Kre-O Cobra Jail Break
I love the Battle Platform Assault set, but it’s so big it’s hard to review. I think the set also suffers a little bit from being kind of disjointed. All the major pieces of the Arashikage Temple set are linked together either physically or stylistically. I think that adds to the overall cohesiveness of the set. Unfortunately, the major elements of the Battle Platform Assault are kind of separate and that hurts it a little as a larger item. I’ve already reviewed the Tactical Battle Platform itself, so it’s time to talk about the other main part of the set: a jail. Part of the reason I broke it off from the main set is that I think it stands alone well enough to be its own mini-set that I’ve dubbed “Cobra Jail Break.”
Every Joe base needs a jail cell for Cobra Commander to break out of and the Tactical Battle Platform is no different. However, this set’s jail sits on its own base piece so you can decide where you can put it. The base piece is tan, implying that the Battle Platform and jail are out in the middle of the desert somewhere. That’s not a bad place to hold the world’s most dangerous terrorist since it’s going to be harder for him to escape on his own through the unforgiving terrain of the desert. The little jail cell is surprisingly well built. Cobra Commander stands nicely inside it and the front bars close tightly. What surprised me even more is that the back bars are equally secure. When I was building it, I thought the gap was too wide, so I thought it would make for an amusing static scene to have a Joe on guard while Cobra Commander is easily sneaking out the back of the jail cell. Imagine my surprise when I discovered the gaps in the back wall that are covered by flip down bars were just slightly too narrow for Cobra Commander to fit through. That shows how much attention the design team put into the look of this piece. I also find myself very amused by all the warning lights on this set. Between the front of the cell and the pylons on the edge of the base, the Joe team isn’t exactly subtle about who is being held there and how dangerous he is. The stickers on the front of the bars also warn of the prisoner’s dangerous history and there’s even a caution sign on top of the jail so anyone flying over it knows that whoever is in there is very dangerous.
Of course, it’s silly to build a jail if you don’t have anyone to put into it and the Joe team nabbed the king snake himself, Cobra Commander. The Cobra Commander Kre-O figure is very excellently executed. The tampo work is spot on and the chromed head is classic Cobra Commander. The detailing accurately represents the original Cobra Commander. His helmet has the familiar silver stripe from the cartoons and they even included a Kre-O version of his classic laser pistol so he’s armed when he breaks out of jail. The detail I really love, though, is the working set of handcuffs. You can actually cuff tiny Cobra Commander with a tiny set of cuffs and they work excellently. This is something that could only be done because of the added articulation Kre-O figures have compared to the standard Lego minifigure. The cuffs hold his arms nicely but they aren’t so tight that it damages the plastic Cobra Commander is made of. To break Cobra Commander out of jail, we have a Cobra Officer wearing a gas mask (also from the Battle Platform Attack set) and what I consider a more Renegades-inspired Cobra Trooper (from the Cobra Armored Assault set). There’s really a lot going on with both of these figures. On the Cobra Officer, we have the add on piece of a gas mask, but if you take it off, he’s wearing a red bandana like the Cobra Officer in the comic and, in my opinion, the even-cooler addition of a pair of black sunglasses. They remind me of the tactical sunglasses you see both soldiers and independent military contractors wearing in the field today. That’s a neat little touch and I am torn as to whether or not I want him wearing the gas mask or not. The helmet has the Cobra Officer crest tampoed on just like it was sculpted there back in the day. The helmet isn’t as uniquely shaped as it was back in the day, but that’s understandable since the scale is different. The officer’s webgear is done in yellow (again, a nod to the comics) and the Cobra sigil on his left shoulder is spot on. The legs get boots and kneepads painted on and while I haven’t been paying that much attention to the leg tampos, they are clearly different from the legs of the other Cobra Trooper I’m using with this so again, I must applaud Hasbro for being able to make all these Cobra blueshirts look different using nothing but paint and the occasional add-on accessory. For accessories, he’s carrying a three-piece gun and a radio. The radio looks good in his hands and would be something that a Cobra Officer would need to coordinate a jail break. His gun, at its most basic, is a small submachine gun, however, they added a silencer and a rocket on top. It’s quite a gun, I’ll give it that, and the part of me that loves the 90s Joes’ crazy accessories does have to admit that it looks pretty cool, even if it wouldn’t be the most practical of weapons to have in the field.
