Cobra Commander (1984 Mail-in)
Sometimes character variants seem like quick cash grabs or simple excuses to keep main characters on the pegs. These days, Snake Eyes, Duke and Storm Shadow make regular appearances in each new series. Back in the 80’s, Cobra Commander wouldn’t get a new figure on the shelves until 1987. However, this mail-in was available three years before. Unlike other early mail-ins like Major Bludd and Duke, this figure was never released carded.
The Commander donned his hood often in the comic and the Sunbow cartoon, and as a kid I wanted this figure badly. I never ordered it, even though it was available throughout most of the Real American Hero era. With his darker blue with gold trim, Cobra Commander’s uniform here more closely resembles his early comic hooded appearance than the Sunbow cartoon. The Sunbow Commander simply switched his helmet for the hood, usually keeping the lighter blue uniform color.
While the original Cobra Commander figure will always be the default version for me, I find a lot to like about this version. The hood has a more naturalistic sculpt than many later editions. I like the darker blue a lot, as it seems to be more regal than the lighter hue. There’s even a bit of red with his undershirt. The blue is also a close match for the deep blue of the original Cobra troopers and officers.
Hood or battle helmet: what say you?