SNAKE EYES (2015) JUMBO 12″
When the G.I. Joe: Real American Hero toy line launched in 1982 I was 4 years old. I can’t say with certainty who my first G.I. Joe figure was (I might’ve gotten 2 or 3 at the same time for Christmas or something) but Snake Eyes was one of my firsts if not THE first. Of the 16 figures released that year I got 4 of them (Snake Eyes, Stalker, Short-Fuze, and Cobra Trooper) and my brother Doug, who is 2 years older, got the other 12. Six year old Doug clearly had more toy collecting clout than I did back in 1982 so I don’t know how I ended up with the coolest figure of the bunch. There was no doubt from day 1 that Snake Eyes was the star of G.I. Joe and that’s pretty impressive for a for a figure with zero paint applications and a character that never spoke in the cartoons or comics.
Snake Eyes is most well known for being the Joe team’s resident ninja but back in ’82 that was only a facet of who he was. The masked mystery man was primarily the Joe team’s commando and a hand-to-hand combat instructor second. The file card on the back of his blister card described him as follows:
“Snake Eyes is proficient in 12 different unarmed fighting systems (Karate, Kung-Fu, Jujitsu) and is highly skilled in the use of edged weapons. Has received extensive training in mountaineering, underwater demolitions, jungle, desert and arctic survival, and some form of holistic medicine. Qualified Expert: All NATO and Warsaw pact small arms.”
The man could do it all.
I loved that original Snake Eyes figure. It was simple (just a solid black figure with an uzi and a pack of explosives) but it was perfect. I played the hell out of that toy and as a result he took on some battle damage. I was quite distraught when I broke both of Snake Eyes’ thumbs off. That kind of thing happened a lot back then because of the stiff type of plastic used. Crotches used to snap off frequently too but thankfully my ’82 Snake Eyes never experienced that.
Losing two thumbs meant Snake Eyes couldn’t brandish his trademark uzi and that was unacceptable. Fortunately I had a dad willing to play surgeon and he replaced Snake Eyes’ damaged limbs with a set of arms borrowed from a sacrificial Cobra Commander. He painted them black with model paint and when he was done you could barely tell the difference. To this day my Snake Eyes has hints of blue showing through on his sleeves. Some might see that as a detriment to the figure but I like the fact that I’d be able to identify MY Snake Eyes in a sea of Snake Eyes figures. I also like remembering how dad used to do that kind of thing. He kept a tobacco can full of spare figure parts just in case of emergencies such as this.
My birthday was last weekend on January 17. I turned 38. A bunch of friends joined me out for drinks on Friday night and I spent Sunday with my family. Doug got me a notable gift that day which I will share with in a future post. On the Saturday between Vanessa took me out birthday present shopping. She set out to spoil me so she plotted a course to all the local comic book stores and Toys R Us (did I mention i just turned 38). Our first (and as it turned out only) stop was Giant Robot Comics in Dartmouth. That store is packed with tons of cool stuff at reasonable prices like Transformers and DC super heroes but I wanted to get something special for my special day and I had something in mind.
The last time I was there (boxing day) I saw that they had a decent selection of Gentle Giant’s jumbo reproduction figures. GG has been making jumbo reproductions of vintage Star Wars figures for years. You might recall that Doug got me their Walrus Man a while back. Well in 2015 GG launched a Jumbo line of 1982 G.I. Joe reproductions. It would be cool if they eventually got around to making all 16 of the original figures (a Cobra trooper would be pretty sweet) but as of now they’ve produced five: Rock N Roll, Stalker, Zap, Grunt, and Snake Eyes. Any of them would have made an excellent addition to my collection but Snake Eyes is obviously the crown jewel of the bunch. That was evidenced by the fact that he was $50 more expensive than all the other figures.
I was hoping he would only be $100 like the rest so the inflated price had me second guessing my selection. Vanessa shrugged off the $150 price tag and placed Snake Eyes in my hands. Another guy in the store was cursing himself for not buying it himself once he saw me walking to the counter with it. Tough luck dude, get a Vanessa of your own. Jumbo Snake Eyes is mine.
Vanessa bought me an amazing 12″ Snake Eyes figure a couple years ago. That Hot Toys figure was intricately detailed and lifelike in appearance. This 12″ Snake Eyes is also awesome but for completely different reasons. It’s the opposite of intricately detailed and lifelike. It’s blatantly a giant f**king toy; an oversized exact reproduction of the 1982 figure. The sculpt is basic, the articulation is limited (no swivel-arm battle grip), and the accessories are few. It looks absolutely killer and gives me a whole new appreciation for the original figure. The sculpted detail on the weapons is especially impressive when blown up to this scale.
The card art is reproduced beautifully too though the card itself isn’t quite as accurate as the figure. If the packaging had been blown up proportionately this thing would be huge. The card is sized perfectly so that it’s reminiscent of the original without being obnoxious and impossible to display.
This thing oozes nostalgia and it makes me feel like a kid again. I absolutely love it. 10 out of 10.