COBRA TROOPER v.20 (2014)
In my last post I reviewed the original 1982 Cobra Trooper. Today I’m going to take a look at 2014’s 50th anniversary version of that figure. Now, you might have noticed that the math doesn’t quite add up there. How very astute of you. 2014 is the 50th anniversary of the overall G.I. Joe brand dating back to the release of the first 12” doll back in 1964. Back then Joe didn’t have any enemies, just a bunch of outfits. It wasn’t until the brand was revived in 1982 in a new 3 3/4″ scale that Joe finally had an opponent, the terrorist group known as Cobra.
The Cobra trooper, or “blueshirt”, practically made up Cobra’s entire organization in the very early days of the new G.I. Joe. They did everything from working in the laboratory to manning the computer terminals to piloting the aircraft. As new specialty troopers were added to the organization the blueshirts role within Cobra was reduced but none of those specialty troops, not even the new standard infantry soldiers the Vipers, were able to push the blueshirts out completely.
The troopers are still an integral part of Cobra even after 32 years. Their look has been altered slightly here and there but they’ve retained their original design for the most part and they’ve remained a mainstay of every incarnation of G.I. Joe from the comics published by IDW, to the various animated series’ (Resolute, Renegades), to the live action movies (Retaliation). No other faction of Cobra is so prolific.
The 3 3/4″ toyline went through major overhaul in 2007 when Hasbro launched its 25th anniversary line of figures (that anniversary was in regards to the launch of the 1982 figures). The first wave of anniversary figures consisted of 5 Joes and 5 Cobras released in multi-figure box sets. Hasbro chose what they thought were the most iconic characters for each team. The Cobra Trooper was one of the 5 Cobra characters chosen. The success of those initial box sets lead to the anniversary line being expanded beyond the initially planned 25 figures into a massive toyline that’s still plugging along today. These 50th anniversary figures are the latest addition to what has become known as the modern era of G.I. Joe.
The first modern version of the Cobra Trooper was decent but there was room for improvement. This figure still isn’t perfect but it’s a step in the right direction. This figure was initially released in 2011 as part of the the “Pursuit of Cobra” (POC) series. The POC figures were notoriously hard to find at retail so I suppose that’s partly why Hasbro decided to re-release it as part of the 50th anniversary line. I’m sure many collector’s are happy to have a second chance at this figure. The only disceranble differences between the two are that this version has a larger Cobra logo on the chest and the smaller Cobra logo on the left arm is gold instead of red.
There’s a ton of great sculpted detail on this figure. The outfit is full of wrinkles and pockets but it’s not so busy as to feel cluttered. His right leg has a sheath and a holster where you can store his knife and pistol. Both his web gear and helmet are removable. Beneath the helmet he has short brown hair which is an improvement over the bald headed 2007 version. This figure has loads of articulation including ankle joints and double jointed knees so he can be posed all kinds of ways.
He came packaged with a rifle, a bazooka, 2 pistols with silencers, a knife, a coil of barbed wire, and a display base with a gold Cobra logo. He’s armed much better than the 1982 version was but sometimes these extra weapons just feel like overkill. I’d gladly accept fewer weapons with my figures if it would drive the cost down a little.
This is a great update of the original blueshift. I’m always happy to add a new version of the trooper to my Cobra ranks. They’re available in Toys R Us right now so go get one. 9 out of 10.