The Power of Packaging: 1982 Snake Eyes

I have a pretty vivid memory of picking up my first Snake Eyes figure. I came into the GI Joe line sometime in 1983, and had already found a few refitted 1982 characters, but I had trouble tracking down Snake Eyes. Say what you will about him nowadays, but back then almost every kid I knew wanted him. How could you not, especially with this dynamic card art. What’s he pointing at? Who cares? We love it!

I finally snagged mine at the TG&Y just down the road from my house. Unfortunately, it was a straight arm version. I would have preferred a swivel arm, but I still liked my Snake Eyes. He went everywhere with me, including to my grandparents’ for a sleepover. I don’t recall ever taking other toys with me like I did with Snakes. I guess he was a good buddy to keep me company. I notice now that my son sometimes does the same with his favorite toys.



  • ”Everyone has a favorite action figure or two, that they remember the most.I used to take with me, 1982 Scarlett/1986 Strato-Viper with me for sleep overs also, during my childhood.”

  • I used to take Man-at-arms with me everywhere. Took him to my grandmother’s, which was 8 hours away and lost him. I was distraught. Couldn’t find him. When we finally returned home, a picture appeared in my mind as I was falling asleep showing me where he was. He was in a bush. So I called my grandmother and asked her to look in a specific bush far away from her house and there it was!

    She saved him for me until I returned the next summer. By this time I had moved on to Joes so I brought Recondo and Hawk with me to battle the Barbarian techno-giant of the forest.

  • After Christmas of ’82, we had three of these figures, one each for my and my brothers. So, he became the bad guy since we didn’t have any Cobras. I remember playing with him in the fold out bed in our family room when I was home sick one day. His opened card was nearby and I wished the figure was as cool as the art.

    Because of this, Snake Eyes really didn’t matter to my collection until the ’85 came out. But, then he was a major player for a long time. (At least until the ’85 broke from overuse!}

  • My pocket pals were my 1978 Chewbacca, and later my Sideswipe Lamborghini Transformer.

  • It’s interesting to me how readily available the old card art etc. are to us with the advent of the Internet. When I first got majorly into G.I. Joe (1986, so only the 1985 line and that were out), I ALWAYS speculated and wondered what the cardbacks of the original 13, etc., especially that original Snake-Eyes looked like.

    I eventually did get a straight-arms Snake-Eyes, I think, in a trade. His arms and legs were super wobbly, like some of the older figures one would get to. But I thought it was so cool to have, even though the MASS Device mini-series’ Snake-Eyes had different colors and ungloved hands, which I thought was cool because we got to see some more of him (and I remember when he was unclothed completely and had no tattoo on his arm, I was bothered! Oh, to be a kid!)

    My worst calamity with having figures was with my ’84 Duke. My parents bought me a few when I was younger, but I didn’t save the cards. Long story short: Someone stole my Duke. I’m pretty sure to this day I know who it was, but I never had a Duke again until the Tiger Force version, and then eventually I traded a baseball card for a sadly wobbly ’84 Duke, so I finally had him “return.” But boy, was that frustrating.

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