Monday, May 2, 2011

G.I. Joe Pursuit of Cobra: Cobra Shock Trooper (Wave 3)

Presenting the G.I. Joe Pursuit of Cobra: Shock Trooper from Wave 3 of the series. I have to say it still really escapes me why an international terrorist organization whose purpose is to rule the world, would need as a SWAT trooper. Cobra has nothing but expendable Shock Troopers, so why actually designate a group of official Cobra Shock Troopers?  This honestly feels like a failed G.I. Joe concept figure. Maybe an alternate version of the Joe SWAT member Shockblast. The existence of this figure is so odd that there are actually forums questioning what purpose Cobra Alley Vipers serve given the presence of the Cobra Shock Trooper.

The Cobra Shock Trooper's blister card reads: "Shock Troopers are an elite Tactical Unit in Cobra. They prepare for every situation with gear to subdue the enemy and breach buildings and barricades; "SANBAT" Shock-and-neutralize electroshock batons, high-impact ballistic body shields, sledgehammers and gas masks." The Cobra Alley Viper are "Alley Vipers are equivalent to police SWAT units or British Special Air Service Commandoes. They are selected from the most brutal and ruthless among Corba's ranks. As part of their training regimen, Alley Vipers are "required to survive a full burst of machine gun fire across their frontal body armor, execute a thirty foot jump onto concrete with full combat load and run down a hundred meter gas-filled corridor without a mask" So how do they differ? Personally, based upon the cards I think it has something to do with the degree of psychosis required. If you're not crazy enough you're a Cobra Shock Trooper. If you are, you're an Alley Viper

APOLOGIES: Before I go any further, I do have to apologize for how dark my recent photos have begun. I recently had a stroke that has affected my vision and honestly everything looks darker to me, so I assumed - incorrectly - that these images were lighter. 

As a brand manager (Yeah I have a day job), one striking thing that I really loved about the Cobra Shock Trooper is the "COBRA" branding. If I am correct this is probably the first and only depiction of the actual word "COBRA" on any action-figure or even Cobra vehicle - please do correct me if I'm wrong. Traditionally Cobra action figures and vehicles have always adhered to simply using the crimson cobra-head. Here is the first presentation of the word inclusive of it's font and in both horizontal and vertical presentation (The word "COBRA" is also on the back of the Cobra Shock Trooper's ballistic jacket). This is good news to all those who like to customize or create their own Action Figure and Vehicles: Here is a basis for the "COBRA" brand.

Another good thing to love about the Cobra Shock Trooper is the articulation. You all perhaps remember the heaping praise that I gave to the Cobra Shadow Hunter. The Cobra Shock Trooper has the same articulation. His right hand not only rotate, but it can up and down along the lines of his wrist, allowing this particular figure to place the stock of his rifle against his shoulder - thus providing the Cobra Shock Trooper with the much needed support to fire his assault rifle with one arm while protecting himself with shield in the other. The Cobra Shock Trooper's left hand can go up and down against the lines of his wrist allowing him to do (Among other things) the same capoeira stance that the Cobra Shadow Hunter can do as well as clutch his shield tighter against his body. 

Another plus for the Cobra Shock Trooper is the variety of accessories that come with him. While the Cobra Shock Trooper may bot be able to carry all of them at the same time, it does provide for enough variety that you can create an entire SWAT team out of several Cobra Shock Troopers each playing different roles i.e. breacher, Close Combat, Long Range, etc... And you have to love the gas-mask that the Cobra Shock Trooper brings to the field. The Cobra Shock Trooper's attire is a sealed one, His gas mask slips and locks under his helmet and a hood that hangs over his suit protects his neck. With the mask on, the Cobra Shock Trooper seems safe from all times of gas attacks. 

The Cobra Shock Trooper also bears into combat a walkie-talkie that attaches to the back of his ballistic jacket, a shot-gun, sub-machine gun, pistol, a sledgehammer and what looks like two cattle-prods (Electroshock Batons) bound together by a rope (Or wire) that's too short to allow the two to be used as a nun-chuck. Not really sure what it is or how the Cobra Shock Trooper is supposed to use it.  Bottom line is, the Cobra Shock Trooper's articulation and many accessories provides for a multitude of poses and actions.

Well aside from us not really knowing what a Cobra Shock Trooper is especially in light of the Cobra Alley Viper? Well the shield is a bit old. It's probably made of plexiglass and won't stand up long in a fire-fight. Modern shields are built of sturdier stuff and several versions of them actually include lights.

Also it would be nice if the Cobra Shock Trooper could carry more of his accessories. Adding a simple holster for the pistol would be nice, as would a lock for the sledgehammer or the shot-gun on the Cobra Shock Trooper's back. Also his "goggles" are useless as the Cobra Shock Trooper cannot wear them while he's wearing his helmet and it appears too large without his helmet.

And lastly, the Cobra Shock Trooper's neck is too long. This becomes most evident once the Cobra Shock Trooper's ballistic jacket is removed. The extra length of the Cobra Shock Trooper's balaclava hinders the range of movement of the Cobra Shock Trooper's head.

And lastly, the Cobra Shock Trooper is supposed to be armed with a L.N.W.S. - Laser Neutralization Weapons System. The Cobra Shock Trooper is carrying nothing resembling an experimental laser weapon. The Cobra Shock Trooper's main rifle has a ammo-clip so, even if it looks weird, it's not a Laser Weapons System.

Over-all the Cobra Shock Trooper is still a wonderful action-figure and something that is worth collecting several of them because - unlike say the Alley-Viper - the amount of accessories available allow you to make a team - despite the fact that you don't really know why Cobra would need a SWAT team.

Personally I would love to see the Cobra Alley Viper with the same articulation - and even color scheme - as the Cobra Shock Trooper.

The Cobra Shock Trooper was purchased in Courtside - a small store in Trinoma mall for PhP 800 (Around the going rate on E-bay Philippines and the black-market), but is still available on Amazon for US$ 15.65 plus shipping. 

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