Today it's time to jump back into the cold with a look at the Snow Serpent, the backbone of Cobra's cold weather operations crew. These guts aren't just your average grunts, though; the Snow Serpents are actually a division of the Cobra E.E.L.S., so they're kind of the best of the best of Cobra's legions. I still remember picking up the vintage figure at a K-Mart with my dad, so it had to have been some older stock as the only two 1985 figures I had were Barbecue and the Snow Serpent. The Snow Serpent has long been a popular figure and Hasbro has revisited the troops on multiple occasions. The Classified Series version also seems to be draw inspiration from the 1991 v2 figure, the 2002 Joe vs. Cobra figure, and the 2008 Snow Serpent from the Extreme Conditions: Arctic Assault Squad. This Classified Series version takes the legendary vintage figure, adds some of the best additions from the variants of the past few decades, and ends up as one impressive toy. Let's check the Snow Serpent out after the break...
- Action Figure Review Index
- Who is Barbecue17?
- My Toy Review Rating Scale!
- 31 Days of Toy Terror!
- Top 10 Lists and Other Stuff
- Podcasts on The Epic Review
- Oh the Horror!: Horror Movie Reviews!
- The Batgirl Library
- The Dark Knight Gallery
- Fabulous Secret Powers
- Snake Mountain!
- Beast Manor
- The Harley Quinndex
- The Joker's Funhouse
- Tosche Station
- The Kessel Run
- The Crystal Castle
- Teela: Warrior Goddess
- Trap Jaw's Tourist Trap
- Cringer's Crib
- Sea of Rakash
- Evil-Lyn's Dungeon
- The Fright Zone
- The Wonderdome
- Spawn Alley
- The Royal Junkyard
- Fortress Vader
- The Fortress of Solitude
Thursday, November 30, 2023
Wednesday, November 29, 2023
I've been enjoying lots of time with family and friends over the past week or so as well as playing Nintendo Switch, watching Universal monster movies, and doing some shopping (lots of action figures purchased), so I've been a bit slow in putting out reviews. I've got plenty more coming, though, and today the G.I. Joe: Classified Series marathon returns with a look at the Steel Brigade.... wait; this isn't the Steel Brigade? Nope. While Hasbro originally released the Steel Brigade as a mail-away figure in 1987 (mine was named Shark!) and continued releasing the the troops in different ways through 2014, in 2019 Valaverse picked up the trademark to the name Steel Brigade. So, no, this isn't the Steel Brigade. It's the Steel Corps, now! The Steel Corps Troopers set came out a couple months ago and includes two Steel Corps Troopers; one male and one female. That's a neat idea. These figures are loaded with accessories including alternate heads, multiple weapons and firing effects, and even JUMP jetpacks. Ready to check out the first true army builders for the Joe team in the Classified Series? Then join me after the break...
Monday, November 27, 2023
Today I'm checking out Grunt, one of the original 13 G.I. Joe team members from the 1982 vintage toy line. This Classified Series version of Grunt (officially names Robert "Grunt" Graves) definitely borrows from the very basic looking vintage figure but still adds some fantastic update to make Grunt fit in with the Classified Series aesthetic. I never had Grunt as a kid as he was a 1982 and 1983 release and it wasn't until reading the comics later and collecting the 1991 Impel trading card that I really came to be familiar with the character. Personally, until this release I'm not sure there's been a great Grunt figure. Yeah, the original figure is classic, but he's also kind of dull. V3 was OK, though quite different from what you'd expect. The comic pack version was also cool, but too issue specific. The Retro release from a year or two ago looks nice but I've long moved on from smaller scale Joes except for my old favorites. This Classified Series Grunt is just awesome, though, plus his alternate helmeted head lets him serve as an army builder, too. I managed to get my Grunts (three of them) when Target was offering for a really low sale price. It was off, but it worked for me. Let's check out Grunt after the break...
