G.I. Joe Snake Eyes
Sideshow Collectibles

G.I. Joe Snake Eyes sixth scale action figure from Sideshow Collectibles

   "The following is a guest review.  The review and photos do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Michael Crawford or Michael's Review of the Week, and are the opinion and work of the guest author."

Professor Guilherme Lentz is back tonight with a guest review of the new Sideshow Snake Eyes - take it away!


First of all, I want to thank Michael for opening this great space for me and others to enjoy this beautiful pleasure of toy collecting! Thanks, Mike! You have really been Captain Toy, and tonight youīre giving me the opportunity to talk about some stuff I really love. I admit it has always been a little bit lonely being the weirdo, the nerd, the toy collector, but a site like yours really works like a flag stuck on the top of the mountain, a place we can all get together to discuss these small plastic wonders.

Iīll talk a bit about the new Sideshow 12 inch Snake Eyes, a figure that brings together two of the greatest toys of all time: the 12 inch and the 3 inch GI Joes.

The Brazilian version of the 12” Joes, Falcon, has always been my favorite toy. Estrela Toys has made a really good job with it here in Brazil, and Falcon has become an important part of my like, and, why not tell it, almost an actual friend I turn to in both time of joy and problems.

When Estrela discontinued it in the early 80s, it was soon replaced by a new toy line, the 3 inch GI Joes. Those were the days before globalization. All the toys were made in Brazil, not in China, with Estrela handling the whole production, sometimes copying the US designs, sometimes adapting them. The 3 inch Joes were called Comandos em Aįão here, which was really fine, because Comandos em Aįão was also the name of the Brazilian version of the 12 inch Adventure Team. So, Estrela created a really strong connection between the two lines, even adapting the logo design. They came as far as renaming Breaker as Falcon, thus keeping an unity between the two Joe lines.
G.I. Joe Snake Eyes sixth scale action figure from Sideshow Collectibles

G.I. Joe Snake Eyes sixth scale action figure from Sideshow Collectibles
G.I. Joe Snake Eyes sixth scale action figure from Sideshow Collectibles
G.I. Joe Snake Eyes sixth scale action figure from Sideshow Collectibles
G.I. Joe Snake Eyes sixth scale action figure from Sideshow Collectibles
G.I. Joe Snake Eyes sixth scale action figure from Sideshow Collectibles
G.I. Joe Snake Eyes sixth scale action figure from Sideshow Collectibles
G.I. Joe Snake Eyes sixth scale action figure from Sideshow Collectibles
G.I. Joe Snake Eyes sixth scale action figure from Sideshow Collectibles
G.I. Joe Snake Eyes sixth scale action figure from Sideshow Collectibles
G.I. Joe Snake Eyes sixth scale action figure from Sideshow Collectibles
G.I. Joe Snake Eyes sixth scale action figure from Sideshow Collectibles
G.I. Joe Snake Eyes sixth scale action figure from Sideshow Collectibles
G.I. Joe Snake Eyes sixth scale action figure from Sideshow Collectibles
G.I. Joe Snake Eyes sixth scale action figure from Sideshow Collectibles
G.I. Joe Snake Eyes sixth scale action figure from Sideshow Collectibles
G.I. Joe Snake Eyes sixth scale action figure from Sideshow Collectibles
G.I. Joe Snake Eyes sixth scale action figure from Sideshow Collectibles
G.I. Joe Snake Eyes sixth scale action figure from Sideshow Collectibles

When the first 3 inch Comandos em Aįão/ GI Joe wave was released in Brazil, with five or six figures, Snake Eyes was one of them. Only that he wasnīt Snake Eyes, nor a GI Joe: he was the villain! Estrela renamed him “Invasor” – something like “The Intruder”, perhaps to pay homage to the original Adventure Team villains from the 70s –, and put him as the bad guy, even releasing a Cobra Invasor a few years later, which was the exact same toy, only with a silver snake printed on his chest. They even created a variation of the character, Cobra de Aįo (Steel Cobra), which used a chrome version of the Snake Eyes head and a repaint of the Flash body. This is very popular collector item over here these days. Also, since the GI Joe cartoon wasnīt aired in Brazil then, Estrela even developed a small comic book for merchandise purposes, which showed an army of Invasores fighting the Comandos em Aįão/ GI Joe.

Those were days of creativity, soul and daydreaming. Todayīs massified and homogenized market makes me miss that attitude.

