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Cobra Trooper

GI Joe Renegades
by yo go re

We've come a long way from guys in blue jumpsuits and bandanas.

Cobra Troopers are the secret army of the Cobra organization. They have no names, and their faces are hidden behind masks. They guard Cobra buildings, perform acts of sabotage and destruction, and hunt for the Renegades who are trying to reveal the truth about Cobra and its mysterious leader.

One of the coolest ideas in GI Joe: Renegades was that, as far as the world was concerned, Cobra Industries was a legitimate company: they had defense contracts, retail stores, farming concerns, industrial bakeries, power plants... they were a major employer nationwide, and yet Scarlett was on a mission to shut them down. No wonder everybody thought she was nuts! When you see somebody picketing Walmart, you think they're a sad, disconnected weirdo, not a patriot acting as your last line of defense against a hostile governemnt takeover.

The Cobra Troopers were never called Cobra Troopers on the cartoon - at most, they were called "security," in the generic "calling for help" sense. To that end, they dress more like security guards (or at least a SWAT team) than soldiers. The uniform is blue, because they need to be able to pass the squint test, but the dominant feature is the large vest they wear. When the prototypes were shown, there was just a small Cobra logo on the breast (which is still more than the cartoon had), but the final product has a giant red snake covering the majority of the torso. There are grey pouches all the way around the waist, and a big white "SECURITY" label on the back.

If you remove the vest, you'll find a pale blue uniform. It's not a new sculpt, but the odds of you recognizing it are very low: it originally came from PoC Dusty, who wore large, concealing gear of his own. The only new parts are the gloves and the legs from the knee down. The texture on the new shins down't quite match the Dusty legs, but the gigantic kneepads help hide the transition. We wish he had some paint apps on the shirt so "vest off" was a viable way to display the figure, but we also understand why Hasbro couldn't do that (hint: it would have cost too much).

Though the Troopers were often shown wearing ballcaps in the show, the figure gives us the more "armored up" helmet that they would break out for combat situations. It's kind of squared off, is held on by a chin strap and accessorized with red goggles. The figure also includes a second head, with a more traditional cloth covering over the otherwise-exposed mouth.

Beyond the swappable heads, the removable vest and the kneepads you canpop off if you want to, the Cobra Trooper doesn't come with many accessories: a Renegades rifle, a pair of handcuffs and a nightstick. There's a hole in the back of his vest, suggesting some accessory was cut from the budget. We know he was originally planned to come with a SWAT shield, but that certainly wouldn't have plugged in back there.

Articulation is up to snuff: balljointed head, swivel/hinge shoulders, balljointed torso, swivel/hinge elbows, swivel wrists, balljointed hips, double-hinge knees and swivel/hinge ankles. It's also worth mentioning that either his left hand is designed very strangely, or I got a figure with a molding error: the fingers on that hand are all short and stumpy. He can still hold his accessories, just not very securely. Maybe this particular Trooper was injured on the job.

The Renegades Cobra Trooper is a really nice figure, even if he doesn't come with a load of accessories. He's an important part of the Cobra Industries corporate structure, and one of only four five Renegades villains released. If you're looking to integrate him with your other G3 figures, he looks good with the Cobra Shock Trooper, too.

-- 04/13/12

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