Tuesday, November 21, 2023
Lately Hasbro has absolutely been releasing some of my favorite vintage Joes into the Classified Series: Low-Light, Shockwave, Chuckles, General Hawk, and now Tunnel Rat. 1986-1988 were my prime G.I. Joe buying years as a kid and when I first got into the lines, so my childhood favorites tend to come from those years. Tunnel Rat was another top tier favorite for me. I loved his outfit and just his general vibe. His flashlight holding backpack and oversized weapon were favorites, too. Based on the likeness of Larry Hama, the vintage Tunnel Rat was an impressive figure and Hasbro has translated him into the Classified Series nicely. I've always liked Tunnel Rat and even cosplayed the Sigma 6 version of Tunnel Rat at HeroesCon one time (maybe HeroesCon 2013 or 2014?). Ready for a look at the G.I. Joe team's E.O.D. and Combat Engineer? Then join me after the break...
Monday, November 20, 2023
I looked at a few repaints last week but for this Thanksgiving week there are plenty of new characters two check out. Today is a look at one of my childhood favorites, Low-Light. I had this guy as a kid and have always loved his cool uniform, his red goggles, and his sniper rifle. Low-Light had some great figures over the years in the traditional 1/18th scaled line and he's been a figure I've been looking forward to in the Classified Series. Hasbro did an excellent job with him, drawing inspiration from the vintage figure and the 2011 Pursuit of Cobra figure. Ready to take a look at Low-Light? Then join me after the break...
Sunday, November 19, 2023
Firefly is the first figure of my second week of G.I. Joe: Classified Series reviews during this marathon of reviews and, man, is he another excellent figure. I'm just throwing that out there right from the get go: This guy is an absolute banger. I'm still a fan of the first release of Firefly that was a Target Cobra Island exclusive, too, but this guy manages to be surprisingly different. Really, both figures complement each other nicely. Firefly is a popular character and while Hasbro doesn't go crazy in releasing variants of the saboteur, they definitely put a lot of effort into them. ready to check out Firefly? Then join me after the break...
Saturday, November 18, 2023
The November G.I. Joe Classified review series isn't a mini-marathon, is it? It's a full blown marathon! Hasbro has been releasing these guys like crazy during the last third of the year and I'm honestly wondering if the Classified Series reviews will last through the rest of the month! Today's review subject is the Range Viper, another Walmart exclusive figure paired with the G.I. Joe: Night Force releases. The Range Viper is another figure I didn't own as a kid though I do remember him being out there. I had the DTC version from 2005 and the 25th Anniversary Range Viper from the Defense of Cobra Island set, but I was a married adult when those ones came out. I've always been curious about the intent behind the Range Viper's design. Older file cards describe the Range Vipers as troops who are survival experts and are simply dropped into the field by Cobra with minimal supplies, as they are expected to survive off of the land and steal or scavenge for everything else they need. What's the deal with the skull-like helmet and the extreme backpack, though. Personally, always wondered if they were intended to be troopers for highlands or more mountainous regions (but not mountain climbers). They seem oddly dressed for long term survival and concealment. Their helmets being so intimidating makes me wonder if they utilize fear to frighten villagers and indigenous peoples in more remote areas to make taking supplies from them easier. However you use them, the Range Vipers are pretty intimidating and armed to the teeth. Ready to check out the Classified Series Range Viper? Then join me after the break...
Friday, November 17, 2023
It's time to check out another Target exclusive figure released within the last few months and it's one I've really been looking forward to: Tiger Force Flint! I've said many times that I was just starting to get into action figures around 1986 or so and thus I missed out on Flint at retail. Tiger Force Flint was my Flint as a kid (though I did have the shampoo bottle Flint). I loved Tiger Force and I'm really excited that Hasbro is continuing to grow the subset. While Tiger Force Flint is a repaint of the 2021 Flint figure, Hasbro did give him a few accessories and a new sheathe borrowed from Tiger Force Recondo. My biggest complaint with the previous Flint (who is one of my favorite Classified figures still) was that he needed a rifle and a knife. Lo and behold, that's what we get there. Ready to head off into the action figure reviewing jungle with Tiger Force Flint? Then join me after the break...
