Oh, Diamond Select PVC Statues, why can’t I quit you? It’s probably because they almost always go on deep discount and become some of the best value statues out there. But it’s usually the Marvel and DC Galleries that trap me, and now they’re doing GI JOE. I’ve had my eye on Destro for a while and was about to pull the trigger, but when I found the Limited Edition variant version was going for even less, I decided to go for Pimp Daddy Destro instead of the regular flavor.
DST does a nice job with these boxes, giving you windows top, front, left, and right to let plenty of light in. Combine that with the figure being in a clear clamshell tray and these display pretty damn well in the box. The front has the GI JOE logo, along with the explosion background and “COBRA ENEMY” logo from the vintage toy packages. This one is a PX Exclusive, and I have no idea what that means, other than it’s limited to 3,000 pieces and has foil tape on the top flap to indicate such. But all in all, this is just a recolor of the regular retail release. Everything here is collector friendly, and Destro just requires his rocket blast part to be attached to his arm to get him ready for display!
Destro’s Pimp Daddy look will never replace his more iconic costume as my favorite, but I still like it a lot. His black costume is switched out for a maroon one with some bitchin leopard skin panels on his hips and the interior of his collar. Also, the head is gold instead of silver, the briefcase is gold instead of black, and while the original statue had him splashing through blue water, it’s now some kind of contaminated green sewage water. But putting aside the new coloring, I think the pose and composition of this statue is just absolutely fantastic in the way that it tells a story. Destro’s secret meeting place has been discovered by the JOEs, and he’s escaping through the sewers. JOE fire stirs up the water as he returns fire with one of his wrist rockets. But at least he secured the case with the payment! This piece just has so much energy, and it looks like it’s ripped straight off the cover of a comic book!
The sculpted detail is quite nice, with Destro himself being fairly ripped, and showing off some great muscle definition under his suit. Close scrutiny shows stitching in the pouches, clasps on his boots, and even tiny screws securing his holster, and his blinged out pistol which looks so good I would have sworn it was removable, even when it isn’t. The paintwork is also really sharp, with the gold having a quality satin finish, and there’s a bit of a wash on the holster.
The head sculpt is also admirable, with Destro pulling a face that reflects how displeased he is at being interrupted. This dude is clearly just having the worst day. There’s an intensity to his furled brow and wrinkled nose that combines perfectly with the piercing black and green eyes. You get the heavy bolted collar around the bottom of the mask, and his large red ruby hanging askew around his neck with sculpted gold chain. There’s a little overspray of red paint on the silver border of the necklace, which is the only real paint flub I can see on the statue.
The rocket effect is nicely done, with the translucent orange combustion effect tabbing into the arm. It explodes from the launcher and forms a serpentine trail of thrust behind the little gold rocket. This is an example of an effect part done extraordinarily well.
Another equally amazing effect is the translucent base of toxic green water. The sludge flows from a grate in the wall causing some ripples, and the splash effects of the JOE machine gun fire and Destro’s boot are beautifully done. You also get a severed Battle Android Trooper head, suggesting that the JOE team took care of Destro’s backup, which is another wonderful little touch to the base.
The piping is painted with a decrepit rust and there are sculpted brackets and bolts holding them to the wall. The wall itself features some great paintwork and more detailed sculpting, even to the back side, which will probably never be visible when this statue is displayed. DST uses the term PVC Diorama for their Gallery statues, which I always suspected was a way to get around licensing with Marvel and DC. Most of the time they really aren’t anything close to a diorama, but Destro here is the exception to the rule, and a lot of thought and effort went into this base.
The MSRP on this piece was $49.99, but playing the waiting game on most of DST’s Gallery Statues almost always pays off. In this case, I was able to get Pimp Daddy Destro for $25. It’s crazy that the limited release is currently selling for about $10 less than the regular retail release, but I’m chalking that up to there being a higher demand on the more iconic outfit version. Indeed, the Exclusive moniker tends to be the kiss of death for these statues on the secondary market, even with the Marvel and DC releases, which still strikes me as odd given the stricter limitations over the retail releases. Either way, I’m happy to add this one to my collection, and I like it enough that I will probably grab the regular version as well before moving on to The Baroness!
A short while ago, when I reviewed Tomax and Xamot, I mentioned just how infatuated I was as a kid with The Crimson Guard and its Commanders. Some of it probably just had to do with the hot newness of new figures and a new dynamic in the cartoon, but I think it mostly had to do with just how unbelievably cool the Crimson Guard designs were. With their snappy red uniforms and their full helmets, they pissed all over the average Cobra troops, who in all fairness, by now were painted as mostly inept buffoons in the cartoon. Sure, the Crimson Guard wouldn’t wind up being much better, but at the time they were introduced, there was hope.
I also had hope that we wouldn’t have to wait too long to see these troops arrive in the Classified line, and as it turns out they came out even sooner than I expected. Yeah, as the 50th numbered release, that doesn’t exactly make them early releases, but with the way Hasbro has been cranking out the Classified figures, we didn’t have to wait too long. I mean, what’s it been, only two years since that first wave? Damn, Hasbro! Anyway, I’ve had this figure in hand for a little while now, but I was waiting to get a few more in before I finally sat down to spotlight them. Now, I’ve got a small squad of them, so let’s get started!
And Merry Christmas to me! Just look at this beautiful bastard! As I’ve pointed out many times in my Classified spotlights, Hasbro seems to be sticking to extremely conservative updates to these figures lately, and that suits me just fine. Doubly so in the case of The Crimson Guard, because you just don’t mess with perfection. This Classified version takes the original RAH figure design and just adds more detail, without making any drastic changes. You do get some well-defined knee pads, a double-strap thigh holster on the left hip, and a knife sheath on his right hip. There’s also the addition of a sword, which was an absolutely inspired addition to the figure design. The crimson fatigues are just the perfect shade of red plastic, with high black boots, gloves, and lots of silver trim to round out what is a visually stunning color palate. The buttons and edging on the front panel of the tunic were always part of the original figure sculpt, but now we get them beautifully picked out with that snappy silver, as well as the chest insignia. Meanwhile, the shoulder braid and epaulets are left gray. Oh, and the texturing on the tunic is superb! I dare say, this design hasn’t looked this good since Sideshow produced it in Sixth-Scale.
The helmet and mask also stick to the RAH roots, but again with lots more detail. The thin silver slit forms a visor and there’s a silver breather bisecting the rest of the black mask. The texturing on the tunic shows off really well in these shots, as does the epaulets, and the little details in the insignia on his left breast and the collar.
