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Defense of Cobra Island Set

Zechs has obtained one of the holy grails of the 25th Anniversary G.I. Joe collection, the SEVEN figure pack Defense of Cobra Island set. And Zechs is going to look at every single one of them.

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Ever since it was announced that Hasbro was putting the 25th Anniversary line on hiatus for the live action G.I. Joe movie and announced this set and the Joe one toy fans where screaming bloody murder at the move. Why? Because just look at who's included in this set. It's a who's who of Cobra lackeys (three of whom where much demanded by fans) and the final piece to the Cobra hierarchy.

Well it's a year later and the set is still highly sought after and is worth at times seventy dollars for an unopened box at some website sellers. So yeah I got extremely lucky paying as if it was just a regular set. The actual figures in the Cobra set are the following: Doctor Mindbender, Alley Viper, Range Viper, B.A.T. (Battle Android Trooper), Nightcreeper, Lamprey, and Air-Viper. So yeah a ton of great names of Joe past are included in this set. So are they truly worthy of the purchase? Well let me breakdown each figure for you.

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I'll start with the figure that surprised me the most that being the Lamprey. I honestly never heard of this figure. To me the Cobra Eel was the back burner of my Cobra collection. Though I digress that only a few of the actual grunts of Cobra I cared for and two of which I'll will turn up in this very review (being the Nightcreeper and Alley Viper). Let me just start off how fantastic the mold is of the figure. When I actually researched to compare and contrast the figure when it was originally made and what it is now. Damn Hasbro did a fantastic translation from then to now. The little details in the figure to the crown jewel being his headpiece being a crystal clear mask is just outstanding. Even more when the see thru mask can be removed to see the dude's face more. Another nice little detail is the dude's pistol on his leg holster, which can be removed and used.

Articulation-wise the figure is your basic G.I. Joe 25th figure, he's pretty well rounded save for his head area due to the two hoses plugged into his head. Honestly, you can remove the hoses which are connected to the backpack on him. Though really the figure just looks so damn awesome as he does. Why should you unless maybe to fit him in some Cobra vehicles? Really I have no problems with this figure. He was a real revelation to me. I was originally thinking of selling him, but honestly the figure is just so damn awesome I'm going to keep him. So if that wasn't enough of what I thought of the figure, yeah he's a MUST BUY.

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The B.A.T. is the same mold as before used in the 25th Anniversary line though with several new tweaks. Instead of the usual back pack with various hand weapons (claw, flamethrower, and drill) this B.A.T. comes with a backpack with an open canister that contains some spores and actual huge vine that show's the aftereffect of what the spore do when planted (don't ask, just go with it. It was from the comic book if I recall right). Plus he gets a gun that looks like just a repainted version of the one that was used in the Tomax and Xamot two-pack. Of course he also come's with the standard pistol like every B.A.T. that is on the right leg holster.

The new addition this B.A.T. has over his predecessors is the new pieces that can be attached to his form. These pieces add a battle damage quality that's originally put together.

Honestly, the Battle Damaged B.A.T. looks as awesome as the original. So really if you're not into this version you can easily switch to the normal looking version. Though honestly I love the later just because it'll stand out more.

The articulation of the android Cobra is about the same as his predecessor (save for Toon B.A.T. which kinda alright but not as superior to the actual mold). So he can move about and do his thing.

Really the only thing I can say bad about this figure is that those who bought the Toys R Us Hall of Fame figure this is pretty much it. Nothing really to say. Still it's a great modification of a classic mold. So yeah, a MUST BUY.

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The Air-Viper (or Strato-Viper) brings back so many memories of when I had the classic version of it when it was released with the original Night Raven (God I was so spoiled when I was a kid). The mold of this figure was used twice last year during the Rise of Cobra line with a Target exclusive small vehicle and of course with an updated Night Raven. I have to admit, nothing beats the classic colors and this mold for me. About the only surprise for me is that the pistol he has cannot be put on his chest holster (what's up with that Hasbro? You did it with a ton of other figures if they're on the leg or belt?).

