Python Patrol Officer (1989)
Waitaminit. This is the Python Patrol officer? Isn’t this the Cobra Trooper mold? Did somebody mix up character names a la 4-LOM and Zuckuss? Or are we witnessing the first-ever recorded GI Joe Mandela Effect? I could have sworn I saw this figure in Toys R Us back in the day as a regular trooper. The only explanation is we’re currently living in an alternate universe. I couldn’t possibly have mis-remembered such a thing. Although I can’t be sure exactly when the universes switched, the best I can gather is it happened after 1989, since newer versions of them also maintain the opposite assignments from the 1982 trooper/officer molds.
I’ve waffled over which of the Python Patrol figures’ uniform deco is my favorite. Sometimes I prefer the Viper for its overall cohesiveness, and other times I find the Crimson Guard’s bright yellow shirt a fascinating if odd choice. Right now, I’m digging the darker scheme at play on the Officer, although I still can’t shake the feeling that this looks like it should be a trooper, with its primarily single color uniform. Oh well.
If I had a favorite detail element of the Officer, it would be the helmet and boot color. The light grey remind me of the Stinger Driver, one of my favorite Cobra repaints. By the way, I never really noticed that this is the only vintage Cobra trooper with a red face mask as seen in early Marvel GI Joe comics. Pretty cool.