From whispered rumors and fandom hopes, the time has finally arrived. The new G.I. Joe: Classified six inch action figure series from Hasbro has officially been released.
And as usual, I’m starting off with a somewhat boring one so I can save the best for last.
Boring isn’t fair, though. At its core, the Snake Eyes figure is a great figure, it just so happens that a far better one was already released a short time ago.
This Snake Eyes is a standard retail version of the figure we got as a Pulse Exclusive a short while ago, and the base figure itself retains all the cool sculpting and articulation that the first figure did. The main differences between them are the color scheme (this Snake Eyes leans more towards the pure black of old rather than the healthy variation of browns and grays) and the accessory compliment.
Depending on your perspective, this could be a negative or a positive. Personally, I much prefer the Pulse Exclusive, not just for the weapons rack, amazing ninja weapons and Snake Eyes’ trademark Uzi, but because unlike many other opinions I’ve seen floating around, I actually like the variation in colors instead of black from head to toe.
That being said, this figure has merits, and lots of them, especially for folks who didn’t take advantage of the Pulse pre-order and are now looking at hefty secondary market prices. Breaking down the base figure, this version of Snake Eyes is still really cool.
From a design perspective, you need to look at the sculpting first– it absolutely shines. No this isn’t a regurgitated 1985 Snake Eyes at a 6″ scale, it’s so much more. This is, by and large, a new conceptualization of the familiar Joe Commando, it just happens to have the right amount of vintage flair.
As I’ve already mentioned here, and in my review of the Pulse Exclusive, the sculpting and concept work on this figure is spectacular. There seems to be just the right mix of standard military and ninja super hero. His face mask is a great combination of the knight’s visor look and the Commando version, coming together in a head sculpt that looks remarkably like the G.I. Joe: Retaliation Battle Kata Snake Eyes.
(That’s a good thing).
The battle armor sculpted throughout the figure is sleek and non-intrusive, but again adds some terrific modern elements to the figure that I really appreciate and enjoy.
As mentioned above as well, the colors here are far more straight forward, going with a mostly black color scheme with just some minor hints of silver, mostly on the buckles and clasps. He has his red Arashikage symbol as well, of course. The result is a figure that feels much more like the Snake Eyes most people remember, which is fine, I just happen to prefer a little extra variation in my color schemes. In my opinion the Pulse version managed an attractice aesthetic without going overboard, where this figure feels a bit more bland, color-wise.
This version of the figure has the same removable parts as the previous version, though none of them really get in the way, so I don’t find myself desperate to take them off. Customizability is great, though, offering some opportunity for artistic Joe fans to take the base figure and spice things up a bit with other mix and match parts.
Impressive concept, amazing sculpting, littered with spectacular and fine details. The overall design of this figure is great, just not as colorful as the previous version (which to some people might be a good thing).
I’m in love.
Ever since first hitting the scene in the 1960’s, G.I. Joe has been a landmark in articulation and playability. For many, many years, G.I. Joe was a cornerstone. A hallmark of ingenuity and play that other toy lines desperately tried to emulate.
Well, Marvel Legends (among others) beat us to this one, but Snake Eyes still wears it well.
The articulation on this figure is simply incredible. Ball joints abound and if you can think of a pose to put Snake Eyes in, you can more or less do it. Ball joint waist, torso crunch, butterfly shoulders, ball joint neck (at the shoulders and at the chin) as well as double-jointed knees and elbows. Wrists and ankles have added articulation as well.
Because the figure is sculpted relatively sleek, he is able to maintain a number of different action or stabilized positions and I couldn’t be happier with the way the sculpting and articulation integrate.
If I had any complaints, it might be with the rocker ankles. I love rockers, but because the ankles can’t swivel, it’s a bit of a balancing act (figuratively and literally) to get him to stand in certain positions. Of course you generally have a choice – rocker or swivel, simple construction prevents the ability to have both, and ultimately I think rocker is the right choice.
