Black Major Custom Python Troopers

Black Major Custom Python Troopers

The world of custom/bootleg GI Joes has been pretty amazing in the past couple of years. The Black Major, in particular, produced some amazing work and even brought back the classic Cobra Trooper mold for a few new designs. I was really impressed by all of the new Black Major Cobra Troopers, but as Python Patrol is my favorite Cobra sub-team, I chose these to look at first.

I’m a huge Python Patrol fan. Sure, a few of the vintage figures were a little on the strange side (The Python Guard), but making a new sub-team out of all of the classic Cobra army builders and giving them jungle themed colors was one of Hasbro’s better repaint ideas for the time. On their own, a few of them can be a tad gaudy, but they function well when teamed with each other. Cobras from different eras could sometimes look a little awkward together, but the uniform colors of these help them avoid that.

In terms of quality, these are probably some of the best and most solid feeling Black Major figures to date. The plastic feels really close to the vintage plastic, and the joints on all of mine are very solid too. Generally I’m not too picky when it comes to the quality on custom figures, but these are extremely well made feeling.

The color pattern used on these Black Major custom Python Troopers is familiar and unique all at the same time. Overall, they’re most similar to Python Copperhead, but they have a lot less black on them. There’s quite a focus here on the green shades of the figure, and it finds a nice blend between somewhat realistic jungle colors and the Python Patrol’s neon tones. I do notice the yellow seems a little dull on these, and while I’m not sure as to if that was or wasn’t intentional, it goes along well with giving them that vintage charm, minus a bit of the neon.

Another thing I like a lot about the most recent TBM Troopers is the accessories. While anyone who’s collected a few of these should have plenty of dragunovs by now, at some point he started including AK47‘s and Viper backpacks too, giving the trooper a more well rounded selection of accessories. I’m hugely appreciative to have a pile of the Cobra Officer’s AK47 lying around, as it’s a fantastic looking accessory that’s unfortunately hard to find.

The after market prices on these were somewhat interesting to see, now that the supply of them has mostly dried up. From what I can tell, they go for around $12 to $15 at the moment, like most other recent custom Cobras. The thing is, they don’t really show up for sale all that often, since these aren’t produced in great numbers as you might expect. I think the saturation of figures is keeping the prices lower for now, as there’s so much to chose from I think certain figures just get missed.

Gi Joe action figures Cobra vintage V1 Python PatrolGi Joe action figures Cobra vintage V1 Python Patrol Bootleg Custom

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5 Responses to Black Major Custom Python Troopers

  1. A-Man says:

    Why make waist yellow? That was the worst thing about Python Copperhead.

    So where’s the grey python version? I assume he didn’t have these paint masks made just to do these.

    As for their availability. I suspect he/they reduced runs and/or are withholding to maintain/create demand. The female troopers and some others lingered on ebay for awhile. Those Flash bodied laser Cobras hanging around were due to straight arms that most were not nostalgic for. I can sort of understand if he is creating demand, because there has to be incentive to do these. “500 available” doesn’t make folks rush out and BUY IT NOW factory customs.

  2. Mike T. says:

    This is a version I’d have army built. But, unlike the Soldados, I never saw them hit the various forums for cheap. The one downside to so many figures is that it’s easy to miss one or eight…especially if the seller of a particular paint job happens to only sell in a group or a social site in which you are not a member.

    It seems everyone’s jumping on the 2003 Python Patrol color scheme with a De Aco, Viper, BAT and Iron Grenadier version all coming. But, Black Major was supposed to release a Python Stormshadow to complement these figures. I hope that’s still coming. Though, he’s been oddly quiet this year after dropping about 50 figures in 2017.

    • A-Man says:

      Snake-Eyes V2 and Snow Serpents are coming some time. Concept art for Python Alley-Vipers (all 3 camo patterns), don’t know if they are coming or not, as they were previewed 6 months ago. I’m not in any loops.

      I saw on instagram Python troopers with actual Python Patrol logo on their chest, didn’t look like labels. Never saw them anywhere else.

      I don’t get this collector thing that everything has to become club(s). The exclusivity mentality for a relative small niche hobby doesn’t help anyone.

  3. Matt says:

    Love anything that keeps classic O-Ring construction alive and relevant.

  4. R.T.G. says:

    I’m a pretty big fan of these figures, I like when the Factory Customs do more ambitious ideas than just a simple swap of blue for red, especially when the figure winds up being something we should’ve seen in 1989.

    The helmet variations are interesting, I’m not sure of the reason, but they do stand out a bit.

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