It was only many years later, after the internet boom, that I got in touch with the original American GI Joe and learnt that my evil Invasor not only was one of the good guys, but also the dearest of them!  Much like Iīve heard of many American listeners who still expect “Rubber soul” to open with “Iīve just seen a face”, I still have a hard time seeing Snake Eyes as a hero, and not as my Invasor.

All this said, when Sideshow announced a high end line based on the 3 inch GI Joes, my heart began beating faster. It looked like the most significant ends of my toy love story would be finally tied together: the 12 inch Falcon/GI Joe, the 3 inch Comandos em Aįão/GI Joe and the adult high quality collections. It was a dream come true.

After a long waiting, the party was threatened when Sideshow asked me an absurd $80 for the international shipping, plus a comical request for a photocopy of my credit card, which I still sincerely believe was a misunderstanding – as anyone can see, my English might be less than enough for communicating with a native speaker. Anyway, in face of that I had no choice but to cancel my order, but luckily eBay was still on for the game. So, after all this story, I finally received my new Snake Eyes yesterday!

Is he up to all his heritage? Letīs see…

Packaging -
Usually Iīm not a packaging fan. Since theyīre rarely displayed here, I tend to think elaborate boxes add a lot on the final cost, and we end up paying much for something we wouldnīt have bought if not for the toys. Iīd be happier with a simple box, if it only kept the figure safe. But this time, maybe because of all the emotional value of the GI Joe line, I canīt complain.

First of all, the box is totally collector friendly and gorgeous, with very clear references to the old 80s GI Joe cards. Back then I didnīt have the culture of keeping all the cards, so itīs so exciting whenever I have a chance to recover some of it. Here, everything if faithful to the spirit of the line, and very beautiful.

The box opens in two parts, one holding the figure with the hands and stand; the other with all the accessories. Theyīre hold together by magnets on the laterals.

We also get info on the accessories, background information on the character and on the GI Joe team, plus a file card just like we got when we were kids.

Finally, thereīs a cute detail. As I mentioned, the small GI Joes were called “Comandos em Aįão” here in Brazil, which was the same name given to the Brazilian version of the 12 inch Adventure Team. Now, while I know the word “commando” has been printed on the box of GI Joe toys before, it was a touching surprise to see it all over Snake Eyes box. The possibility that this could be a very elegant nod to the Brazilian fans crossed my mind, but itīs more likely that itīs just a very amusing coincidence – after all, Sideshow did try to make pay $80 for the shipping. In any case, it made my heart skip a beat.

Sculpting - ***
Since Snake Eyes is a masked guy, of course there isnīt a lot of sculpting here. But Iīve seen many Spiderman figures who donīt look realistic. Even Snake Eyes has suffered from bad face sculpt before. Iīm thinking about some really awful Hasbro versions with visible mouth, despite the mask! By the way, am I seeing it wrong, or is there a mouth on the upcoming movie Snake Eyes? Weird… So I think Sideshow still made a pretty good job in designing the head, even if we donīt actually get a face.

Since gloves and boots are integral part of the basic body, I should mention them on this category too. Theyīre well done, but not perfect. I think both could be significantly more defined. Thereīs not quite as much separation between the various parts of the boots, gloves and fingers as it should, which in person gives a slightly poor look at a closer sight.

As for the accessories, although Iīm not even close to a weapon expert, the sculpt on all of them look top notch for me, in comparison to other figures I have.

Paint - ***
Well, thereīs really not a lot of painting here, except for a few details on the gloves, boots and weapons.

I still think of it as a good job, though, on the basis that sometimes one has to know what not to paint. Sideshow clearly opted for a very shadowy look for Snake Eyes, so there was no point in adding a lot of color to him.

I do think some of the application on the boots is a bit unrealistic, anyway, so Iīll discount one star here.

Articulaton - **1/2
Snaky here uses the new Prometheus body I was so curious about, after reading many times about it here in Michaelīs site. Iīve also read so many good and bad things about it elsewhere, but still hadnīt seen it in person.

I must say I could be pretty happy with it. It has all the joints weīre used to. I actually think it moves better than both the Hot Toys True Type and the BBI G-3.5 bodies, the most articulated Iīd known so far. And it all the joints are soft but sturdy enough to hold position, except for the knees joint, which is a little too soft for handling the guy when heīs half-kneeled, which is a shame, since this restrains considerably the poseability.

Apart from that, I would only prefer if he had the cut-joint on the arms a little higher, neared the shoulder, because it would add more realism to the movements. By the way, the shoulder articulation could be better too: he canīt quite cross his arms in front of his chest.

Also, the gloves and boots make the articulation of hands and feet too restrict, actually working as a cut-joint, while both have that double swivel joint weīve seen on the True Type or the G-3.5. This is the worst part for me.

