G.I. Joe Classified launches in 2021 with the all new Cobra Island wave featuring Firefly and Cobra Viper.
This is a set of figures which were announced during Hasbro Pulsecon 2020, much to everyone's chagrin, as a Target exclusive wave. Naturally, when they went live a few minutes after 4:00 PM EST, they immediately sold out. I was among the many who clicked frantically, but the few who got them into my cart, through the checkout and confirmed as a pre-order.
I was honestly surprised that the estimated delivery date was popping up as January 2021, and all the more shocked when they actually shipped that quickly.
Looking at the boxes for this wave, they coincide with that of wave one from the Cobra Island sub-series, but I'm not sold on the artwork for Firefly. There's too much black on the character design. It looks more like a re-visioning of a Cobra Eel.
The back of the box changes things up slightly from wave one. Yes, that is the same island being shown. However, the pinpointed locations have changed for series two. With so much more map to explore, it disheartens me to think there will be future waves coming to Target.
It's also interesting to note that Firefly is figure 21, and Cobra Viper is figure 22. For those of you keeping up with the series, you know that Profit Director Destro was figure number 15, and Hasbo has only announced four new figures so far for 2021 (in addition to these two) - Flint, Lady Jaye, Zartan and Cobra Infantry. If those are numbered between 16 and 20, there is still one figure missing in that span of numbers. Who will it be? I'm crossing my fingers for a "regular" Storm Shadow.
Popping the toy out of the package, I can immediately tell that Firefly is my least favorite released in the line to date. In fact, to me, this just isn't Firefly. It's a chunky rejected bomb squad member.
I know that Hasbro is trying to pay homage to the original Joe designs, while also updating the figures to bring them into the future, so to speak. However, I think where they miss the mark with this one is that they've lost what made the character so cool back in 1984.
The vintage figure had a simple design, but kept an air of mystery to the character. Yes, Firefly was a bomb expert, but he was also covert, almost ninja like in his mannerisms to stay in the shadows.
This iteration of Firefly isn't sneaking in anywhere with all that gear on. Further, he's not dressed to set bombs. He's decked out to defuse them - Or even full fledged combat.
Sometimes less is more, and this is a perfect example of the opposite spectrum. This is overkill, and the spirit of the figure gets lost in it.
Firefly has a decent amount of accessories, and for me, they only contribute more to the overall miss that this figure is. The backpack is decent, but lacks any real functionality to it. Much like the figure, this isn't designed with setting bombs in mind. This is more so a bug out bag for common use.
I'm also not sold on the little robot thing. What is its purpose? This is where the lack of file cards real starts to show the blemishes in the line. Hasbro packs in all these items with the figures, but then tells you nothing about them.
The pistol, goggles, bomb and handheld device are decent. I honestly feel like these alone would have been sufficient. As I stare at the picture, I guess what it all boils down to is that these accessories feel randomly combined. There doesn't really feel like a rhyme or reason to any of them.
On the bright side, you can deck the figure out with pretty much a place for everything. The only slot I couldn't find was one for the handheld device. I also was not too happy with the slots for the robot at first, as it kept falling out, and I felt like the more I tried to push it into the slots on the pack that the legs would break off. I soon discovered that there is a nice snug fit to it that will hold in place, but you have to wiggle a bit and apply light pressure to do so.
Here he is all decked out.
I didn't even have to take this one out of the box to know I was liking it, but here's the box anyway.
Sigh, remember the good old days of toys when the back of the box had a rundown of all the figures coming out that year? Why is the world of action figures so secretive these days? Just tell us what is coming out! Not everything has to be an announcement event. You know, those announcements that most of us miss anyway because we're not watching social media all day every day.
Cobra Viper hits all the right notes. It's a fantastic homage to the original 1986 figure, while also adding just a slight update to bring it in line with the Classified series. I honestly don't know which one I like more - The Cobra Trooper, or this Viper. That's a tough one.
The figure comes with just the right amount of accessories, but I'm still not sure what the deal is with the neckerchief. Why is that even a thing?
Of all the backpacks released in the line, this one, by far, has the most detail. It's a beautiful piece. When I first tried to plug it into the back peg hole I was a bit bummed out. I couldn't get it to stay in place. It wasn't until looking closer that I realized the vest had to be moved slightly to line up the hole in it and the figure's back.
Cobra Viper also comes with two weapons, a pistol and rifle. The rifle has a removable clip, which is a nice touch. However, do note that some collectors have been reporting that their gun is missing the clip, and it is nowhere to be found in the box.
Hasbro also pays a note of homage to the original figure by including a pair of removable goggles. Why a figure with a face mask needs goggles is beyond me, but they've been a thing since the 1986 version. Good on Hasbro for adding this detail, and not only that, but making them removable. Unfortunately, due to the size of the head, I was not able to get them around the helmet to sit atop the head, and I wasn't about to force the matter.
Here's the figure all geared up and ready to go. Man, that neckerchief sticks out like a sore thumb. How much do you want to bet that when Hasbro releases the "retail" version of this figure that this accessory disappears from the box?
Well, there you have it. The two new Target exclusive Cobra Island figures.
sure I'm not alone in hoping this is the last of the Target exclusives,
or any store exclusive for that matter, for this line. Finding
Classified figures in stores, any of them, has been a real challenge,
and not a very fun one either. Fortunately, as of now, Hasbro has made ordering the upcoming retail releases easier by offering them on Hasbro Pulse, which I do have pre-orders in for everything announced so far.
I'm kind of feeling out this line in 2021. If it turns out to be as much of a pain as it was last year, I may tap out and just offload all the ones I have. I do like this line, but not enough to want to pay more than retail for any of them. I also don't want to invest in expensive vehicle packs for exclusive figures. Which is difficult for someone like me who is a completest. This ultimately leads me to my biggest thing I need to be cognizant of. I really don't have much more space to dedicate to toys in my house. Nor at my age do I really have a desire to accumulate much more stuff. We'll see how things pan out.
Top (left to right / front to back): Deluxe Snake Eyes (00)*Roadblock (01)*Snake Eyes (02)*Destro (03) [Circle Head Variant]*Destro (03) [2nd Production Run - No Circle]*Duke (04)*Scarlet (05)Cobra Commander (06)*Cobra Commander (06) [Regal Variant]*Gung Ho (07)*Red Ninja (08)*Snake Supreme Cobra Commander (09)*Beach Head (10) [Brown Eyes Variant]*Beach Head (10) [Blue Eyes Variant]
Bottom (left to right / front to back): Roadblock (11)*Cobra Trooper (12) [Black Collar Variant]*Cobra Trooper (12) [Blue Collar Variant]*Baroness *Arctic Mission Storm Shadow (14)*Profit Director Destro (15)*Firefly (21)*Cobra Viper (22)
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