Wednesday, April 10, 2024

Action Figure Review: Big Boa from G.I. Joe: Classified Series by Hasbro


   I recently received the newest series of G.I. Joe: Classified Series figures, so get ready for some more G.I. Joe reviews! Today I'm checking out Big Boa, another individual named Cobra character and a rather bizarre figure overall. Don't get me wrong, I do like this figure, but he's always been a bit of an oddball in the Cobra ranks. 1987 was a weird year for Cobra figures, though, with Big Boa, Raptor, Crystal Ball, Croc Master, and Cobra-La all adding a bit more of a fantasy vibe to the line. Big Boa makes a bit more sense when you realize he was originally intended to be an adversary for a planned Rocky Balboa figure, a planned G.I. Joe team personal combat instructor. When a licensing agreement fell through, Rocky was scrapped (though not before appearing in Order of Battle #2, with an official retraction being printed in the next issue). Rocky was no more, Sylvester Stallone's likeness went on to star in Coleco's Rambo: The Force of Freedom toyline, and Big Boa was kept around as Cobra's answer to Sgt. Slaughter. Who trains the Cobra troops and puts them through the paces? Big Boa, that's who. There have only ever been two Big Boa figures released, the vintage 1987 figure and the Figure Subscription Service figure from 2013 (in addition to an Indian Funskool version and a Brazilian figure named Kangor who came with a kangaroo), so the guy hasn't had many different looks. Overall, Hasbro went with a pretty straight up vintage look for Big Boa, though he does have a few new tricks. Ready to hop in the ring with Big Boa? Then join me after the break...

The Facts:

Height: 6 5/8ths inches

Articulation: Swivel/ hinge ankles, boot swivels, double hinged knees, swivel thighs, ball jointed drop down hips, ball jointed waist, mid-torso hinge, butterfly pecs, swivel/hinge shoulders, bicep swivels, double hinged elbows, swivel/hinge wrists, ball jointed neck base, and a ball jointed head.

Accessories: 2 swappable heads, 2 regular hands, 2 boxing glove hands, 2 boxing glove cuffs, and 2 dumbbells. 

Non-Scalper Price: $25 dollars

The Positives:

* Big Boa is decked out in a boxing or sparring outfit with a few weird embellishments that show off Cobra's flair for the dramatic such as a spiked chest harness and an oversized crotch guard. Hey, you don't want to get kicked in the Jimmy Johns if you can help it, right? Interestingly, Big Boa also has nipples. Usually shirtless figures don't have nipples, but Big Boa does. Maybe the McFarlane Batman & Robin figures gave Hasbro the courage to unleash Big Boa unaltered pecs on the toy buying masses. 

* This is the first time we've seen Big Boa's face as far as I can remember, and he definitely looks like a tough guy who has taken a few too many blows to the head. Big Boa was big on the illegal, underground fighting circuit and somehow ended up in Cobra Commander's debt. He looks a bit like a younger Brad Garret to me. He's got lots of bruises, stubble, and even a missing tooth. I hope Cobra has a good dental plan, but it's probably just Dr. Mindbender fooling around with pliers. 

* Big Boa's classic helmet is actually a separate portrait, and it's pretty awesome looking. Seriously, Big Boa definitely looks more fearsome with this helmet on. He's got spikes, a visor, and what is probably a built-in voice modulator and megaphone so he can whip the Cobra legions into shape. This is an impressive sculpt and a nice translation of the vintage toy. 

* The vintage figure had removable boxing gloves and the FSS figure had swappable standard hands and boxing gloves. Hasbro went with the swappable hands here, but the standard hands have the knuckles wrapped with visible blood stains on them. This guy's been training pretty hard. Or maybe, just maybe, that's not his blood. Yikes!

* The boxing gloves come in two pieces with the main hand and the wrist cover that slips over the wrist. They look really sharp with red and white material and a big Cobra logo stamped on top. 

* Big Boa is a lean, mean fighting machine, and since he's wearing a pretty form fitting outfit there's nothing that hinders his articulation. He's a fun figure to put in most melee fighting poses that you can think of. He's not as massive as some Classified Series, but he does look more muscular and jacked than most, so he's still a pretty frightening guy. 

* The FSS Big Boa came with a dumbbell, but this guy comes with two. They each have two 90lb weights on them, so you can have him lifting 180lbs per arm. He doesn't come with any other weapons, but I guess you could have him chuck one of these at someone. That'd leave a mark. 
   Big Boa has never been one of my favorites. I guess as a kid I didn't have enough imagination to use him for anything and his lack of a real weapon seems to keep him out of the fight for the most part. Now I can appreciate him a bit more, though; he's kind of like Strong Bad if he joined Cobra. The Classified Series team did do a nice job of translating him into the line, though I would have liked to have seen another accessory or two. The punching bag from the vintage figure was always a cool item and a pistol, or knife, or something would have been a cool extra, too. He's still a Great and a 1/2 figure, though, and adds another unique Cobra to the ranks. 

This is the first figure of Big Boa I've reviewed on the site. For more G.I. Joe: Classified Series reviews check out the following:


  1. He's cool, though sucks he has the pinhole elbow joints. Thought they'd got rid of that.

    As for the nipples. Yeah, it's weird that a lot of figures these days don't have those. A particularly oddity is Revolution Skeletek, which... DOES. So Skeletor has much of his body replaced with cybernetics but somehow he regains his nipples that weren't on the Masterverse figures of his fully-organic forms

    1. I think they're phasing them out over time and reusing where they can. Big Boa does reuse the Roadblock/ Gung-Ho torso and arms from early in the line while Quick Kick has newer pinless arms. Probably a bit of a balancing and budgeting act.

  2. I canceled my preorder for him. Just don't think a boxer/instructor is all that cool. I'll still get him if I see him out in the wild.

    1. He's a weird figure for sure, but makes more sense when you consider he was designed as an enemy for the never produced Rocky Balboa figure. He's kind of like Cobra's answer to Sgt. Slaughter, so without any real weapons he seems less useful in a real fight.


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