The backpack design is lifted directly from the original figure, only this time its cast in black, rather than red, and I approve wholeheartedly. The addition of black here just adds more balance to the deco. The edges have a leather-like texture with sculpted eyelets and straps, and there are angled slats running down the center. A peg on one side allows you to stow his rifle, while a peg hole on the other allows you to stow his sword and scabbard, and more on those in a bit. Yes, this figure can easily carry all the gear he comes with, and that’s always a plus in my book! Let’s breakdown all the gear, starting with the cutlery.
The combat knife is one of the better ones I’ve seen in this line. Nothing against past blades, but many have been a bit insubstantial and cast in all black. Here we get a silver painted blade, with a nice swollen edge, a serrated back, and a chunky grip. This knife not only looks great, but it fits perfectly into either of his very trigger-orientated hands. I love it!
And then there’s the sword, which as I said earlier, suits the figure so well, it’s hard for me to believe this didn’t happen sooner. It has a black hilt with a rather traditional modern military hilt with a curved knuckle guard, and a straight silver blade. The blade fits perfectly in the scabbard, which in turn pegs into a hole on his left hip. Yes, you can attach the sword to the backpack as well, but I’m not sure why you would want to. It looks great on the belt, and doesn’t really get in the way.
Moving on to the firearms, The Crimson Guard has a compact no-nonsense automatic pistol with a simple sculpt and cast in all black plastic. There’s a little checkered texturing on the sides, and all in all it has a solid realistic profile to it.
And finally, he comes with the real showpiece of his arsenal, a Colt M4 Carbine, which is probably my new favorite weapon issued in this entire line. This sculpt is absolutely fantastic and sports some amazing detail from the telescoping-style stock to the carry bar, and removable magazine, it all looks so damn good. But, I think it’s the bayonet with the silver painted blade that’s really the icing on this cake. Some may be disappointed that it isn’t the style of rifle that came with the original figure, but it pleases me to no end that Hasbro still went with a real world design for this figure’s weapon, and that they did such a wonderful job recreating it here.
With only a couple weeks left in the year, it’s not premature for me to throw out there that The Classified Crimson Guard is one of my top figures of 2022. Indeed, the fact that I’m not yet prepared to call it my favorite figure of the year just speaks to what an incredible year it was for action figures. Well, that and I don’t want to make any snap judgements like that without putting some more measured thought into it. But is he in the Top 5? Most definitely! Top 3? Very possibly. This is just an example of a design that I love so much being executed with absolute perfection. Classified has been an absolute treasure trove for amazing Cobra army builders, and this fellow may indeed be my favorite one yet. I’ve got six of these guys in my army so far, and I’m still open to picking up a few more. It makes me feel sorry for the Classified JOE’s, because they are getting more and more outnumbered with each passing release.
As someone who started playing with the Real American Hero toys back when the line was first released, I don’t think anything suitably prepared me for the bat-shit crazy rollercoaster that would envelop the toyline by 1986, when Serpentor arrived to take over the reigns of Cobra. Sure, Cobra Commander was portrayed as a buffoon in the Sunbow cartoon, but he sure looked the part of a serious terrorist leader in his smartly cut military uniform and terror mask. Silly snake lisp or not, he looked like a dude that you could take seriously. Then he got replaced by a freaking zombie-clone-military genius in a carnival snake suit, and somehow it all made sense. I’m sure part of it had to do with a bunch of Cobra agents getting so tired of being bested because of Cobra Commander’s hairbrained schemes, that they didn’t think they could do any worse. But a lot of it had to do with the way Serpentor was portrayed. Yes, he looked ridiculous in that suit, but he was so goddamn terrifying, that nobody was going to call him out on it. This was an undead warrior who could summon snakes and throw them like javelins. He was prone to rage, and not like the little tantrums that Cobra Commander had. When Cobra Commander got upset, he usually threw a chair into a TV monitor. When Serpentor got pissed, he seemed capable of twisting someone’s head off. And that’s why I love him and why I’m so excited to see him appear in the Classified line!
Unfortunately, Serpentor was released as a Pulse Exclusive, which I think was a pretty shitty idea on Hasbro’s part. Everyone was going to want this guy, and getting in on the pre-order was exactly the kind of white-knuckle affair that has been trying my toy collector patience as of late. Just the fact that he’s going for twice the retail price since selling out is proof positive that Hasbro needs to rethink its distribution strategy. But, with all that having been said… Boy did Hasbro go all out on the packaging here. There’s a corner-slipcase that slides off to reveal what looks like the Cobra Lab that engineered this big baddie, as well as the garage where his Air Chariot was built. Open up the slick hybrid DNA-Cobra Insignia and you reveal the figure and some cases containing his accessories. Pull out the entire tray and you reveal the unassembled Air Chariot. It’s some absolutely wonderful presentation that looks like a Convention Exclusive, and the character art absolutely kicks ass. Let’s start with a look at the figure first, and then we’ll check out the Air Chariot. Buckle in, Snakelings, this will be a long one!
And… Wow, what a gorgeous figure! I’m pleased to report that Classified Serpentor doesn’t deviate from his original vintage toy design. Indeed, this is a pitch-perfect update, which captures all the beautiful eccentricity of the snake suit we first saw way back when, only with a lot more detail and realism added to the sculpt. The scaly copper suit features a golden snake belly running up the chest, and a similar motif down on the boots. Green armor plates are added to the knees and thighs, as well as scaled green fingerless gauntlets on his forearms. His belt is a snake wrapped around his waist, with the centered snake’s head looking out with the most adorable little expression, which I will have to admit is kind of unintentionally hilarious. DOES ANYONE ELSE FEEL LIKE A HAVING A LITTLE CHORTLE WHEN THEY GAZE UPON MY CUTESY SNAKE FACE BELTBUCKLE???SIR, NO SIR! Similar green snakes touch tails at the center of his chest and coil under his arms, and up around the tops of his shoulders. The ensemble is punctuated with a green cloth cape, complete with a quilted scale pattern. Classified Serpentor definitely takes this ridiculous design and absolutely owns it. This guy looks like the worst combination of crazy and terrifying, just like a proper undead snake emperor should be. As far as the suit is concerned, Hasbro nailed it and I wouldn’t change a thing!
