Cobra Commander (2012 Retaliation HISS Driver)
That’s a mouthful, huh? I wanted to be able to differentiate from the other Cobra Commander figures released as part of the Retaliation line. I was actually surprised to see the Commander as a driver figure. It’s kind of an oddity, considering that named command level Cobras have usually been paired with smaller vehicles, like Serpentor and Overlord in the Real American Hero line.
A lot has been said about the second movie line’s reduced articulation driver figures. It all seems counter to the legacy of GI Joe as America’s moveable action man. I suppose you could technically still call it moveable, but five points of articulation just can’t compare to 15 or 18 or more. It was a bummer. What stung even more was the revelation that some of these drivers were sculpted with full articulation. I recall seeing photos of prototypes of Clutch and the Fangboat driver at JoeCon. It was such a sad thing to see what could have been.
Having said all that, this is an amazing figure to look at. Sure, it can’t assume basic poses that most other Joes can manage, but boy is it detailed. The Commander is decked out in what can best be described as a modern take on his 1987 battle armor. I’ve always been a fan of that design, probably because it carries off something of a comic book villain look. This new figure gives me the same sort of vibe, albeit with more than a little movie Iron Man influence. Seeing photos of it before the film was released, I wondered if the Commander might appear in this outfit. Whatever the case, the suit is full of detail, with panels and controls, and some pretty hefty leg armor. Aside from the chest, the Commander is less heavily armored on his top half. It’s an impressively powerful looking vision of the character.
Regardless of articulation, any action figure with a forearm mounted machine gun is aces in my book.