Welcome back to another Retro Review, where Dan's ToyBox takes a look at older, popular action figures. The Hasbro G.I. Joe Classified Series: Commando Snake Eyes with Timber pack was released in July 2021 and though I don't typically collect the newer Joe figures, I had to make an exception for Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow, my two all-time favorite Joe characters. I do have the first release Snake Eyes as well, but this commando look, featuring an updated version of the classic suit was a must have to add to the collection.
In June 1982, comic readers were introduced to the G.I. Joe Team. Brought to four color life by the great writer/artist Larry Hama, the Joes were created as an elite fighting force, brought together to fight the villainous terrorist organization, Cobra. Among these stalwart warriors stood a figure clad in black and shrouded in mystery, the team's commando and hand to hand combat instructor: Snake Eyes. Silent, Deadly, Loyal... some of the words used to describe the character. Throughout the book Snake Eyes never utters a word, nor is his identity revealed as just about all of his information is classified. We do learn that he served in Vietnam alongside Stalker and Tommy Arashikage, who we would learn is the deadly Ninja Assassin: Storm Shadow. After leaving the service, Snake Eyes learns from none other than Colonel Hawk that his family has been killed in a tragic car accident. Snake Eyes would then journey to Japan, to join his friend Tommy's family business. Snake Eyes would become a Ninja. During his training, we learn that Tommy's uncle, the Hard Master, wants to make Snake Eyes the heir to the clan, in place of Tommy. It is during this exchange that the Hard Master is mistakenly killed by one of Tommy's arrows meant for Snake Eyes and we are led to believe that Tommy had tried to kill his own friend out of anger for being cut out as the heir. Years later, after being recruited by the Joe team, Snake Eyes would encounter his old friend while rescuing fellow Joe and love interest, Scarlett, from Destro's castle. We learn that Storm Shadow is now working for Cobra as none other than Cobra Commander's personal bodyguard! The pair would share many adventures both as allies and foes over the years, thus cementing them as fan favorites.
As we dive into this retro review, we'll be discussing our four usual categories: Accessories, Appearance, Articulation and Affordability and then giving the figure an overall rating of zero to five toyboxes. I know this figure has been out for a while, but if, like me, you took a long time to get one, or are still considering whether or not to pick this up, hopefully our thoughts on the figure will help with that choice.
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The Snake Eye/Timber two pack comes with several different accessories. Timber has an alternate snarling, teeth bared head, which looks amazing. Snake Eyes comes with multiple weapons: a pistol with silencer, his combat knife, his signature Uzi sub-machine gun and two other rifles, with removable magazines. The realistic design of these is a great departure from the futuristic look of the weapons that came with the initial release, especially given that none of these have the hole in them for porting on to the figure. I get why that was done on the initial release, but it really looks bad. Anyhow, each of the weapons are molded in black with no paint apps on them, which is kind of disappointing. However, his combat knife DOES have a metal paint application on the blade, which looks really nice. This is something that should have been done on the sword and knife that came with the first figure. I also really like the removable magazines for the two rifles, the sculpting is accurate and done very well. The only real issue I had with my accessories was a slightly bent barrel on the Uzi, thankfully heat works wonders. I was also happy to see that the sheathe for his combat knife actually is open all the way through, allowing us to fully store the weapon. This was a problem on the original issued figure which has thankfully been rectified. He also has a pouch on his belt which sits right above the holster for his pistol. This becomes a problem which we will discuss under articulation. Overall though, Snake Eyes and Timber come with everything they need to wage war against Cobra! I would have maybe liked to have seen some alternate hands because he only comes with trigger finger hands, but I like what I see and can give this two pack an A for Accessories.
