Snow Serpent (1985)
As my area is beset with an unseasonably hot month of September, my mind goes back to the beginning of this year, to a day when 12 inches of snow was on the ground, and I brought out many of my arctic figures for an impromptu photo shoot. Among them was a figure I’m surprised I haven’t covered yet, 1985’s Snow Serpent.
Gear has always been the primary focus of my affection for this figure. 1985 was a year that saw several figures with numerous accessories, beyond the typical helmet, backpack and gun. Before the Snow Serpent, Snow Job had my favorite load of plastic accoutrements. In his case, it was skis and ski poles that efficiently stored on his backpack.
The Snow Serpent changed things up in the cold weather gear department, going for a more heavily outfitted look. If Snow Job had the appearance of a fast and light arctic attack trooper, the Serpent seemed more geared toward a heavier assault role. With snow shoes, parachute pack, a mortar and a wicked assault rifle, this imposing Cobra trooper was ready for anything to go down in the snow. He makes Snow Job look like a ski bum on his way back to the lodge by comparison.
While there have been many subsequent reimaginings and updated versions of Cobra’s first trooper, none of them quite capture the magic of the original. Even with all the modern improvements in sculpting an articulation, this guy remains a favorite figure. You can say it’s nostalgia, or whatever you want, that’s coloring my opinion, but there’s no denying the impact that the 1985 Cobra troopers had on the line. The Snow Serpent left his big snowshoe print on the GI Joe landscape almost 30 years ago, and it hasn’t melted away yet.