GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra Vehicles
Alpha Class – Wave 2
Snarler Cycle w/ Rollbar & Beachhead
3 3/4 Inch Scale
By: Hasbro

It’s hard to think that it’s already been two years since GI Joe: Rise of Cobra hit theatres, because the toys are still on the shelves in some parts of the country. I remember being quite excited for the movie in a way, despite knowing it was probably going to suck. It did suck, but it was enjoyable on some levels and while I am intrigued to see the sequel which has a lot more positive buzz, I’m also a bit worried it may end up even worse.

Whether you liked the film or not, GI Joe: Rise of Cobra brought two very interesting things to the table. One is spelled the end of the highly successful GI Joe 25th line and two, it pushed out more GI Joe figures than had been released in decades. Sadly the GI Joe line has not been as strong and in hindsight, had the 25th line continued I think it’s be doing a lot better than the “modern” GI Joe line is.

Which brings us to today’s review, a leftover from ROC that I picked up at TJ Maxx a while back. I remember seeing this set several times at retail and almost picking it up, but my Joe craze was starting to slow down and I couldn’t rationalize paying $15 for a couple of repaints. Fast forward two years and I found these guys for about $6. I couldn’t resist, especially since I knew I wouldn’t likely see them again.

This set comes with a motorcyle and two Joe characters, Rollbar and Beachhead. Rollbar is some 2005 Valor vs Venom character that I had no connection with. As a kid I had the Beachhead figure and I liked him well enough. However I was not one of those people who was in love with him. In recent years I’ve found that Beachhead is like every third person’s favorite GI Joe. He certainly didn’t rank that high with me. Beachhead was like Dumb Donald… I didn’t know much about him, but he wore a sock on his head and that was enough to make him cool in my book.

The package is a nice window box with they typical Rise of Cobra black and green color scheme. If you were around in 2009, you know that toy aisles were covered in this color. Hasbro really gave Joe the red carpet treatment.

The back gives some details about the cycle and a little tidbit about the characters. Interestingly, one guy’s file card is a cutout on the bottom of the package, but the other one gets a pre-cut filecard inside the box. I don’t really understand why.

Neither of these characters were featured in the movie, so these repaints are just auxiliary characters. As such, we don’t get anything new with them, just a bit of tinkering with their color scheme… More or less.

Beachhead is a complete repaint of the original 25th Anniversary Beachhead figure. Technically he’s a repaint of the v2 of that figure, as the first release had a “diaper crotch”. Later Hasbro released a revised Beachhead that some prefer to the original design.

What makes this Beachhead stand out is that he’s essentially an inverted color scheme. What was green on the original is now black and what was brown is now green. It works not only because it’s logical, but because it looks wicked.

To me, this is when a repaint really works. You take the basic elements of a figure and you mix them around to produce unique results. Beachhead also has the ROC logo on his arm, but it’s not very distracting. The paint here is all so well done that this might even be my favorite version of Beachhead to date.

Rollbar however, works for me a lot less. Rollbar is a complete repaint of Airborne and he doesn’t even have a new headsculpt. If they would have given him a different color hair, or maybe painted on a 5 o’clock shadow or something, I might could give it a pass. They even gave him the dark, Native American skintone. Obviously, this is just Airborne in a change of clothes. That’s fine with me, though.

If I gave 2 craps about Rollbar, I’d pop a new head on there and then this would be an okay version of the character. I don’t so I won’t.

The Snarler Cycle is clearly inspired by the old Silver Mirage, but does not appear to be a direct retool. It’s a pretty standard looking motorcycle, but it has some nice detail and the figures fit on it well.

It has real rubber tires and the sidecar is removable. Some might complain about the big spring loaded rocket launcher, but I actually think it works well on this vehicle. I’m not opposed to rocket launchers as much as some people. When they’re gaudy and unuseful, yes, but here it fits in with the design nicely.

Both of these figures have the standard GI Joe 25th articulation. That should come as no surprise, since they’re both repaints of 25th figures.

You can get them into most of the basic poses and I’ve never heard too many complaints about the modern Joe articulation.

There’s not a single American toy line that can come close to Hasbro’s GI Joe in terms of accessories. They are the leaders, far and away. They pretty much always have been.

In addition to the two figures, the motorcycle and the side car… You get this crap ton of weapons. It’s basically everything that these two figures came with originally. No scrimping here!

One of the nicest parts is Beachhead’s crossbow, which breaks down into two pieces.

And it can be stored in his backpack! It’s really a nice assortment of stuff, although they don’t tell you specifically who gets what. It’s best to take a look at the single card breakdowns, if you get confused.

These originally went at about $12-$15 and were a darn good value. I know a lot of people didn’t pick them up, but they were worth it. Of course they’r even better on clearance. Hasbro should be applauded for the amount of stuff they packed in here and I hope we see some cool stuff like this when GI Joe 2 hits the theatres.

Score Recap:
Packaging – 8
Sculpting – 8
Paint – 7
Articulation – 8
Accessories – 2 Pistols, M-16, Crossbow, Helmet, Machine Gun, Backpack
Value – 8
Overall – 8 out of 10

Sneeden & Company

There was a lot of good stuff in the ROC line that people, including myself, missed. I’m glad to find these little gems every now and again and I hope some kid somehwere fell in love with GI Joe as a result of these toys. They’re certainly good enough to do it.

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