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G.I. Joe “Basic Line”
Wave One Review (12 Pics!)

First up, is the newest Snake Eyes figure. Yes, I bought another Snake Eyes. No, I don’t believe it either. After my Storm Shadow review, a reader contacted me and offered me a great deal on a Snake Eyes v54 (thanks, Lentz!). I haven’t had a chance to review that version of Snake Eyes yet, but he lives up to his billing. He’s the ultimate Snake Eyes figure and he should be the last one you’ll ever need. His spot in my Joe collection is particularly safe. But if you’re like me, a little too young for those early RAH Joes, then you might have been more likely to have played with v3 & v4 as a kid (can you imagine that it took Hasbro 9 years to get from v1 to v4!).

If so, then v4 Snake Eyes might hold a soft spot for you. His figure matches that featured in the second, DIC produced cartoon. This new version pays homage to that original, but a few changes have been made to accommodate the available bucks. The original v4 was an all-new figure while this one relies heavily on the v34 mold, itself a homage to the v3 version (are you keeping up with all this?).

The arms have been swapped out for something a little closer to the bracers on the classic figures and the v54 head sculpt is used to approximate the red visor. The only drawback here is that the v54 head sits particularly low on the v34 neck and makes this Snake Eyes a bit squat in any group shot. Some new-to-the-figure webgear has been added to match the original figure, but, again, I’m not sure where it originally hails from. Snake Eyes also included a basic sword cast in black. And yes, I am disappointed that it’s not neon red.

And just like I have a soft spot for the early 90s Snake Eyes, so too is there a soft spot for his counterpart from the same era. By the 90s, Storm Shadow was working as a Joe and found himself heading up the Ninja Force (One of my most wanted 25th/30th figures is still Nunchuk. I’m convinced I’m the only one.). Ninja Force figures had an action feature, Storm Shadow had a whirlwind move, and usually incorporated cloth into the design somewhere. There’s no action features or cloth here, but this figure was a must buy anyway.

First up, he’s almost entirely a repaint of last year’s awesome Renegades Storm Shadow. They tossed in the 25th Anniversary Firefly’s head and a hood from Zartan to better approximate the classic look of the Ninja Force figure. Sadly, this figure doesn’t quite gel as well as Snake Eyes. A lot of the little details couldn’t be duplicated, the gold is entirely missing, the head/hood combo is awkward, and the white to black to white fade isn’t exactly accurate. Still, this is a case where the thousand nitpicks doesn’t result in a death. He’s a sharp figure and I already am on record saying I’d buy repaints of this great figure! That, and I’ve got plenty of v41 Storm Shadow accessories to supplement the sword and bow he came packaged with.

Finally, we get to one of my all-time favorite Joe characters/figures, good ol’ Shipwreck. Shipwreck’s outfit is the newest of the lot. Somehow, over the years, Shipwreck just didn’t feel like walking around in his dungarees with his shirt half-unbuttoned anymore and he traded them for a blue turtleneck and matching knit cap. He seems more like a dock hand than a sailor, but it works. This Shipwreck was created using v54 Snake Eye’s torso, Renegade Duke’s legs, and the Shipwreck head from the Rise of Cobra figure.

Shipwreck also includes one of those weird, mostly feature-less, pistols from the Renegades sub-line and a diving mask/backpack from the aforementioned Rise of Cobra figure.

I also want to take a moment to note that Shipwreck here denotes a shift that’s slowly occurring in my Joe collecting. I dropped back out of Joes for a bit when the 25th stuff started to dry up. I only found myself jumping back in whenever Hasbro would drop a “homage” Joe here or there into their other lines. But over time, I’ve accumulated a few of what I’d call “updated” Joes. That is ones that evoke the classic figure, but aren’t beholden to that original look. Like the 2011 Duke featured in the picture on the previous page. I didn’t have much use for the giant blue-plasma cannon backpack (but why wouldn’t Duke have a giant blue-plasma cannon backpack?!), but that figure was a sleeper hit for me – a great update to Duke. As I’ve added the awesome v54 Snake Eyes, the v13 Stalker, or the v15 Beachhead, I find myself also enjoying a more modernized, semi-realistic approach to my old favorite Joes too. This Shipwreck, while still bright blue, fits in with those Joes to me. Though he does need a parrot…

Overall, this was a great set! The accessories were a little light for $6 considering what I can get down the street at Wal-Mart for $6.97, but I’m not complaining. As a great contrast on price, the Dollar Generals I visited nearly all had 3 Marvel Universe figures – Iron Man, Spidey, & Cap – for $6, but they were the icky 5 POA versions usually included with the vehicles. Similarly, the paint on some of these could’ve been a little better, but the paint on those Marvel figures was atrocious. If I’d gone in there wanting to spend $6 on Cap, I’d surely have come out with these Joes instead.

