Reviews > Snake Eyes (G.I. Joe: The Pursuit of Cobra, Hasbro)

He waited.

He had been here for forty minutes, upside-down, one hand dug into the tree via a climbing claw, the other clutching a combat knife. The target was running late.

He waited. This wasn’t unusual, but if the target didn’t appear soon, he’d have to change position. He could feel the pressure starting to build behind his eyes.

A mosquito buzzed in his ear, landed on his arm. Its proboscis attempted to pierce the deceptively thin fabric of his suit; after a few seconds, it gave up and flew off to find prey that wasn’t wearing body armor. He hadn’t moved a muscle.

Then he heard it…soft footsteps, coming his way. He tightened his muscles, working out the stiffness and increasing blood flow before he had to move. Still, he didn’t move.

He waited.

Every so often, a toy comes along that is the plastic equivalent of a wildly successful, critically-acclaimed blockbuster movie. It gets almost everything right. It brings in people who aren’t even fans of the franchise. A few recent examples include Masterpiece Optimus PrimeMOTUC Battle Cat, and the Big Millennium Falcon. Well, you can add another toy to those ranks–the Pursuit of Cobra Snake Eyes.

As I’ve often noted, I am not, nor ever have been, a G.I. Joe fan. My childhood went from Star Wars to He-Man to Transformers to Ninja Turtles, more or less in that order and with few deviations. However, at the recommendation of a friend, I’ve recently read and enjoyed the old 1980s G.I. Joe: Special Missions comics, which focused on somewhat more realistic plots (fighting “real world” terrorists, rescuing diplomats, aiding defectors, etc.) than the more science fiction-oriented stories of the cartoon.

But I wasn’t immune to the appeal of certain characters, particularly the franchise’s Boba Fett, Snake Eyes. He was a ninja dressed all in black who used both guns and swords; like Grimlock, who was both a tyrannosaurus and a robot, Snake Eyes was ideally designed to appeal to young boys.

Hasbro has made a few Snake Eyes figures over the years. By‘s count, this one is the 54th since the first one hit stores nearly thirty years ago…but it’s hard to imagine a future figure that surpasses this one.

Before we go further, I must thank Poester FakeEyes22 for obtaining this figure for me (as well as the Snake Eyes on the left in the final pic). He is a prince among men!

Design & Sculpt: As I understand it–and G.I. Joe fans can feel free to correct me if I’m wrong, I’m less than a casual collector on this line–the Pursuit of Cobra design aesthetic is to create somewhat more realistic takes on the iconic looks of G.I. Joe characters, sort of marrying the live-action movie style to the classic characters instead of actors. The result is the “Special Missions” of the toyline.

From a design perspective, Snake Eyes is wearing a fairly realistic outfit–in fact, it’s arguably more realistic than the skintight rubber suit worn by the character in the film. There’s a lot of detail here, especially for this scale, such as the texture on the suit. Perhaps because there aren’t any licensing fees involved, Hasbro seems able to sink more money into the tooling budgets for G.I. Joe and Transformers toys than they can Star Wars or Marvel Universe, and this is one of the most significant examples of that.

Plastic & Paint: There’s not a whole lot of paint here, as Snake Eyes is nearly all-black. I do wonder if his visor should be gray, as that seems to be the way it’s usually depicted, but I don’t know enough about the character to know whether they took a shortcut here.

There are tiny tampographs on each bicep, which I’m sure have meaning for G.I. Joe fans (I believe one is the Arishkage sigil, and the other is maybe the Joe sign?) but other than noting that they’re well-applied for such a tiny figure, I can’t say much about them.

Articulation: Snake Eyes has what I’m guessing is the standard current G.I. Joe articulation: ball-and-hinge joints at the neck, shoulders, elbows, upper torso, ankles, and hips; swivels at the wrists; and double-hinges at the knees. [UPDATE: Astute reader T. pointed out the wrists are actually ball-and-hinge as well; they can be moved up and down, so that he can hold the sword straight out in front of him. The joints were so small I didn’t notice them.]

I have mixed feelings about the articulation. It does give you a surprising amount of posing possibilities, but it’s also frustrating to get the figure into those poses, as the range of motion tends to be just a bit less than you want or expect it to. Still, for this scale and price range, you’re not going to find better.

Accessories: The accessories are what makes this figure the definitive Snake Eyes (at least for now). As many fans know, the original Snake Eyes came with the “commando” head with the goggles, only later to be replaced by the iconic segmented visor. Most fans prefer the visor but some do like the original, so this figure gives us both heads. And they’re interchangeable–no need to buy a special rare variant.

