Snake Eyes (1982)
The first Snake Eyes figure I purchased was a straight arm original. I bought it at a TG&Y close to my house, and I was excited to see an original Snake Eyes at a store. This was sometime in 1983, and the figure had eluded me to that point. I was initially a little disappointed in it, as I really wanted a swivel arm version. I’ve since come to appreciate the differences between the first series figures and their improved successors. At the time, however, it was a simple matter that I thought Snake Eyes just didn’t play as well without Swivel Arm Battle Grip. He also looked a little funny next to his newer teammates. That’s not to say I didn’t play with the figure, as he was in constant use during play, and I even remember him traveling with me in my pocket on a couple of trips. He remained in my collection until I sold almost all of it off as a teenager. He also managed to keep both thumbs intact, a minor miracle for a straight arm figure. My ’82 Flash was not so lucky.
What can I say about this figure? It’s the first Snake Eyes. All black, mysterious, and not a single paint app to be seen. ‘Nuff said.
I’ve heard over the years various stories about why he was all black where the other figures were more colorful. I always assumed he was simply molded solid black to add to his air of mystery. An interesting side note to the lack of color on the Snake Eyes figure is a sticker set from 1983. Among the characters featured on the sheet was a strangely colorful version of our favorite commando. Very odd. Maybe it was just the result of laziness on the part of the sticker manufacturer, but it is interesting to see old Snakes in a different outfit.
Snake Eyes has had dozens of action figure versions over the years, in every scale, and sometimes in odd colors. He’s gone from commando to ninja commando to Wolverine-esque levels of overexposed quasi super-heroic ninja. While I find something to like about most all of his versions, I’ll always have great memories of and a preference for his original commando version.
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