The other nice thing is these figures are something to have fun with as we’re about to launch into Retaliation mode. I’m going to go see, and will likely enjoy, the film and I’ll no doubt be buying some figures – the Rock & Bruce Willis on my Joe shelf? Yes, sir! (Though, they’ll probably be the Rock & Bruce Willis and not their respective characters… well, maybe the Rock & John McClane…). I’ll probably pick up a few other cool figures too because I’m a sucker for a neat toy, but that said, I’m happier with the 30th Anniversary figures that homage my old figures. I’m intrigued by great updates of those figures with more modern tones too. That means this wave of basic figures hits just the right spot as I stare down the barrel of movie product. Good job, Hasbro.

For more G.I. Joe Reviews, check out our Review Index.

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46 comments to G.I. Joe “Basic Line”
Wave One Review (12 Pics!)

  • Brainlock

    I’m going to have to keep an eye out for these. I hit the local DG looking for them today on my way to other business, but they didn’t have them (they did have the Starscream and Cap you mentioned). I was hoping to check another store, but car started acting funky and I turned around to hit home before I was walking. (already dropped 2k on it -2 months ago! SSDDFML)

    • I was tempted on the little Transformers, but weren’t those Marvel figures just awful? It almost seemed like Hasbro was now in the business of making their own bootlegs!!

      Good luck with your car!

      • Brainlock

        I just glanced down the aisle and saw the 5poa Cap above some Power Rangers and SS a little further over, so i didn’t look at them close up.

        One thing I forgot to ask this morning is: are there seriously 54 versions of some character or were your fingers just slipping? a lot? 5-6 versions of SE, SS, and CC or his troops, I would believe, but double digits? wow.

        • No slip-ups! The Joe collectors count the 3 3/4″ line as one long continuous series, so starting with the original 1982 Snake Eyes and counting up the reviewed her will be somewhere in the ballpark of 58-60, I’m not sure where it will fall with the Retaliation stuff. The funny thing is that there are only 10 versions in the first twenty years and the other 50 have all been in the last ten years! Storm Shadow, Cobra Commander, & Duke are in the 40s.

    • Brainlock

      snagged yesterday at WAMO DG!
      I forgot how much you said they were and the peg they were on said $3, questioned it when they rang up at $6, turns out the popped them on a SW peg?

      grabbed SS, SW, and Cobra officer. CC was almost all black and didn’t really appeal to me. maybe if/when the movie figs hit, I’ll decide which I like better?
      (and always thought that SE color scheme was a bit wonky! LOL)

  • Megatherium

    The head for the Duke figure makes a workable head for an un-masked Marvel Universe Captain America 🙂

  • chopa

    Do need that snake-eyes! Will be painting that sword neon. The storm Shadow looks like a decent alt to the v41 version. Hopefully this wave hits my area.

    • Yay for the neon sword!! Hopefully, they’ll be as plentiful as the last dollar store figures. Hopefully, they’ll spread out to some other stores too.

  • Sandman

    Nice review, and quick too! I have barely seen these figures being located in stores yet and you already got ’em covered. Good work!

    I especially like the late-line Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow homages. I may prefer the v2 Snake Eyes and v1 Storm Shadow looks, but I can still appreciate others. I’m honestly fine with the non-neon weapons though. It’s an easy repaint if you’re not happy with it.

    And yeah, I wholly agree on those Market Six Avengers figures. Repackaged vehicle drivers with no articulation = easy pass even for me as a fanatic.

    • Sometimes if I don’t get them quick, they turn into really late reviews!

      I’m not unhappy with the black sword, it just would’ve been cool to homage the neon red. I’m sure I still have it around here somewhere to give to him. On that note, I think I forgot to mention he was also missing the blue running stripe on his pants.

      And, yeah, so glad that market six Joes aren’t as uninteresting as the Avengers figures.

  • 3B

    That’s funny, I’m a bigger fan of the hooded CC!

    G.I. Joe is one of the lines (along with Star Wars & Transformers) I swore I wouldn’t collect when I started buying toys again (of course, TF already sucked me back in), but I think it will be impossible to avoid this year. Lot’s of good stuff coming. A Bruce Willis action figure? Hell, yes!

    • I shouldn’t admit it, buy my favorite Cobra Commander is the armored one! Then helmet. Then hood.

      Sometimes I wish I could be more of a TF/Joes collector instead of DC/MOTU because I really can’t afford them all… o.O

  • Rangerman

    Nice review! Ver. 4 Snake Eyes was my Snake Eyes as well. Wanting that update/homage is what made me hit all 6 Dollar Generals in my area in a span of two days. Only one had them, but thankfully it was a full set. Cobra Commander is probably the weakest of the six and in retrospect I could have done without him. I plan to keep my eye out for more so I can troop build the Cobra Trooper and Duke/Greenshirt. The funny thing is I haven’t collected Joes for years, but picking these guys up has given me the bug again. Well played, Hasbro.