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Hasbro really crushes these updated looks to our favorite characters. After the initial Snake Eyes release the general hope was that collectors would see a version based on his initial commando look in the books. This version delivers over and above what fans could have hoped for. There is so much sculpted detail to this figure that you really have to see it to enjoy it. The commando sweater underneath the tactical vest overlay looks remarkable. The wrinkles sculpted into the design of the pants and the pouches and straps are ultra realistic and look as if they were just plucked from a military supply office. The tactical vest itself is designed to be very accurate, and the only paint application is the white Joe emblem. While I understand that the purpose of this outfit is to blend into the dark, I will admit that there should have been some paint apps, to break up the solid black of the figure. There are some gloss black parts which do offset against the matte black and give depth to the figure. Inasmuch as I like the look of the figure and all of the detailing, the basic problem is I'm essentially holding a big black chunk of plastic. Just a bit more paint detail would have helped a lot! Where Snake Eyes had some issues, Timber on the other...ermmm... paw... is incredible! The fur sculpting is marvelous and looks very realistic. The facial features on both head sculpts are incredibly lifelike, from the gloss black on his nose to the scar over his eye and the detailed teeth and mouth paint apps on the snarling head. The eyes are painted exceptionally well and overall the paint detailing on the entire figure is amazing. The dark to light gray blending, down to his white legs and underbelly are so cleanly applied that they look like real fur coloring. Even his claws and the pads underneath his paws are painted with great detail and care. I was really impressed with the cleanliness of the application. Timber is the big saving grace to this two pack. Yes the sculpting overall is super impressive, but the real lack of added paint details to Snake Eyes hurts. Fortunately, once again, his trusted wolf is here to save the day and gives the figures an overall A- for Appearance.
Given how well the articulation is on the other Joe figures I have, I had high hopes for this two pack. One of these figures has amazing posing power, while the other... not so much. Let's start with Snake Eyes... his head and neck both have solid movement and combined allow him to look up and down fairly well and turn side to side easily. His shoulders raise out to just about a T pose, but not anything further than that. The bicep swivel works good enough and the double jointed elbows only bend a bit past 90 degrees. The second most disappointing part of the articulation is the absolutely useless diaphragm crunch. It would be an excellent addition to this figure except for the fact that the tactical vest completely eliminates any functionality to this joint. The waist swivel is tight, but does function. The MOST disappointing part of the articulation are the legs. His legs should kick forward very well, but my upper joints are so gummy that the legs don't ratchet properly and I am in fear of breaking them. Additionally, only his left leg will split out to the side because the design of his holster and the belt pouch on the right leg/side limit how high the split will kick out. Thankfully the upper thigh cuts both work well and are hidden nicely. Both knees are double jointed but don't bend all the way back and the ankles hinge and pivot easily enough. I am really disappointed in the problematic points of articulation on this figure. Once again though, Timber is here to save the day. This wolf figure is an absolute joy and it features an amazing 20 points of articulation! The head is on a ball peg and can look up, down, and rotate. The base of the neck area also features up and down movement and the mid torso section can twist and move side to side. The tail can rotate and move up and down and all four legs have 4 points of movement at the hips, upper legs, knees, and ankle joints. This is fantastic because it really allows you to get Timber into some very realistic poses and is such a great supplement to this figure pack. Timber managed to save the figures appearance grade, but when the centerpiece figure suffers from the problems mine has it's awfully difficult to give the set a passing grade.
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Amazingly, even after being out for year, this two pack is still reasonably affordable. I paid $39.99 online and compared to Hasbro's Marvel Legends line is a fair price for what would essentially be a deluxe figure. Though, I honestly don't consider Timber to be an accessory given that it can function as a standalone figure in displays. I am comfortable giving this package an A for Affordability. Even a year later, the pricing on this figure is still worth it.
After considering each category and taking into account the good points and the issues, as much as I'd like to give this a higher rating, I feel like it's worth:
3 out of 5 toyboxes
Timber is really the saving grace for me and the reason this didn't receive a lower grade. As always, I appreciate you all taking the time to visit Dan's ToyBox and until next time... GEEK OUT!!!