There was an exclusive set based on various Foreign concepts, that was produced by Red Laser’s Army, but designed and sold through another avenue. To me, some of the figures were trying too hard, others were quite cool, and a few were good pieces of fodder that could be used to create some LBCs that would fit my collection. One figure I didn’t have much interest in, but looked usable enough, was the grey Snake Eyes.
Snake Eyes is a somewhat problematic figure to me. I’m a fan of the character, and the figure itself, but I happen to have a bunch of uses of the mold. While pretty much every Snake Eyes from 1997-2004 was the same figure that was just an inferior attempt to be version 1, there’s actually been some variety to the mold since. There’s the COBRA Mortal, the Invasor, and a couple where he’s not even wearing black! The figure being profiled today, though, is probably the blandest release since Comic Pack #4, but I’m surprisingly thrilled with this rendition of the Shadow Man.
Snake Eyes being black and grey has been pretty constant. This figure, though, is quite interesting as the black and grey have been inverted. His straps, facemask and pouches are black, and the base body is grey. I really like this, because grey isn’t super common amongst 82-84 style Joe figures, he now matches up with the Action Force exclusives Moondancer and Dolphin, and it’s a departure from Snake Eyes but isn’t too out of character. The figure also has one additional colour, a nice emerald green is used on his visor. This really stands out, and gives depth to a fairly monochrome figure. Like all the Força Fera figures, he’s got some Tiger Force stripes on his legs. They’re black and not all that intrusive, but they kind of miss the mark, as one of the hallmarks of the Tiger Force was how two-toned all the figures were, so when it’s on a figure that’s grey on top and bottom it loses some of it’s impact. One nice thing about the RLA figures, is there’s a good variety of accessories available with them, and since there’s been a few uses of the Snake Eyes mold, he made sure to put out the 1982 Uzi and Pack. I gave this version the silver versions of the accessories, since they match pretty well.
Character-wise, I find Snake Eyes to be fairly problematic. The whole mysterious lone-wolf is a cool character, but when he’s supposed to be a member of a tight-knit commando unit, it’s stretching things a bit. Even during my favourite comic arc, he fucks off to hang out with Kwinn on some revenge mission, I mean it’s vital to the story, and we learn great facts about America’s Greatest Conversationalist, he’s a jerk, a killer with the dice and he bleeds money. The fact he ditches his teammates to help Kwinn really stuck with me.
Because of this I don’t really see Snake Eyes as a member of the Joe Team, dude’s probably not even in the army anymore. I feel he’s a highly qualified mercenary that has done some real shady stuff, and Hawk holds that over his head in order to use him against COBRA. However this is a double edged sword, as Snake Eyes isn’t an asset the Joes feel comfortable using in high stakes situations, as that intel is good as gone to the highest bidder afterwards. A good friend of mine once said that Snake Eyes’ real identity should be D.B. Cooper. I liked that, and funnily enough, the likely man behind D.B. Cooper was a guy who fought in Vietnam, it all kind of ties together.
I actually quite like this figure, as a Snake Eyes. It’s different, while still true to the character. His base grey colour is really unusual, without being different for the sake of different. It also doesn’t impose on the non-Snake Eyes uses of the mold, such as the COBRA Mortal, or Kickstart. It’s nice, as you get the traditional Snake Eyes appearance, without it looking the same as every other Snake Eyes.