Cobra CLAWS (2002)

I’ve often wondered why Cobra didn’t have more traditional looking pilot figures over the years. While Wild Weasel was a classic character, and one of my early favorites in the line, he didn’t look much like a real world pilot. Later figures such as the Strato-Viper were interesting designs, but not the most functional.

Available as the driver of the FANG III, this Cobra CLAWS (Combat Light Armored Weapons Specialist) is no doubt a pilot from all appearances. How the weapons specialist ended up piloting a helicopter is anyone’s guess. Outfitted in the normal CLAWS gear, he’s been given a new helmet and breathing apparatus. The CLAWS uniform was plain enough to lend itself to other troop types (a forerunner of the modern Shock Trooper mold?–maybe not). His copter ride is clunky, like many of the early relaunch efforts, and has always been relegated to the lesser-visited storage bins within my collection. I’ve been revisiting some of these vehicles recently, and while a couple have started to grow on me, the FANG III continues to be unremarkable.

The most interesting aspect of this figure is the head sculpt. Instead of some stylized cobra motif or futuristic design, the helmet looks more real world in origin. The downside is the helmet is not removable, which is always kind of a disappointment. Again, it’s one of the few 2002 figures that didn’t get an o-ring refit, although I suppose the head could be popped onto the other versions of the mold.


  • Slight problem with the head swap theory–the other versions of the mold don’t have that particular chest piece that allows the hose to connect to the helmet.

    There is a nice feature you should explore though–after careful tests, I’ve found the perfect pistol that fits in this guy’s holster (and any other CLAWS’): the revolver that originally came with the 2002 Wild Bill that was used with a lot of figures during this time. It’s really a perfect fit!

  • That cobra symbol saves him. Without it, he’d look like a modern corps figure

  • He’s better than his vehicle, which isn’t saying much…

  • Skymate, you’re right about him looking like a knock off. There’s a Fearless Forces figure, Wyvern, that came out a few years ago that looks very much like this (maybe better). And I agree with Rob about the FANG3, it’s pretty crummy. I’ve never been able to keep a figure sitting in it.

  • Wild Weasel is actually pretty real-world looking (far more so than most of the vintage Joe pilots save the last two releases of Ace). It’s just his unique (and awesome) helmet that really pushes him into fantasy territory.

  • Very sturdy figures.

    Old ARAH figures hold up well, the modern figures have parts falling off, but these T-crotches hold up under extreme play action with these little kids.

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