Hasbro did something rather interesting with the portrait, which I didn’t know about until opening the figure. He comes out of the box with a fixed cobra headdress, which prevents any neck articulation, as it essentially fuses his head to his upper back. I’m not sure this was entirely necessary, as I think the alternative that we’ll see in a bit is every bit as good, but I guess it’s nice to have options. Either way, the sculpt is fabulous with some lovely detail in the Cobra hood, and the way the snake’s mouth opens to frame Serpentor’s face. And what a face it is! Serpentor looks like he’s eternally cross with whoever happens to be in front of him. He has a dour scowl on his face and narrowing red eyes. Hot damn, this is an impressive sculpt, only brought down a few pegs by the pudgy snake fangs that dangle in front of his brow. Yeah, those could have been done better, but that’s literally the only thing I can find to nitpick with this figure so far.
To swap heads, the cobra hood and top of the snake head comes off as one piece and gets replaced as two. Thus, Serpentor’s head is no longer attached to the hood and can articulate freely. Again, I think this looks fine, and I can’t imagine ever again bothering with the other pieces. The face sculpt is the same, and to be honest, had Hasbro not included the fixed style headdress, I wouldn’t have missed it at all. All things being equal, I would rather have had a shouty angry face to swap out instead of the fused snake hood. Onward to the accessories!
First off, Serpentor comes with his extendable blades on his right arm, although they aren’t actually extendable, but rather create the illusion with two different pieces: One with blades retracted, and one with them extended. These simply tab into a slot in the arm. I remember my original figure having a sculpted silver thing on that arm, but I’m not sure I knew that’s what it was. It’s a cool weapon, but even the retracted piece is a bit cumbersome. I would have liked to have had a plain plug to pop into the socket as well.
Hey, remember in the cartoon when Serpentor would grab one of the snakes off his shoulder, make a javelin out of it and impale his enemies with it? Well, here you get one of those snake javelins! Can you imagine working at a place where your boss throws living snake harpoons at you when you don’t perform effectively? Yeah, no thanks!
Next up is this rather regal looking Cobra scepter. Because wearing an entire snake suit doesn’t quite drive the point home enough, right? This comes across as a bit much to me, and I may wind up giving it to Cobra Commander. It is a nice piece, though. I appreciate that Hasbro even painted the rubies at the base of the shaft.
How about a short sword? This bitchin piece of cutlery has a funky, futuristic-style silver blade and a gold hilt with yet another Cobra head sculpted on it. I love the fact that Serpentor carries a sword around instead of a gun, no doubt a callback to all that historic warrior blood he’s gut pumping through his undead veins. I kind of get a little bit of a Roman Gladius vibe off of it. Pity he doesn’t have a scabbard or a loop or something to carry it. OK, so we got a snake javelin, a snake scepter, a snake-hilted sword… what’s left?
An goddamned snake, that’s what! This is kind of weird accessory, since it doesn’t seem like it’s really made to interact with Serpentor, so I guess you just put it by him. Maybe it’s a pet? Or a distant relative? Maybe it’s transformed Cobra Commander? It’s a damn fine sculpt and I sure don’t mind getting it in the box, but it might have been cooler to have it sculpted so that it could wrap around his arm or neck, or allow him to wear it in some way. But hey… Bonus snake! And that wraps up Serpentor’s plethora of accessories, so let’s move on to his rather iconic vehicle, The Air Chariot!
Part of me was not absolutely sure that we were going to get this vehicle when Serpentor was first teased, especially since we didn’t get Zartan’s Swamp Skier, and boy am I still bitter about that! But it’s hard to stay mad when I’m holding this absolute work of toy art in my hands! The Air Chariot is big and beefy and absolutely packed with detail, and a few cool little features. The bulk of the toy is cast in gold plastic, but you do get some beautiful gold and copper paint applications to pick out the detail and make it shine. There are some panel lines and hatches sculpted in the hull, and the bolted panels on the wings give it a bit of a retro WWII vibe. I also love the hazard warnings and other practical markings that really harken back to the stickers on the original RAH vehicles. All it’s missing is a couple dozen NOT A STEP signs. These little touches give this crazy design a grounded sense of realism that sells it wonderfully. The massive guns can articulate indepentently of one another, and can also be removed and wielded by The Cobra Emperor himself, should the Air Chariot get shot down and Serpentor has to make a last stand.
Some fun features include three retractable landing gear, and a VTOL engine that can spin, but only by flicking it. It doesn’t have a trigger mechanism or anything like that. The cobra’s mouth even opens to reveal a gun and folding fangs. I think the only thing missing is a clear flight stand. I don’t want to complain too much, because I really am absolutely in love with this toy, but not including a stand similar to what Hasbro gave to the Star Wars Black Series Speeder Bikes feels like a huge oversight.
Serpentor can mount his Chariot by using the foot pegs and grasping the steering column. It’s a perfect fit, and I imagine that he would stay put, even if I were to whoosh it around the room making pew pew noises and shouting THIS, I COMMAND! But I’m a 50yo dude, and I would never do that, so I can’t say for sure, riiight?
At $80, I confess that I balked at the price a little, even when I slammed that pre-order down, but from the moment I took this out of the shipping box I have been beyond impressed with what we got. From the first class packaging and presentation to the superb figure and the intricate detail on the Air Chariot, this set is an absolute winner and well worth the price to me. And seeing how well Hasbro executed the Air Chariot makes me excited for future prospects of the Trouble Bubble and perhaps the FANG. After coming off the high of reviewing Tomax and Xamot, and now this, I have to say that GI JOE Classified has been one of the most consistently impressive toy lines of this year. I’d say only Super7’s Ultimate ThunderCats have been given Classified a run for its money, and that may not be a fair comparison, since one is designed for retail and one is not. Which brings me back to the Pulse Exclusive thing. Hasbro, you gotta fix that and make Serpentor available as a wide release through online retailers. A figure this great, and a character this important, shouldn’t be hard to get.
GI JOE Classified has been a dangerously expensive line for me to collect, because it’s full of so many darn troop builders! And troop building is one of those ultimate expressions of excess that I wished I could do as a kid. I can remember asking for another Cobra Trooper or Stormtrooper and being told, “No! You already have that one!” But, now I’m an adult with disposable income, and it’s only natural that I went kind of crazy with the Cobra Infantry and Battle Android Troopers, so I tried to restrain myself when it came to the Alley Viper. Three seemed like a good number, and that’s how many I wound up with… for now!
