Kre-O Water Moccasin
I don’t know why, but until recently, I’ve never been that big on Joe boats. I remember loving the Tiger Fish as a kid, but I really don’t have any strong memories attached to any other water vehicles from the Joe line. However, the 25th Anniversary really started turning me around on that thanks to their amazing new version of the Water Moccasin (redubbed the “Sting Raider” for legal purposes). Kre-O took things even further when it entered the Joe boat fray with their own version of the Water Moccasin that came with the Thunderwave Jet Boat. When you think of Cobra boats you think of the Water Moccasin and the later Moray. They’re both great pieces and while it’s a shame that Kre-O didn’t last long enough to make a Moray, I’m very satisfied with Copperhead and his own personal ride being the sole representative of the Cobra navy in the Kre-O world.
While the Kre-O Water Moccasin is a bit smaller in scale than its standard Joe line brother, its design is still clearly meant to evoke the original 1984 boat. It has the classic Water Moccasin forked front end with the two primary cannons mounted alongside the hull. From there, we go back to the main cabin for the driver to sit in, which has a pair of machine guns mounted behind it. Surprisingly, to mirror the gunner’s position, there is a gap large enough to fit a Kre-O figure in between the back of the driver’s cabin and the main fan to fit. This position actually inspired me to run down the Eel from the second wave of blind bagged figures. Cobra’s frogman looks really good manning the guns back there and with a little judicious use of the modular nature of Kre-O bricks, you can even store his flippers back there with him. Not only can you put someone in the gunner’s position, but there are pegs on the side near the back that remind me a lot of the Water Moccasin’s running boards that could accommodate a couple of additional riders. The back has the large fan engine and gives the Water Moccasin a pretty powerful look. While I don’t think it would be a great set up for the open seas, I can see Copperhead being able to use this vehicle very effectively to harass boats in ports or near the shore. The biggest divergence from the Water Moccasin is its color, but honestly, I’m okay with it. I don’t mind the use of a dark red here. I think it’s eye-catching and with so many Cobra Kre-O vehicles using blue, I think the red a refreshing change of pace. Plus, apparently, in Brazil, the Water Moccasin was actually released in a very dark red similar to the color the powers that be that are behind Kre-O picked for it. While the colors may have changed, I do appreciate that they went to the trouble of using the old school Water Moccasin logos on the hull. They’re a great nod to the classic vehicle and help sell it a bit more as the Water Moccasin. I didn’t see all the similarities to the Water Moccasin when I first put this little set together, but after looking at it through more critical eyes, it’s amazing how many little nods they successfully made to the Water Moccasin here.
Of course, without Copperhead, the Water Moccasin just isn’t the same, so I’m very happy to see his aqua blue tank top sitting behind the wheel of his ride. Copperhead’s look has always been a little difficult for me to wrap my head around. The helmet is very standard Cobra (just look at how many members of Cobra High Command wear helmets that cover their entire face), yet the rest of his look reminds me more of the Dreadnoks than any of the Cobra leadership. His portrayal in the filecards was also a bit more mercenary or Dreadnok than Cobra High Command, yet the comics often portrayed him as the head of the Cobra Navy. It was a weird dichotomy and while I don’t know where the disconnect comes from, it’s always made it harder for me to figure out what to do with Copperhead outside his vehicle. The Kre-O minifigure follows suit. He looks great behind the wheel of the Water Moccasin, but he seems just a little out of place when not driving his vehicle. The tampo work is incredible. They did a great job recreating the high boots and padded pants he wore back in the day. Considering Kre-O has sometimes gone for a less-is-more approach to tampo detailing, I was a little surprised to see how much attention they gave his legs. I’d forgotten the tampo work was that great since Copperhead hasn’t been out of the seat of the Water Moccasin since I put it together. The chest tampo is just as good and really does a great job recreating his tank top with shoulder holster look that he’s rocked since back in the day. Completing his ensemble, Copperhead is also still wearing his bright green gloves. I’ve never understood Copperhead’s fashion choices, but you can’t deny that when the man picks a look, he sticks with it. Since we’ve never seen Copperhead without his helmet on (unless you count the GIJCC’s membership figure), Kre-O had to take a little liberty with his head since his helmet is removable. I’m not sure how well it works. Underneath his helmet, we’re treated to a secondary piece covering his face that I consider part of his rebreather. It’s an odd choice and while it helps make Copperhead look more distinct since he’s just wearing a standard Kre-O helmet, I’m still not sure I like the look. For some reason, the helmet doesn’t really line up well with the tampo work they did on his face, or at least it doesn’t on mine. It doesn’t matter if I center the helmet on his eyes or on the center of the facemask, it always looks just a little off center, but then if I tweak it to look center with the rest of his face, it makes it look like he’s looking slightly off to the side because of the way his helmet is pointing. It’s not a deal breaker, but I’ve fiddled with the helmet a number of times and I still can’t quite find a way to make him look perfect. Copperhead also gets a pistol so when he boards the Thunderwave, he’s not unarmed. I always like it when vehicle drivers at least get a pistol so I can use them outside their vehicles. Plus, since Copperhead wears a shoulder holster, it makes sense for him to carry a sidearm.
Since Copperhead has typically been used as the de facto leader of the Cobra navy due to the lack of any other named Cobra that is involved in aquatic operations, it makes sense that he’d bring along a Cobra Eel for the ride and to act as his gunner. The Eel’s look has always been rather distinct and Kre-O figure captures it very well. The unsculpted nature of the minifigures works really well for the Eel since he’s wearing a sleek wetsuit. A few Kre-O figures have left me a little cold because details that look good sculpted don’t work quite as well when they’re painted on, but the Eel is the reverse of that. I love that the figure is so smooth because it looks so much like the real world wetsuit he’d be wearing. The red, black and gray all work very well together. While I didn’t become a fan of the original Eel until the 25th Anniversary line, I’m sold on it now, and the Kre-O version is just as good. The Eel is also pretty well-equipped. He’s got his helmet (shared with Copperhead, though he does pick up a clear visor) and I like that since it shows a little more unity with other parts of the Cobra navy. The head tampo underneath is also shared with Copperhead and I think it works a little better here. The helmet actually seems to line up properly with the face tampo unlike how it did on Copperhead, which leaves me wondering if Hasbro noticed something was up with Copperhead after his release and made sure to fix it on the later reuse. Eels have always carried around spearguns and the Kre-O version is no exception. It’s a great mold and I like that they’ve also clipped a knife on top of it. I don’t know why you’d do that, but it looks pretty cool and gives the Eel a knife so I’m all for it. His final accessory is an oxygen tank backpack. It’s a bit more generic than the classic Eel backpack, but considering how much building block lines are based around re-use, I think this is close enough to the original backpack for it to work. The Kre-O Eel is a great, smaller version of one of the best Cobra troopers that was released in 1985. He had a lot to live up to, and he really succeeded.
I appreciate that Kre-O has designed their sets to be self-contained battles. It’s nice to be able to pick up a set like the Thunderwave and have your own little adventure in a box. They easily could have made the Water Moccasin a standalone small set, but then there wouldn’t have been anything for the Thunderwave to battle and that would have been a shame. The Kre-O Water Moccasin is a great little addition to the Cobra motor pool. I like that, through some savvy purchases, I’ve been able to build a great little representation of both the Joe and Cobra forces on air, land and sea. It’s great to see how inclusive the Kre-O line has been, embracing all facets of Joe history.