Friday, April 22, 2011

G.I. Joe Pursuit of Cobra: Iron Grenadier

Presenting the G.I. Joe Pursuit of Cobra Iron Grenadier! I guarantee that this will soon become one of the  holy grails of the G.I. Joe Pursuit of Cobra Series. We wrote about the Cobra Iron Grenadier recently because of the "uniqueness" of the Cobra Iron Grenadier's main weapon after ToyNewsInc  reported about the Cobra Iron Grenadier in Feb of 2011. 
They slated the G.I. Joe Pursuit of Cobra Iron Grenadier for release in the US in Spring 2011. A quick glance on Google showed that - as of this writing - there were no Pursuit of Cobra Iron Grenadiers out there yet save for previews and pictures from the February convention. So when I passed through Greenhills a few days ago, I had to grab it. It was the only set available in the entire area! I had a strong feeling that this particular figure had been pre-ordered (read a smuggled) and the buyer had an extra that he wanted to recoup his operating cost from.\
This G.I. Joe Pursuit of Cobra Series Iron Grenadier was part of a set of 6 new G.I. Joes purchased on the black-market for PhP 4,200 or PhP 700 each. It's available on Amazon for US$12.95 plus shipping AFTER APRIL 30!!!! I'm a week and a half ahead! The Cobra Iron Grenadier is a literal TANK! and a must have - especially if you can build an army of them.

The Cobra Iron Grenadier's blister pack has this to say about this Cobra elite trooper "Destro chooses Iron Grenadiers for their endurance, tenacity and meanness. They expand his armament business by spreading chaos, undermining authority and encouraging disagreements, which increases demand for weapons that Destro sells. This trooper is part of the Iron Grenadiers Heavy Weapons Support Team

The G.I. Joe Pursuit of Cobra Iron Grenadier is armed with a "Thermo-Reactive Anti-Armor Assault Cannon" (TRAAAC) which is an exact duplicate of the M-56 Smart Gun wielded by the Colonial Space Marines in Aliens. The only thing missing is the support chest mount. Any true fan of Aliens will know that the M-56 was made out of a German MG-32 married with motorcycle parts. The Iron Grenadier's TRAAAC is such an accurate copy of the M-56 Smart Gun that you can actually make out the Motorcycle handle at the back. 

Now on to the Good Stuff: 

We'll get back to that awesome TRAAAC later. The Cobra Iron Grenadier comes with everything shown here. Aside from the TRAAAC, the Cobra Iron Grenadier has a two ammo crates (Get back to that later) and a Bayonet rifle with a foldable stock and removable clip. The blister pack also mentions a pistol, but I don't think he really has one. 
He's already wearing the armor plate suit favored by these modern G.I. Joe figures. Now add more ballistic protection via a heavy flak jacket, armored plates to protect his shins, and a multi-layered armored plate shoulder pad worthy of an armadillo for his left shoulder - which will be the shoulder thrust forward when using a TRAAAC.  
I have to point out at this point just how much I love the helmet of the Cobra Iron Grenadier. It has the traditional Cobra Iron Grenadier crest but Hasbro changed the mold of the helmet so it no longer looks like a modified kettle and more like, especially with the new faceplate, a storm-trooper - which is what the Iron Grenadiers are - like some gothic Nazi tank rising out through the fog belching fire and brimstone. You have to appreciate how the new flak jacket reaches up like a modern flak jacket to protect the Cobra Iron Grenadier's neck and realize just how solid this character is once all his armor is on. In my opinion the only weak point of the G.I. Joe Pursuit of Cobra Iron Grenadier would be to shoot him in the legs - which is usually covered by the TRAAAC (And which will prove to be even more difficult to hit if and when a Cobra Iron Grenadier decides to hunker down).

The Cobra Iron Grenadier's blister card defines his TRAAC's ammo as being made of "Depleted Turbinium" and he has two back-packs full of it - one small one that can be mounted on the TRAAAC, and one that he takes on his back. At this point we should note that there are no instructions on how to connect the ammo belt to the mini-ammo pack to the TRAAAC. The original image found on ToyNewsInc from the toy convention has the mini-ammo pack mounted on the bottom of the TRAAAC. And indeed, you can slip the mini-ammo pack between two plastic extensions at the bottom of the TRAAAC, but the mini-ammo pack does not lock into place - in fact there's a gap between the pack and the cannon. 
The convention  photo also shows the ammo belt feed being led to the very back of the TRAAAC, but there's no slot where the ammo-belt could be attached. Further, slinging the mini-ammo pack under the Cobra Iron Grenadier's TRAAAC leaves the stud of the ammo-pack exposed. So either you let go of the bigger ammo-pack and mount the mini-pack there, or you mount it as shown - there is a small slot for the stud of the mini-ammo pack on the TRAAAC. In my opinion the slightly canted ammo-pack makes it a tad bit more realistic. There is also another slot on the Cobra Iron Grenadier's flak-jacket. I have no idea what that is for. I tried attaching the mini-ammo pack there and it was totally awkward. 

