Snow Serpent (1993 Mail-in)
Two elements of Joes that I am enamored with: the 1991 to 1994 series and winter themed figures. Today’s figure fulfills both of these categories. Why do I like the arctic figures so much? Several reasons, the first being the amount of accessories usually included with them. I remember getting the original Joe arctic trooper, Snow Job. Along with the usual weapon and backpack, he also came with skis and ski poles. Even better, the skis and poles clipped to his backpack. He could actually carry and store all of his accessories. It was such a cool feature back then, and something Hasbro still continues to do from time to time. Another reason for my love of winter figures is the season itself. Growing up in Missouri, we had snow on the ground every winter, so it was a natural to break out Snow Job and the Polar Battle Bear skimobile and have an adventure in the snow. The final reason was a coloring book I had which was based on the Marvel GI Joe comic issue #2. The story took place in the north pole, and Snake Eyes, Scarlett, Stalker and Breaker were all featured in the issue, outfitted in snow gear. I liked the issue so much I made a little Joe scaled snow suit for my Snake Eyes using an old t-shirt. My first Joe custom.
This version of Cobra’s venerable polar assault trooper was released in 1993 as a mail-in premium as part of a group called the Arctic Commandos. All four figures in the set were repaints of existing molds, with the Snow Serpent being based on the 1991 version. While those colors of that version aren’t entirely unsuitable for a winter environment, I much prefer this color scheme, especially the “ice blue” on the arms and legs. The darker blue on the top of the helmet and red mask bring in the perfect little touch of traditional Cobra color. The sculpted fur torso really works better in white and really brings to mind an arctic animal; it’s both functional and intimidating. Sadly, the large accessory complement (which included an awesome cobra-shaped snowboard) of the 1991 figure is missing here, and he only included a single assault rifle.