    • Thanks! I found the first two figures at my sixth Dollar General and, by that point, I was reserved to the fact that I wasn’t going to find them yesterday! It made it all that much sweeter.

      The Duke and Cobra Trooper could definitely be addictive figures in the long run…

  • aarrgh you lucky guy!!! I have been dying for these!

    • too bad we don’t have a dollar general in our area! the closest one is in nashua NH i believe.

      • yeah it is I checked earlier..after thinking it was family dollar all this time..that was a waste of a ton of driving this weekend!

        • I’d imagine that they’ll still show up at other stores like Family Dollar or Big Lots. I took Dollar General out of the review title for that very reason.

          Who knows you might be the first guy to find them at Family Dollar! (Though Family Dollar always fails me, never found that lightning deco MU Thor, but I didn’t really need it either…)

  • ero

    I’m just hoping Hasbro makes good use of this platform, because it could be a real winner for them. The limited paint apps thing makes it tricky, but I do hope they use this as an avenue for releasing needed repaints (Law and Order with true ’87 colors) and re-releases (Alpine, Best of 80s Cobra Commander and Paratrooper). Also hoping that these aren’t limited to Dollar General, because at least in Northern California, there are few to none of those.

  • I think these figures should get an easy pass. That Snake Eyes looks nice though!

  • Black Arbor

    I REALLY want the Cobra Commander and trooper/officer. The Storm Shadow does look like a cool novelty figure too, but I already have the Renegades one (Woot!)

    • Renegades SS is awesome! I’m kinda hoping for it in some other repaints, so this was an easy grab for me!

      Y’know what might be cool in black? Tomax & Xamot. I think we’ve seen all the others in a cool black/dark version of the costume.

  • Lay Ze-Man

    I think that Shipwreck is probably my favorite.

    The “Vs. Cobra” figures were pretty sad things (mostly due to awful proportions) but I always liked that redesign on Shippy.

    • Shipwreck is up there for me too! The dungarees will always be classic, but he does look good!

    • And yeah, there were years there were skipping Joes was waaaay easy.

      • Lay Ze-Man

        I bought some of ’em and tried my best to customize ’em into something palatable (my earliest foray into customizing actually!) but I was not the happiest camper, LOL.

        But I was burned enough by those years of mediocre-to-crappy Joe product that it took me that much longer to warm up to S6 and even the 25th stuff.

  • Cade

    I want them, but I know I would want to start collecting Joes, again.

  • AmericanHyena

    I REALLY wish the Trooper didn’t have the officer emblem on his helmet. I totally would have troop built him. As is, I may just get one.

  • Battle Catman

    I stumbled across these at a Dollar General while visiting family for Mothers’ Day. They had the whole wave but Snake Eyes was the only one I really wanted, for the same reasons you described–it was my first Snake Eyes, and I LOVED the dual neon red swords.

    And because of a mix-up with price tags, I could have got all six figures for THREE DOLLARS EACH, but I didn’t want to press my good luck.

  • Been looking all over for CC Cobra Trooper and Stormy, but no luck so far. Oh well.

  • I’m right there with you on these as being the actual “new” stuff to look for this year instead of the eventual Retaliation glut which will clog the pegs within months. I’m not interested in much of the movie figures aside from Bruce Willis and any ancillary classic ones like the Night-Viper and CG. There are no Dollar Stores in my area so I’ll be checking Big Lots if I find one near. There was one within walking distance of my house but it went belly up a couple of years back.

  • Just to let everyone know, word is thtere is 2 diffrent Duke figures one brown and one green..hope that not old news ha ha

  • Logan

    When I was little i was only able to get the Joes that my uncle (only 3 years older than me) didn’t have. so i was never able to own my own Snake Eyes or Storm Shadow until these 2 versions. So these two versions are ones that i am trying in a big way to get my hands on. It was those 2 plus road pig, wet suit, big boa, slice, and dice that were big on my play list.

  • BumblebeeZ3

    I want a “Shadow Ninja” version of that Storm Shadow mold.

  • davy

    these figures are the only bright spot in joeland nowadays with news that “gijoe retaliation” has been delayed till march of 2013.

  • Airon

    I went to 3 different DG’s here in Denver (Did not know this store even existed) and none of them had them. They had all the other toys you mentioned. Man those Marvel U toys are CRAP…why are those even sold? They had the older Joes with NO accessories as well which weren’t too bad seeing as I have buckets of Joe stuff. …sigh…now I am left trying to eBay these and not pay $6 a piece like I wanted 🙁