But, apart from that, itīs a really good job. I donīt think it should be any problem with non-gloved or unbooted characters. This body does have a lot of potential, once these few issues are worked out.

Outfit - ***
Letīs start with the bad detail. I donīt think Sideshow got quite the right solution for the neck on the shirt. It doesnīt fit very well on the figure neck, so we got a few extra fabric which gives a weird look. Snake Eyes neck looks a bit like the Cardassians from Star Trek. Also, the finish isnīt perfect near the head joint, and itīs noticeable.

The other bad point to me: the boots. I was a bit disappointed it has sculpted laces; and it substitutes the feet, instead of being real boots. For this price point, Iīd certainly expect removable shoes. Come on, even Max Steel has it on his best models. Thereīs an extra pair of flexed feet, but I donīt think that would have even been necessary if only these were real boots.

Apart from that, clothing is perfect. The pants are superb. Iīm not sure if actual soldier pants donīt go inside the boots – Iīd thought so, since it happens with all my other action figures - , but the look is very nice.

The shirt has a nice feel, fits well on the body; everything is fine.

Even the head is covered with the same fabric used for the shirt, which adds a lot of realism to it.   

Everything is in very consistent black, which gives the figure a fantastic stealth feel.

Accessories - ****
I donīt think we have ever seen a richness in this department on a licensed action figure before. Snake Eyes has:

- MK-23 pistol, suppressor, laser sight and two extra magazines: all detailed, moveable, removable parts;

- 9mm submachine gun with suppressor and two extra magazines: again, you can expect all detail and movable parts. I loved the hook that attaches the magazine to the vest;

- two smoke grenades: while Iīm not a big fan of grenades, they add a lot to the overall realism and look of the figure;

- two stunt grenades

- two fragmentation grenades

- knife with scabbard: this attaches to the feet;

- ninjato sword with scabbard: when of the highlights of the figure. Itīs a beautiful sword and a very well done scabbard;

- Falchion sword: another awesome piece of sixth scale weapon. But it must be a hard time holding this one during the gun battles;

- leg pouch: I used this for the smoke grenades

- belt with two pouches: I donīt know if this is the standard procedure, but I used these pouches to keep some of the grenades

- magazine pouches: these strap around his torso. Theyīre really really tight when we try to slide the magazines inside of them – take care not to rip them as I did with one of them. The laces detail on the back is fantastic.

- holster with belt: gun and suppressor fits well and beautifully on this.

- three pairs of hands: Snake Eyes comes with the right hand in the gun position, and the left hand in fist position. Additionally, he has a right fist, a left karate position and a pair of griping hands to hold the swords. Fine. But I wish we got a pair of relaxed hands as well, which is always a great improvement in poseability.

- extra pair of boots: there is a pair of flexed boots. This is not my favorite feature. The figure isnīt stable enough to stand on his own with these flexed feet. Most likely I wonīt use these very often. But this inclusion doesnīt bother me, anyway.

- wrist band: these are fine, and add a lot to the high-tech look of the character. But the visor on both hands are only stickers, not actual displays. Thatīs a bit disappointing at this price level. 

- stand: while I know high class 12 inch figures arenīt supposed to need stands, I feel much safer displaying the figures on them. My heroes live on a high shelf; Iīd rather not run the risk of them falling by accident.

I think there was still room for a notebook, a radio or communicator of some kind and maybe a binocular gadget. Weīll have to pretend he has a built-in communicator on his mask, and also some sort of infra-red and long distance special lens. But in face of what we have been getting on other figures it wouldnīt be fair to take a half star off.

Fun Factor - ****
I have two sons, both under four. They occasionally put their hands on a Hot Toys or similar, under my very careful supervision. But I clearly notice the pressure I put over them spoil their fun – thank God. For kids, and adults sometimes, Max Steel is still – ha ha! – the sturdiest action figure currently on the market I guess. Heīs strong, almost unbreakable and cheap enough to avoid our crying if an accessory is eventually missing or a joint gets loose. So, weīve got plenty of Maxes on the house. Now get your eyes off of my Snake Eyes, kids!

If not for all the small and delicate accessories, I think he would handle child playing well. But the way he is, I wouldnīt put him on my childrenīs hands. Itīs for their safety too; I donīt want them messing with these sharp sword points. If youīre looking for a 12 inch Snake Eyes, Hasbro has a wealth of really cool editions, which can be found on eBay from 10 dollars and on.

