Cobra Moray (2002)
There weren’t too many laser-focused homage type figures in the first series of Joe’s 2002 relaunch. Old faves like Duke, Snake Eyes, Cobra Commander and Destro incorporated some elements of their former selves, but also diverged in new, and sometimes interesting ways. The Moray took cues from the vintage Eels, but injected a modern style that continues to impress me.
It’s another 2002 figure that sadly didn’t get an o-ring refit. Although that’s a real shame, I still think the Moray stands out among his peers. The only real issue with it is the lack of newly created weapons, but that’s easily remedied, especially if you’re like me, and have a stash of extra armaments lying about.
I’ve always been wowed by the number and quality of the paint apps on this figure. Like other figures in the series, there’s even an attempt at creating texture with strategic use of both gloss and flat paint. The different textures and layers going on are quite impressive, and this remains one of my favorite figures of its time. Even the later o-ring Cobra divers like the Electric EEL, pale in comparison to the high level of detail and effective design present on this earlier figure.
Now that I’m taking a fresh look at the 2002 series, I have to wonder how much of its design was influenced by the success of the relaunched Star Wars line. Although Star Wars had by this time shed its early beefed-up proportions, it still had a more toylike feel than what developed a few years later and continues today. When considered in that sense, one could say that Joe and Star Wars continue to run along a sort of parallel line. Both are even flirting with limited articulation these days.