Snow Serpent (1991)
Will I ever stop lavishing praise on the 1991 series of figures? Not until I’ve covered them all. Even then, I probably won’t stop. I can’t say this enough: it’s my favorite year for Joe figures in the 90’s, and within the top few years of my overall favorites. There was so much great stuff going on in ’91, even if it was the beginning of missile launchers. Don’t hate on the early launchers too much. They’re actually not bad. At least they weren’t yet too huge or attached to a helmet.
How could an update of a classic Cobra troop from the gilded Joe year of 1985 ever hope to be successful? Maybe if the concept is truly updated and taken in interesting new directions, both in regards to design and playability. Though I’ve covered the mold previously with the mail-in version, which is a great repaint, the first example stands out for its accessories.
Figures like this solidified the departure from first generation small Joe fans’ ideas of what made the line exciting. Consider the original Snow Serpent, with its abundance of purposeful equipment. From snow shoes to parachute pack to missile launcher (non-firing) to an amazing AK-47, it was a dream figure for the mid 80’s. By the 90’s, a new group of kids were of the age to be into Joes. They were a group who, unlike us, had more sources of entertainment competing for their attention. Joe was called upon to do something more than just look cool. The equipment reflects the change; we got a firing missile launcher, a snowboard and brighter colors. It’s all more than a bit crazy, but lovable. I continue to be impressed by things like the cobra motif worked into the shape of the snowboard.