Released in 1983 the SNAKE or S.N.A.K.E. [System: Neutralizer – Armed Kloaking Equipment] was one of the earliest vehicle/accessories for the vintage GI Joe line. It also represented one of the first forays into more science fiction than military drama.

The SNAKE was also re-released in 1985 in a blue variant. However neither releases were huge and the vehicle has become a more sought after vintage creation. Part of the charm of the SNAKE is that it was well ahead of it’s time. There were a handful of exclusive international variants as well.

Essentially an Exo-Squad e-frame the SNAKE allows Cobras to pilot it from the inside and increases their strength, accuracy as well as basically making them a walking tank. In an interesting Cobra factoid, the SNAKE is actually one of the early influences to creating the BATs. Not only in storyline, but also real life.

The SNAKE had a neat element in that you could have it fight unpiloted and it actually included little rubber legs that could be used if you didn’t have a spare Joe around to put inside of it. Of course the SNAKE looks and moves a lot better with a GI Joe figure inside. It simply snapped apart and you could place a figure inside.

While I have no proof of this, I have to imagine that many other genres of sci-fi were slightly influenced by this device as a few years later there would be plenty of these style of robots popping up in all sorts of comics, TV and toy lines.

Despite being a favorite and a classic, the SNAKE hasn’t been re-released since 1985. Now in the new Rise of Cobra toys, there is a Target exclusive 2 pack come that includes the SNAKE (now called the Serpent armor) and will no doubt be a real hit. I don’t know if it’s been retooled at all, but it definitely looks very vintage.

The SNAKE is a neat old GI Joe toy. It’s charming in it’s simplicity and is surprisingly accurate in it’s depiction. It makes for a cool toy for kids and since that’s what it’s all about in the end, I have to rate this as a true classic.

One Response to Spotlight On: GI Joe S.N.A.K.E. Battle Armor

  • Anonymous says:

    I find that the S.N.A.K.E. armor works well with the “t-crotch” Neo Viper s from the Joe Vs. Cobra 2002 line.

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