COBRA THRONE ROOM
Hey gang, I know I promised more reviews and then I disappeared for another week and a half and for that I apologize. I truly thought, that as a newly single, middle-aged, toy-collector who recently moved to the outskirts of the city, I’d be spending a lot more time home alone. However I’ve actually been quite busy these past couple of weeks. Being single has resulted in a shift in my social life that involves going to a lot more movies, going to a lot more bars, and just going out socializing in general. I’m sure that will all cool down soon enough though and then I can get back to what really matters; writing about action figures in a dark lonely room.
For a change, today’s subject isn’t an action figure. I suppose you could call today’s item a play set, or more accurately a display base.
I always loved the elaborate cobra-themed temples featured in the 1980s G.I. Joe cartoon. I wish Hasbro had released one as a play set. Sure, they released the Cobra Terror Drome in 1986, but as cool as it was it lacked the over-the-top panache of the temples featured in the cartoon. Plus it was lacking a key component: a lavish throne room. Cobra Commander is a bit of a diva in that he likes to live like a royal. He always had these big golden snake themed thrones in giant rooms containing nothing but pillars and banners.
When G.I. Joe was reborn in the new-sculpt era of the early 2000s my collecting reached a fever pitch. I was buying up Joes online like crazy and I had been bitten by the army-building bug, meaning I’d buy multiple copies of a single figure so that I could build squads of identical troopers. That’s something I would have loved to have been able to do as a kid; it would have made playing so much more fun. The ironic thing is that by the time I was able to make my childhood dream of owning a massive Cobra army a reality, I was too old to actually play with them. As much as I wish I could drag my little plastic soldiers out to the backyard for an epic battle I just don’t have it in me anymore. So instead, my Joe collection became display pieces.
During the new-sculpt years I set up elaborate dioramas on bookshelves and folding tables. I had trees and fences and vehicles, and Joes and Cobras locked in intense combat. Those were a lot of fun to set-up. One display that was an absolute must was a Cobra throne room. I decided to make my Cobra Commander a stage of sorts, a place from where he could rally his troops with rousing lispy speeches. I was inspired by the cover of issue 100 of the G. I. Joe comic to give my Commander a red backdrop with a large black Cobra logo.
There would have been many simple ways to construct such a display. The easiest being, get some red construction paper and draw a Cobra logo on it with a black marker. I’m not sure why I didn’t do that. What I decided to do instead was take an empty box of crackers, stuff it full of newspaper for support, and wrap it in red wrapping paper. Then I took a comic backing board, wrapped it in the same red paper and stuck the two together. Then I took a role of black electrical tape and cut it into little pieces so that I could freehandedly make a Cobra logo on the backboard. I added a couple of electrical tape lines down the side, poked two Cobra staffs through the front and…voila! The most overly complicated display base ever.
This display base isn’t perfect but it has served me well for over a decade. I haven’t displayed my figures in elaborate battle scenes for years but I’ve always displayed my Cobra Commander, along with a couple of Crimson Guards, on this base. It drew the eye and broke up the monotony of multiple black shelves jam packed with action figures.
However, I’ve opted to change up my display in this new apartment. This cracker box stage is no longer needed so sadly it’s getting scrapped. I almost threw it in the garbage the other day with no fanfare whatsoever but after some thought I decided it deserved it’s own review and a fond farewell. Dare I say, 10 out of 10.