Toys / Toy Collecting

G.I. Joe Classified Snake Eyes


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By Hervé St-Louis
July 26, 2020 - 18:05

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Snake Eyes is the most popular G.I. Joe character coming out of the A Real American Hero series released in 1982. As of today, there has been 68 version of his a 1:18 scale toy (3 ¾ inch) released by Hasbro. With G.I. Joe Classified, he was the first deluxe action figure. I am not reviewing that version but the second one that came out as part of the first G.I. Joe Classified series.

Snake Eyes is the G.I. Joe’s first commando about whom most is classified. Appearing of course in the first issue of the G.I. Joe comic and the 1983 cartoon, he has been a staple of the line ever since. As a mute character, he was the cool silent one. He was the first G.I. Joe A Real American Hero action figure to receive a totally new mould after his initial one. Whereas his 1982 original version emphasized the commando aspect, the 1985 version emphasized the ninja aspect of the character. This ninja past is what has made Snake Eyes so popular and mysterious as it explained his entire classified back story. It is interesting that we know more about Snake Eyes’s past than any other G.I. Joe character!

The first Snake Eyes that par of the G.I. Joe Classified series that was introduced came with his own dojo and many extra weapons. He was sold in a deluxe box. The version of Snake Eyes that I am reviewing today is technically the first release but announced much later than the deluxe variant. The sculpt of the toys are the same. What differs are some of the weapons, other props, and the colouring each has. Many collectors such as I favoured skipping the deluxe version and get the “regular” one instead.

Likeness
 
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The Classified Snake Eyes is inspired by the second version with the razor visor and the ninja get up and weapons. He wears the same bandelier with grenades attached to it. While he appears to be totally black, Hasbro’s designers have mentioned that the deluxe version is coloured with an off-black that has a tinge of brown. If there is even a lighter version of black such as charcoal, it is not easy to see but allows him to have more expressive features that would otherwise be buried if the toy was totally black. When looking at this action figure, you know that it is Snake Eyes and not someone else.

Sculpt

The sculpt is the best thing about Snake Eyes. He has the most details of all the G.I. Joe Classified action figures. Fabrics, and materials are sculpted in. Touch he trousers and shirt and you will feel the a clothe texture weaved across his body. This is excellent work. Parts of his figure such as his face mask are polished. It creates a total contrast with the fabric texture found elsewhere. There are layers of gear and padding on him that barely perceptible but that add to the mystery and the quality of the sculpt. Snake Eyes even manages to make the hated G.I. Joe Classified shin guard cool. His is thinker and polished. It does not interrupt the look of the toy with unnecessary shapes and colours. So far, of all the G.I. Joe Classified action figures that I have seen in person, his is the best sculpt by a long shot.

Paint

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Like I wrote above, Snake Eyes is almost black. This version does not have the off black paint throughout his body. He will look better in bright sunlight. But in dim environments, one can still perceive the details of his sculpt. The one criticism many have had about this version of Snake Eyes are the red highlights on top of his visor. Although I would prefer it gone too, it is a minuscule thing. Some of the buckles on Snake Eyes’s belts have silver paint application that can rub off easily.

Scale

I like that Snake Eyes is not the tallest G.I. Joe Classified action figures. He is listed on being six feet and shorter than Duke and Roadblock, but taller than Scarlett. He feels more like a five foot ten, five foot eleven to me but it does not matter much. His build is slicker than Duke’s. He fits quite well with Scarlett, of course.

Stability

Stability may be an issue with your Snake Eyes. He is not top heavy at all and his backpack is a solid block of plastic. He tends to fall on his back a lot. You will have to fiddle around with him to gain the best stability of him.

Articulations

Snake Eyes’s articulations are looser than other G.I. Joe Classified action figures, except for his knees and his neck. I had to crack his neck to force it to move up and down. Because he is much more of an acrobat than Duke or Roadblock, it’s okay for his articulations to be looser. I find that his waist socket hinges are more flexible than the other Classified action figures. His head is also on a ball joint on top of his neck. It is extremely loose.

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His butterfly arm articulation is limited by the protective vest sculpted in his chest. However, you will find it easy to use his rotating bicep curls, double elbows, and wrist articulations.  Unlike Roadblock who has up or down writs articulations, Snake Eyes has side by side pivot instead. Duke has a mix of both.