Thursday, November 16, 2023
My November G.I. Joe: Classified Series marathon continues and today I'm looking at a figure I like but that's less exciting than many others since it's just a repaint: The Crimson Viper. Over the years Hasbro has released many crimson painted Cobra troops to supplement the Crimson Guard and I've got reviews of a few of them coming soon, including the Crimson Strike Team set. The Crimson Viper was originally released as a 1/18th scaled figure in the 2002 G.I. Joe Convention exclusive Crimson Strike Team set and has been a popular Viper variant ever since. Now that we've got our Classified Series Crimson Strike sets in hand, we can add as many Crimson Vipers as we want(the 2002 convention set came with 12 Vipers!). Ready to take a look at this new repaint? Then join me after the break...
Wednesday, November 15, 2023
Action Figure Review: David "Big Ben" Bennett (Night Force) from G.I. Joe: Classified Series by Hasbro
I love the classic G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero characters in the Classified Series (for me, anyone pre-1990) but I get really excited when post 1990 figures and characters from various non-vintage media sources make it into the line. Today I'm checking out David "Big Ben" Bennet in his Night Force gear. Big Ben is a member of the British SAS and was originally a 1991 figure. He was re-released five more times in different color schemes between 1991 and 2003, so someone at Hasbro really liked him. I'm not sure I've ever owned Big Ben but I was definitely looking forward to this guy and, let me tell you, he's an absolute cracker. Big Ben is part of the Wal-Mart exclusive Night Force series which focuses on the Night Force team (so far just Big Ben and Shooter) investing a source of Dark Energon. Big Ben is loaded down with weapons and ready to deliver some serious firepower. Ready to check out Big Ben? Then join me after the break...
Tuesday, November 14, 2023
Today is day 2 of my G.I. Joe: Classified Series marathon and this time I'm checking out Desert Commando Snake Eyes. Another Snake Eyes variant? Yup. I do have to admit that while Hasbro has done quite a few Snake Eyes variants in the Classified Series thus far, they've definitely been exercising more restraint than they did during the 2000s and early 2010s. They've also been all really good figures. Desert Commando Snake Eyes is noticeably different from his other brethren in that he's wearing brown and tan rather than black and grey. He's a repaint/ kitbash, yeah, but still he's noticeably different. There was a desert version of Snake Eyes released in a 6-pack at Toys 'R Us back in 2004 (that's almost 20 years ago), so it's nice to see ol' Snakes geared up for some arid regions again. Ready to check out Snake Eyes? Then join me after the break...
Monday, November 13, 2023
Today begins the first day of a G.I. Joe: Classified Series marathon. This is my favorite ongoing line right now and the amount of figures that Hasbro has squeezed out in the last four months of the year has been insane! Today starts at least 2 weeks of non-stop G.I. Joe reviews.!
We've had some colder weather here in the Carolinas and it has me in the mood to review Snow Job, another new(er) deluxe figure from Hasbro's G.I. Joe: Classified Series. I didn't have Snow Job as a kid as he was before my time. Instead, I had Iceberg, Blizzard, and Stalker in his tundra gear. While I'm sure we'll get to those two at some point, Snow Job was the original arctic trooper for the Joe team. I had the 25th Anniversary version of Snow Job, which is still a fine figure, but the Pursuit of Cobra Snow Job was downright amazing. This figure may borrow a little from all of those previous releases though he's still fairly faithful to the vintage figure as well. In Hasbro's Star Wars: The Black Series, many of Hasbro's deluxe efforts are laughable as they don't look or feel any more deluxe than a standard figure. Most of the Classified Series deluxe releases have felt worth the extra effort. How about Snow Job? Is St. Harlan W. Moore worthy of being a deluxe figure or is Hasbro trying to pull a Snow Job on us? Zip up, read on, and find out after the break...