So… here’s the biggest point of consternation among the fans right now, and its certainly not directed at only Snake Eyes. In fact, Roadblock is probably an even bigger target where this hot topic is concerned.
Unlike the Pulse exclusive Snake Eyes, this version doesn’t come with the extra ninja weapons (which was more or less expected) but an even bigger detraction is the fact that Snake Eyes’ trademark Uzi is replaced with a laser pistol sort of thing, and his standard sidearm is also replaced with a more laser-looking weapon (though it still fits the silencer, thank goodness!).
The Uzi replacement looks somewhat similar to a weapon that Retaliation Snake Eyes came with, while the pistol has some elements that remind me of the Rise of COBRA laser pistol.
First of all, I understand why they did this. The Pulse exclusive Snake Eyes is a figure geared towards collectors. Adults (I use that term loosely) who collect action figures as nostalgia driven entertainment. As such, Hasbro has more leeway about what sorts of weapons they can include. I have to imagine for figures being marketed at mass retail, for Walmart, Target, etc.. there is apparently a desire (quite possibly on the retail side) to include more fanciful weapons with the figure, rather than authentic looking machine guns.
I won’t get into the politics of this here, but considering the climate in America, I can totally see why this decision might be made to avoid any conflicts with potential customers. You can agree with it or disagree with it, but I would bet a lot of money that this is the reason why the figures come with these outside-the-box weapons.
Ultimately, while it would certainly be nice to see more “real world” sort of guns, I don’t get all that twisted up over it. Easy for me to say because I’ve got the Pulse exclusive so I still have the Uzi, but ultimately, the figure is what drives my enjoyment and the figure maintains its quality even with strangely chosen weapons.
All that aside, just looking at the weapons themselves I think they’re pretty neat, even if they are more future-focused. Snake Eyes’ weapon designs are fun and he holds them both well, and as I mentioned above, the silencer still works on the pistol, which is pretty cool. I also like the added peg and hole on the larger laser, which allows it to be held on the backpack, but then for the sheath to attach as well.
He also still comes with his knife, sword, backpack and sheath, so he’s got a decent amount of the same gear.
Are the accessory choices perfect for an adult G.I. Joe fan looking to recapture their youth? No. But they work well for a newer audience who isn’t so attached to the gritty realism of a Cold War anti-terrorist force and I’m not going to belabor that decision here.
While the presentation with this figure isn’t quite as ornate and elaborate as the Pulse exclusive, I definitely still appreciate the design aesthetics of the packaging. The artwork is really nicely done, though I have seen some legitimate complaints about the differing styles from box to box. I can understand some of those complaints, though individually I really love what I see with each box.
It feels like forever since we got a truly new and original approach to the G.I. Joe mythology, and man, G.I. Joe: Classified delivers in spades. I’ve had a ton of fun with this figure (and the others) even though I just spent hours on the Pulse exclusive review not that long ago.
Of course, in my humble opinion, if you have a choice, I would lean towards the Pulse exclusive as a purchase rather than the standard retail version, mostly because of the accessories and the more interesting color scheme. But at this point, the Pulse exclusive is sold out and is quite a bit pricier on the secondary market, so that being said, I think the standard retail release makes a fine substitute.
I know there’s been some disagreement within the fandom about the shift to six inches, and I can appreciate the opinions of both sides. I grew up with the 1:18 scale and still have a strong appreciation for that, but I’ve seen a TON of exposure to these figures mostly based on the fact that they’re now six inch collector-grade toys, and I think that’s only a good thing for the brand.
It certainly helps that the toys themselves are a hell of a lot of fun, too.
G.I. Joe Classified Snake Eyes
Same base figure as the Pulse exclusive, now with less paint apps! In all seriousness, the all black ninja commando is one that fans were asking for even after seeing the Pulse version, so to their credit, Hasbro delivers. The figure itself maintains the high standard of quality, though the accessories are a bit lacking in comparison, and my own personal opinion is the varied colors of the Pulse version are preferable.