The abdominal crunch is easily masked and very loose. His has a ball joint waist articulation that increases posing abilities but also allow him to push his weight on one leg or the other. This makes for very realistic poses that look more natural than standard action figures. This is amazing. With all of his hinges and articulations hidden by his black derailing, this make Snake Eyes able to adopt natural stances that one only sees in a statue.

Of course, Snake Eyes has thigh curls, calves curls, double knees articulations, ankle articulations with a pivot allowing him to rotate his ankles sideways. The ankles’ articulations are tight, and I don’t dare force them to bend. This has been a problem with this line where I am afraid of damaging the toys with articulations that are very stiff.

Plastic

Snake Eyes is composed of the same soft plastic that other G.I. Joe Classified are made of. It feels like he can easily break at times when trying to use the articulations. His waist belt and bandolier are a in a rubbery material. His guns knife, sword, and silencer are also made of bendy plastics.

Props

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This version of Snake Eyes has the least interesting weapons compared to the deluxe version. Instead of his classic Uzi sub-machine, he has a nondescript sub-machine gun with a big hole and a peg that can attach on his back, bandolier or backpack. I tried to double peg the sword’s sheath on the sub-machine gun while it was pegged on the backpack. It works, but this is not a USB chain link and loos odd. I don’t like the sub-machine gun. There is also a pistol which differs from the more realistic one that came with the deluxe version. It too has a giant hole in it.

However, the silencer will attach well to it. The silencer will not attach to the sub-machine gun. Just an aside. I call the silencer a silencer as it is the legal name given to such artifacts. The terms suppressor is favoured by some because they claim that silencers cannot totally eliminate noise from guns. The sword’s sheath holds quite well on the backpack or Snake Eyes’s back  and bandolier. The sword fits well inside and points to the right direction if Snake Eyes wants to pick it up from behind. The sword could have used some colour. The sheath has Snake Eyes’s dojo’s logo on it.

Snake Eyes’s backpack has silver painted buckles. It fits directly through the peg hole in his back or through the bandolier which then attaches to the peg hole. The backpacks do not stay put on these G.I. Joe Classified action figures. However, if you peg it through the bandolier and then through Snake Eyes’s back, you will find that it stays on tightly while stopping the bandolier from being so loose on the action figure. I wish they had doe this for Duke’s bandolier.

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A serious defect is the knife. It will not fit in the sheath on Snake Eyes’s left thigh. It was designed to fit the knives that came with the deluxe Snake Eyes, not the regular action figure. This is a case where Hasbro, instead of pretending to differentiate the action figures with different props should have simply included the deluxe knife instead. Many collectors think that there is a problem with their sheath. There are none. They were not designed for the knife that came with this Snake Eyes. A good thing about G.I. Joe Classified is that most of the props can be stored on the action figure somewhere. This knife cannot and unless you are careful with how you store your action figures, you will lose it.

Extra bandoliers with pouches are on Snake Eyes’s arms. They can be removed if you want to. The add to the realism of the action figure. The holsters on his thigh can also be removed. The silencer will fit in the holster on his right thigh. I understand that many of my criticisms about the props are because I chose to purchase the regular Snake Eyes action figure instead of the deluxe version. The Uzi is Snake Eyes’s classic weapon. The knife would fit better in the sheath. Yet, I don’t think that Hasbro should give collectors less-attractive toys. The deluxe version should be an upgrade from the regular toy, not the one with the working gear.

Packaging

Snake Eyes’s box packaging is beautiful with the work of comic artists contributing to the detailing. The package is not as elaborate as the deluxe version and that is fine.

Cost

Snake Eyes costs $19.99 in the United States, and $29.99 in Canada.

Availability

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This toy should be available online and in stores. Be careful before supporting scalpers with ridiculous markups.

I believe that this is the best G.I. Joe Classified action figure so far. However, he loses marks for the accessories which are a downer. Snake Eyes was always every other G.I. Joe collector’s favourite character but not mine. Yet, I am very happy with this action figure. He brought back all of my action figure geekiness back. It is a great action figure. Hasbro’s design team was very careful with him. If all of their efforts can be at the same level of care, G.I. Joe Classified will be there for long (provided that Hasbro stop distribution tricks that prevent genuine collectors and casual fans from buying them.

Next: Duke

Rating: 9 /10


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Last Updated: September 10, 2020 - 15:47

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