Sunday, November 12, 2023
Looking back through my 2023 Marvel Legends Reviews, only 1/10th of the figures I reviewed were not X-Men characters. I stuck to my resolution to focus my Marvel Legends collection on X-Men based characters pretty well, didn't I? Today I'm looking at one of the newest figures I've picked up and possibly my last Marvel Legends Series review of the year (barring a good sale on the X-Men '97 releases): Blade! I do remember Blade from Spider-Man: The Animated Series but it was the 1998 Wesley Snipes film Blade that cemented my love for the character. Still, it's the three films in that series that pretty much informs everything I know about Blade, the dhampir and Daywalker with incredible fashion sense. All of their strengths and none of their weaknesses, baby. Other than seeing a few minutes of Howard the Duck, Blade was the first Marvel movie I ever saw. My dad took me to it and I remember being 100% blown away. I loved movies about vampire and monster hunters when I was a young teen and From Dusk till Dawn, Blade, Army of Darkness, and John Carpenter's Vampires were absolutely my jam. I have the previous Marvel Legends Blade (from the Man-Thing Build-a-Figure series) but this one definitely evoke the feel of Wesley Snipes' Blade more, so I absolutely wanted it. I stumbled upon Blade at GameStop last week and was thrilled. Ready to check him out and keep your Morbius figure in line? Then join me after the break...
Saturday, November 11, 2023
Wow! It's been.... 24 hours since I last reviewed a Storm action figure! Time for another one! Today I'm checking out Storm from Hasbro new Marvel Legends X-Men '97 series based on the upcoming revival of the classic animated series that I am really looking forward to. X-Men '97 is now scheduled to air on Disney+ early next year after being rescheduled from this fall due to the writers' strike and so many of the Marvel film and television projects being shuffled around. I'm quite excited for X-Men '97 as the original animated series was definitely one of my favorite cartoons when I was in grade school and a big part of the earliest days of my X-Men fandom. I was looking forward to the action figures for the show but I'm kind of holding off on buying most of them for the time being due to the current prices on them. I did have to get Storm, though, as I've really wanted a white costume Storm for quite some time and I missed the previous one that Hasbro released. Alison Sealy Smith is returning to voice Ororo Munroe which is really exciting. Her voice is absolutely the voice I hear when I read any comics with Storm in them. Let's take a look at Storm after the break...
Friday, November 10, 2023
It's been almost two months since I reviewed the first of the two 3-packs that recreate the X-Men team in their matching uniforms from the cover of X-Men #275 and about a month since I reviewed the Retro Collection Wolverine that goes with the team. As part of a series of mini marathons of figures from the same line which will probably run through the end of the year, I'm excited to check out another Marvel Legends Series release. While the first set was pretty desirable (Banshee was the main draw, Psylocke doesn't have too many different figures out there, and Gambit is just always a favorite), this set seemed a bit less exciting. I have quite a few figures of Storm, Forge isn't all that different from the previous release of the character, and this version of Jubilee seems a bit plain. Still, this is a set of three X-Men heavy hitters on newer pinless bodies, and when I managed to snag them on a GameStop sale they were even more appealing. Let's take a look at the final three members of the X-Men #275 cover depicting the Strike Team. Join me after the break...
Thursday, November 9, 2023
The Marvel Legends marathon continues and today I'm (finally) finishing up this year's Marvel Legends X-Men build-a-figure series by taking a look at the build-a-figure itself. Yes, I skipped the Cyclops figure (he didn't have a BAF piece with him) but I did purchase Corsair, Emma Frost, Chamber, Monet St. Clair, Fang, and yes, even Kid Omega, in order to build Ch'od. I grabbed all of them on sale/ clearance, so I feel pretty good about waiting a few months to pick up the figures to complete this guy. I definitely am familiar with the Starjammers but I know Ch'od best because of his vintage Toy Biz figure. I'm really trying to think if I ever had Ch'od or not. If I did, I got him a bit after his main, probably around 1995 or 1996 from a KB Toys sale. He was everywhere, though, and probably just seeing him hanging around in stores has made me nostalgic for him. Honestly, I'm a sucker for the characters released as vintage Toy Biz figures. Ch'od is a big, tough Saurid, a member of the Starjammers, and is old friends with Rocket Raccoon. Honestly, who would be down for the Starjammers to appear in a fourth Guardians of the Galaxy film? That'd be a great way to continue things. Or make a Starjammers movie with the Guardians being a part of it. Man, I dig it. Let's take a look at a massive green hero who's not the Hulk or She-Hulk, after the break.