Truth be told, the original Alley Viper was first released during that Dark Age between when I was no longer getting toys to play with as a kid, and had not yet discovered buying toys to collect them as an adult. This guy first appeared on the shelves in 1989, which would have been the year before I went to college. As a result, I wasn’t even really aware that Cobra had an Urban Assault Trooper until I got back into collecting GI JOE around 1999 or so. And I’m all for getting to experience some Classified figures that I didn’t have as a kid! As always, the box is nice and colorful, his large array of weapons is laid out around him, and the character art even pictures a couple Alley Vipers to subliminally tell you to buy more than one!
Out of the package, it’s hard to first notice anything but the colors… Oh, the colors! The Alley Viper fatigues consists of an retina-sizzling orange and blue camo, with some black and brown thrown in just to keep things somewhat grounded. Love it or hate it, GI JOE Series Eight was knocking on the 1990’s door, ushering in an age of obnoxious toy colors. The Alley Vipers were billed as being brave, and let’s face it, you’d have to be to go into battle wearing this! Once we’re past the deco, I have to admire the attention to detail that went into the fatigues and gear. His vest is a veritable slab of pouches, which extends to his right shoulder. He’s got more pouches on his belt, sheathes for his knives on his right forearm and left shoulder, and a holster for his pistol on his right thigh. And then there’s that gorgeous blue shoulder pouch with the orange Cobra insignia! It’s a lot to take in all at once, and before you can process it all, he’s probably already killed you.
The Alley Viper’s head is encased in a form-fitting, open-faced helmet. with snake fangs emerging from the chin guard, and a textured blue mask beneath it, showing only his determined and hate-filled eyes. There’s a hinged visor, which can be lowered to shield his face, and has only a circular screen in the center for detail. I presume this is some type of imaging sensor that allows him to see, but it sure makes him look creepy and inhuman. The black embossed Cobra emblem at the forehead is a nice touch as well!
The black backpack pegs into the back of the figure and is a superb nod back to the original figure’s backpack. Like the Viper’s fatigues, there’s a crazy amount of detail in the sculpt. In addition to the Cobra emblem at the top, there are magazines sculpted into the sides, a cluster of grenades down at the bottom, more pouches, and what looks like a landmine in the center. The grapple gun, which I believe was sculpted into the original figure’s backpack, is even removable here.
I’m not sure if this is supposed to be a dedicated grapple gun, or just a rifle that also has the ability to fire the hook, but I’m leaning toward the later, because it seems like a pretty big piece of kit to haul around just for those times when you need to grapple somewhere. Regardless, the rifle has a scope, as well as a ring at the muzzle to attach a string (not included). The hook is removable, and it also has a ring to attach the other end of the string (still not included). Let’s check out what else this guy’s got!
Well, any good Urban Commando needs some blades, and the Alley Viper comes with two identical knives that fit in the aforementioned sheathes. I’m a big fan of the one on his shoulder, as it’s well placed and stays put, because it’s secured to the vest. The one on his right forearm is a lot more floaty. It tends to swivel on his wrist, and slide as well. It is removable, and while it hasn’t annoyed me enough to do that yet, it’s nice to have it as an option. Knife accessories in this scale are seldom all that interesting, but I still enjoy getting them.
Next up is his pistol, which fits very well in his thigh holster, as well as in either hand. I really dig this design, as it’s not too sci-fi-y, but rather looks like a fairly credible real-world design. I’ve got nothing much else to say about it, other than it gets my stamp of approval.
Now we’re moving into the heavier hardware with this compact bullpup-style carbine. This is a nice update to the weapon that came with the original Alley Viper, complete with a scope, foregrip, and a crazy positioning of the magazine, which juts out the back at an angle. The weapon is cast entirely in black plastic, the sculpt is great, and while I personally am not a fan of the design, it’s still a great-looking weapon. I was thrilled to see that the magazine was removable too!
And finally, the Alley Viper comes with a more traditional rifle featuring a detachable magazine in front of the grip, just the way I like them. Like the previous carbine, this rifle is cast all in black plastic and has some wonderful detail in the sculpt. This is probably the gun I’ll have these guys carrying most of the time for display purposes. My only nitpick with the Alley Viper and his arsenal is there’s no way for him to carry everything, or even anywhere to attach any of his rifles, except for the grapple gun.
I’ve saved the Alley Viper’s most iconic piece of kit for last, and that’s his riot shield, and boy is it a beauty. This defensive shield shares the same orange and blue deco as the Viper’s fatigues, and has a bold and beautiful Cobra emblem sculpted into the top center. It attaches to the figure’s arm with a pair of straps, and even has a pivot, so it can be positioned in a variety of ways independent of how the figure is posed. It also has a sticker on the interior side, which I presume is a viewscreen, so the Viper can still see what’s happening when taking cover behind it. A lot more safe and secure than the slits in conventional riot shields!
As I mentioned at the start, the Alley Viper is my first Cobra troop builder in the Classified line based off a figure I did not own as a kid, and that makes him a real treat. I wasn’t sure how I would take to the crazy colors, but now that he’s in hand I have to admit that he’s got an unabashed beauty about him that I wouldn’t dare change. There’s a sublime variety of weaponry packed in with him, that makes it possible to kit out multiple figures with some variety, and that’s always a plus. But whatever weapons I give him, that beautiful shield will always be a must! Hasbro hit an absolute home run with this figure, and it’ll take some serious restraint to keep me from getting a few more!
When I look back at Sunbow’s GI JOE cartoon, it’s amazing how they managed to make it so exciting when everyone was firing guns at everyone else, but nobody was hitting anyone. Sure, they found creative ways around this by featuring more melee combat. But the ultimate workaround was the introduction of the Battle Android Troopers. The BATs put the JOEs up against enemy robot soldiers that they could shoot, blow up, tear apart, and smash to pieces. As a kid, I loved the BATs, and I especially loved how it made the combat in the cartoon far more visceral.
It was only a matter of time before the BATs found their way into the 6-inch Classified line, and here they are! I actually have a ton of these on pre-order through a bunch of online retailers, but Amazon had some BATs in Stock last week and I was able to get an order in for one, which arrived a couple days ago. I was going to wait to review him until the rest of my BATs arrived, but who knows when that will be, so let’s go ahead and check out this lone BAT.
