SNAKE EYES v31
Believe it or not I have another Snake Eyes figure that I want to talk to you about. It’s not like I don’t have hundreds of other figures to talk about, it’s just that this one has caught my fancy today. And the thing that makes this figure so special is that it’s blue.
When G.I. Joe came back in 2002 after a 10+ year dormancy I was stoked. I was happy to have such an expansive line of toys to collect that was so near and dear to my heart. The new sculpt era wasn’t without its flaws, in fact it had many, but it was all that was available and so I was content. I remember when I first saw the ad in an issue of Toyfare Magazine in what must have been late 2006. An ad featuring a G.I. Joe figure like I’d never seen before. An ad promoting a newly designed toy line celebrating the 25th anniversary of G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero which debuted in 1982. The line was to feature 25 of the brand’s most popular characters sculpted with more detail than we’d ever seen before in a 3 inch Joe. The figures boasted enhanced articulation, increased size, removable web gear, loads of weapons and a display base. When the promotional shots of these figures were unveiled I was floored. They looked to be light years beyond the new sculpt figures we were currently getting from Hasbro. I couldn’t wait. And it was that first print ad featuring Snake Eyes that had me salivating.
When the figures hit retail they weren’t perfect but they were pretty damn good. I loved them. I see some people hating on those early 25th anniversary figures online these days but I still see them through rose colored glasses. That Snake Eyes figure looked almost as good in hand as he did in the ad. He was definitely one of the better figures of the original 25. The line was a hit with fans at the time and ended up expanding beyond the originally announced 25 figures. It basically continues on today but it’s no longer called the 25th anniversary line as that would be silly 5 years after the fact.
All of my G.I. Joe focus is on these modern day figures these days and I’ve all but abandoned collecting pre-2007 Joes. I strive to have the best versions of every unique character released and every trooper variant. This means I’m not a Hasbro slave forcing myself to buy a new Duke figure every time they change the color of his boots. I actually leave a fair amount of new figures on the pegs if I feel I already have a superior version of that character at home. I refuse to let Hasbro suck every last penny out of me by buying the swarms of useless repaints they put out. So when that 25th anniversary Snake Eyes figure was re-released in blue I easily dismissed it. No thanks Hasbro, Leona Hyland didn’t raise no fool.
But then I saw this figure online at a very reasonable price so I figured what the hell. When he arrived I was absolutely smitten by his blueness. It has all the elements of the original 25th anniversary version (Snake Eyes version 28) which I loved the first time around, only now they were blue. Now I know Snake Eyes dresses all in black, that’s his thing; but a blue Snake Eyes is not without precedent. In all of the early animated episodes Snake Eyes was colored blue. I assume this was done so he would show up on screen and not appear as a solid black mass. For this reason I do have a soft spot for a blue Snake Eyes. This version isn’t completely accurate to what appeared on screen in those old cartoons but it’s close enough.
I’m a little embarrassed to rave about a new figure which is exactly the same as another figure I already own only painted a different color. The main reason I’m self conscious about this is because I remember when my mom ( the aforementioned Leona) watched “The 40 year old Virgin” for the first time. I asked her how she liked it and she said the scene where Steve Carell is painting the pants of his figurines “and now..I am making your silver pants..blue” reminded her of me. Thanks mom. Just for the record I am not a virgin and I’m not even 40 yet. But Steve was right, blue is much better. 8 out of 10.