SNAKE EYES (Hot Toys) (2013)
Well Christmas has come and gone. I’ve already begun packing up the decorations and putting gifts in their place. After a solid week of frantic shopping and hanging out with family I’m finally able to kick back, relax, and review some action figures. Did I get any new action figures for Christmas? Yes I did, some awesome ones at that. I’ll be honest and tell you that the majority of toys that were waiting for me under the tree were purchased by myself for myself. All of my December purchases went under the tree including my latest shipment of Joe Club FSS figures and the latest offerings from Matty collector. Even though I knew what was in those boxes it was still pretty exciting to tear into them on Christmas morning. However, nothing can beat the thrill of opening up a present (that you just know is gonna be something cool) when you don’t know specifically what it is. When it comes to my girlfriend Vanessa and my brother Doug I always know I’m gonna get something cool for Christmas and both of them outdid themselves this year. Doug got me 3 great figures which I will review in the coming days. Vanessa only got me one figure (along with some socks and chocolates and whatnot) but what an action figure it is.
This is Snake Eyes by Hot Toys, a Hong Kong based toy company founded in 2000. They started off making realistic 12″ military figures akin to the G.I. Joes of the 1960s. I’m not a big collector of either 12″ figures or generic military figures so I didn’t pay much attention to Hot Toys’ output until a few years later when they started making figures from licensed properties such as Iron Man and Predator. High quality 12″ collectibles are nothing new; the Rocketeer produced by Medicom, for example, is one of the highlights of my toy collection. Sideshow has even produced some really nice 12″ Real American Hero era Joe figures. But when images of the Hot Toys’ figures began showing up online I was blown away by their level of detail. The artistry is most apparent in the actor likenesses. Their Robert Downey Jr. from Iron Man and their Jack Nicholson from Batman are so lifelike that it’s eerie. Unfortunately that level of detail comes at a cost. Hot Toys are damn expensive, starting at $200. Now I could see someone spending that much on a single, stand-alone figure but I know myself, and once I had one of these collectables I know I’d need more. So no matter how cool they looked I vowed to admire Hot Toys’ figures from afar. But then in 2013 they picked up the license to create figures based on the second live-action G.I. Joe movie: Retaliation. Dammit.
When the first Retaliation figure, Snake Eyes, went up for pre-sale on BigBadToyStore it took all of my willpower not to order it. It was nearly impossible to identify Snake Eyes as an action figure from the promotional images released; they looked like screen shots from the film. It was so unbelievably cool. As tempted as I was to buy it I knew that I was better off not opening a can of very expensive worms and so I watched with sadness as the pre-orders sold out thus cementing the fact that I would never own on. Sure, I could always buy one later on the secondary market but the price would likely double by then.
Well Vanessa braved the secondary market and the result was me finding this wicked cool Snake Eyes under the tree on Christmas morning (technically it was the 26th because I had to wait for her to return home from her parent’s house before we could exchange presents). When I tore the paper off my present I was initially greeted by a plain cardboard box with the Hot Toys logo. Perhaps the greatest plain cardboard box ever.
Inside that was a wicked cool white box with a reflective G.I. Joe logo and an image of Snake Eyes from the movie. Inside that was a clear window box which gave me my first glance at the actual figure. Inside of the window box was a custom fitted tray which housed the figure under a clear plastic lid. Once I got the lid off I was finally able to hold this awesome figure in my hands.
I wish these figures were more affordable but I would say that Snake Eyes is absolutely worth the hefty price tag. It’s hard to describe just how cool this figure is. There is so much fine detail that it looks like it could be displayed in a museum. The boots have worn treads on the bottom, sculpted laces and even sculpted wrinkles in the toes. They look as though Snake Eyes has actually been running around in them for a while. The canvas pants have multiple pouches with buckles and working zippers. The belt has a holster for his pistol and a sheath for his knife. The torso is truly impressive with multiple materials used to replicate the movie look. There’s silver “kevlar” on the underarms, mesh sides, and layered armor. For a figure that’s “all black” it’s astounding how many various shades of black they squeezed into this figure which really adds to the realism. The sword sheath on Snake Eyes’ back is very impressive with it’s alligator skin like texture and real string wrap. There is so much going on here that you really need to see it to appreciate it all.
The head sculpt is also amazing. There are 3 different materials used and each of them is a different shade of black. The bulk of it is a matte black, the visor has a reflective sheen, and the mouth area has a screen under which you can see even more sculpted detail. This mask looks much more believable than the Snake Eyes mask from the first movie; it actually looks like a guy could believably breathe through this thing.
For accessories This figure includes 8 alternate hands, 2 swords, 2 knives, a pistol, a machine gun, and a display stand. The detail on the accessories is top-notch as well. The machine gun has moving parts but it’s the swords that really shine (literally). They are both made with real metal. One has a reflective silver blade and the other is black. Both feature the Arashikage symbol on the blade and the hilts have some really nice sculpted detail.
I am blown away by this action figure. This will forever be one of the coolest things I own. I’ve already begun planning my future Hot Toys purchases: Storm Shadow, the Crow, Sweeney Todd, Tonto, etc. 11 out of 10.