Python Patrol Officer (1989)

Waitaminit. This is the Python Patrol officer? Isn’t this the Cobra Trooper mold? Did somebody mix up character names a la 4-LOM and Zuckuss? Or are we witnessing the first-ever recorded GI Joe Mandela Effect? I could have sworn I saw this figure in Toys R Us back in the day as a regular trooper. The only explanation is we’re currently living in an alternate universe. I couldn’t possibly have mis-remembered such a thing. Although I can’t be sure exactly when the universes switched, the best I can gather is it happened after 1989, since newer versions of them also maintain the opposite assignments from the 1982 trooper/officer molds.   

I’ve waffled over which of the Python Patrol figures’ uniform deco is my favorite. Sometimes I prefer the Viper for its overall cohesiveness, and other times I find the Crimson Guard’s bright yellow shirt a fascinating if odd choice. Right now, I’m digging the darker scheme at play on the Officer, although I still can’t shake the feeling that this looks like it should be a trooper, with its primarily single color uniform. Oh well.

If I had a favorite detail element of the Officer, it would be the helmet and boot color. The light grey remind me of the Stinger Driver, one of my favorite Cobra repaints. By the way, I never really noticed that this is the only vintage Cobra trooper with a red face mask as seen in early Marvel GI Joe comics. Pretty cool.


  • ”If you want to collect the Original 1982/83 version: Cobra Soldier,Or the 1989 Python Patrol version ,It Is Still the Cobra Soldier,for the Python Patrol,NOT Python Officer.Both action figures(Cobra Officer/Cobra Soldier 1982/83) should stay that way-Even if Hasbro takes liberties, and changes the names around.That is just plain stupid/confusing to all G.i.Joe collectors.”

  • Great figure. He and the Officer/Trooper are both great matches for the Dreadnok Stinger and RAM, too.

  • I use this figure as the Trooper. It’s one of my favorite Hasbro repaints. If I’d had any as a kid, I’m sure I would’ve painted the webgear and turned him into a Night Sniper or something.

  • Funny the 1989 product folder got the names right. Why Hasbro and the fan club keep the mistake going is a mystery to me, but Black Major made alternate colored troopers as Python Troopers.

    The pythonizing process is about avoiding radar detection, but only his knee pads and webgear are pythonized. Of course only parts of other members are, too, so….makes no sense.

    It’s worth noting hes the only vintage Python Patrol figure with a Cobra logo.

  • I liked the color scheme. The Python Patrol Officer looked closer to the traditional Cobra trooper’s uniform. The light helmet & red mouthcover made for a nice contrast. LOL at camo suspenders though. The lighter-colored, camo-patterned shirt made the Python Patrol Trooper look more like the laborer of the bunch.

    If I understood the backs of the filecards, it looks like the Python Patrol Officers were the leader of the group. Copperhead’s filecard indicated he didn’t have authority and the Python Crimson Guard was more internal affairs at Cobra than anything (really kind of odd, made it sound like they weren’t deployed with the rest of Python Patrol).

    It was really nice to see the original Cobra trooper & Officer models again. For much of the time GI Joe was big, they weren’t available at all. Who knows about the mix-up though. It would’ve been nice for some GI Joe website to have asked Hasbro personnel from the time that over the years.

  • Maybe it wasn’t a mix up but Hasbro intentionally repurposing the moulds? However, I agree, they should be switched round…whats that about the 89 product folder getting the name’s right???

  • Since they’re on the correct cardbacks and have the correct portraits, I would think it was intentional, or the mistake happened early enough to swap the names/filecards. Hasbro made a mistake with Transformers: Machine Wars in the ’90s with Megatron & Megaplex, putting the wrong figure with the wrong cardback.

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