Dr. Mindbender (2005)
It took a while, but Dr.Mindbender finally found a respectable outfit. The shirtless, caped, purple pants jackboot look caused too much snickering around Cobra Island that he gave up and put on a lab coat, like any self-respecting mad scientist.
Mindbender played a large role in the fiction of Valor vs. Venom. His V-Troops were an essential part of the Cobra forces throughout the series. He even managed to mutate GI Joe leader General Hawk himself, creating the powerful and cunning Venomous Maximus. Mindbender was a busy guy in 2004, and was even spotlighted in Mad Scientist Magazine’s annual “Are You Mad Enough?” front page feature that year.
Valor vs Venom’s 12 inch lines threw a couple bones at vintage fans when Mindbender and Bazooka, from the same assortment, were released. Well, they were sort of released. I only remember seeing the two of them at Dollar General. Regardless of his origin, Mindbender is an excellent addition to the 12 inch Cobra ranks. He’s outfitted in an entirely cloth uniform, unlike many of the large format figures of the 2000’s. The lab coat is quite well done, and even handily features a nametag, in case Cobra troops forget the name of the bald, monocled guy with the big-ass medallion. Speaking of the monocle, it is a great little accessory, and the way it was integrated into the figure is fairly inventive. The string is attached to the ear, so the tiny piece of clear plastic is not easily lost. The monocle itself fits snugly in front of his right eye, thanks to the sculpting of the eye socket. It’s a small touch, but nicely executed.
Finally, I can’t end without saying something about the rifle. I know Mindbender isn’t the first Cobra you’d think to be toting an automatic rifle, but the fact that it’s bright red makes sense, considering the man’s previous outlandish appearances. I suppose since he changed to a more conservative look, he couldn’t go without some kind of flashy accessory. I like to think of it as a 12 inch scale Battle Corps rifle. Too bad it wasn’t attached to a big plastic tree with a half-dozen other weapons.