Dr. Mindbender (2009)
If a GI Joe toy line has needed someone to fulfill the role of all-around mad scientist plot catalyst, the good doctor is always standing by. He’s been connected to things like the creation of Serpentor, the BATs, mutated monsters, venomized DNA modified troopers, and even a quick reference in the Rise of Cobra film. He’s become almost as ubiquitous as Destro within the Cobra organization. That’s coming a long way from being a follow-up to Marvel comic favorite Dr. Venom, the first doctor on the Cobra payroll to muck around with minds. Heck, Venom’s Brain Wave Scanner is still being used to this day in the Hama-verse. Just ask Snake Eyes. He’s taken a ride on that thing more times than the Ninja Lightning.
It’s hard to believe that there have only been six small scale action figure versions of Cobra’s dentist turned mind control specialist. Four of his appearances have been based on variations of his original look, a supremely goofy get-up showcasing a shamelessly shirtless theme augmented with stainless steel suspenders. My favorites have been his wild and wacky bionically bolstered 90s version, as well as the more traditional lab coat look of Valor vs Venom. I understand the popularity of the first version, but this more modern interpretation of it leaves me wanting a little more.
On the plus side, the doc has a new head, and a nice set of suspenders that match his old set. The new head is nice, but the ‘stache just isn’t quite as epic as his über-Selleck from ’86.
The legs are lacking, and just too recognizable as the Crimson Guard mold. I can see the reasons for using them, and for putting the new parts budget into the head and web gear, but below the waist, he’s just lacking in the all-over flair that made his original 1986 figure so distinctive.
Mindbender is equipped with his cape and electric prod, although that too is lacking. There’s no hose or generator to connect it. Oh well, at least I have a half dozen or so of the things hanging out in my parts box. Overall, although being a must-have in terms of members of Cobra’s heinous hierarchy, Mindbender is the weakest entry in the Defense of Cobra Island pack. Maybe someday he’ll show up in another lab-coated or bionic version.