S.N.A.K.E. Armor

SNAKE Prep 2

“Why the Hell Are You Making Me Wear This?”

The early G.I. Joe line had numerous accessories that weren’t quite vehicles, but were supposed to work in conjunction with the figures, in a similar manner. Some are really only useful for display or dioramas, like the Mortar Defence or Bivouac.

There were a few that were a little more fun to play with, though to be honest “fun” isn’t a word that should actually be used with the S.N.A.K.E. armor. It’s a big grey robot looking thing, that you place over a figure, to be used as “kloaking” armor. It also came with a a rubberized endoskeleton that would make it so you didn’t have to actually waste a figure inside of it.

From a design perspective, it’s big, clunky, and grey. It fits in with a couple other little Cobra things (C.L.A.W., Flight Pod) but it’s hardly an iconic piece of COBRA hardware. While nobody is clamouring for a slightly more posable Deep Six, the S.N.A.K.E. is a thing I’ve found is decent for background action in dioramas, and having a couple kicking around, doesn’t hurt.

The S.N.A.K.E. armor is one of those things, that while the execution of it leaves a lot to be desired, it’s one of those things where it was obvious Hasbro felt COBRA needed a few more toys to balance things out, and a cheap pseudo vehicle thing worked perfectly, as it’s bigger than a figure and would appear to provide more balance to COBRA’s side because, shit they were outnumbered 3:1 in 1983.

SNAKE ARMOR copyUnlike a lot of strange small accessories, the S.N.A.K.E. armor actually did something in the Comic Book. In issue #18, it shows up as this mind control mechanized monster that apparently can’t shoot anything “COBRA Blue” as a safeguard in case someone overcomes it’s mind control powers. Kwinn the Eskimo does, of course, then he dies.

There’s a few SNAKE Armors out there, a Grey one, a Funskool one, a Red Shadows Escape Armor, a Blue repaint that’s really hard to find, and in the mid 2000s they did a Black one for one of those terrible live action G.I. Joe movies. Personally the Grey 1983 one is all I really need, though the grey plastic can yellow like a son of a bitch.

Plausibility

A useful item for background depth

 

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1983 Major Bludd

Major Bludd2

Major Bludd

 

One of the more popular Cobra Command characters is Major Bludd. I’ve always noticed Cobras with exposed faces are generally the least likely to be used, but Major Bludd somehow manages to get past that, and he’s usually one of the more commonly used named Cobras in fandom.

Major Bludd version 1 is one of those figures you can tell Hasbro put more effort into, than the average G.I. Joe figure. He’s got a stupid robot/armored arm, that while useless was a cool idea and had very nice sculpting, he’s also got one of the strongest facial sculpts in the early years of the line. I assume some of that is due to him being a Mail-In figure, though that’s one of those things I don’t really know anything about.

His arm, which is always the biggest gripe about him, has a fairly interesting and oft-overlooked factoid. The shoulder joint is built the way of a Straight-Arm figure, rather than the Swivel-Arm style. I’m not sure if the figure was originally supposed to be a Straight-Arm figure or what, but that’s actually the biggest problem for lack of posing, not the lack of an elbow joint (Which is still a terrible omission)

As a kid, probably too many of my G.I. Joe playtime scenarios revolved around hostage situations. The hostages were just Star Wars figures that could pass as Politicians or dudes at the Bank. I think a lot of it was I liked running figures over with the MOBAT, and so hostages getting thrown in the way was a lot of fun. ‎

For some reason, Major Bludd became the most successful in that role, something I can’t really figure out now, but I’d always use him as the guy demanding money “or the old guy gets it!”.  Whatever the reason, it’s lead to Major Bludd being a figure I associate with killing Lando Calrissian and Obi Wan Kenobi. I think due to that I seldom use Major Bludd in photos, he’s a good figure with a strong color scheme that fits well in most environments.

Major Bludd was one of the few well done characters in the Marvel comic. He didn’t have a long run, because he didn’t need one. He was shown to be particularly ruthless and untrustworthy by even early Cobra standards, so after blackmailing CC, and demanding a gucci bag full of cash, he can’t be kept around. When he does show up like 7 years later, to assassinate Snake Eyes, it shows he’s still bad as hell, but had no reason to get bogged down in the Joe vs. Cobra conflict.

Bludd

 

Major Bludd

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Red Laser’s Army Bombardier

For years there was the “Mystery Figure”, a yellow and grey Flash repaint, most people assumed was Action Force related. Turns out, he was indeed and would’ve been a member of a team that got axed. I’m not sure if the big reveal of who he was, ever generated much excitement, but it was good info. I know fans were protective of the mystery as some dude made up a custom figure, and jokingly said he found it at an Estate sale, and that caused a big stink. The early 2000s were a messed up time

So having that little bit of historical background was important for the creation (and marketing) of the figure. Though I feel the most important aspect of this Bombardier figure, is the fact he’s the first, new, O-Ring GI Joe character released in 7-8 years.  While there’s been a vast array of Cobra figures, it’s been awfully arid for the Joe team. Bombardier and the fact that ARAH style GI Joe is still popular has opened the door for many others (3 new characters and 4 new versions of existing characters so far!)

Bombardier’s a solid figure with a few exclusively colored accessories (helmet, backpack and laser gun) and he includes the ever popular clear 1982 visor, which goes a long way for the figure, especially since his head is noticibly smaller than a typical 82 Short-Fuse head. He’s got a super wide backpack peg and hole, which makes it easy to distinguish what belongs to him.

Bombardier’s not really anything groundbreaking, as he’s just a repaint of an already popular and commonly used 1982 figure and character. His colors can be tied into European figures or would likely look good standing around on the TTBP, which makes him very useful as background filler, as he stands out but isn’t ever going to be the centre of attention. Though, the Flash mold is so solid, he’s the type of figure people can get enamored with and decide to use all the time.

He’s a factory custom, so if you put him beside a 1983 Flash you’ll be able to tell they’re not the same company, but he’s better than some Funskool figures and a lot of Remco figures from the 80s. Honestly at this point the fact he was even produced should be taken as a victory.

 

Bombardier Repairs The LAW

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