Cobra Trooper (2006)
I’ve mentioned it before: I’m not much of an army builder. If I like a troop type, the most I’ll buy is four or five. I flirted with the idea of putting together impressively sized forces during the 2000s, in particular its re-releases of several classic o-ring Cobra troops. I must have bought ten of the Operation Crimson Sabotage sets, and several packs each of the comic pack Cobra Trooper and Officer, the Cobra Infantry six packs and Crimson Shadow Guard. Yeah, I went a little nuts back then. I also had more disposable income.
Aside from the redesigned Viper from Valor Vs. Venom, most of the Cobra forces released in the updated o-ring style of the 2000s didn’t hold my interest too well. However, when the grand experiment that was Hasbro’s Direct To Consumer program came along, I felt compelled to buy several of this new Cobra Trooper. Maybe, like the Viper, I was wooed by the prospect of recapturing the feeling I had with the old 80s version. Since I couldn’t go back in time to 1983 or 1985, I thought buying a mess of the new Cobra blueshirts would be the next best thing. I have to admit, it was a fun time, especially during the short time that DTC was running. There was something exciting about buying a whole case of figures directly from Hasbro.
These figures may not be the perfect Cobra trooper, but they are fun. From the vintage inspired card layout to the multiple weapons and removable helmets, they still have a more prominent place in my collection than other 2000s Cobras (read Neo-Vipers) of the era. The Ghost Bear mold was a great choice, not only for its Cobra iconography and generic look, but also for the relative obscurity of its source. Since the trooper mold’s origin isn’t immediately recognizable, I think it can be appreciated as a new figure rather than just a repaint. Proportions also aren’t as bothersome as others in the line from the time. The removable helmet and masked head underneath add just enough newness to maintain interest, and the figure as a whole comes together quite well. I’m still not an army builder in the least, but I could probably find myself hunting down ten more of these guys.