Ninjas! Why did you have to get your hooks into GI JOE? I know a lot of people dig Ninjas. They ruled the late 80’s and early 90’s. Being accused of not liking Ninjas back then was akin to being named a Communist in the McCarthy Hearings. [Post your hate comments below!] But now I feel I can speak out. GI JOE went too far with the Ninjas and turning Snake Eyes into one of them was a big part of it. When I got my Snake Eyes figure back in the early 80’s the File Card told me he was a Commando and I always used him as some kind of bad-ass tactical specialist. This guy would repel down walls and shoot up the place with his Uzi. Sure it says he knows a lot of martial arts, but that doesn’t make him a Ninja. Until it did. Maybe Commandos are just 20th Century Urban Ninjas. Either way, I always preferred my Snake Eyes to be gunning people down rather than getting into sword fights. Well, nearly 30 years later it’s all a moot point now, so let’s just take a look at the figure.
25th Snake Eyes is downright amazing. While many of these figures feel like they are straddling the old and the new, in 2007 this Snake Eyes gave us a clear and defined preview of the kind of awesome figures that would lie ahead in the 30th Anniversary Collection. What really elevates this figure is all the gear and accessories that Hasbro loaded onto him. That’s not to say what’s underneath isn’t superb. This is classic Snake Eyes through and through, right down to his awesome BMX-style Commando mask and all his tactical gear. He’s got all enough sculpted pouches and pockets to make Rob Liefeld jealous and on top of that he has a separate sculpted set of web gear. When I first saw this figure I was absolutely beside myself with how much Hasbro packed into him.
The articulation here is nearly identical to Duke only with the arms almost completely fixed. The swivels have been relocated from the forearms down to the wrists where they belong. I still wish the ball joints in the shoulders gave a greater range of motion, but what we have here is still loads better. Had Hasbro just slapped some swivel cuts into the thighs, I’d have no other complaints.
As for the accessories, Snake Eyes is loaded out as a one-man killing machine. First off, you get a satchel of explosives, which looks way too good to be on a 3 ¾” figure. The detail on the satchel and strap is amazing and it has tiny painted green lacing and “EXPLOSIVES” printed across it. It does add quite a bit of bulk to the figure, so I prefer to leave it off, but that doesn’t make it any less welcome. It’s always nice to have an explosives satchel to toss into the open canopy of a HISS Tank while the driver is off taking a piss.
Next up is his signature Uzi submachine gun. It’s a great little weapon, although the stock does sometimes get in the way of him holding it. That having been said, the arm articulation does allow him to hold it with both hands, which is impressive since it’s so small. Duke could barely hold his huge M-16 in both hands. That should show you how much better the arms on Snake Eyes are designed.
What do you do when your explosives are blown up and you’re Uzi’s out of ammo? You whip out your automatic pistol, of course. Snake Eyes pistol fits into a functional holster on his left hip and is perfectly for secretly executing Cobra prisoners… I mean, defending himself… yeah… defending himself.
Of course, when Snake Eyes is sneaking into a camp and needs to dispatch guards without making a lot of bang-bangs, he has his trusty combat knife. The knife fits into a functional sheath on his right thigh and it’s a very nice piece for this scale. Notice what Snake Eyes doesn’t come with? A bloody Ninja Sword! And that’s the way I like it!
In case you haven’t guessed by now, I absolutely adore this figure and it is without a doubt my favorite Snake Eyes in the scale. That’s saying a lot, because Snake Eyes has had a ton of figures devoted to him and many of them have been quite good. Unlike Duke and Scarlett, 25th Snake Eyes represents a bigger departure from his vintage figure, but that’s mostly because Hasbro had the ability now to load him up with gear and I think they made the right choice. I could never get tired of playing around with this guy and even now I want to set up a little Cobra camp full of troopers for him to single-handedly kill. Tomorrow… we’ll keep this JOE train running with Gung-Ho!