Wednesday, November 8, 2023
Today I'm officially beginning a series of review mini marathons as we approach the end of the year and star to wrap up 2023. I'm starting things off with Hasbro's Marvel Legends Series and a bunch of mutants I'm finally getting around to reviewing. Full disclosure: When it comes to Marvel Comics based stuff, I don't know much about the X-Men post 2000. There are definitely major plot points I'm familiar with or characters that stand out, but overall I'm kind of oblivious. Huh. Thinking about that, that's like the last 23 years or so. Wow. OK, anyways, all that's to say that I do not know who Kid Omega is. I wasn't familiar with him when this series hit and from what little I've read about him, well, I only bought this guy to build Ch'od. I kind of hope I can sell him at some point because he is just so darn boring! He also just looks like a doofus. Pink energy glasses with a pink mohawk? And what is he doing with his mouth. Gargling? Is Kid Omega sitting here swishing around mouthwash? What the heck is wrong with him? The worst part is that I had to buy this guy three times (all on discount) before I managed to get one that actually had Ch'od's torso included. I returned the others, don't worry, but it still was a frustrating process. Let's check this goofy looking guy out after the break...
Tuesday, November 7, 2023
Happy Re-Halloween! Today I'm checking out a really cool treat of leftover candy I received during the Halloween season but just didn't get around to reviewing: Mr. Bones! Mr. Bones was a novelty candy released in 1977 by the Fleer Candy. The candy was kind of like PEZ or a SweeTART but was shaped like various bones. It was sold in a little plastic coffin and, in theory, you could build a skeleton with the different pieces as they snapped together like jigsaw puzzle pieces. It was pretty unlikely you'd get all of the pieces needed in one coffin, though, and I don't remember having more than one coffin full of candy at once. I wasn't born until 1983, but I still remember Mr. Bones being around as a kid and I had quite a few of the plastic coffins floating around in different drawers. Apparently the candy was discontinued in the mid 1990s, though plenty of other companies have released similar candies without the great gimmick. Super7 has recreated Mr. Bones as a ReAction figure and has released a few different variants. There's the standard Mr. Bones, Fluorescent, Orange & Black (in a coffin box), and a Glow-in-the-Dark variant. I picked up the Fluorescent Mr. Bones as I really like the brighter colors. Ready for a look at an undersung candy mascot? Then let's check out Mr. Bones after the break...
Monday, November 6, 2023
Action Figure Review: Tele-Viper & Cobra Flight Pod (Trubble Bubble) from G.I. Joe: Classified Series by Hasbro
The newest figure and vehicle set for the G.I. Joe: Classified Series has been out for a month or more but now that Halloween (and Re-Halloween) is over, it's time to get back into plowing through the crazy amount of stuff that's showing up at the end of the year. Today I'm looking at the Tele-Viper & Cobra Flight Pod (Trubble Bubble) set, a figure and vehicle combination based on two 1985 releases from the vintage G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero toyline. Since 1986 was really when I got into G.I. Joe I never had the vintage version of either of these figures. The Python Patrol Tele-Viper was my Tele-Viper but I didn't have a Cobra Flight Pod until the 2008 25th Anniversary release. The Tele-Viper was depicted as the pilot of the Trubble Bubble on the vintage package, so it's pretty fitting to have him included here. This Tele-Viper has three portraits, though, but being packaged with a vehicle makes him tougher to army build. Is this a cool set? Let's take a look and find out after the break...