As time rolls on, The Classified series seems to be more confident with sticking to the original Real American Hero designs, and that’s quite evident with this BAT figure. There is one major difference, and that’s the armored chest plate that covers the window of circuitry that was always on display in the original figure. Of course, it was important to show that circuit panel in the cartoon so nobody could mistake them as real people. With that not being an issue any longer, Hasbro decided to button these guys up!
But when you take it off, you still get that panel of exposed circuits, including some prominent red and yellow components. I actually like the idea of the armor plate option, but I would have preferred an additional transparent chest plate for the more classic look. In fact, not including such a piece seems like a really big oversight. Sure, you can just go without the plate at all, but then you’ve got nothing protecting all that stuff, and I assume it’s probably pretty important to the BATs functions.
Everything else here is pretty much on point! The BAT wears black fatigues with bright yellow boots, belt, and holster with thigh strap. His other thigh is encircled with a silver strap. He has a yellow sholder strap to the left of his chest holding a pair of canister-style grenades, both left as bare gray plastic. I don’t know that these colors ever made any sense, but they sure look so iconic and snappy together. The sculpt features all the usual rumples and wrinkles in the fatigues, and I especially love all the fine detail in his robotic arms, which are exposed from the elbows down.
The head retains all the classic charm of the original RAH design. Was the featureless silver face plate supposed to be a tribute to Cobra Commander? I dunno. But the lack of any semblance of a face is both creepy and badass. There are two silver vents on the back of the helmet and a crested comb running up the middle of the helmet, and the whole thing looks slightly (and appropriately) too small to have an actual human head in it. It’s simple and absolutely awesome!
The backpack offers storage for all three of the BAT’s arm attachments. Two can plug into the top compartments and one can plug up into the side. The Classified BAT has two detachable fists, so you can equip the extra attachments on the left or right arm, or have him dual-wield!
Similar to the RAH figure, the attachments include a laser gun, a powerful looking pincer-claw, and a torch. These are easy to pop on and off, and they look really good. I’m particularly excited about getting some more BATs so I can make specialists like Double-Claw BAT, Double Laser Gun BAT, and… well, you get the idea.
The BAT also comes with a pistol, which fits into his holster and can be wielded in either of his normal hands.
The articulation here is pretty standard stuff for this line. The double jointing in the elbows is made very obvious because of the exposed robot arms. The dog-bone connectors in the hips on my figure are a little tight. But the one wonderful surprise here was the inclusion of the extra crunches in the shoulders. I don’t think I caught that in the promo pictures, and I was delighted to see it when I got the figure in hand.
And finally, The BAT includes two battle damaged pieces, which include a second chest piece and head. I like the head a lot, especially the way it shows off one of the eyes behind the damaged faceplate. The chest piece is well done also, with some tears to the metal and an impact crater that looks like he took a dead-on punch from Sgt. Slaughter himself! Still, I wish we got a chest piece that was a bit more damaged and showed a bit more of that circuitry underneath. A damaged arm attachment would have been pretty cool too. Hell, if Hasbro wants to double-dip, I’d be down for a two-pack of BATs with more interchangeable damaged parts.
In the end, this is an absolutely fantastic figure! Indeed, I’d say the only thing that holds it back from being a Perfect Ten would be the lack of a clear chest plate. Still, I have to tell myself this is the Classified version, and these guys just aren’t supposed to go into action with their circuitry on display. I think the best compliment I can pay the Classified BAT is that after getting one in hand, I’m happy to have a bunch more pre-ordered and on the way! This may be one of my favorite figures the line has produced yet.
It’s Friday! And what better way to kick off the weekend than by opening a brand new GI JOE: Classified figure! As regular readers will no doubt know I am enjoying the hell out of these figures, but not so much the distribution. Today’s figure, Major Sebastian Bludd was another one of them Cobra Island Target Exclusives, and I still think it was dumb luck that I happened upon this guy when I was buying Litter for the kitty-cats! Although, I’ve seen a few pictures on Twitter showing full pegs of Bludd, so maybe things are looking up. Either way, I was stoked to get him in hand.
Here he is in the package, sporting some absolutely killer character art. I don’t save the packaging for a lot of these figures, but I may just hang on to this one. So, before we get started, here’s a quick disclaimer. If you look at the top packaged shot, you’ll see that Sebastian has a copious amount of dog tags hanging around his neck. As I was playing around with the figure, I found these to be a bit cumbersome and distracting, so I took them off and wound up leaving them off for pretty much the entire shoot. They will make a return at the end for a little discussion. I just didn’t want you to think poor old Jameson-addled Dave forgot about them. And with that said, let’s get The Major out and have a look!
Holy shit! What a figure!!! When I reviewed Zartan, I believe I commented about how I could see more than a bit of Sideshow’s Sixth-Scale figure in there, and that happens to be the case with this one as well. I’m not sure if it’s a coincidence, but I wholeheartedly approve of the design choices here. Bludd is clad in dark brown fatigues, reinforced with an armored cuirass and kneepads. His high boots include reinforced plates on the shins and toes for administering those proper ass-kickings. He has a low slung gun belt with sculpted canisters (grenades?) and a working holster for his sidearm, secured with a thigh-strap. I particularly love the sculpting on the cuirass, which includes vents and, sculpted straps, and painted buckles.
The Major is also sporting an artificial right arm, socketed in under a rather pronounced piece of shoulder armor. The sculpting on the arm is very stylized and, dare I say it? It reminds me a bit of the styling on some of the Sigma Six figures. Whatever the case, it accentuates the fact that it’s a mechanical arm, and I dig that. Every thing about Bludd’s costume screams battle-hardened mercenary. It marries elements of the original design with rugged realism. There’s no doubt he is instantly recognizable, and yet still feels like fresh and new. As far as I’m concerned, this is a textbook example of the proper way to update an iconic design.
The head sculpt is an absolute work of art for this scale. Like his outfit, Bludd’s face looks rugged and battle worn. This is a guy who’s seen shit and done terrible things for a paycheck. Besides being loaded with personality, the face is cast in one of the most realistic plastic skin-tones I’ve seen in this scale. Extra paint denoting his stubble and his puckering scars complete the picture. His long, downturned mustache and snarling mouth reinforces his villainy, as does his rectangular eyepatch, which looks like it might contain some kind of tech. God damn, this is a wonderful portrait.
The helmet is also removable, which reveals Sebastian’s mohawk, complete with a gray streak in it. It also shows just how fearsome the scars that claimed his left eye really are, as one of them trails all the way up to his mohawk. Go ahead and compare this $20 figure’s portrait to the portraits that Mezco is doing for the One:12 figures at five times the price. I think this one wins the day. OK, let’s take a look at his gear!