We should also note that the bigger back-pack is meant to attach to a slightly smaller ammo belt than what the Cobra Iron Grenadier has. You can jam the ammo belt that comes with the Cobra Iron Grenadier in there - I mean plastic is plastic - but it's the wrong size. I do believe that this is a re-mold of the G.I. Joe Rise of Cobra Heavy Duty's ammo pack and Heavy Duty's ammo-belt should fit (It's the one seen with Heavy Duty here) nicely. So if you have a spare mini-gun i.e. you're one of thoe who will build an army of Cobra Iron Grenadiers, you could consider swapping out the TRAAAC for mini-guns to give your Cobra Iron Grenadier some variety and flexibility. After all   I'm sure that there will always be situations that do not call for "Thermo-Reactive Anti-Armor" rounds being flung everywhere.  
If you're an Alien's fan, then you have more or less an idea of just how devastating a TRAAAC can be. It is because Sgt. Vasquez and Private Drake opened up with their M-56 SMART Guns that the LV-426 atmosphere processing plant went nuclear. Now imagine a platoon of armored storm-troopers wading across a battlefield cutting apart tanks and personnel with the same devastating power. Based upon the very name of the TRAAAC, the weapon does not just fire anti-armor bullets. My guess is that the machine also either super-heats these like a gauss-rifle would. That's what kind of power these Cobra Iron Grenadiers have with their TRAAACs. As shown in the Aliens movie, we all know that the M-56s can also be used as hand-to-hand weapons and - despite the armor - the G.I. Joe Pursuit of Cobra Iron Grenadiers do not show any lack of flexibility. 

And should all else fail, the Cobra Iron Grenadiers look comfortable enough shucking their additional armor to fight with their Bayonet Rifles - which we all first saw in the arms of the G.I. Joe 25th Anniversary Cobra Para-Vipers. 

Now on to the Bad Stuff:

What's not to like? Well.... nothing I suppose.  This personally shot up to being one of my most favorite G.I. Joe figures EVER!!!! But just so I can fill in this section:

  • I wish he were a Joe - but then there's nothing stopping you from giving the TRAAAC to any Joe. Happily - if you want to - G.I. Joe Pursuit of Cobra Iron Grenadier's head also pops off easily enough and can be replaced. Also it gives Hasbro the opportunity to create the G.I. Joe Renegade (Not the cartoon) Mercer (Although he's an ex-Viper, not an ex Iron Grenadier).
  • Since they already shamelessly copied the Aliens Colonial Marine M-56, then they should have taken it a step further and provided the chest-support/mount used by Sgt. Vasquez and Pvt. Drake in the movie - although (Since no figure's articulation is perfect) I can see how that can actually be a bit of a difficulty.
  • An instruction manual would have been nice - especially on how and where the mini-ammo pack is supposed to be mounted on the TRAAAC. 

All-in-all, the G.I. Joe Pursuit of Cobra Iron Grenadier is solid, powerful, flexible and a must have for any collection. Given the chance, this is probably the figure that I would try to build an army of. A definite must have. 


  1. I agree! It is the best to army build topping: alley-vipers, vipers, shocktroopers, Cobra drivers, and standard troops & officers.

    I think that is why Destro is earning big bucks selling weapons, he's got taste and firepower!

  2. Cool review. I just picked up this figure yesterday and he is great (Minus the rifle. Never really liked it).

    I noticed the holes in the gun and vest also and was sad that there was no steady cam brace for it. But I remembered seeing NYCC pics of the 2nd POC Destro with the TRAAAC, the brace and the same vest. When he was released they switched out the TRAAAC for a minigun.

    So it looks like if you have that Destro, you can snag the steady cam brace from him and use it on the Iron Grenadier.

  3. @ Jamie: Really? I've been lording over the idea of getting Destro but now you've convinced me to get several of him along with several more Iron Grenadiers. Thanks for the tip! :)

    @ Ricson: Yes most definitely! I'm mulling over building a full SWAT team of Cobra Shocktroopers.


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