City Strike Snake Eyes (Rise of Cobra)

By KansasBrawler

When the Resolute cartoon was first released, everyone went crazy over Snake Eyes. The character was well handled and his design was great. However, it initially looked like the
Resolute Snake Eyes figure was going to fall victim to the line rebranding from the 25th Anniversary line to the Rise of Cobra line. That meant that the stolen factory samples of Resolute Snake Eyes that were going for obscene amount of money on Chinese eBay looked like they were going to be the only way you could get your hands on that figure. Thankfully, Hasbro released that the Resolute Snake Eyes figure was too good of a piece to let it die and when Rise of Cobra transitioned into Pursuit of Cobra, Resolute Snake Eyes was released as a City Strike figure branded under Rise of Cobra. People with more patience than money were able to get their hands on this great figure and while I think there have been better Snake Eyes figures released since this one, City Strike Snake Eyes is an amazing figure and was my favorite Snake Eyes figure released up to that point.

Like many Rise of Cobra figures, this version of Snake Eyes uses all new molds. Snake Eyes’ pants are rather baggy, but he’s got knee pads and shin guards on to give him a little sleeker look. It’s a nice combination of ninja bagginess needed for movement and the sleeker high tech military aesthetic that permeated Rise of Cobra. Snake Eyes is also wearing some pretty funky shoes. They’re angular and leave him looking kind of armored down there as well. I kind of like that look since it fits with the overall vibe of the figure. Up top, Snake Eyes’ torso and arms are sculpted to look like a skintight shirt with some shoulder armor and heavy gloves. I’ve never really loved the super tight shirt look Snake Eyes had in Resolute, but it works okay on the figure and there are enough added on pieces that go over it that it doesn’t look like Snake Eyes just walked into battle wearing a long-sleeved Under Armor shirt. Around his waist, Snake Eyes is wearing a belt that has a pair of pouches and provides a place for you to plug in the scabbard of his sword. He’s also got a shoulder harness that’s very well detailed and really adds a little visual weight to the upper body. Up top, Snake Eyes is sporting a brand new head and I absolutely love it. Instead of your standard mask and goggles, Snake Eyes has opted for something more along the lines of a full faced helmet and I think it’s a great look. The large goggles and armored lower face remind me a lot of the 1991 version of Snake Eyes. I know that figure may not be everyone’s favorite version of Snake Eyes, but that was the first Snake Eyes figure I ever saw, so that version is pretty much my favorite iteration of the character. I know, I’m a child of the 90s…apparently my brain was a bit warped by the neonizer. However, it’s still a solid design and I don’t know if the references to it here were intentional or not, but I do get a surprisingly strong 1991 Snake Eyes vibe from the head and I think that helps make him stand out a little more.

Of course, since we’re talking about Snake Eyes (and ostensibly a Rise of Cobra figure), you can pretty much guess his color scheme. City Strike Snake Eyes does shake things up by
adding some dark and light grays to the mix, but he’s still a pretty dark figure. Snake Eyes’ pants and gloves are black, while his shirt, helmet and shin armor are predominantly dark gray with light gray being used for the shoulder armor, knee pads, boots and visor. It’s a good look, though I’m not personally wild about the gray visor. I’d much rather see some red or green up there so it looks more like Snake Eyes can actually see out of. The harness and belt are a grayish brown and it stands out quite well against the gray and black figure. The paint work is cleanly done and while he’ s dark like other Snake Eyes figures, he’s at least a little more visually interesting that most of them just because he uses colors other than black.

Being a transitional figure, City Strike Snake Eyes benefits from the Pursuit of Cobra gear load while unfortunately being saddled with a slightly annoying accessory with an action feature. Admittedly, Snake Eyes’ accessory isn’t as bad as a giant springloaded cannon, but it’s still not my favorite piece. The City Strike theme was all about the Joes sneaking into a secure Cobra facility in the middle of an unnamed Asian city. To facilitate this, Snake Eyes comes equipped with the climbing backpack that the Rise of Cobra Arctic Assault Snake Eyes came with. It’s an okay piece, but I’ve never been wild about backpacks with “climbing action” so it really doesn’t do that much for me. Thankfully, the rest of the gear pretty well offsets the slight lameness of his backpack. As part of his climbing gear, Snake Eyes comes with a pair of crampons that he can attach to his feet. They’ve got pretty large spikes, so they give Snake Eyes a little added height. Much like the backpack, though, I’m not terribly impressed with them. They’re decent enough, but since there isn’t away for him to wear them and hook into the figure stand, it means I’ve got one more small-ish accessory I have to worry about misplacing. Now that I’ve covered the weak gear, though, I can talk about all his other great stuff. I’ve mentioned his sword scabbard that can plug into his belt already, but I haven’t mentioned the sword itself. The sword is a nice, simple design and it looks great in Snake Eyes’ hands. If you don’t want to use the climbing backpack, Snake Eyes also gets a small backpack that can plug into his back and looks like it attaches to the harness, which gives it a purpose so he’s not just wearing straps for the sake of straps. For firearms, Snake Eyes has three options. The largest rifle is the same one that came with Rise of Cobra Paris Pursuit Snake Eyes. It’s a great piece and I like seeing it again with Snake Eyes. It’s kind of like he’s got a unique weapon, something we haven’t seen a lot with the Joe line lately, but something I loved as a kid. He’s also got a smaller, stripped down assault rifle. It looks a little small in his hands, but it still looks decent, even though I’m not sure about the real-world purpose of the holes in the side of the barrel. Rounding out his gear, he’s also got a small pistol. It’s a good fit and looks right in his hands, though I do wish there were a way he could carry it on his belt somehow just so he could carry all his weapons on him at once.

Rise of Cobra City Strike Snake Eyes was a really big deal when he was first released. Considering it looked like all the cool Resolute stuff was going to get left on the table when the
brand shifted over to the movie line, I understand the hype surrounding him. I don’t think it was worth the literally hundreds of dollars some Joe fans dropped to buy stolen factory samples, but I was pretty impressed at how good the figure looked. I personally hoped that since he was so far along, he’d get released eventually, and I was glad he was. It’s a very good figure and while Hasbro has made better versions of Snake Eyes in the intervening years, this is still a very cool version. Sometimes is pays to wait, and by doing so, you got a very cool figure with some excellent gear without encouraging sellers on the international action figure gray market. City Strike Snake Eyes is a great addition to my collection and I’m glad I found him as easily as I did. It’s always a pain to run down a cool figure when it’s really hard to find. Thankfully, City Strike Snake Eyes was very plentiful and it’s nice that so many people had ample chance to add this figure to their collection.

One comment

  • I really like that tiny, simply-sculpted little backpack. It reminds me of the gear the original ’82 Joes tended to come with. Plus, a commando needs to move quickly and travel light, so it’s just the kind of pack Snake-Eyes might go with.

    Also, having a full-length katana of proper curve is a nice touch; a lot of Snake-Eyes get weird half-assed straight-bladed pseudo Ninja-to or not-scimitars. It’s fun to see a version of Snake-Eyes with classic Ninja taste that prefers the traditional form.

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