Snake Eyes (1991)

For the collectors out there: what got you back into Joes? Some folks were pulled back into collecting with the release of the 25th anniversary line in 2007. For others, it was the 2009 movie or even the most recent Pursuit of Cobra line. Some others never stopped collecting since their youth. When I think back on my time as a Joe collector, I remember when I got back into the hobby.  I was one of those who stopped when I found it was no longer interesting or cool to buy toys.

All that changed however in the early 90’s, when I went to my first comic convention and discovered the world of geekdom. At this convention I found a book called Tomart’s Encyclopedia of Action Figures and Collectibles. This was a treasure trove of toy information and reminded me of all the toy lines from my youth: Star Wars, GI Joe, Transformers, Voltron, Inhumanoids, and on and on. So I was spurred to make a visit to the local toy store, Children’s Palace. It was a strange and foreign experience, as most of the toy lines of my youth were no longer around. However, I did spot a GI Joe section, and it was nice to still see an old friend on the shelves. The figure that immediately caught my eye was this Snake Eyes. It was surprising to see old Snakes decked out in bright blue, not to mention the neon red swords and huge missile firing backpack. Yet there was something about the figure that intrigued me. I took the figure to the checkout and sheepishly paid for it, thinking that the clerk must think I’m some kind of weirdo, a 19 year old buying a GI Joe. Years later, I think who cares?

So yeah, this Snake Eyes is what got me back into Joes. He still fascinates me, and embodies what I love about the 90’s Joes, warts and all. The design and sculpt here are the top notch of the era. You’ve got the muscular sculpt of the 90’s, colors that are vibrant without being headache inducing, and a design that equally evokes the ninja and commando aspects of the character.  Few figures of the 90’s stand out as iconic as the earlier 80’s series, but I think this Snake Eyes does. Yeah there are the usual negatives. First off, the neon weapons. So, what? Change them out if you don’t like them. The big honkin’ backpack? Toss it in your parts bin with all the other clunky spring-loaded weapons of the time. But don’t throw the baby out with the bath water. So join with me, say it loud and proud! I dig the 90’s Joes! Let your freak flag fly!

6 comments

  • So you were 19 in 1991 collecting G.I. Joe’s. Don’t sweat it. I was 19 and buying in 1982 when they first came out!

    Despite the neon weapons, I really liked this version of Snake Eyes. A total departure from the standard black uniform, it quickly “grew” on me and became my default Snake Eyes back then. I even used a scarred Downtown head with this body to make an unmasked version.

  • I remember being in high school and this was one of the last Joe figures I bought. Wish I never stopped!

    • I know what you mean. I sold off all my collection but one figure (’85 Snake Eyes) to my friend’s little brother. I had to buy them all over again when I started collecting again in the 90’s.

  • I always have loved this version of Snake Eyes. Yeah, the weapons aren’t nearly as cool as the ’89 version’s, but the figure’s colors and sculpt are spot on as far as I’m concerned. I especially love those glowing goggles, the Jason mask/hockey goalie sort of face plate, and the wrist guards (or whatever they are called).

  • Dreadnok: Spirit

    This has always been my favorite version of Snake Eyes. I really like everything about this one and if I could change one thing, it would be that I would’ve liked to have seen them include Timber with this figure. That would only make this one perfect.

  • While I did eventually get one of the 89 Snake Eyes, I’m fairly sure this one was my first, and you know what they say about you’re first. This remains my favorite iteration of the character, even if the coloring is a bit of a departure from the usual all black motif. He was the centerpiece of many a Joe adventure back in the day.

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