But if youīre an adult who carries great memories of your childhood days, I canīt see how to have more fun than to spend an hour posing this guy and recreating some of those mighty fights we dreamt on twenty-few years ago.

Value - ***
Hm. I donīt like this part. Snake Eyes cost me $120, plus shipping. I was lucky enough not to get import tax this time.

You know, I have dozens of Power Team figures in my collection. I regard them as truly excellent figures. Pratically all of them have unique headsculpts. Their body is really good and competitive, even for high end standards. They have very nice clothing and come with a wealth of really cool accessories. And I donīt think I ever paid more than $20 for one of them.

So, whatīs this thing with the collector market? I can clearly see a Sideshow figure is better than a Power Team figure, but not that better. Dragon makes outstanding figures, and even them cost half the price of this one.

Really, I think 50 bucks would be a really fair price for these figures, and people outside the hobby would still be shocked when they knew about it: “WHAT???? You actually paid 50 dollars on an action figure?!?!”. I can only imagine what they would say if they knew how much Ed-209 cost me…

I really have a problem about understanding why a superb Power Team can cost $20 and a high end figure should go far beyond $100. Iīm always feeling most companies are taking advantage of our love. That might be the market law, but itīs not right.

However, in this case, I honestly think Sideshow has at least offered a lot more than most companies have been doing. Think of Enterbay Jack Bauer… Heīs a far more expensive one, and doesnīt even have a cell phone. Think of a Hot Toys Batman or Two-Face, for example. Think of a Medicom Spiderman; does he even has an extra pair of hands?

Now, Snake Eyes has lots of accessories and an overall fantastic quality. 120 dollars is by no means a cheap price to pay for an action figure, but, in todayīs market, these are well paid 120 dollars.

Things to Watch Out For -
The accessories pack on the left side of the panel doesnīt have anything holding them inside the plastic cover. Of course this means collector friendness, but it also mean risk of losing some small part when youīre opening your figure for the first time and arenīt quite as familiarized with all the accessories. I lost the little US flag that was supposed to be attached on the Hot Toys US Secret Service female figure, and I regret it a lot.

Iīd take care when inserting the magazines into the proper pouch. Itīs really tight, and I accidently ripped the bottom on one of the pouches.

The on the pistol is very tight too. Itīs a good idea to put it very carefully.

Besides being delicate, the swords do have very sharpen points. Take care not to hit your finger and still damage the toy.

Both the pistol and the machine gun, like most high end 1/6 scale weapons, are very delicate and demand extra care when being handled.

In general, Snake Eyes has a lot of small pieces and joints that seem easily breakable. Itīs definitely not something to deal with if youīre in a hurry.

The basic figure, body and clothes, are really strong, though.

Overall - ***
What can I say… Snake Eyes does have a few issues because of which Iīll have to discount a star. But this is a truly awesome figure, perhaps the best Iīve seen on the collector market for a while. It has strong background history, deep personal value, ultra cool set of accessories, state of the art body, exceptional quality overall, gorgeous packaging. I donīt think weīll see all that on a single package very often. Sideshow has set quite a high level for this GI Joe line on their first figure, and I honestly donīt think theyīll be able to top that on the next ones, from what I saw on the prototype pictures. Most collector over 30 first started on this hobby with old 3inch or 12inch GI Joe figures. This kind of affective meaning canīt be easily obtained. Snake Eyes would be a fantastic figure on his own, but the fact that all this comes with him really makes him special. Unless Sideshow comes up with really cool versions of Flash, Stalker, Breaker, Rockīnīroll or a collector oriented version of the classic Adventure Team – flocked hair and eagle eyes, please – this might be the coolest figure weīll see in a while. In my collection, nothing can compete with my original Falcons/GI Joe. Apart from them, I have a few very cool figures by Hot Toys, Takara, DC Direct and other fantastic companies. But, all things considered, I donīt thereīs nothing in the market in position to dispute with this Sideshow Snake Eyes right now. Iīd rather sell one of my guitars than leave him out of my collection.

Packaging - ****
Sculpt - ***
Paint - ***
Articulation - **1/2
Accessories - ****
Outfit - ***
Fun Factor - ****
Value - ***
Overall - ***
Where to buy -
You can get on the wait list at Sideshow for either the exclusive or the regular. Other options included:

- Urban Collector has the regular for $130.

- Or you can try ebay.

G.I. Joe Snake Eyes sixth scale action figure from Sideshow Collectibles

G.I. Joe Snake Eyes sixth scale action figure from Sideshow Collectibles

Figures from the collection of Professor Guilherme Lentz

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