The Renegades Cobra Trooper is also well executed and benefits nicely from the added on parts. This Cobra Trooper is a fairly basic blueshirt, with gray kneedpads and a simple shirt. However, to make him a little more interesting, he’s wearing a bullet proof vest and has armored shoulderpads. The facemask fully covers his face as opposed to being just a bandana worn around the bottom half of his face. Between the heavy vest and the full facemask, it’s easy to draw parallels to the Renegades Cobra Troopers. Topping it off, he also wears a blue helmet and it really looks like a Cobra Trooper geared up for some heavy action. However, with all the gear stripped off, I almost see him as something along the lines of a general Cobra Technician. Without his gear, he doesn’t look very militaristic and reminds me of the techs from the opening of the 1987 G.I. Joe movie. For gear, he carries a rifle with a rocket launcher on it and a grenade. As much as I do like the rifle, I’m more impressed and amused by the engineering behind his little grenade. I wasn’t expecting it to be able to fit in his hand. When I discovered that, I was instantly sold. It’s a tiny little accessory that could have just been used as set dressing for the Armored Assault set, but they went and made it functional to boot.
Tunnel Rat was the Joe I picked to pull guard duty on the jail cell. I don’t know why, but Tunnel Rat has always been one of my favorite Joes. I’ve never really understood why I latched on to him, but I did. When I learned he was in the second wave of blind bag figures, I knew I found the top Joe from that wave. However, I also got a little burned by the blind bag nature of these figures…and that’s part of why I don’t like blind bagged figures. He’s got a really bad paint -defect on his right foot. Toys ‘R’ Us wasn’t willing to let me return him after I opened him and there wasn’t another Tunnel Rat in the box anyway, so I’m kind of stuck with him. It’s still a well-done Kre-O figure, but I’m a little bummed out by his damaged foot. However, I suppose it does bring him in line with my vintage Tunnel Rat since I know I wore the brown paint off the tip of his foot with all the use he got. The tampo work on the torso is spot on and they did an incredible job with his arm camouflage. The face tampo is a little more intense than I’d like for Tunnel Rat, but it’s still a good likeness. I’ve just always seen Tunnel Rat as a bit more of a happy-go-lucky guy (or at least as happy-go-lucky as you can be when you’re part of an elite, highly-trained special missions force) who clearly loves his job. Tunnel Rat gets a surprising amount of accessories. To make his machine gun in Kre-O scale, we start with a basic Kre-O rifle with a bipod add on a clip to attach the gun sight and a pair of graduated cones—one for the top sight and one for the extended barrel. Tunnel Rat also gets a backpack and explosive charge (shared with Firefly). Tunnel Rat’s always had a backpack and as a demolitions specialist, it makes sense for him to have some explosives. Topping him off, Tunnel Rat wears a watch cap. It’s not quite a perfect recreation of his bandana, but it definitely passes the squint test and that’s all that matters with Kre-O figures. Tunnel Rat has a lot of great gear and the tampo work is great, but that nagging flaw on his foot does bother me just because this is something I could have avoided if Hasbro wasn’t blind-bagging Kre-O figures.
The jail is a great part of the Battle Platform Attack but it’s also a nice little stand alone diorama piece. I was never much into doing dioramas with my larger Joes, but I love how Kre-O has inspired me to try my hand at that a little bit. They’re fun and they’re easy to pick up and play with. This little jail set is just a nice little add-on to the Battle Platform and I love that it looks good with the Battle Platform but at the same time, it’s strong enough to stand on its own as a little diorama piece.