S.N.A.K.E. v3 (Serpent armor)
So this past Wednesday was of course new comic book day. It was one of those weeks where my pull list was lighter than I’m accustomed too. When my haul is too skimpy I feel compelled to pad it with a few extra purchases. This is not a good strategy as just because I’m getting off on the cheap this week, next week could very well be brutal. Last week for example there were 7 trade paper backs in my account (averaging $20 a piece). I haven’t even read through them all yet so why I feel compelled to pick up new ones is beyond even my understanding. So I ended up grabbing two extra soft covers this week that I hadn’t planned on. I tell myself, just save money elsewhere in the week to make up for these impulse buys. Buy a frozen pizza for dinner instead of ordering out or something. So that’s the deal I make with myself often : Yes you can buy this thing but no more frivolous spending for the rest of the week. That works out great except in cases where Andrew suddenly calls me and asks if I want to make a random trip over to Dartmouth to check the toy stores and comic shops on the dark side of the harbour. Yesterday was one of those days. No sooner had I arrived back at my desk after my lunch break/comic book trip before my phone buzzed with a text. “I got the car tonight. Wanna go to Dartmouth?” I actually convinced myself that I would go simply for the social aspect and that I wouldn’t buy anything. Unfortunately once we arrived at Giant Robot Comics we saw the store owner stocking a newly added display case full of loose G.I. Joe figures. “How much for the loose Joes?” I asked. “$4.99” the good man responded. The storekeep offered me the box of figures he was in the process of displaying and told me to take a look through. These were modern Joe figures of which I have most of them but to my surprise I found a few rarities lurking about in that box. I ended up buying nearly a dozen figures. And since I had already broken my frivolous spending promise I didn’t think twice about buying 4 more figures at Toys R Us afterwards. It’s a sickness.
So today I shall be reviewing one of those Joe figures that I scored for five bucks, the Cobra Serpent Armor. The S.N.A.K.E. (which stands for god knows what)armor was first released way back in 1983. Back then it was white and and it was super cool. A blue repaint was released in 1985 but I never had that one. The mold has been repainted a couple of other times internationally and for conventions so there are red and chrome ones floating around out there too. When this black version was released in 2009 as part of the Rise of Cobra movie line (it does not appear in the movie) I just had to have it. Unfortunately it was a Target exclusive toy in the US and a Zellers exclusive toy here in Canada. The SNAKE armor, or Serpent armor as they were now calling it came packaged with yet another repaint of the uber-crappy movie Neo-Viper. I really didn’t care for the figure and as cool as the armor is it’s really more of an accessory than anything else. Zellers was asking for 30+ dollars for this thing! That’s the same amount I would spend on a tank or a jet! This was just a douchy Neo-Viper with an over-sized accessory. Other exclusives in the same series included a Strato-Viper with a glider and Cobra Eel with a sea-doo. Nifty figures maybe but not nifty enough to warrant me spending tank dollars. I stood my ground and didn’t buy it, no matter how many times I visited Zellers and was tempted. They stayed on the shelves for years and got marked down five bucks, still too pricey, I’d wait them out. Eventually the Serpent armors were gone but as recently as last week I saw the Strato-Viper and glider with the “was 34.99 Now 29.99” tag on it. I really wanted that armor and was thinking I was probably gonna have to turn to ebay now and shell even more for the damn thing than i would’ve had i just bought it at Zellers. Well for once my patience has paid off because I scored the Serpent armor for $5, woo hoo!
So was it worth the wait? yes and no. I’m glad I didn’t spend 30 bones on it as it’s the same clunky old armor I got back in 1983. It’s black now but that’s all that’s changed. It’s still an awkward blocky outdated looking robot and by no means worth upwards of 30 dollars. This thing should’ve been priced at $14.99 to begin with. However, I do still love this thing. The SNAKE can be used as either a robot trooper or as a suit of armor for a Cobra Trooper. To use as armor you simply snap the front and back sides of the legs over a figures legs and then
cross the figures arms and enclose him in the shell of the SNAKE body. To use it as a robot you build the legs around this weird rubber skeleton piece that’s included and that will hold the empty armor together. I always preferred to use the armor as a robot because why waste a figure in there? The SNAKES got a little exposure in early episodes of the Joe cartoon but that was before the introduction of the Cobra B.A.T.S (Battle Android Troopers) the much more popular robotic Cobra soldier. Even though the Serpent armor looks incredibly out of date, like it belongs in a 60s sci-fi movie I still find it charming and still see a place for it in my Joe-verse. I shall happily display this figure on my shelf. Nostalgia dictates a 7 out of 10.