G.I. Joe the Rise of Cobra Combat Heroes Review: Duke & Cobra Commander

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A lot of things in the Rise of Cobra got changed between the original cartoon and the movie. The biggest change though had to be Cobra Commander. Instead of having his classic mirror helmet, or the totally awesome hood, or even this exceptionally dapper piece, he ended up being a crunch berry.

Duke is to G.I. Joe what Spider-Man is to Spider-Man: omnipresent! So even in the first wave of movie Combat Heroes, Duke gets a second figure. Instead of being in his G.I. Joe impact suit, Duke is in his tan army uniform. It’s pretty classic tan and brown camouflage, but it works well. Duke is holding an assault rifle in both hands, which is identical to the one his original Combat Hero came with.

The suit is well sculpted and not too detail heavy. His heavy combat boots and hood are present, along with what looks like a body armor vest, but it’s the same color as the rest of him so it’s hard to tell. The face sculpt is fine, but really doesn’t look anything like the actor. Duke moves at the neck, waist and shoulders, but his pose makes it so his arms move as a unit. But that’s fine, because it allows him to pull the gun right up to his face to aim.

The paint is either really well done or really poorly done. There are brown and tan smudges on the figure that may represent dirt. His green kneepads are way off center, but his silver assault rifle is perfectly painted. Duke’s scar is there but it almost looks like a mistake. One odd thing about Duke is he’s got the G.I. Joe insignia on his left shoulder, even though this figure is supposed to be from before he joined the group.

In the Rise of Cobra, Cobra Commander got a drastic reimagining and back story. Sadly, his origin got mixed up with Doctor Mindbender’s so we’ll never get to see that amazing mustached and monocled man who refuses to wear shirts in the movie.

Cobra Commander’s new look is an odd one. From the waist down, he looks like any other poorly dressed guy in boring slacks and dress shoes. His blue trench coat looks good while his gloved hands clutch some generic piece of technology. His chest is well sculpted to show off some armor and a pair of tubes going to his head. Cobra Commander’s face is covered in a weird mask, while half of his head is covered in a metal helmet. It doesn’t really look like Cobra Commander. It makes him look like a weird cross between Darth Vader and Doctor Doom. It’s not a bad design, but it’s certainly not Cobra Commander.

While Cobra Commander only moves at the arms, it works for the design. His generic looking remote would be perfect for detonating some doomsday device or summoning killer robots. It’s hard to make out underneath his mask, but it isn’t removable. But the face doesn’t really look anything like Jason Gordon-Levitt, which continues the theme of these figures looking nothing like their actors. Then again, Jason Gordon-Levitt didn’t really look like himself in the movie either, so I guess it could be accurate.

The paint is well done with the silvers looking good and I love when toys switch between matte and glossy paints to show different kinds of materials. The face is pretty normal with only a lightning bolt scar on the forehead. So I guess Cobra Commander is actually Harry Potter. He’s also sporting a silver Cobra insignia on his left arm.

Duke didn’t spend a whole lot of time in his army uniform, but at least it’s a variant that makes sense. Combined with his all green impact suit, they each make up half of his iconic green and tan suit. What also works well is that the figure is on the generic side, so he works fine as some random solider. As for Cobra Commander, he isn’t a bad toy and works fine as a weird evil scientist. He just doesn’t particularly match my view of who Cobra Commander is.

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Written by jestergoblin

September 12th, 2010 at 12:00 am

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