The Cobra infantry is the original enemy of G.I. Joe, introduced in the first cartoons, comics and as action figures in 1982 and beyond. They are the ultimate stock evil soldiers that populate the armies of villainous organizations. The only stock soldier who is more popular, I would argue are the Star Wars Storm Troopers.
The Cobra Infantry is not the original trooper released by Hasbro. It is the repainted and most distributed version of the Cobra Island Exclusive Cobra Trooper which came with an extra weapon, goggles, and a shoulder patch indicating its rank among the troops. The Cobra Island Trooper was exclusive to Target stores in the United States and Toys R Us in Canada. Because many collectors could not find this original action figure at a reasonable price, Hasbro released the Cobra Infantry action figure with less weapons and lighter colour scheme. But for collectors looking to army build a squadron of Cobra troopers, this is the go to action figure that is both affordable and plentiful. But these are not the only qualities of this toy, which is probably the best action figure released in the G.I. Joe Classified line so far. Let’s find out why it is so great.
This is an update of the classic blue uniform the Cobra infantry wore in the comics, the cartoons and as toys. The German helmet is there but the key here is that it can be removed. The facial mask is also there, but unlike the 1980s infantry where it just stayed there without slipping, a ski mask explains why the face is covered as such.
The look and feel of the character is there but with much more complexity and design. Classic touches are the shoulder straps, the knee pads and the Cobra emblem on the torso. Each infantry wears a body armour and two handheld pistols which is different from the poorly geared up classic design. But this design is great as it makes the infantry look meaner and more dangerous than the lightly dressed classic troopers.
While the sculpt is great, the knife and the sheath are in face of the figure, and this is aesthetically unpleasing. However, this guy has one of the best sculpt of all G.I. Joe Classified action figures. Although a mere infantry, if he were an individual character, he be as valuable in a collection. What Hasbro has done is made a generic troop builder a hot commodity. Hasbro could have made the toy simpler and with a less elaborate design. It did not.
There are many details on the suit and body armour of the trooper. His suit has textures and even Cobra logos on his gloves. He looks much like a tactical trooper fighting in an urban setting. His face is mean.
The paint is not applied uniformly on the figures. There are splashes everywhere. The digital face paint is nice though. The character is much darker than the Cobra Trooper.
The Cobra Infantry is not the tallest villain in the G.I. Joe Classified line. Cobra Commander
are taller. Destro, of course is taller than everyone! They are about the same height as Duke
. However, they look incredible next to other G.I. Joe Classified action figures, especially when there are many of them in one spot.
The figure is sturdy and has good balance. Some of my Cobra Infantry are less stable, but that is because their articulations are stiffer than others. The feet are wide enough to support the figure's weight Destro has the opposite problems with feet that are too small for his size.
The abdominal crunch is impaired by the body armour. However, it would be the same if a person was wearing a similar armour. Cobra Infantry has the usual articulations at the neck, and the head, both which can turn and rotate individually. He has bicep curls, double elbow articulations, wrist curls. The left wrist can pivot left or right while the right one can move up or down. The waist is also on a ball joint and can rotate. Like all G.I. Joe Classified action figures, the Cobra Infantry has an extended hip joint, increasing the motion of his upper thighs. The thighs have curls. The knees have double joints. Some of my Cobra Infantry joints are loose. There is a shin curl hidden with the shin guard. Finally, the ankle can pivot as well as move up or down.
It is the same soft PVC plastic used with most G.I. Joe Classified.
The Cobra Infantry has two pistols, one gun, one knife, and one helmet he can remove. The pistols and the knife fit in various holsters across his body. The helmet fits well on his head. The gun has a peg that looks bad when it is in the figure’s hand that can attach to one of three holes in the back of the figure. Two of those holes are on his body gear. The weapons are all black. The helmet is a shade of blue like the rest of the toy with black highlights. I find that having two pistols is quite a lot for a soldier, but I am not complaining. Cobra takes care of its troops!
The front of the packaging for the Cobra Infantry is the same as the Cobra Island Cobra Trooper except that the art is lighter. The numbering on the box is different and instead of a map of Cobra island, there is a picture of already released G.I. Joe Classified action figures.
The Cobra Infantry retails for $19.99 USD or $29.99 CAD. Many smaller stores increase the price of this figure slightly, knowing that because it is a troop builder and popular, that they can make a little bit more profit from this toy. I dislike such ploys. If you buy several of them and that stores sell them for more, you will fuel their greed.
Unlike the Cobra Island Trooper, the Cobra Infantry is easy to find in stores. It seems impossible for Hasbro to not release variants of this figure in the form of Python Patrol Cobras, Cobra Officers, Vamp Drivers and similar generic troops and more with the same base build. In fact, it has been reported that Major Bludd reuses the parts of the same body. I don’t mind this. More Cobra Infantry is always better for this collector. I should probably order a few more!
The Cobra Island Terror Drome background that I used is by matte painter Dusty Crosley.