Cobra Infantry Trooper (2004)

If you were collecting the early 2000s GI Joe lines, there wasn’t much competition to pick up whatever you wanted. Sometimes there was a bit of a shortage of army builders, or of a variant here and there. For the most part though, it was generally clear sailing to pick up entire waves in one go. That changed with the Infantry six pack. It seemed everyone and their brother wanted to army build these guys. I can’t blame them. For the most part, it was a great set.

Oh my gosh, the trouble I had getting a few of these sets when they came out. First, I checked constantly, getting lucky only once to snag a set online. I also called all the stores within reasonable driving distance, and managed to pick up two more. I found one more set a few weeks later at my then usual hunting ground. After another month or so, a couple of sets actually hung around that store for at least a few weeks before vanishing.

The body is generally good. Most of it is based on the original, but with Thunder arms and a new head. The arms were a great choice, since a 1984 figure’s arms were still small enough to work with ’82-83 parts. The heads were an improvement in size when compared to the old melons of the 80s, but they have always looked a little weirdly narrow to me. I recall seeing prototypes online of a removable helmet version before these hit the streets. That would have been a neat little extra feature.

The weapons were the biggest disappointment. The Rock Viper rifle, really? By the time of Valor vs. Venom, that thing was second only to the Tomax and Xamot guns in annoyance level. It just doesn’t work as a replacement for the old Dragunov. I’ve replaced mine with ’91 Red Star rifles. The backpack is also an uninspiring choice, coming from the SAW Viper. Did these troopers even need backpacks? The more generic looking ’91 Dusty pack had been reissued nearly a dozen times by that point, why not one more time?

There were several differently decorated troopers in the set, and this one has dark skin. It was good to see Cobra getting progressive, adding some diversity to their ranks. Finally, I don’t know if this is common, or just my sets, but these have to be some of the tightest jointed and o-ringed figures I’ve ever seen. Two of mine have had the o-rings snap over the years, just sitting on a shelf. I also hear that the torsos are difficult to take apart. Hopefully, I can provide a little first aid to my troopers in the future without having to crack them open like a walnut.


  • Awesome figure-but I still prefer the original trooper head. In fact I did a custom using this body and a vintage head.

  • These were the last Joe figures my nearest Toys r us got before the brand was just dumped over here. I found it to be a very good set and how suprising was it to see Scarface make it to the set too?

    All my ones broke within a month of purchase. The o- rings were really weak and the torso halves were glued but i managed to pry them open with a swiss army knife.

  • Given the absolutely absurd variety of Viper specialties, Cobra “adding some diversity to their ranks” might very well be the most unintentionally hilarious thing I’ve ever read on this site… πŸ˜‰

  • It’s funny – after BBTS revealed that the Dollar Store figs are the Running Change versions (plus! Green Shipwreck! Minus! No awesome black Cobra Trooper!), I was flipping through GeneralJoes’ review of the Cobra Trooper today and the six-packs were mentioned.

  • I was still miffed on missing out on the O.C.S. sets during this time frame. (Sat outside the KB hours before it opened only to find someone bought them all the evening before!)

    With these Cobra trooper packs, I made a few runs to try and snag a couple. That was about 65 miles ONE WAY for the nearest TRU. Never found any.

    I missed any online ordering opportunity, too.

    First time I ever saw any figure from this Cobra trooper pack, was the GIJOE convention in 2005. Of course the price was not right. πŸ˜›

    In the end, it all worked out, as I have found I’m not as interested in the figures with swivel head joints. The cheaper and more abundant Cobra NIght watch trooper pack helped lead me to that conclusion.

    It is interesting to read how the orings were not right on this Cobra trooper, though. I did not know that. The Viper Pit pack was a big disappointment for me as the parts weren’t as good as they should have been, but only recently did I learn that the oring on these was also smaller, causing problems.

  • I was on a semi-hiatus from collecting in 2004 after having sold off most of my stuff, so these came and went for me in a flash. The accessories are sorely lacking, though. Nothing beats the original Dragunov or AK-47, but Red Star’s popular rifle is always a welcome addition. Hasbro should have gone with those instead and ditched the backpacks.

    Be careful when separating the torso halves, though. I got in a mint, ’82 straight arm Grand Slam and it was really touch-and-go there for some time. The o-ring was loose and practically a goner but losing the torso would have been near irreplaceable.

  • Dreadnok: Spirit

    Just going by these pictures, the shape of the face reminds me of Inspector Gadget. Overall, I think this is a nice looking figure.

  • Great set for army builders!

  • this set was one of the first times HASBRO made EXACTLY what I would have if I were in charge- a basic blue Cobra army multipack set with different ethnicities. This is what the word “Army builder” was made for… a group of troopers who are different individuals and ethnicities but all in the same uniform. An army. I only wish they might have included a female trooper in among them- that would have made this set even more perfect.

  • Female Cobra troopers would have rocked. They were all over the place in the Sunbow ep “Spell of the Siren” and Destro apparently was getting in on with one at the beginning of “Skeletons in the Closet.”

  • Dreadnok: Spirit

    I also would’ve liked to have seen basic female Cobra troops, especially back in the original Real American Hero line. And just like in the cartoon, I’d probably have them report directly to the Baroness.

  • I never had any issues finding these. I ordered multiple times from amazon and found them for months at real stores. I got a ton of them. But the weapons were terrible. So terrible an A set was reduced to a B-

  • The heads of the removable helmet prototype figure shown looked bad (like ears at neck level and bad helmets); I think we dodged a bullet there.

    Word is that these would’ve been internet exclusives like the BAT 6-pack, had that pack done better (Hasbro should’ve made this pack to start with).

    This set surprising revealed how picky some army-building happy fans were. There were some who didn’t think Cobra should have non-whites (they think Cobra is racist organization, not sure where they got that from). And those who disliked the brown masks and boots on the black masked officer/squad leader so much they sold them off. And of course, those who saw the scarred officer as a character and sold off their extras of him, as well. And at the time, some folks were abandoning ARAH for “new sculpt”, scoffing at the TRU 6-packs, and that’s just as well, more of these sets for the rest of us.

    The big mystery is what happened to this set’s molds. the trooper parts were new tooling, since the originals could not be located (they were later found for the comic packs). Some rumors that these molds were stuck in a factory the Chinese government shut down or took over. It’s strange, they could have tweaked this set a few times with repaints (desert, jungle, python patrol, etc) and milked it, instead the molds were never seen again in their entirety. The legs do reappear on Urban Strike and Comic pack Scrap-Iron, though.

  • I still wonder why they chose such bad weapons and packs. They were recasted, too, as the gun is missing the side peg and the pack is more hollow.

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