Cobra Mortal (2006)
By Past Nastification
The original Cobra Mortal figure was a repainted Snake-Eyes figure for Argentinian kids back in the early 80’s. In 2006, the GI Joe Collectors’ Club made this version. Aside from the arms (which are the ’83 swivel-arm battle grip version upgrades for the American figures using that style of arm) and the waist (an ’86 Roadblock one), the GIJCC used the same parts to make this tribute figure.
There are many figures that collector put in the “Holy Grail” category. The Argentinian original is one of them. There are undoubtedly some collectors, like me, who consider this figure close enough to have that need satisfied. Switching over to the swivel arms is a reasonable change. Using the Roadblock waist wasn’t a good call, though. It looks diaper-ish, like some kind of 1950’s space baby. Other than that, this is a solid piece, very much fit to fill the character slot for some collectors.
Design-wise, the GIJCC didn’t take any chances by using any substantially different parts. They wisely stuck to the Plastirama playbook.
Like its Argentinian predecessor, this Cobra Mortal is a figure too strange to dislike. It’s asymmetrically chromed! I’m indifferent to chromed figures and I find this one spectacular. Someone said, “Hey, let’s put chrome on it, but not everywhere. And let’s also give it one black boot for no reason!” Silver, black, and red just look evil together. Sure, it still looks like Snake-Eyes, but it looks like an evil Snake-Eyes.
Cobra Mortal came with a crossbow (like the base figure), plus a sniper rifle and a battle stand. Oh, GIJCC, if only you would have included a red/chrome Grunt backpack! The most interesting accessory (for lack of a better word) is the typed warning included advising of the fragile nature of the hard plastic needed for the chrome. It shows that the GIJCC could be respectful of the collectors.
The GIJCC’s filecard refers to the chrome bits as “reflective body armor”. Okay… they made the effort to explain the madness. No need to, but they took a stab at it. That’s fine.
This figure is a both a well done tribute and a good substitution, without feeling impostery. Nicely done, GIJCC!
They made a figure too fragile to use. Yay. Should’ve made a silver usable version, too. Also, the Roadblock waist is a strange error from 1997 that was never changed on any remakes of Snake Eyes V1. No one cared. I guess. One might think at least the club would ask for a correction.
I never considered any foreign item a Holy Grail, not with GI JOE. Maybe Yak-Face from vintage Kenner Star Wars or the 3 Euro exclusive Secret wars figures. There’s simply too many foreign exclusives with GI JOE to ever consider getting them all unless I was super rich. I ain’t.
When you say “usable version”, do you mean the silver parts cast in a semi-metallic light grey?
That would have been an interesting way to go, too.
If they were going to change anything about the parts, I would have preferred a different head so that it didn’t look just like Snake-Eyes. Maybe a Firefly head with the “skin” areas painted black around white eyes, like a domino mask.
I’m always astounded by how expensive the SW stuff became. I thought about re-collecting it around 1999 when a friend of mine buckled down on completing his collection. I’m glad I didn’t. That’s a lot of stuff to buy and a lot of money.