At some point in 2013 or 2014, long after The Black Major had stopped producing COBRA Troopers, he showed off two new figures that he had made available, they were COBRA Troopers, however they were cast from a different mold. Of the two varieties one was the classic COBRA Blue, and the other was a highly interesting, and immediately obscure Orange and Black COBRA Trooper.
For some reason, this figure, despite a striking appearance, never really caught on. It’s bright, but no brighter than an Alley Viper, it’s also a fairly unique colour, as the number of orange figures in the G.I. Joe universe is pretty low, and most orange figures don’t benefit from having the very strong COBRA Trooper mold. Either way, it was something new, and perhaps a little too early, as the neon nineties were still looked at in a low regard, but people had begun to realize colour really isn’t actually the enemy (The Green Headhunter had begun to be the more popular figure in photos).
When I first received these figures, I have to say, I was disappointed. Not by the colouring or the quality, but rather the fact that it was a different Trooper mold. Prior to these figures, The Black Major’s Trooper mold was a smaller figure, that couldn’t wear backpacks or be used on battle stands/vehicle running boards. It wasn’t perfect, but they’re feet didn’t seem as jacked up, and were more reminiscent of the Night Watch or Comic Pack figures, rather than the original. There was a different mold in use, by a different producer, that seemed larger, and there’s some weirdness with the left lower leg. This figure, plus the subsequent TBM Troopers seem to use this mold, or one based upon it, I didn’t like it at first, but I’ve grown used to it since.
This figure was advertised as being from the “Copperhead” something or other. It was a cool idea to create a unit for an original colourscheme, but I think the use of an already established name that has a particular colourscheme attached didn’t help this figure. Regardless if an actual Copperhead snake is closer to orange than teal!
This is a figure, I don’t really think about all that much, I own them, but they rarely get any use, as I usually pass them by for other figures, despite this being a solid colour scheme that reminds me of these weird little Halloween Jack ‘O Lantern gumballs I used to get as a kid. It’s kind of strange, because I actually think it’s a nice looking figure, and I’ve been spending the last year or so branching out past the typical 82-84 fare I’d been flogging for close to a decade, so a seldom seen COBRA Trooper variant should be something I should be photographing to death, yet after I took the pictures for this profile I buried the figures again (And these are the first ones of this figure I’ve taken in years)
This figure was different from a lot of the previous Black Major Troopers, since most of those were based on either previous COBRA colours, environmental colours, or giving the figure a camouflage pattern. This had a resemblance to the Alley Viper but wasn’t a straight reinterpretation, which is a good thing, because I think if they’d used blue on the figure, it would’ve taken away from it. There’s some neat aspects to the figure too, the solid black COBRA emblem looks really good, but there is also a silver emblem’d edition out there too.
I’d declare that this is a “fun” figure, which isn’t all that common amongst the factory custom set, probably because those aren’t the type of thing people are willing to take a chance on, so even though I never use it, I’m quite glad I have it.