Snake Eyes (2005)
I know what you’re thinking: another Snake Eyes–Yeesh! Well, hold fast your rage for a moment, as this is a Snakes for the ages. Okay well, maybe not quite, but it is impressive for its time.
Would you believe that some of the great advances that came with the 25th anniversary series had their roots in the overlooked and often maligned “new sculpt” era? I know that the complaints lodged against the early to mid 2000’s period are not without warrant. Issues of proportions, strange accessory and design choices abounded, but at the same time, some groundwork was laid for the improvements to come. This Snake Eyes encompassed a few of those improvements.
Removable web gear in part goes back to vintage RAH figures like Ripcord, Outback, Crazylegs and Chuckles, but most of those were either highly specific to a specialty or not necessary to complete a figure’s look. By the time of the Valor vs. Venom series, many figures incorporated web gear that added a lot to their looks, so much that some seemed to be missing something without it.
Extra articulation was also worked into many figures of the time. Articulated ankles, swivel wrists, and even a few mid-thigh cuts were added to the standard Joe poseability. Snake Eyes here also has the hidden shoulder pins that would eliminate one of the complaints about even the RAH era figures.
Finally, near the end of the era, a more realistic, and detailed sculpt style emerged in some figures. Snake Eyes benefits from a nicely detailed head and uniform with many folds and more accurate draping. There’s a stronger sense that a body is actually underneath the clothing. He also gets some great weapons in the form of a couple of effective machine guns, one if which even has a folding stock. My only real problem with the sculpt are the hands, which are stuck in a perpetual “thumbs up”, like the old Mego Fonzie figure.
This Snake Eyes also stands out for me with its more commando than ninja style. While I enjoy the ninja aspects of Snakes, I always appreciate seeing the straight military side of him as well. A final note: the new Retaliation 3 pack Snake Eyes is very similar, including the head. Interesting.