For starters, Bludd is armed with a revolver that has a rather beefy frame to say the least, and boy do I love this design! It’s like someone mated a .44 Magnum with Robocop’s Auto-9. It’s what you might call a bold statement, or perhaps an attention-getter. In addition to having a silver painted cylinder, it’s got a top rail so The Major could toss some optics on there if he’s so inclined. Some of the Classified weapons have left me a little cold, but this beauty is right up my ally!
Next up, The Major comes with his rather distinctive rocket pistol. This devastating little bit or ordinance has a socket in the barrel, so you can load it by plugging the rockets into. Bludd comes with two rockets and they are both stored on his backpack simply by clipping them into the channels. There’s also a hole in the side so you can peg the pistol into it for storage.
Now, I’ll concede that this design isn’t as compact or elegant as the one that came with the original Real American Hero figure, but I do enjoy the fact that you can load the rockets into the gun, even if it does look a tad ridiculous when it’s loaded. It’s also a lot closer to the original design than the full-on rocket launcher that Sideshow designed with their figure. I’d venture to guess that any JOE that’s snickering at it, won’t be doing so for long. Either way, I love all the different takes we’ve seen over the years on this weapon.
As promised, our last stop is the dog tags. I commend Hasbro for including these with the figure, as it no doubt leads to great learning moments in the toy aisle:
Mommy, why does Major Bludd have so many medals around his neck?”
“Those are Dog Tags, Jimmy. They’re his trophies! He’s taken them off the cold dead bodies of all the JOEs that he’s murdered over his long and bloody career as a mercenary!”
Yeah! I think Hasbro did a fine job on these, considering the scale and the decision to mold them all in plastic. Yes, Sigma Six figures came with actual chain dog tags, and maybe that would have been a better way to go. Either way, I’m glad he has them, and I will be displaying the figure with him. But when I’m playing around with him, they tended to flop around and get in the way. Maybe if I find another Bludd figure, I’ll consider getting a second and gluing the tags down, but for now I’m content to leave them be.
In case you can’t tell, I am totally in love with this figure! I mean, holy shit, did Hasbro knock this one out of the park. While I’ve enjoyed pretty much all the figures in this line so far, I feel as if the Cobra designs are getting most of the real love and passion. To me, Classified figures like Major Bludd, Zartan, or even the Cobra Infantry really stand out as six-inch masterpieces. I just don’t think we’ve seen anyone on the JOE side quite approach this level of execution. Granted, I’ve grown more partial to Cobra designs over the years. Back in the Real American Hero days, I was equally enamored with both the JOEs and Cobra, but by the time I got to collecting the Sideshow Sixth-Scale figures, I found myself only buying the Cobra releases. Either way, I’m happy to see reports that this guy is turning up more at the pegs, because everyone should have a chance to get him!
I probably don’t need rehash all the anger and frustration that came with making the first release of the Cobra Trooper in the Classified line a hard to get Target Exclusive. It was a bad move on Hasbro’s part, more so because at the time, I’m not sure anyone knew that the figure would get a variant widespread release in the near future. I was lucky enough to get one of those Cobra Troopers, and I was happy for it, but sure I wanted a couple more. OK, maybe a couple dozen more. Well, fast forward to now, and I was thankfully able to pre-order six of the new release of these bad boys. I have four in hand, and two more on the way, so let’s check this figure out by way of comparison to the Cobra Island version I reviewed a little while back.
The packaging looks as great as ever. Maybe I’ll keep one of their boxes, but with space being a premium around here, I probably won’t.
The figure is the exact same sculpt as the Cobra Island release, and I’ll reiterate here how awesome a sculpt it is! To me, this is a perfect imagining of the Cobra Trooper. It captures all the necessary beats of the classic uniform, but gives it a double injection of realism and hyper detail. You get texturing throughout the uniform, including some reinforced patches. There are armor plates on the shins, knees, and forearms, and some cool extra little touches like the sculpted Cobra emblems on the backs of the gloves. The uniform itself is about the same color as the Exclusive release, maybe just a touch paler blue. This fellow does have black painted pads on the outsides of his hips and upper legs, and some gray paint around the edges of his kneepads.
The figure is wearing the same tactical vest as the previous release as well, which encompasses the entire torso and includes the waist belt. This features sculpted straps and pouches, a working holster and sheath on the front, another working holster on the back, and some peg holes on the back to peg in extra gear. Finally, there’s a Cobra emblem embossed and painted on the chest. The only difference here comes in the coloring. It was previously black, now it’s pale blue with gray paint on the belts and straps. I think I prefer this deco on the vest, as it keeps faith with the original Cobra uniform deco just a bit more.
The head sculpt is also identical, with the only discernable difference being the skin color on the new figure being a little darker. The helmet is once again removable, and friction does a nice job of keeping it in place, even when I’m posing the figure.
So what else is different? Only the omission of some gear. The new figure still comes with the knife, twin pistols and the sub-machine gun, but lacks the goggles, larger rifle and the arm-band. Yeah, it’s a shame the rifle couldn’t have been included, as I think the arm-band would have been enough to make the Cobra Island an exclusive, but it’s certainly not a deal breaker for me.
This is an absolutely amazing figure, and without a doubt my favorite iteration of the Cobra Trooper to date. I was strongly tempted to pay out the nose for two more of the Cobra Island Troopers, and now I’m so glad that I didn’t. I’m perfectly happy with my single figure, who’s arm band serves to identify him as the Commander of the rest of my troops. I’ll probably give his rifle to one of these new ones and make him a sharpshooter. What’s more, these seem to be pretty obtainable, with pre-orders still open at a number of online retailers. Alls well that ends well, I guess. But I think Hasbro could have saved themselves a lot of fan anger had they just labeled the Cobra Island version as an Officer and assured fans that the troops would be coming in wider release and better supply.
After the frustrating hunt that was the Cobra Island exclusives, it feels like I’m suddenly getting hit with a whole bunch of great figures from the new GI JOE Classified series. I just reviewed Gung Ho last week, finally found a Baroness at Target, and got my pre-ordered Arctic Storm Shadow. But I don’t think I was anticipating any figure more than old Bumper Face himself! Let’s take a look at Cobra Commander! “…Wasssss once a man…” Holy shit, that still creeps me out every time I think about it.
