G.I. Joe The Rise of Cobra

Shipwreck G.I. Joe movie rise of the cobra action figure by Hasbro

When it comes to G.I. Joe, I'm old school all the way. No, not Real American Heroes. I'm talking 1960's 12" G.I. Joe all the way, baby. I still have a few of my old Joes from the 60's and 70's, and they are some of my favorite figures in my collection.

But by the time the oil crisis forced Hasbro and Kenner to shrink the world of action figures, I had moved on to other more adult pursuits, like sex, drugs and rock and roll. I never had any interest in the 3 3/4" RAH series, never watched the cartoon, and remain pretty much neutral on the many debates that have swirled in the past couple decades over the right and wrong things Hasbro has done with the Joe license.

We are being treated to a big screen G.I. Joe movie this summer. August 7th will see the release of The Rise of Cobra, a big money, big effects take on the covert military aspects of the license.

From the trailers so far, I can say without a doubt that the film looks bad. Of course, you can't actually judge a film on the trailers, and it's possible that the film will be at least some good summer fun. I'm not holding my breath, but I'm willing to give it a chance.

But the toys are already out in stores, and I picked up several for a review. I was originally going to review two or three together tonight, but once I opened up Shipwreck, I realized he had so many cool extras that he deserved the treatment all on his own.
Shipwreck G.I. Joe movie rise of the cobra action figure by Hasbro
Shipwreck G.I. Joe movie rise of the cobra action figure by Hasbro
Shipwreck G.I. Joe movie rise of the cobra action figure by Hasbro
Shipwreck G.I. Joe movie rise of the cobra action figure by Hasbro
Shipwreck G.I. Joe movie rise of the cobra action figure by Hasbro
Shipwreck G.I. Joe movie rise of the cobra action figure by Hasbro
Shipwreck G.I. Joe movie rise of the cobra action figure by Hasbro
Shipwreck G.I. Joe movie rise of the cobra action figure by Hasbro

Packaging - ***
The packaging is eye catching and shows off both the figure and accessories well. There's very little waste, which is always good, and they are easy to store and display for the MOCer. You'll have to tear them apart to get at the figure, but once you do, you'll find no twisties. Another big plus from me!

Inside is a nifty little poster of the expensive Duke in that goofy armor, a figure I'm sure they hope to move in quantity. It also shows off other figures and vehicles in the line on the back.

Sculpt - ***1/2
If you're looking for an ultimate representation of the actual actors in the movie, I'm not sure you're going to get it in this line. Whether Shipwreck makes a cameo or not is still just rumor, But this head sculpt is close enough to 'generic male actor' to pass muster.

More importantly (especially for this character), he's has enough small detail work to be a fairly realistic sculpt. The work on the facial hair and eyes looks particularly good in hand.

The hands are sculpted to work with the accessories, and they do this very well. The sculpt and articulation work well together, and allow for lots of poses.

He stands just under 4" tall, and fits in great with other current lines. I've included a shot at the end with several figures from other licenses in this general size.

There's peg holes in both feet, designed to work wit the included stand.

Paint - **1/2
This is a mass market line of course, from a large company. even with that consideration, the paint could still be a tad better. There's a fair share of slop along the various cut lines, and the hands have that gloppy appearance that is often a problem with skin tones.

The paint work on the body is great, but I do wonder about the knees. They are not painted, left in the cast color. Without the camo work that the pants have, they look very obvious. I'm not a big fan, but they might have been going for a knee pad look - it's hard to tell.

They've also cheaped out a bit on the paint work for the accessories, with the two regular guns and the knife case in a basic silver with no paint detail. Even those accessories with details, like the parrot, could use a steadier hand.

Articulation - ***1/2
If you're a fan of the small Joes, you'll know what to expect when it comes to articulation.

The neck is a ball joint, but doesn't have quite the range of movement I was hoping for. There's still some side to side tilt action possible, but you can't move the head backward as far as you need to for some poses.

The ball jointed shoulders (disc/post style) work great, and these same style joints are used for the elbows, allowing them to move forward and back, and turn 360 degrees. Finishing off the arms are cut wrists, and this combination of joints gives the figure to ability to hold all the weapons in one or two handed poses.

The chest is also a ball joint, and works quite well. The ball hips allow for forward, backward and outward movement, but there's no way to turn the hips laterally. The knees are double pin, and ball (disc/post again) ankles finish off the legs. You'll notice that from the hip to the ankle, there's no form of joint that will allow the leg to turn, and that's my biggest issue with this style of articulation. It's an improvement I think they really need to make, and it would take them to the four star level.

Accessories - ****
Wow, this guy is loaded! We just don't see this number of accessories these days.

Shipwreck has four weapons - a handgun, rifle, knife and huge missile launcher. He can hold the first three in very convincing poses, and while the fourth is one of those goofy, action accessories, he can at least hold it and still stay upright.