In addition to the heads, Snake Eyes comes with:

  • Two silver/black knives (one with a removable shoulder sheath, the other can be sheathed on the right calf)
  • Two silver/black swords & sheaths
  • Black sword (a nod to the v2 vintage fig)
  • Two pistols
  • Removable tactical harness (a.k.a. web-gear)
  • Two suppressors
  • Explosives pack (nod to original figure)
  • An Uzi submachine gun (original figure)
  • An FN SCAR assault rifle
  • Removable kneepads
Yeah, so–that’s nuts. I won’t call it overkill, because there’s no such things. But unless you’re willing to stick some accessories in some random or uncomfortable places, there’s no way to get all this stuff onto the figure at the same time. However, you can get most of it on there. The sword and knife sheathes have pegs that clip to holes in the harness. The pistol and one of the suppressors can be put into the right thigh holster.
I had a little trouble getting Snake Eyes to hold some of the weapons, particularly the swords, properly, but fiddle with it and you’ll get it.

Quality Control: No problems.

Overall: I’m as casual a fan of G.I. Joe as they come, but I know an excellent toy when I see it. By giving this figure a dynamite sculpt, forgoing the full-figure variants and including the alternate head, and packing in a ridiculous amount of accessories, Hasbro created what I see as clearly the definitive (at least for now) Snake Eyes.

Maybe diehard Joe fans see something wrong with this figure…but I don’t.

[raven 5]

Where to Buy:

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He-Man & Battle Cat (after Watterson)


Pic of the Day > TFP Arcee & Snake Eyes by (Talyn)


  1. Wow, apparently people like the Joe reviews. Good thing I've got Low-Light and the Hazard-Viper in the queue.

  2. Barbecue17

    Best 1/18th figure ever? Possibly.

  3. Mecha-Shiva

    I still don't get what those straps between his thighs are for,should they be crisscross from his outer thigh in like a paratrooper?

  4. Mark

    I should have said earlier but, I really prefer the commando head. I know the vizor is more iconic but over the last few years the v1 commando look is slowly becomming my favourite.

  5. Huh. Joe enthusiast that I am, I am surprised to see that I had to go all the way back to page 4 (the Icarius review) to find a post with as many replies as this one. I'll concede it probably has more to do with the relative scarcity of Joe coverage here than anything else, though.

  6. Ah yes–I remember now! Thank you! I will update above, with credit.

    And I totally believe the Predator connection–Hasbro really should have paid Sonny Landham likeness rights for Spirit Iron-Knife.

    • Seriously. The Spirit figure has this dead gaze that stares straight through your soul.

      Snow Job's got a Kurt Russell from The Thing vibe while possibly winning some sort of designer dare to pack the most accessories with a 3 3/4" figure ever.

      Low-Light looks to have an unofficial likeness of Tom Berenger, star of Sniper, naturally. When you open him, be prepared for a long game of "Find-the-single-microscopic bullet-in-the-carpet!" It's a challenging bonus feature. It took me an hour, but I won!

      Snake Eyes was my pleasure. Glad to see he got 5 coveted Ravens! I bought myself a 2nd since the heads were too cool to choose just one at a time.

  7. @Poe

    I'm the mysterious donor of this Snake Eyes. And the previous "Best Snake Eyes Eva!" to his left in the comparison pic. That was quite a while ago, so I'd have been surprised if you had remembered.

    You're pretty much right about how the Pursuit of Cobra works, but I'll elaborate some in case anyone's curious. Pursuit of Cobra was intended as a sub-line of the live action film and was conceived as a storyline that takes off right after the events of the Rise of Cobra film, with the Joes chasing this newfangled "Cobra" organization all over the world. I imagine the 4 separate environmental themes were conceived as a way to encourage the collection of specific battle scenarios and as a good excuse to release the film's stars in multiple outfits.

    When the ROC toys didn't take off as well as expected, Hasbro changed gears and launched POC as its own thing by scrapping the actor heads with new sculpts and repurposing some of the figures into entirely different characters. The overall ultra-modern military design goal remains intact, but the transition seems to have allowed more classic designs to be tweaked as well. I'm not sure if this Snake Eyes was always intended for release, but I'm glad he exists.

    I'll finally mention something I found really fun about POC that non Joe fans may have missed. The designs of the line are no only influenced by modern sci-fi/military video games, but there are several nods to classic action films like Predator and Aliens.