Sunday, November 5, 2023
Today I'm checking out a figure of another X-Men character I'm not that familiar with: Monet St. Croix. I've said before that I'm not all too familiar with most X-Men characters past the mid-late 1990s, so the time after the earliest years of Generation X is kind of my cut off point. That being said, Monet St. Croix was definitely a huge part of the early years of the book, though her story is a bit confusing. Granted, this is X-Men in the 90s, so that par for the course, isn't it? It turns out that Monet (now known as M) was actually the character Penance and the character we new as Monet St. Croix was actually the real Monet's two younger twin sisters, Claudette and Nicole. When he ruse was discovered, Monet took back her body and Claudette and Nicole became Penance. Right? I haven't read that far in the Epic Collections, but it's on my to do list. Still, is this the real Monet or is this Claudette and Nicole in her body? Tricky! Along with Chamber, this figure adds a second member for the Generation X team. Ready to check her out? Then join me after the break...
Saturday, November 4, 2023
McFarlane Toys has put out a ton of Batman related product this year and I'm really liking it. I'm perhaps a bit overwhelmed, sure, but I'm still liking it! Today I'm checking out another new Tim Drake s Robin figure (I found him back in September) based on Robin: Reborn, a collection of stories from 1990 through 1991 covering the time when Tim Drake became the third Robin. My daughter and I have been reading through the complete Knightfall collection together (we're in the middle of Prodigal right now) and Tim Drake is a huge part of that series and was a major part of Batman's world in the early to mid 1990s. It's obvious that this is intended to be Tim from that era but it's also clear that this figure is a retool of red and yellow Gold Label Robin from last year. How'd this one fare? Let's check out Tim Drake as Robin after the break...
Friday, November 3, 2023
I'm still crawling my way through this year's X-Men themed Marvel Legends Series and today I'm checking out another more obscure character: Fang. Fang is a character I mostly remember from Wolverine wearing is costume but he did have quite a few appearances over the years as a member of the Shi'ar Imperial Guard. One of the Lupaks, Fang is actually a title as whichever member of the Lupaks serves in the Shi'ar Imperial Guard at any given time is referred to as fang. He kind of resembles a skinny Sabretooth, doesn't he? I picked up most of this series on discount, so they've been out for quite a few months now. Still, they are 2023 releases so they're relatively new. It's just taking me forever to get to all of them. Let's check out Fang after the break...
I've got another Re-Halloween special for all you spooky people out there: The Werewolf of London. Awooo!! While this figure doesn't come with a Chinese menu in his hand, he does have on a rather nice purple robe and his hair is indeed perfect. While the package simply says Werewolf of London, the figure is Dr. Wilfred Glendon in his werewolf form from the 1935 Universal Pictures horror film Werewolf of London. And, yes, the film (or at least the title) did inspire the song by the late, great Warren Zevon ("Excitable Boy" is easily one of my top 25 albums of all time). Henry Hull played a tortured werewolf in Werewolf of London six years before Lon Chaney Jr. played Larry Talbot in 1941's The Wolf Man, and while it's not the better film, Werewolf of London did come out first and has a unique charm to it. I quite like the movie and I was extremely excited to get this figure for my birthday a couple months back. I originally planned on reviewing this figure for The ABCs of 31 Days of Toy terror but he got bumped back to Re-Halloween. Ready to check out the Werewolf of London? Then join me after the break...
Thursday, November 2, 2023
If you're a Batman fan and collector like me, then you've probably been very happy with McFarlane Toys' DC Collectibles line. While the DC Universe as a whole is coming together very slowly (a standard comic Wonder Woman was just recently revealed well over 3 years into the line) McFarlane is definitely putting out lots of versions of Batman, the Batfamily, and Batman's rogues gallery. Usually we get figures in very specific appearances or from very specific storylines but this new version of the Riddler is a very classic Silver Age take on Mr. Edward Nygma/ Nashton. We've seen a few Batman villains get this treatment now and it's really quite welcome. While I prefer the look of the Riddler in a suit, the question mark adorned unitard is a pretty classic look for the character. Ready for a riddle from the Riddler? Then join me after the break...
Wednesday, November 1, 2023
Welcome to today's Re-Halloween Special! Yes, Re-Halloween. Wait, you've never heard of Re-Halloween?