There's also a large parrot, which can be clipped on either hand by his feet. It's sculpted in a mid-landing or mid-take off pose, which works pretty well. The detail work on the feathers is quite nice, and it's too bad that the paint work doesn't show it off a bit better.

This is Shipwreck, and he never knows when he's going to go from on the ocean to in the ocean. To accommodate the change, he has a backpack diving tank that attaches with a black peg, a face mask that fits perfectly over his knit cap and face, and a pair of flippers.

Once you have the tank and mask in place, you can connect the two hoses to the top of the pack. There are tiny holes facing forward that these hoses can be inserted into, but it's going to take some serious patience. Kids are likely to get frustrated with putting them in and having them fall right out again, so it might be worth gluing them in place.

The flippers fit over the feet completely, but it's a tight fit. They've put peg holes in the flippers too, so that he can still use the stand when he's wearing them. That's a good thing, since the pack tends to make him tip over without the stand.

While he comes wearing his belt, it's actually an accessory since it's easily removed. The buckle pops open and closed, but the small sculpted gun in the holster isn't intended to be removed. There's also no place on the belt designed for the included weapons.

Finally, there's the aforementioned stand. It's sculpted to look like a dog tag, with the Joe logo sculpted on the underside. In fact, you could string it around your neck if you wanted to. There's two pegs for the feet, as well as a small nameplate on the front edge.

EDIT - I just noticed a couple other nifty features. The parrot can also clip on the small handles on the top of the tank pack, and the flippers can attach to two pegs on the bottom of the pack!

Action Feature - ***
One of the four weapons is a ridiculously huge missile launcher. It has a spring action firing mechanism, and launches a yellow missile.

The spring is surprisingly strong, and the missile can easily knock down a figure in this scale, even from a couple feet away.

Although the weapon is quite large, I was surprised to find that Shipwreck could hold it in both hands out in front of him, and not topple over, even without the aid of the stand.

As action features go, this one is pretty decent. I hate when the feature is built into the figure itself, since this usually interferes with other aspects like the sculpt or articulation. But with the feature being incorporated into a separate accessory, you can take it or leave it. On top of that, the gun works pretty good, which means it actually adds to the play value, rather than detract from it.

Fun Factor - ****
Hasbro certainly knows what to do in this scale, although they don't always seem to remember it. The Indy line lacked the kind of fun and creativity we've seen in the Star Wars line, but the movie Joe line seems to have it right.

The figures are a ton of fun, with solid, well made articulation and great accessories. There's some very cool vehicles as well, right out of the gate. This is a great opportunity to introduce your kids to the Joe line, a license that doesn't need the movie to make it cool.

Value - ***1/2
Here's a solid value at the local retailer! You're paying about the same as other figures in this scale (they're $7 right now at Target), and you're getting far more extras than other lines ever provide. This is seven bucks (or so) well spent, no doubt about it.

Things To Watch Out For
Not much. Sure, you'll want to pick out the best paint you can, even if you're buying for a child, since they don't like slop any more than an adult does. But the joints are sturdy, and the accessories well made, so once he's free from his plastic prison, he'll be ready for the sand box or the shelf.

Overall - ***1/2
Hasbro has the opportunity to bring in a whole new generation of kids into the G.I. Joe franchise with this series. There's enough adults that remember how much fun they had with the toys - collectors and non-collectors alike - that they'll be willing to pick them up. This is one of those rare times when the success of this toy line does not completely rest with the success of the movie. If Hasbro can bring out a terrific line with great vehicles and get it in front of kids and collectors, they could still have a winner on their hands even if the movie sucks as badly as I suspect it will.

So far, Hasbro has the formula. They've managed to do a decent job with most of the sculpts and paint, they've included a ton of accessories and kept the Joe articulation to keep the play value up high, and they've got a great mix of characters and vehicles already on the pegs. I smell some Poppies awards for this series come the end of the year, if Hasbro can keep it up.

Score Recap:
Packaging - ***
Sculpting - ***1/2
Paint -  **1/2
Articulation  - ***1/2
Accessories - ****
Action Feature - ***
Fun Factor - ****
Value - ***1/2
Overall - ***1/2

Where to Buy -
Target, Toys R Us, Meijers, and other major retailers are the place to look.

Related Links -
Other Joe related reviews include:

- Sideshow is doing a sixth scale series of figures, and I had a guest review of Snake Eyes.

- in the regular Joe series, there was a guest review of the VAMP vehicle.

- let's not forget the 25th Anniversary series, including these figures, and these figures.

- one of my favorite more recent 12" Joes was this astronaut/alien set.
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Shipwreck G.I. Joe movie rise of the cobra action figure by Hasbro
Shipwreck G.I. Joe movie rise of the cobra action figure by Hasbro

This product was purchased for the review by the reviewer. Photos and text by Michael Crawford.

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