Cobra (Code Name: The Enemy)
Cobra wouldn’t be where it is today without the legions of nameless and faceless troopers that make up the backbone of its ranks. In the early 80s, these voluminous villains were perfect fodder and foil for the Joe team. Before the myriad Vipers and all of their specialization that would come, we were happy to collect hordes of blueshirts to throw against the good guys.
The first Cobra trooper I got came in the Cobra Missile Command Headquarters, and though the Officer was I thought the cooler looking of the troop builders, the basic trooper nevertheless had his own interest for me. I couldn’t ignore just how cool his rifle looked, especially compared with something like Grunt’s familiar M-16. Though I had no idea it was a real-world weapon at the time, the Dragunov was a fantastic armament.
Like Scarlett, there’s a lot of weaponry built into the sculpt. Knife, pistol, rounds and a wicked cool garotte wire are all extra bits that could spark a kid’s imagination. That garotte wire in particular is quite a sneaky inclusion for a kids toy, and I can’t imagine a sinister detail like this making it into an action figure these days.
One thing that really strikes me with this figure’s card art is the focus on weaponry and equipment. The Dragunov rifle is front-and-center, as is the chest-strapped pistol. The Cobra may seemingly be one of the most nondescript bad guys, but you’d be well advised to give him some respect. And don’t turn your back on him, he’s got that wire after all.