Snake Eyes (2002)

There have been enough Snake Eyes, Storm Shadow, Cobra Commander and Duke figures that I could cover each variation pretty regularly and still not run out of them for a few more years. In fact, I think that’s what’s been happening. But what can I do, when those four have been the most ubiquitous characters in GI Joe for the past thirty something years? Hunting through piles of figures, the big four are bound to pop up now and again. So, If you don’t like to hear about another Snakes figure, come back tomorrow. I’m sure someone different will be in the spotlight. But wait–it might be Duke.

Believe it or not, this black version of the mold was not the first to be released. The man in black was the man in grey and purple for a short time in 2002, a very odd change of pace for the popular ninja. While the greater contrasting colors of that figure brought out the details in the mold, I prefer this black version. I guess my preference goes all the way back to 1982. A perfect Snake Eyes for me would be all black, with no paint apps. Of course, that couldn’t happen in a high profile relaunch, so Snakes was given some dabs of silver.

This is one kitted out Snake Eyes, with straps, pouches and molded weapons to spare. The design borrows from several older iterations, and works in arm bracers, padded uniform details, kneepads and shinguards. There’s also an interesting use of flat and glossy paints that help give a little more variation to the black on black color scheme.

Snake Eyes doesn’t fare too badly in terms of his proportions; the biggest issue for me is his inability to put his arms completely down at his sides. They’re always sort of jutting out just a bit too much. That’s a shame, since his articulation is some of the best of the era, featuring ankle and wrist joints.

I see some similarity in this figure and the later Sigma 6 design. Both featured a highly stylized visor, and the Sigma 6 version even had the same sort of padded shoulders integrated into his web gear. Unlike that later Sigma 6 figure, his weaponry is skimpy, getting only a sword with sheath, and a single Sound Attack rifle. What, no uzi? Say it ain’t so! Oh, and I almost forgot to mention–he’s got lips!


  • I found most of this guy with a broken waist and a missing left hand. Some repairs are in order–well, maybe except for the head, the silver paint I used in attempting to restore the visor was awfully sticky when it dried. Thank goodness for the single pack rerelease of this figure!

  • I’ll admit, I was glad that I only ever found the black version on the pegs in my area. I understand that the gray and purple one was released first but I’m glad I didn’t wind up buying both. I like the mold enough that I probably would have snagged that one if I only saw that one, but since I only saw the black and silver, I think I have the better version. I realize Hasbro should try new things with Snake Eyes but that “variant” color scheme just seemed a little too far off base for me.

  • I’m really digging this figure. Usually the gigantic “new sculpt era” shoulder joints bother me, but the black on black here makes them less obvious.

    Hmmmm. This might be my first “new sculpt” purchase.

  • What the hell is up with that visor? It looks like mashed potatoes that someone ran a fork through at the top and then stuck a teeny pair of glasses in the bottom that are always looking down. Highly stylized all right.

  • I have the purple version. Not sure where i got it?

    I think the sculpt itself is fine and his articulation is goood, except for the face. He looks too much like a power rangers

  • Vaughn is right, that visor makes no sense whatsoever. It’s plain downright bizarre.

    I think this is the closest you’d get to an Snake-Eyes figure from Lanard’s The Corps!

  • Yeah, I have him and the head on this figure sucks. BTW anybody else notice that the right shoulder on this guy seems to have been molded backwards? It always drove me insane that the knob was on the outside–my 25th anniv. Gung-ho same way.

  • Great sculpt, love the pouches and straps and webgear and stuff. Didn’t realize this version had wrist and ankle joints.
    The head, though, is weird. The visor looks like…didn’t those Banking Clan aliens’ pilots from the Phantom Menace wear eye gear like that?
    And yeah, the lips…

  • Great figure!
    Icon of the 2002/’03 relaunch…

  • Is there a term for when a figures arms can’t come in against the torso? Should we make one? Does it matter?

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