Snow Wolf (2005)
The 1985 Snow Serpent has been one of my favorite Cobra troopers since its original release. One of the most iconic figures in the line, it was also highly accessorized for its time. Better yet, the Snow Serpent could stow or carry all of his gear at once.
The legacy of Cobra cold weather troops continued in the relaunch series, first with a disappointingly odd looking new Snow Serpent figure early in the line. The Valor vs. Venom series followed it up later with a much more attractively designed figure. Though it’s not named as such, this figure takes its cues from the Snow Serpent of old, from the helmet design to the web gear and fur coverings. It retains the fur cape of the previous version however, a feature that I found to be an interesting addition.
The Snow Wolf is not nearly as well equipped as the ’85 Snow Serpent. Snow shoes have been replaced with crampons, and there is no backpack, parachute pack (it’s part of the mold this time) or mortar. A rifle and a unique sidearm are present, along with a holster that can hold the pistol. The functioning holsters were a nice upgrade for the 2000s series, and one that I’m glad continues to be a part of modern figure design.
The upgrades continue with a removable helmet. I don’t recall wanting the old Snow Serpent to have a removable helmet back when I was a kid, but when I became interested in GI Joe figures again as an adult, the concept intrigued me. The prevalence of removable helmets has certainly been one of the positives of modern GI Joe figures. The ski masked mug underneath is a nicely generic look, although the nose seems a little oddly large and strangely placed on his face. Maybe since these guys are supposed to be spliced with animal DNA (courtesy Dr. Mindbender of course), they gained a vestige of the long snout of a wolf.