Articulation again what you expect from the 25th line. However, when comparing him to the Night Raven version I have to say this version is superior. Why? The hands. The hands on this figure feel like any other 25th figure, while the RoC Air-Viper's hands feel very rubbery. I mean seriously they can bend. I know that's probably due making the grip stick on the handles of the toy jet. Still, I prefer the Cobra Island more. So those who bought the Night Raven or Rattler here's your Cobra ace to fly them. However, honestly I wouldn't suggest this being a must buy, instead that it's buyable but only for the hardcore fan. If you really want the old school Air-Viper here he is. But if your hard up and can't fork the dough then just get the Target exclusive or if your lucky with the Night Raven being on clearance (like I was) then get that one. Either way he's an alright figure but he's only good for his job which is seeing him in a frigging Cobra plane.

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Next up is the Range Viper, who for some was a much demanded figure to be released in the 25th Anniversary line, but never was until the end. Honestly, I never got the love for this figure save for the head design. I loved the kooky mask with the open brain and skull-like face. However how is a light blue, yellow, and black figure supposed to be a soldier that uses the land and is scavenger? I mean it looks like a British Soldier during the Revolutionary War. Someone easy to pick and shoot at. Anyway, the mold is an exact duplicate of the original (though honestly some of it's parts reminded me of past 25th figures unlike some of the others), so yeah this one didn't hide where some of it's parts came from like others did (who am I talking about I will be getting too shortly). For weapons, the Range Viper come's with a sweet looking machine gun with scope, grenade launcher, and removable pistol from his chest holster (WAIT A SECOND... You gave the Range Viper this, but not the Air-Viper? COME ON HASBRO!)

There was one minor flaw with my Range Viper in that when I removed his mask I saw that his face had a bad paint job. However once I put the mask on him it sort of fixed that. Honestly, he just looks so much better with it on him. Still, I also know that such errors is a common feature in the stores where stuff like this is sold (heck this happened to me when I bought myself another B.A.T.). So really, I hate the fact that there is an error, but really given where it was bought *cough* Ross *cough* I won't hold it fully against the figure.

Articulation yep about the same again as any 25th figure of G.I. Joe. So yeah he's pretty damn good. So again yeah no real complaints here. Honestly if he came with a few more weapons (a sniper rifle or something else long range) and if he was more widely distributed I can see the appeal. However dear God did if this figure ever had a paint job with camouflage I think he just be a hundred times more awesome. So yeah, buyable though only for the hardcore of fan.

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Then there's one of the figures I've been hoping and praying would see the 25th Anniversary treatment in that being Nightcreeper. I loved the original and wished for this very thing. So the Creeper is a revamp of his original appearance though honestly while the body is an awesome revamp there's just something that bugs me of the head mold. It's the sheet area around his head. It looks weird and out of place then the original where it felt just right where it was. However, I wonder if the reason Hasbro did this was to give the Creeper a more movable head, since if they went the original route his head would be a pain to move around.

Accessories-wise, Nightcreeper comes with the two of the same weapons he had in his original appearance, that being the crossbow with multiple arrows and his serpent-style sword. Missing however is his barb-wired like sword. That kinda miffed me cause I liked that sword too. Though really if I had a choice between the two, Hasbro chose the right one to use with the figure. I always loved the serpent-style one more and I love they actually colored the blade and handle this time out. Like-wise with the crossbow with it's arrows being painted right this time.

So articulation-wise yeah same as every other 25th Anniversary figure again. Nothing new to see other then my comment before on why Hasbro probably changed the head-mold a bit so he can move his head more freely around. Also he has the rubber hand issue I mentioned before with the Night Raven Air-Viper. I wonder what's up with that? I hate it make's holding the sword a pain. All and all, I am a bit disappointed with the final result however it's still an awesome figure. I'm very torn over the final verdict so alas buyable for only the hardcore fan. I love the paint job and the fact Hasbro went for the original and actually revamped the figure. It's just that darn head mold and his rubber hands that turn me off so much though. I wonder though how his repainted brother which was a Wal-Mart exclusive fared?