  8. Valo487

    Pursuit of Cobra got me addicted to GI Joe again, it’s such a solid line l almost dread the transition to the movie figures coming soon. If we never got a Joe line this good again that would be a real shame. I’d be happy to get Pursuit of Cobra versions of these characters forever.

  9. Kid Nicky

    You may like other properties better,so do I (allthough I do like Joe). But objectively these are the best figures on the market.

  10. Zach

    I bought this figure based on the review at OAFE and it did not disappoint.

  11. Thomas b

    Love this figure. Can’t wait for the ultimate storm shadow figure due out soon.

  12. Ridureyu

    Indeed, I love the extra things added to your reviews! The fiction was great, and sadly better than anything Hasbro will put on a filecard.

  13. Southzen

    Figures like this make me happy to be a joe collector. This along with most of POC and 30th anni are the great rewards for putting up with ho-hum repaints and sorry figures, I'm looking at you Rise Of Cobra. The great thing about Hasbro, they reuse parts, which means I am sure we should expect to see more of this Snake Eyes in other figures down the line. POC is a great short run that seems to continue on into the 30th anniversary. I know Hasbro said that accessories will be down sized after wave 4 of the 30th, don't worry Lifeline is still coming as you've seen him. I hope Hasbro continues the POC design style with the GIJJoe Retaliation line.

    • "The great thing about Hasbro, they reuse parts, which means I am sure we should expect to see more of this Snake Eyes in other figures down the line."

      They've already reused his parts rather extensively.

  14. T.

    If this is the Snake-Eyes I’m thinking of, he should have disc ball joints at the wrists as well, which was a mind-blower for a figure so small…

  15. Fengschwing

    A very enjoyable review! I haven't had any Joes since I was a kid and they were called Action Force over here, however, like American Hyena, I must admit I have been feeling the pull of them of late since the metric fook-ton of accessories started to be included. I read Monkey Boy's Pursuit of Cobra Destro review over at OAFE and nearly snapped there and then, it's the fact I've tried to abandon that scale and my wallet is stretched to breaking point with DCUC and Doctor Who that has kept me sensible, otherwise I fear I might be snapping all of these up.
    Snake Eyes looks like he's worth making an exception for though…you know, just for old times sake…

  16. Say, Poe, when are you going to review Snake Eyes?

    …sorry. Reflex.

    I am digging these little slices of fiction you've been including lately. Very nice, and a refreshing change of pace from the too-similar reviews out there.

    I am intrigued that you have two other Snake Eyes figures; how many Joes do you have in total?

    You had mentioned Sci-Fi recently; here is a review that confirms his awesomeness:

    I hear you on the articulation; it's damn near great, but frustrating. The swivel on the torso joint is fine, but I don't understand why it can't provide more back-to-front articulation, too. (If that doesn't make sense, I'm basically lamenting the fact that the figures can barely bend over at the torso joint). Compared to Sigmas, the small Joes have a long way to go, articulation-wise (although they've recently caught up where accessories are concerned). The Sigma 6 series included two super-articulated figures, and I easily got one of them into the pose of Rodan's Thinker. That ain't happening with small Joes.

    Kinda cool that you posted this right as Crawford posted his review of the new Marauders 7-pack; two sites that don't typically focus on Joes posting Joe reviews at the same time makes me a happy Joe nerd.

    Low Light is indeed a cool figure, but his accessories might drive you nuts.

    Great review!

  17. Mark

    One of the best Snake Eyes figures avaiable, although my favourite is the 25th Hall of Heroes v 2.
    Excellent review as always Poe.

  18. I've got Low-Light in my gigantic review queue.

  19. AmericanHyena

    The Pursuit of Cobra figures are just RIDICULOUS when it comes to accessories. I have steadfastly managed to resist collecting any modern G.I. Joe figures (this despite the fact that G.I. Joe was THE toyline for me when I was a kid) but DCUC, MOTC and Transformers is already a pretty full plate (as is I had to make the decision to drop Minimates and Ghostbusters a couple years ago).

    But damn it…the POC Joes are tempting. I won't be able to resist Lifeline when he comes out later this year (he was always my favorite as a kid) and I sorta hope against hope that this won't be opening the flood gates.

    And if you like this figure you NEED to check out Lowlight. Hands down figure of the year in the scale.

  20. Dead Man Walking

    Yep. An amazing figure. It's figures like this that make it so that I will never be satisfied with the mediocre stuff a company like Bandai puts out.

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