Toys / Comics to Toys / G.I. Joe

Super7 G.I. Joe ReAction Cobra Trooper


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By Hervé St-Louis
January 26, 2022 - 11:46

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Cobra Troopers are the backbone of Cobra, the terrorist organization seeking to conquer the world. They come from every place on Earth and are only galvanized by the corrupted ideology espoused by Cobra Commander, their leaders, and opportunities for riches and power.

Cobra troopers are some of the most popular issues in G.I. Joe lore and have been reproduced many times, especially in the Classified line. However, there has not been a G.I. Joe cartoon- accurate version of the troopers. Boutique toymaker Super7 did not know which design to use when it made its own ReAction-compatible Cobra troopers. There were the H-Back troopers and the Y-Back troopers in cartoon depiction. Super7 decided to produce both versions in its new 3.75” G.I. Joe ReAction line.
 
Likeness

The likeness of the Cobra troopers is based on the Sunbow/Marvel G.I. Joe a Real American Hero cartoon, so they look like simplified character animation models used for television animation. The point of the G.I. Joe ReAction line and much of Super7’s output when related to G.I. Joe is to replicate the cartoon look. That’s why they designed characters with two sets of suspenders in the back, the H and the Y. I never noticed in the cartoon, but according Super7’s Brian Flynn, the designs kept changing from the two models in the series.

The skin colour of the Cobra troopers was always tanner but sometimes, they were pink. There are a few episodes with brown characters, such as the one where Dusty joined Cobra “Traitor, Part One and Two). To help with the army building, Super7 released both H and Y in brown, tan, and pink colours.

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Sculpt

The only difference in Cobra troopers is in the back. The either have the Y or the H design for their suspenders. The characters are modelled after the G.I. Joe a Real American Hero cartoon from the 1980s. Their design is simplified and different from the action figures from 1982, and the comics. The heads are slightly too large of the bodies. They sport a royal blue suit and light grey suspenders, black face masks, knee pads, and black boots. The look is not for everyone but if you are into the cartoon look, this is for you.

Paint

The paint application is not thick enough for the grey colours. There is a lot of slight paint bleeding. The skin tones are painted too. They are rough and spill on the hands and faces. The Cobra symbol will easily rub off over time.

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Scale

At 3.75” or 1 :18, these toys are the same scale as the old 3 ¾ G.I. Joe action figures from the 1980s. Thus, they are slightly shorter than the newer 25th anniversary or the Retro G.I. Joe line introduced in 2020. As army builders, these ReAction Cobra troopers look great with the older 1980s and early 1990s G.I. Joe action figures.
 
I got those as background army builders, and they are great for that. They can fit in 1:18 G.I. Joe vehicles to some extent. For example, I tried to insert one of the Cobra troopers inside of a Hiss tank. He cannot fit in the canopy because his legs are too narrow when bent. However, he could fit in the turret of the Hiss thank easily. For such display, these toys are ultimate props, and background characters, surrounding more articulated 1:18 toys.

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Stability

These toys are stable and as a bonus they do have peg holes in their heels so they can stand on action figure stands. The 25th anniversary G.I. Joe and the Retro action figure stands are too loose for them. Also, the engraved logos will not accommodate figures whose feet are so close to one another and cannot be pulled apart. It’s better to display these Cobra troopers without action figure stands, as they are very stable to begin with.

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Articulations

The articulations are the most controversial aspect of these figures, after their price. Like all Super7 ReAction action figures, they only have five points of articulations which are swivels at the neck, and the shoulders, and lifts for the hips, allowing them to raise their legs. That’s it. Super7’s Brian Flynn mentioned that he wanted to do O-ring G.I. Joe action figures, but these are dear to Hasbro as being the trademark design of the 1980s and 1990s G.I. Joe action figures.

As we now know Hasbro has brought back its O-ring G.I. Joe line to coincide with the 40th anniversary of the A Real American Hero line and the new Skystriker. Thus, the four-inch scale used with the 25th anniversary line and the Retro line has been replaced by the older 3 ¾ line. The Cobra troopers, like other ReAction lines with other properties, is based on the classic Star Wars design introduced by Kenner in the late 1970s.

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Many collectors have argued that unlike Kenner’s Star Wars which had limited articulations, that G.I. Joe has always had a lot of movability, even in the 1960s, when the original action figures concept was introduced. G.I. Joe, they argue was always meant to move, and that why they supplanted Star Wars toys in the 1980s. Star Wars figures could not move, but the Joes could.

The argument is sound, but Super7’s retort is that there is place in the marketplace for fully articulated figures, and some which are meant to be display pieces, closer to Funko Pops and other novelty items. Super7 clearly sees its ReAction brand as a novelty collectible toy instead of a classic action figure. The flaw in this thinking its that Super7 wants to produce vehicles and to provide every conceivable version of G.I. Joe characters it can refer to. The line between action figure and novelty collectible is thin.

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I would have liked single articulations at the elbows, the waist, the wrists, and the knees. With these, Super7 would not have competed with Hasbro’s O-ring, while making its product more appealing to collectors and those who will skip the line entirely because of its price per unit.

Plastic

The plastic is solid and hard. The toy should last for a while, although the thumb might become brittle over time, much like the old 1980s G.I. Joe 3 ¾ figures.

Props

Each Cobra trooper comes with one of three weapons. One is a shorter gun, the other two are different types of machine guns. Each gun is grey.

Packaging

The packaging harkens back to the single carded G.I. Joe stock with a painting of the character in front of an explosive background. The artwork is by artist Jason Edmiston. Each of the six troopers has modified artwork based on his skin colour and type of gun. If you collect each Cobra trooper, you will get six different packages. The bubble where the figures are packed has two encasing, so they never rub off the front nor the back of the card.

To add to the groovy authenticity of the cards, there are pictures of the current wave in the back as well as filecard for the trooper. The profile image is taken from a cel frame from the cartoon.

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Cost

Price is one of the main criticisms about this line of toy. For $18 USD and $23 CAD, the Cobra troopers cost more than a $13.99 USD ($17.99 CAD) Retro G.I. Joe action figure which is fully articulated and comes with far more gear. It is almost as expensive as Hasbro’s new O-Ring G.I. Joe action figures from Hasbro which have the same cartoon aesthetics. At five points of articulations, many collectors believe that these toys should cost no more than $10 USD, or even less. I fully agree and I admit that buying these is a vanity and non-essential endeavour. They look sleek but are ridiculously overpriced.

Availability

In the United States, the Cobra Troopers and other G.I. Joe ReACtion action figures can be found at mass retailers, novelty stores, collectibles, and comic retailer, online or locally. In Canada, a few online collectibles have them. I have spotted Super7 3.75 Thundercats figures at my local Sunrise records, but there’s no way to know when these were shipped there. Thus, I don’t know if there will G.I. Joe figures there.

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Super7’s Brian Flynn says that they’ll keep stock of all G.I. Joe Super7 figures available for fans who might join later. I’m not sure how he can pull that off with rising costs of materials and the funding needed to finance production. I guess that’s why these toys are so expansive.

It appears that many collectors, as I did, went back and forth on whether to collect this line or not. I’ve read that many collectors pre-ordered them, cancelled, their orders, and reordered them again. While I didn’t do that, I did think about it a lot before committing to buying my first figures. While I find the other figures in the line appealing, I will only get army builders for background displays with fully articulated toys from Hasbro in the foreground. If their cost was half of that, I would get all of them as they are really groovy. But then, that’s a silly statement for me to make as I got six copies of two variant toys at once, instead of getting unique characters.

Rating: 7 /10


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Last Updated: March 4, 2022 - 10:02

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