That’s right, fans of the hooded serpent will be disappointed, but that’s OK, because I’m sure we’ll get that variant eventually. I’ve always liked both looks, but you only have to look to the Sideshow Cobra Commander that I have to realize that when given both options, I do prefer the helmet and chrome face shield. Maybe they could have tossed in a hooded head with this one, as I think the hood would look fine on this body. Ah, but I’m getting ahead of myself. Here’s a shot of him in the package, and everything looks as great as ever. Hasbro continues to number these, and Cobra Commander ranks in as Figure Number 6, but the actual system for numbering them doesn’t always make a lot of sense.
The box features some really nice wrap-around art, which surprisingly gets a lot of the coloring on the figure completely wrong. In the artwork, the silver trim on the figure is replaced by gold. That’s really odd, considering this is an original design, but whatever. I also really dig his skill icons. The puppet icon is hilarious, but what the hell is the lightning bolt brain supposed to be? Mind control, maybe?
Classified Cobra Commander looks regal as all hell, and I love that! While I may waffle between hood and helmet sometimes, I was never a fan of Battle Armor Commander. To me The Commander is all about puffing himself up on pomp and circumstance and shouting at his troops from as far away from the battlefield as possible. And boy does this figure design fit that bill perfectly. Yeah, I’ll admit that I was worried about what we were going to get for Cobra Commander, because a couple of the designs choices have strayed a little too far from the Real American Hero originals than I would like. Turns out I worried for nothing, because this guy looks amazing.
Our Leader sports a dress uniform with a very spiffy tunic, complete with silver lined front flap and two rows of buttons that may or may not be painted to look like serpent eyes. I’m going to just give Hasbro the credit and say that’s intentional.The shoulder area has a snake scale texture to it, as does the panels on the sides of the tunic, and the red stripes running down the sides of his trouser and disappearing into his high boots. The Cobra insignia is printed in red on his chest and partially covered by a gold ornamental chain. His forearms have silver bordered bracers, each with their own Cobra insignia as well. This is a snappy uniform and I absolutely love it. My only gripe is that I wish the blue were a tad lighter. Based on leaked pictures, it seems like we may be getting a brighter repaint, but I guess I’ll have to wait and see. The Commander has a double belt and shoulder strap, which connects to a left pauldron, which also secures his half-cape. The pauldron sports some silver paint and there’s a golden Cobra fixture holding it in place, while the cape is black on the outside with a painted red liner. The belts all have a snake-skin pattern to them. Nice!
The helmet is very form fitting and I dig how the sides are separate from the face shield. The silver “mohawk” is there as well as some black cut-outs above the ears and a silver border painted along the bottom edge. The helmet looks great, but the paint on mine is a little disappointing here, as there’s a bit of silver slop on the side. I do like the finish they used for the shield quite a bit. It’s obviously not a mirror polish, but it does have a nice luster to it.
I won’t run through all the articulation here, because it’s pretty much identical to the Classified male figures we’ve seen so far, and that means it’s very good. The lower part of the tunic does inhibit his leg movement a bit at the hips, but not terribly so. Cobra Commander comes with two sets of hands. These are a right accessory holding hand, a right pointing finger, a left grasping hand, and a left fist. I’m always grateful for extra hands, but I believe it was a rather big omission to not give him a left accessory holding hand when he comes with two accessories. I would have much rather had that than the fist. So, let’s talk about those accessories!
First up, Cobra Commander comes with a bitchin’ sword with a gold cobra-head hilt. I love the hilt, but the blade is super funky. I’m sure Hasbro was going for something highly stylized, futuristic, and cool, but I would have preferred a standard saber. This thing just looks so crazy and impractical that it took me a little while to decide which side is supposed to be the edge. It also doesn’t fit very well in the included scabbard. The scabbard actually has a slit cut in it to allow the blade to protrude out, but I think the idea is that part of the blade is meant to protrude out the top. I’ve tried it in the scabbard both ways, and concluded that the best way to go has the snake head facing forward. I don’t want to come down too hard on this piece. It’s still pretty cool, but I would have gone in a different direction with the blade.
Next up is his pistol, and holy shit this thing is all sorts of awesome. It’s basically a silver-plated flintlock with an over-the-top snake motif going on. It’s obviously a far cry from his old iconic hair dryer pistol, but as impractical and crazy as this thing looks, I think it perfectly suits the Commander. I can picture him firing off his one shot at a battle and then shouting to his troops to finish the job. while he retreats to the safety of his command center. Ugh, the lack of a second accessory hand is killing me here. I want to pose him holding his sword aloft and firing this thing. Maybe I can rig something up with one of the Snake Eyes hands. Also, notice he doesn’t have a holster for this gun. Another disappointing omission.
Clearly, I’ve had a few nitpicks here, but all those issues have just been things that I think could have made this excellent figure so much better. OK, so the one accessory hand is a pretty big gaffe on Hasbro’s part, but I don’t want to let those things detract from how much I love this Cobra Commander! The dress uniform characterizes him perfectly and it looks damn sharp. The accessories are crazy in almost every good way, and he looks fantastic standing next to Destro and barking orders. The only downside is now more than ever I want to get a second Cobra Trooper to display behind him. COBRA!!!
GI JOE is back in the toy aisles, sporting some new designs and a six-inch scale! Last week I checked out Scarlett and this week I was originally going to open up Duke or Roadblock, but then Cobra’s Weapons Supplier showed up at my door and I just had to push Destro to the front of the line. Sorry guys, you’ll get your turn.
Once again, the packaging kicks ass. We get some wonderful colors and artwork, which separates these boxes from the boring presentation of Hasbro’s 6-inch Star Wars line by leaps and bounds. Destro’s character art is freaking amazing, and I really dig the way it wraps around the corner of the box. Plus you get the iconography on the side panel showing the characters specialties. Destro’s appears to be all about making weapons and money!
And here he is freed from his box and ready to supply you with all your terrorist needs! While Scarlett was a complete modern redesign, Destro is more of a touch up, as he retains everything about his Real American Hero look that makes him so iconic. The black suit includes sculpted combat boots, knee-pads, and some reinforced patches on his chest, back, and shoulders. Destro has a metallic gray belt with some red accents, metallic gray bracers on his forearms, and red rockets mounted on his right arm. Oh man, I’m glad Hasbro kept those! Finally, he has a red holster on his right hip, which is attached to his belt, wrapping around his right thigh with a molded pouch. I love this look so much and I’m so happy that Hasbro didn’t mess with it.
