Kre-O Serpentor with Air Chariot & Nemesis Enforcer
Part of what made me love the Kre-O line so much was that it referenced just about every facet of the Joe brand’s history. We got some great callbacks to the Adventure Team years, we got Bulletman, and of course we got a lot of A Real American Hero Joes. However, for me, what was even better is that Cobra-La got a little love, too. Towards the end of the blind bag waves, Nemesis Enforcer showed up and Serpentor and his Air Chariot showed up in the Terrordrome set. Since I wound up with an odd number of blind bagged Kre-Os after tracking down all the ones I wanted, I figured I’d pair up Nemesis Enforcer with his boss, Serpentor, for this Field Report.
I’ve always loved the concept behind and design of Serpentor, so I’m very pleased that he showed up in the Kre-O line. Serpentor was an incredibly detailed figure, so I was a little concerned at how well all those molded details would transfer to a tampo design, but once again, the Kre-O paint folks showed me that I shouldn’t have been concerned. They’ve got it handled and Serpentor looks great for the most part. He’s back to his classic snake armor rather than the more Roman-inspired armor he’s been wearing lately and that’s fine by me. I loved the whole snake motif he had back in the day. The leg armor is well designed and up on the body, not only did that include the snake details, but they made sure to put in some scales as well. The scales weren’t 100% necessary to complete the look, but they went the extra mile to give him that detail and it really makes Serpentor shine. Part of his snake cowl is painted on the head and this Serpentor’s got a great angry stare painted on his face. This is the look I’d love to see on the modern Serpentor figure. He’s got a look of barely contained rage on his face and I think that works perfectly for him. It’s much better than the blank look the modern figure has, and far better than the face on the Valor Vs. Venom comic pack version. Serpentor gets a few add on pieces to help complete the look. Two of them work well, but one of them really doesn’t. Serpentor is still wearing a green cape and it looks good draped over Serpentor’s shoulders. I’m still not wild about capes on Lego or Kre-O figures since there are now three holes in the cape that need to go over the peg rather than one. Yes, it does make it drape a little more naturally, but it can also cause the cape to bunch up awkwardly. I had to put Serpentor’s cape on a couple times before I finally got it to look right. The rest of the snake cowl is created with a helmet piece. I think it’s the same base helmet that came on a Transformers: Age of Extinction character, but I’m not 100% sure of that. Regardless, it’s a decent stand in for the rest of the cowl and helps bulk up Serpentor’s head a bit. The snake’s eyes are painted on this piece, though I wish they were a little more prominent on the cowl. You really can’t tell they’re there unless you’re looking for them. Serpentor’s final add on piece is the snake hood, and this is the piece that I think is a bit lacking in execution. The Kre-O folks decided to make Serpentor’s hood a soft goods piece and it looks really awkward. Part of it is that the cape is already on the neck peg, but the other issue is that it’s a little too flimsy for my taste. I wish they could have found a way to design a mini-build with Kre-O pieces for his hood rather than use fabric. I think it could have been more successful. Finally, taking a cue from the modern Serpentor, this version is also carrying a large sword. It looks great in his hand and it really fits with the character, so I think Kre-O made a good call on its inclusion.
Of course, you can’t talk about Serpentor without talking about the Air Chariot, and it’s a piece that I’m kind of two minds about. The Air Chariot has never been a large or substantial vehicle so I get it being small here, but at the same time, it feels just a little too dinky for my tastes. It reminds me of the CLAW Glider from the Dragonfly set and not in a good way. While there may not be much to the overall build of the Air Chariot, the Kre-O version does come together pretty well. It’s still got a large armored front to protect Serpentor, a pair of cannons, and a turbine on the back. However, a few details don’t really transfer well to the brick style. The snake head on the front of the Air Chariot doesn’t look very snake-like, though I do love the sticker they created for it. The cannons themselves are also a little awkward since they’re made of claw probes so the little black fins could be put on the back. Personally, I would rather have just had the cannons made out of black sticks and canisters. I think it would have brought them a little closer in line to the vintage look. Regardless of my complaints about the overall design though, Serpentor does look pretty good standing behind the Air Chariot. It’s just a piece that leaves me wanting a little more.
Nemesis Enforcer was a bit of a surprising addition to the Kre-O line in my opinion. The Cobra-La side of the Joe brand is pretty universally ignored. Yes, Nemesis Enforcer showed up in the 25th Anniversary line, but he was the only one that did. I figured for sure that the 25th Anniversary version would be the last we’d see of him, but Hasbro did a really great Joe with the Kre-O version. Much like the 25th Anniversary version, the Kre-O version is a great figure, though he does make me wish he had more Cobra-La characters to hang around with. The base of the figure is a nice dark purple. Hasbro designers, take note: This is the color all versions of Nemesis Enforcer should use. Purple is regal and intimidating, fuchsia is not. The overall darker color scheme really makes Nemesis Enforcer look awesome. How sad is it that the slightly cutesy-style Kre-O figure is the most intimidating version of Nemesis Enforcer? While the purple is dark, it’s not an overwhelmingly dark figure thanks to the red trim. The red stands out nicely against the purple and the gray adds to the overall look. The black scales are visible despite the dark purple and that’s nice to see. The scales on Nemesis Enforcer add a little extra detail, just like they did on Serpentor. To recreate his arm spikes, you clip on double clips to each arm and the Dungeons & Dragons Kre-O line donated the spikes to finish off the look. The arm spikes look great and are a nice addition to Nemesis Enforcer’s look. The wing backpack build is pretty simple, but it’s very effective. The wings are awesome and it gives him a very strong silhouette and a scary presence. The wings can be clipped on in two ways, having them either be up or fully unfurled. They look great either way, though fully unfurled to his sides, he is a bit off balance. The tampo work up on his head is great. Nemesis Enforcer has a great cowl and I love the blank eyes. It just adds to his inhumanity. His facial expression is pretty interesting. On the one hand, it’s just kind of a grim stare, but there’s just enough of a curl at the edge of his left lip that I kind of see it also as a bit of a cocky smirk. I don’t know why, but I like that in Nemesis Enforcer. It’s like he knows that no one can stand up to him in a fight, so he’s going to have a little fun while he’s fighting.
Cobra-La has always been one of the more unloved facets of the Joe brand. However, I was just the right age to think it was awesome and that opinion has carried through to me as an adult. Much like Bulletman, I think Nemesis Enforcer and Serpentor benefit from the slightly more cartoony style that Kre-O brings to the table. In a realistic military line, they all look just a touch out of place. However, in a cartoony line that celebrates the entirety of Joe history they look great. The Air Chariot could be better, though I’m not sure what I’d do differently, but regardless, Serpentor and Nemesis Enforcer are solid figures and I think the Kre-O line is better for them.