Toy Review: G.I. Joe Combat Heroes Wave 3 – Gung Ho & Cobra Commander

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Much like the first two-pack I reviewed of the elusive Combat Heroes Wave 3, this pack also contains a new version of a classic character and a brand new figure. A new version of Snake Eyes is nice, but when it comes to costume changes, nothing tops Cobra Commander‘s ceremonial garb.

While Snake Eyes was a brand new sculpt, Cobra Commander borrows his torso and legs from his past release. But that’s perfectly fine, since Cobra Commander in his ceremonial gear is really nothing more than a different mask. Instead of his classic mirrored faceplate, this version is Cobra Commander’s hooded visage.

Cast in navy blue, this version is much darker than his past release – almost too dark. But while the figure is most blue, his paint is exceptionally well done on the figure. All the paint applications are clean, including his brass buttons. His shoes are a glossy paint, while his gloves are a matte black paint that really helps convey that they are supposed to be different materials. What’s even more amazing though is that his neck is painted to look like his skin, even though it can barely be seen.

Cobra Commander doesn’t have any weaponry, which may be a first for a Combat Heroes figure but he wouldn’t need it in this version. It has been said that his hooded appearance is only for ceremonial purposes, while his mirrored helmet is for the battlefield. This is matched by his new set of arms: one in a held up fist (probably signifying that he’s crushing G.I. Joe) while the other is pointing (probably for some nefarious reason). His waist articulation is still there, but his neck is substantially limited by his new head.

Representing the Joes forces in this pack is none other than Gung Ho himself! The raging Cajun known for his questionable taste in clothing and suspicious affection for his grenade launder was one of the biggest guys missing from the G.I. Joe forces (besides the surly sailor Shipwreck). Now while most characters make the transition into Heroes-style with minimal issues, Gung Ho may have gotten the short end of the stick.

This version is based off his first action figure released in 1983, which features a lovely sea foam colored camouflage. His light blue-green vest and awkward pants make him seem less like a Marine and more like an outfit Jermaine from Flight of the Conchords would wear while working the streets. So while the colors of his suit may technically be accurate, they don’t seem to work that well. Another paint problem is his face, his mustache is black while his eyebrows are light brown. It looks really odd. That said, they did an excellent job on his tattoo on his chest – too bad you can barely see it!

Articulation isn’t very good for two reasons: dynamic posing and poor quality plastic. Gung Ho is armed with his trusty grenade launcher but it essentially prevents either of his arms from moving. His waist is inhibited by his vest and can only move about a quarter of what you’d expect. His neck would be fine, if the plastic was of higher quality. Maybe it is the color of the plastic used, but Gung Ho looks and feels like his neck and right arm could snap off at a moments notice.

If Gung Ho was made of a stronger plastic and painted in darker green colors, he’d be a solid figure. But as he is, I’m really disappointed. Call me selfish, but I expect my figures not to feel like they could break at a moments notice. Cobra Commander on the other hand is absolutely fantastic. I’ve always preferred his hooded look. While I love the dark gray uniform with a cape the most, I can see why this version was produced instead.

G.I. Joe Combat Heroes Wave 3
Snake Eyes vs Cobra Viper – Gung Ho vs Hooded Cobra Commander – Shipwreck vs Crimson GuardLady Jaye vs Major Bludd

Written by jestergoblin

February 16th, 2010 at 12:09 am

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