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Then there's the other figure I wanted so much in this line and I know a TON of others', the Alley Viper. For some him not being mass released caused a massive uproar among Joe collectors and until later this year it appears Hasbro will be fixing (the figure will be released twice in single card packs with a new paint job and will be the tank driver to a classic Cobra Vehicle). Still, neither are done in the classic or 90s (yellow and black) coloring save for this one which has the former. The mold is a Frankenstein of Joe figures, however unlike the Range Viper above Hasbro hides this fact very nicely with the added bonus of the knives on the Alley Viper are removable. Yes, his hand and chest knives can come out. Add that with the fact the figure also come's with a sub machine gun, grapple gun, shield, and nightstick you're looking at a accessory heavy figure. However, the fact that unlike those in the RoC line, this figure can actually hold all his accessories on his being.

Well, ok he has one major flaw alas. The grapple gun? It's supposed to strap onto his back but for some reason won't. The only way to make the gun remain is if you use one of the rubber bands included in holding the figure. Other than that or superglue it's impossible to snap it into place. Well at least it was for me. Damn shame I know such a fact is a bummer for most.

Again articulation, Alley Viper rules as does any 25th Anniversary figure. Oh and yes I know some are probably wondering why I'm not mentioning or questioning the orange and blue color choice here? Because these dudes are Alley Vipers. They're the Navy Seals of Cobra. They dare enemies to take a good shot at them because the next one is coming from them and they probably won't miss. Well then again their evil and thus have Star Wars Stormtrooper syndrome and suddenly can't shoot worth a damn. Anyway, yeah I still love this figure even with the major flaw. So yeah it's very much a MUST BUY.

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Whew. We're at the final figure of this set, and I saved him for last given he's the only non lackey of the bunch. The one and only Doctor Mindbender. Mold-wise the lower half of him is a Crimson Guardsmen. The top portion however, honestly must be an entire new mold (save for his hands which are the Crimson Twins) because I don't recall any bare chested figure in the 25th line released. Mindbender is also given a new head mold to complete the piece. Honestly the head mold looks so darn ridiculous it fits the darn Doctor so well. The cape surprisingly is superior in quality and might last longer than the original's cape (which has numerous issues of easily getting worn and the Cobra emblem falling). Accessories, alas the Doctor only come's with one rifle. Nothing really much else. I know he didn't come with it in the original, but a datapad or something scientific would have been nice to include.

Like so many of the figures I said before, Mindbender is well articulated given he's from the 25th Anniversary line so nothing really much to say. Honestly, it surprises me Hasbro chose now to release a Mindbender figure as it's last hurrah with the line. There where numerous times throughout this run when they could had, but didn't. I'm just glad they finally did. So yeah he's a MUST BUY.

All and all this set had it's hits and misses. However, if you're truly a nut over this set well if you're lucky enough to find this set for a reasonable price GET IT. Otherwise, you know Hasbro will re-release these figures in either a new mold or via recolor. Like I stated in most of the review half these figures have or will be re-released this very year. So unless you truly want the classic colors there's no real reason to get this set. Other than relish the nostalgia. For the fan of G.I. Joe I say get the set. It's worth it. So very worth it. I mean sure you can't army build these figures given how costly it is just to buy a single set. But they're so damn worth it. Besides that's what are disposable head lackeys are for.


Defense of Cobra Island


Lamprey: MUST BUY!


B.A.T.: MUST BUY!


Air-Viper: Buyable, but only for the hardcore fan.


Range Viper: Buyable, but only for the hardcore fan.


Nightcreeper: Buyable, but only for the hardcore fan.


Alley Viper: MUST BUY!


Doctor Mindbender: MUST BUY!





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About the Author - Zechs


Zechs is the lord and master of The Toy Shed, Character Spotlight, and Cartoon Reviews. He's also an aspiring comic book writer trying to get some of his works published on the Outhouse. If there's any greater quality to Zechs, it's that he's an avid fan of comic book characters and would defend them to the bitter end against the companies that use them wrongly. Zechs walks the lonely path in Chicagoland area.

 


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