But what makes this figure truly iconic is his portrait. The silver metal mask is a combination of organic curves and chiseled features with some subtle panel lining on top. It extends down to the base of his neck, where it is secured with a ring of bolts. His chest is exposed, and he flaunts his high collar with a red interior that’s evocative of a cobra’s hood. The look is tied together by his amulet and chain, which is sculpted as a separate piece and hung around his neck. Yup, that’s my Destro!!!
The articulation here is Marvel Legends through and through. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, have double-hinged knees, swivels in the thighs, and the ankles have both hinges and lateral rockers. The arms have rotating hinges at the shoulders and wrists, the elbows are double-hinged, and there are swivels at the biceps. He has a swivel at the waist, an ab-crunch hinge in the torso, and the neck is ball jointed and hinged. The joints all feel great and he is loads of fun to play with.
As for accessories, Destro comes with two guns and a briefcase. I was a little surprised he didn’t get a backpack, but what we got is still plenty good. His primary sidearm is very reminiscent of the weapon he carried during the RAH years. It has a long barrel, a scope, and a decidedly sci-fi feel to it. It sports some excellent detail and feature some red paint applications to give it some character and match it to his outfit. Destro has two trigger finger hands, so he can wield the weapon in either one, and it also fits in his holster.
His second weapon is a much smaller gold pistol, no doubt to be kept hidden as a back-up. Again, it has a strong sci-fi element to its design, and Hasbro packed a lot of detail into it’s sculpt.
Finally, Destro comes with a Cobra-branded briefcase. The Cobra emblem is sculpted into both sides, but only painted on one. Open it up and there’s a computer on one side and a bunch of money on the other. The computer side is pretty well detailed, but sadly they didn’t print any details on the money. His gold pistol can also fit inside the case.. The only downside of this case is that the hinge is just bendy plastic, so it will likely stress and probably break after a lot of opening and closing.
While Scarlett represented a complete modern redesign of her character, Destro here is just a touch-up. And a refreshing one at that! I can’t tell you how happy I am to see Destro appear sporting the design I’ve known and loved since I was a small child. It also sends a clear message that Hasbro is not looking to ignore the RAH roots. Indeed, Destro here is everything I could have hoped for in this line. He’s damn near perfection. We’ve also had some new revelations this past week, namely Gung-Ho and Cobra Commander, and I really like what I’m seeing. It feels great to want to shout YO JOE!!!! again!
Alrighty, I’m back to wrap up this long overdue look at Sideshow’s Destro figure. I went really long yesterday and it’s Saturday so I’m already in overtime for the week. With those things in mind I’m going to try to be brief today while still giving all of Destro’s cool stuff their proper due. Let’s start with the weapons!
Destro comes with his trusty chrome finish automatic pistol which fits nicely into the holster on his right hip and I’m not surprised to find that the sculpting on the weapon is every bit as good as what I’m used to seeing in Sideshow’s sixth-scale arsenals. Really, these guys do a great job on the firearms!
The slide on the gun is articulated and pulls back to reveal a painted bullet in the chamber. The magazine is removable, again showing a painted bullet at the top. You also get two more mags, which can be stored in the ammo pouches on Destro’s left hip. It sounds like a little throwaway thing, but the ability to store extra mags on their person is one of my favorite little things about many of these Sideshow Cobras. I’m also really pleased to see that Sideshow is sticking with magnets to secure the straps on the ammo pouches and holster, rather than working snaps, which tend to tear the fragile leather. These are easy to get in and out of and I’m not afraid to use them. This is a key reason as to why I almost never take the pistol out of my Hot Toys Captain America figure. Stupid fragile snaps!
Destro’s other weapon is his laser pistol and man do I love this thing. Some may remember that I was a little put out by the fact that Cobra Commander didn’t come with his iconic hair-dryer pistol. It’s nice to see that wasn’t the case with Destro as his primary weapon is a gorgeous sixth-scale interpretation of the laser pistol that came with the vintage figure. It’s a highly detailed and very realistic looking design or a fictional gun and it includes a scope and a detachable magazine. Everything on this weapon is beautiful right down to the coloring. Since it’s a laser gun, I’m assuming that in this case the magazine is some kind of replaceable battery. Either way Destro looks great brandishing this beauty.
The next big item on the agenda is his MARS briefcase and this thing is just full of surprises. It’s got a matte green finish, a hinged handle and has two strong hinged catches on one side to open it up. It opens to reveal…
A satellite guidance computer! The LCD screen graphics look really nice, but we’re not done yet, because the bottom plate lifts out to reveal…
Yeah! A hidden compartment for his laser pistol. The gun breaks down into four pieces and each piece fits snugly into the plastic cutouts that are made to look like foam. I love this little extra as it gives Destro an option for when those sketchy arms deals go south and he needs to blast his way out.
One of the simplest and yet coolest extras in the set is this tiny manila folder full of one-sheet blueprints for some of Cobra’s most iconic weapon systems. You get one for the HISS, one for the ASP, and one for the FANG. All three fit into the folder and the folder can be placed into the briefcase. Brilliant! I don’t know who had the idea to include something like this with the figure, but I’d sure like to shake his hand!
To go along with the Satellite Guidance Computer, Destro comes with a PDA-style satellite tracking device. This simple piece clips onto his belt and features a graphic to simulate the LCD screen. I don’t have much else to say about this piece, but it does look nice clipped to his belt.
The last thing I have to mention is the key. I have absolutely no idea what this is, but I’m guessing that, like the ruby medallion, this is some kind of McCullen family heirloom. It can be worn around Destro’s neck, but I have no use for it, so it’ll stay in the box.
I mentioned yesterday that Destro is sadly the last of the sixth-scale Cobra figures that Sideshow has planned as the line is going on hiatus. As sad as that might be, I’d prefer to focus on the awesome figures that we got in this line, rather than what’s been left behind on the table. Sure, it’s always possible that Sideshow may come back and give us some more figures, but with the sad state of the GI JOE franchise right now, that sort of thing seems unlikely to happen. I would have loved a Serpentor, Scrap Iron and even a Tele-Viper to go with this collection, but as things stand, I’m sure glad that we got what we did. Sideshow did a beautiful job with these figures and I think more than anything else, they show how much the company has evolved in their craft. One things for sure, these figures will always have a place of honor secured on my display shelves. COBRA!!!!!!