I’m thrilled Hasbro keeps finding ways to get new GI Joe figures out on shelves. Even without a movie/TV tie-in, the line manages to limp along. Today’s set is The Sinister Allies — the Cobra Viper and Iron Grenadier pack that’s likely to be the most sought after of the new releases. This is a set with great updates of classic army builders with a slew of accessories. Hardly an equation for peg-warming status.
Packaging: This isn’t the most exciting packaging, but the presentation of the figures and their staggering amount of accessories is impressive. I do like the snazzy star shape of the package. This pack is sub-titled Sinister Allies.
At this point, Hasbro isn’t under the illusion that kids are going to suddenly get into the line. You either get the connection between these factions or you don’t. The bio is about as generic as possible not even addressing the Iron Grenadiers status as Destro’s army, not a Cobra offshoot.
Likeness: This is a pack of re-releases. The Iron Grenadier came with the 25th anniversary Destro. The base body is the Battle Armor Cobra Commander, which is a great choice. It provides enough bulk to capture that protective gear and the added details help make it look different.
Paint: For this scale, I’m pretty impressed with the amount of paint apps. Remember, this is a line on its last breath and paint apps would typically be one of the first things a company would skimp on.
Instead, Hasbro put in some major work. The Iron Grenadier benefits the most from this approach. That cool red and gold color scheme off black really helps make the figure stand out. He’s really eye catching and pops even with this smaller scale.
The Viper, by comparison, is duller, but it’s accurate. There’s a lot of smaller details on the Viper’s outfit like the red stripes along the vest and the silver buckles on the belt and grenades. My favorite aspect of the outfit is the chrome faceplate.
With no faces, specifically eye paints to screw the likeness off, this is a set you can confidently order online. McFarlane Toys charged the same price for slightly larger figures where the paint jobs weren’t nearly this consistent.
Articulation: I really started my love of action figures with GI Joes so I’m inherently biased toward their articulation scheme. Despite my preference for 6-inch figures, it’s hard to knock an articulation setup that works. As usual with these modern Joe figures, finding that sweet spot of balance is always a bit tricky. That’s more of an issue with the Iron Grenadier.
- wrist hinge
- knee (double-jointed)
Accessories: There’s just a bit here. Time for a deep breath here. As great as the figures are, these two-packs provide additional value for stocking your Joe/Cobra arsenal. The Iron Grenadier comes with his sword with gold handle, a sub machine gun and a matching red pistol. The UZI seems a bit too big for the IG so I’m hoping it will work for another figure.
And while they don’t have the vintage on the package setup, there’s two files cards included. That largely satisfies my need for some character background, which was initially cultivated by the Joe line.
Worth it? The standard retail price is $16.99. I managed to stumble onto a Toys R Us that hadn’t replaced their $9.98 tags. Clearly, paying close to 1985 prices for two figures loaded with accessories is a great price. But even at $8.50 apiece, I don’t find these a bad value.
Rating: 9.5 out of 10
You can’t beat quality army builders and these are two of the best choices Hasbro can offer. I’m not sure what the future holds for this line, but releases like this definitely justify more releases.
I don’t have a ton of Joe reviews as of this point. Maybe someday Hasbro will decide to go 6″? I’ve got a few currently, but I do have a couple more figures I’ll be reviewing shortly. For now, here’s the Joe review page. And while you’re at it, please check out the main figure review page as well.