Monday, April 6, 2015

Geexplosion's Favorite GI Joe Cobra Figures (That Aren't Storm Shadow) Part 1


Cobra was introduced in 1982 as the enemy of the Hasbro GI Joe A Real American Hero toy line. Cobra was invented by Archie Goodwin, a writer working for Marvel comics. Hasbro asked the Marvel to work on a comic book to promote the toy line. Hasbro, thinking villain figures wouldn't sell well, had not created an enemy for the Joe team. According to Marvels greatest Editor in Chief of all time, Jim Shooter, the villains, despite having less figures, vehicles, and playsets, account for 40% of the A Real American Hero line's sales.

The story makes me wonder how Hasbro has stayed in business since 1923. Villains don't sell?

Yeah, that Darth Vader figure was a mistake. Then again, Hasbro did wind up buying Kenner...

This list will only include individually carded Cobra. I won't be including any Cobra that came only with a vehicle or playset.

The pictures of the figures, carded and loose, were borrowed from WWW.YOJOE.COM. It's a great website to check out if you are a fan of the A Real American Hero 3.75" line.


COBRA OFFICER/SOLDIER
Debut: '82 Original

This figure is one of the original carded 11. That makes it OG! It's such a simple, yet cool design. I have trouble deciding whether I like the Officer or the Soldier figure the best.

The biggest differences are: the Officer has a silver Cobra logo on his chest, has molded binoculars, and comes with an AK-47 rifle

The Soldier has the common red Cobra logo on his chest, has knee pads, and comes with a Dragunov sniper rifle. While writing I have come to the conclusion that the Soldier is my favorite. That classic red logo wins me over.

I decided to show the carded Officer, but you can see both figures down below.

It was always tough to buy Cobra soldiers. Whenever I had any spare cash to buy GI Joe figures I wanted to buy figures I didn't already own. This is natural. However, without an enemy for GI Joe to fight, they would grow bored and terrorize my Star Wars and Lego figures. I won't even get into what they might have done to my tender Care Bears. So, the inclination to buy multiple enemy, be they Cobra or Storm Troopers, is a strong desire. I think I owned 2 Officers and 5 Soldiers back in the day. Well, honestly, I still own them. I just don't know where they are at the moment.

DESTRO
Enemy Weapon Supplier
Debut: 1983 (Series 2)

Destro's body is taller than the normal 3.75" standing almost 4". Like the Baroness (see below), the Destro mold contained all new parts. According to my research, none of the pats were ever used in other figures. That makes the first version of Destro virtually unique in the GI Joe world of action figures. My biggest peeve from this build is the figure's feet. They are tiny. hardly what one would expect from dude in a steel mask that refers to himself as Destro.

With this sculpt Hasbro managed to combine imagery from antiquity and modernity. The mask harkens to the novel The Man in the Iron Mask, but this version has friggin' rockets on his gauntlets. New world charm!

The design of the mask is nice. In Destro's back story the mask is forged from beryllium steel. The head mold for the figure is a silver, vacuum-metalized head with a sheen that closely resembles chrome.

As the Enemy Weapons Dealer, Destro should come with some impressive accessories. His backpack is cool, it opens to reveal molded rockets, grenades, and other weapons. His pistol, while a laser pistol, well... it's not really all that impressive. I always had Destro make good use of those rockets on his wrists though. If you were a good guy in my universe you had to watch out for Destro wanting to do a fist bump.

BARONESS
Cobra Intelligence Officer
Debut: 1984 (Series 3)

You know she's smart because she wears glasses.

Larry Hama, the writer of the GI Joe comic book, stated that he created the Baroness because all of the other Cobra operatives had masks and he wanted someone that showed their face. Thus the nerdy, yet seductive, Baroness was born. She has been a regular cosplay conventions ever since.

The figure doesn't quite live up to the promise of the picture on the card, but it's not a terrible build. In fact, it was an original mold, so I'm surprised that Hasbro did that good of a job.

The biggest issue I have with this figure is the bulk. The Baroness figure is very manish. The mold has some impressive shoulders.They might be larger than Destro's. Nothing wrong with this, of course, I'm just not sure that's the look they wanted. It's definitely what they got.
Even with that issue of her bulk, the sculpt is really amazing. The way her bodice and leggings show off the scaling of the armor is impressive. I also really like the small cobra logo embossed on her gloves. The picture on the right shows her right hand with the cobra logo. It would have been cooler if the logo had been red, but I give them points for just including it in her build. The Baroness also get points for her awesome backpack.


FIREFLY
Cobra Saboteur
Debut: 1984 (Series 3)


Firefly was cool because he immediately reminded me of a German commando. A World War II German commando. Maybe it was his sub-machine gun. It kinda looks like the Maschinenpistole 38. It's more likely that the grey that was reminiscent of the Waffen SS uniform.

Either way, Firefly was a must purchase. At first I wasn't sure if he was supposed to be an individual named Firefly or if he was a type of specialty Cobra agent called Firefly. In the end I realized that he was a unique butterfly. He was a grey camo'd Cobra who looked like a ninja who blew stuff up. He was perfect and a much needed boost to my small Cobra force.

On his Command File it states that Firefly's primary specialties are: Sabotage, Demolitions, and Terror. Anyone that has a specialty in terror has got to be a badass.



If you liked this post on Geexplosion's favorite Cobra figures be sure to check out the post about Geexplosion's favorite Joe figure that aren't Snake Eyes.


COBRA OFFICER COBRA SOLDIER DESTRO BARONESS FIREFLY