COBRA MORTAL v.2
A couple of weeks ago I reviewed the Cobra S.A.W. Viper which was included in the 2013 Joe Con box set. SAW Viper was decent but I still have 10 more figures to review from that set so I figured that I had better get to it. There was lots to get excited about in the 2013 set but I have to say that it was this figure that peaked my interest the most; Cobra Mortal.
I’ve loved G.I. Joe since the toy line was reimagined in the 3 ¾” scale back in 1982. I was on board from the very beginning back when I was just 4 years old. My passion for Joe continued until about 1989, when I would have been 11. Not only was I growing up, getting more interested in girls, skateboarding, and music, but the brand seemed to be growing down, catering to a younger audience with its neon colors and abundance of gimmicks. Me and Joe sadly grew apart but my love of the characters from my youth never waned.
By the time the brand was gearing up for revival in 2002 I was ready for it. After a 13 year separation I was chomping at the bit for new Joes. I was 24 with my own place and disposable income. The adult oriented action figure market was alive and well and I had grown bored of buying Star Wars figures. My credit card and I jumped into the new sculpt era with reckless abandon. Toy collecting as a young man was totally different than when I was a kid. Not only could I buy whatever I wanted whenever I wanted but I knew what was coming out. As a kid I only discovered that there were new Joe figures out by finding them in the SEARS wishbook or by spotting them on the shelves. By 2002 I had Toyfare magazine and a little invention called the internet to assist me in my collecting. I developed a daily habit of visiting GeneralsJoes.com to get the latest G.I. news and reviews. It opened up my eyes to the online Joe community, news sites, online stores, customizing, and message boards. The internet educated me on all kinds of things I didn’t know about Joe before, such as the existence of figures that were only ever released in foreign markets. The 2 foreign figures I was most intrigued by were Brazil’s Cobra De Aco and Argentina’s Cobra Mortal. De Aco consisted of a chromed Snake Eyes head on a repainted Flash body while Mortal was a complete version 1 Snake Eyes figure repainted an ungodly mishmash of red and chrome. Both figures became popular with collectors in this new international online market so the prices were way out of my league. Sadly, I just figured that I’d never get to add De Aco or Mortal to my collection.
But in 2006 the Collector’s Club convention set was titled Cobra’s Most Wanted: Mercenaries and it featured the first ever official American release of Cobra Mortal, which was an exact reproduction of the Argentinean version, a 1982 Snake Eyes painted red and chrome. I really wanted one but back then the 15 figure Con set included just 3 unique figures, and 2 sets of 6 identical figures; not enough diversity for my hard earned cash.
A mere year later the 25th anniversary Joes came out and I focused all of my Joe collecting attention on the new style of figure, making O-ring style figures released even just 1 year early pretty much redundant in my eyes. For the 2011 convention the Collector’s Club released a modern style box set called Special Mission : Brazil II which featured the first ever official American release of Cobra De Aco. I wish I had ordered that set but I didn’t. Luckily Vanessa bought me the De Aco as a present and he was far and away the figure that I wanted most from the set.
Now that the Club had provided me with a De Aco and a bunch of other modern versions of vintage international characters like Quarrel and TNT I hoped that a modern style Cobra Mortal would soon follow, and it did. Only it wasn’t the red and chrome version I expected. Instead, in the 2013 box set they opted to reproduce the hella-rare Venezuelan version of Cobra Mortal which originally consisted of a chrome 1982 Snake Eyes head on an all white body with a Cobra logo on the chest. While the red and chrome version is better known to collectors, I appreciate that the Club didn’t want to repeat themselves by giving us an updated version of the look they already gave us in 2006.
I’m still hoping to get a modern red and chrome version down the road but I think I actually prefer the all-white Venezuelan look for the character. When the Club first revealed pictures of the figure I was sold. As much as I wanted Spearhead, Repeater and the other characters from the set it was Cobra Mortal that sealed the deal for me.
So now that I have the figure in hand how does it hold up? I quite like it. They used the head, torso, and arms of Snake Eyes version 54, arguably the best Snake Eyes figure of all time so that’s a good start. They didn’t vac-metal his head as they did on De Aco which I think was a good choice. Cobra De Aco is one of my favorite pieces in my collection and the chrome head gives him a unique look. Too many chrome headed characters would detract from that. The turtle neck commando sweater with all the sculpted ridges looks just as good in white as it did in black. The removable web gear, satchel, and many of the other accessories come from a different Snake Eyes figure but they work well with this body too. Where this figure goes off the rails a bit is in the legs. His upper legs come from Snake Eyes version 28 while the lower legs come from a 2007 Cobra Commander. It’s a weird pairing that doesn’t quite work. It’s not horrible but it’s not great. I’m glad that the club took a chance on a new look instead of giving us a straight Snake Eyes repaint. I suppose the slender lower legs give him a classier more tailored look which suits his description as a Venezuelan crime lord. The two halves just don’t gel well together. Complete Snake Eyes legs probably would have been the better way to go. My Mortal seems to have one leg longer than the other which gives him a gimpy stance.
This figure isn’t perfect but I feel he deserves more than the 2 stars he received over at GeneralJoes. I think this is a fantastic new character to add to my collection who I think would have opened up all kind of new play scenarios if I actually stilled played with these things. Cobra Mortal remains one of the highlights of the 2013 Convention set. 9 out of 10.