Snake Eyes is a character that’s kind of done to death, and has been for probably 25 years, that doesn’t stop fans and collectors from buying the character, and having conflicting opinions on him!
From a design standpoint, this is one of the meaner looking versions of Snake Eyes, the armoured face shield is probably the coolest head on any version of the character. The body armor, over what I want to believe is the commando sweater is a nice touch too, as it gives the figure two distinct textures on the torso, that allowed for the figure to be broken up, where it would be kind of blah, if it was just the smooth black pattern. The armaments on the figure are actually fairly subdued for a 90s figure, when they started strapping damn near everything to their bodies. Plus for the most part they’re explosives and grenades, which go well with the Snake Eyes character.
It’s also a very sensibly coloured figure, the deep black base is perfect for our favourite mute commando, and the silver and blue provide enough colour, while still maintaining a connection to past versions of the figure. Honestly the blue might be a shade brighter than what I would’ve chosen, it could’ve been bright orange, which Hasbro was one to use a lot of in the mid 90s. Another thing, that makes the blue less objectionable to me, is that the 1991 Snake Eyes had started the trend of having Snake Eyes wear blue, so while this electric blue is a brighter look, it’s a continuation of a theme.
The figure’s killed by the construction changes, while a lot of Ninja Force figures had construction changes, they all for the most part had the same range of motion in the legs. Not Snake Eyes! This figure has some stupid gimmick where if you squeeze his legs together, his arms flail. So this figure doesn’t have traditional O-Ring construction, but even worse, is the fact he doesn’t have T-Hook construction. His legs only move forwards or backwards. So he’s a ninja, but he can’t even do a roundhouse kick, a double bummer, since he’s wearing a really swell pair of jackboots!
I think as G.I. Joe has died it’s unceremonious death, things like the Ninja Force construction issues, aren’t looked at as badly anymore, at least not by me. I won’t say I like them, but they’re at least on some very nice figures. Snake Eyes (and probably Scarlett too) however isn’t one I’m too forgiving on, because it ruins a really nice design, and a fan favourite character. Honestly I think this figure would be thought of much better if he even had typical Ninja Force construction.
Still I can’t actually hate this figure, as it’s one of the few figures I associate more with the acquisition than anything else. In 1996 my mother and I had gone for lunch, and she needed to run into some store and pick something up or something, I just remember opting to stay in the car. She took longer than the “couple minutes” she claimed, which was usual for her, and then when she got back, she threw the 1993 Ninja Force Snake Eyes into my lap, I guess she saw it and figured she’d get it for me. The fact the figure was there three years after it stopped shipping, shows that they were really popular. I also remember how bitterly disappointed I was once the figure was out of it’s package. Either way, the figure being a treat from my mom is really all I associate it with.