Snake Eyes (1993)

Looking back at the 80s and 90s GI Joe figures, I’m amazed at the number of different versions of Snake Eyes offered in those years. Toy marketing was obviously different back then, as the core characters weren’t always included each new assortment. But Snake Eyes seemed to get a refreshed place on the shelves every couple of years.

I was surprised at the time that Snakes didn’t make it into the first series of Ninja Force figures, being the Joes’ most prominent ninja. Instead, Storm Shadow had the limelight that first year.

I was genuinely excited to see what the new version of Snake Eyes would look like, particularly as a follow-up to the 1991 version, one of my all-time favorites. I was not disappointed by the design. It was a fresh take on the character, obviously more influenced by his ninja background than his commando aspect.  I was less excited in the choice of the action feature. He’s equipped with the Kenner Super Powers style ‘squeezy-legs swingy-arms’ action.

I’m not normally against action features in toys. When they’re  integrated well, they can enhance playability and add a little bit of extra fun to an action figure. But when a basic element of a toyline is sacrificed, the end result can be disappointing. In this case, it’s downright frustrating. I love so many things about this figure, yet it’s hindered by the departure from the normal GI Joe articulation. This Snake Eyes cries out for customization into the fully articulated standard body. I wonder if anyone has attempted that?

As a complete redesign of Snake Eyes, the figure has quite a few unique elements that set it apart from previous versions. The usual visor is gone, replaced a mask with eye-holes. There’s some intricate texture to the arms and torso, and the various straps are detailed as well. Overall, it’s a more decorative look than the utilitarian outfits he normally wears. The two color paint apps of silver and blue are a nice contrast, if you can accept electric blue on a ninja. I know I can.


  • I might seek out this figure someday if only for the action feature since I’m a Super Powers fan/collector. The design if pretty nifty as well. I think he only used this suit in the comic’s final couple of years which explains why it’s not quite as memorable compared to the others. And there’s the color changing version, of course. Gotta pick that one up as well.

  • Dont forget there was that Ninja cycle that was supposed to be his personal hog but he couldnt sit on it because of that dumb gimmick.

    I used to have fond memories of this one as it was the only version of the guy i ever had as a kid. But a few years ago i finished reading the comics of the time [“Snakeyes featuring other characters from the franchise rarly”] and i wanted to throw it out the window. He stabbed Scarlet in the chest and there was no enemy he couldnt defeat. Sad that the best thing in the gi joe comics was G2 Megatron.
    Didnt the writers realise the more foes someone has to fight dosnt add to character development. It just makes them one dimensional.

  • I really liked this version when it first came out because it was the only version of Snake Eyes I had. But he really didn’t get a lot of use because of the cut back articulation. I thought the gimmick was pretty cool at first but that really didn’t last long. I still think it’s an awesome-looking figure, but as a Joe, he definitely leaves a bit to be desired.

  • too bad the articulation is awful because the costume design for this version is wicked awesome, I love it. why hasn’t it gotten updated in the modern lines yet?

  • Kept the head – ditched the body!

  • Steven B. Williams

    I really liked the look of this Snake Eyes. I’m glad that Hasbro decided to try something different by not giving this figure a visor. I hope we get a modern version of this figure – minus the arm swinging gimmick – in the near future. The way things have been going, we just might see one (we already have a good head for it; the RoC Paris Pursuit Snake Eyes minus the visor would work).

  • Dreadnok: Spirit

    I love Snake Eyes as much as anyone, but they ought to just put a blue shirt with a red “S” on him.

  • If anyone thinks this figure couldn’t get worse, it did in 1994 when they made it transluscent and color changing with hard plastic weapons and brittle hands.

  • Five distinct figures (not counting the “Swivel-Arm Battle-Grip” and “Inviso-Power” re-releases) over 12 years seems pretty modest, all things considered. Cobra Commander had seven, Duke had five, Roadblock had four (seven counting repaints). I’m not feeling the fuss over stabbing Scarlett either, given the generally nutty state of the book towards the end of the run.

    As far as this figure in particular goes, though, I’ll always have a soft spot for it, being as it was my first Snake Eyes figure.

  • Nice colors, terrific mold!

  • @Nega My brother had that one. It crumbled to pieces in in his hands when he opened it

  • Pingback: » Snake Eyes (2004)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.