1985 Snow Serpent

1985 Snow Serpent

Although the ARAH line was long and prominent through the 80‘s and early 90‘s, 1985 sticks out as probably the zenith year of the line. This year gave us some of the most beloved characters and figures, like V2 Snake Eyes, Flint, and Shipwreck, as well as the most iconic playset, the USS Flagg. The toys were great, the cartoon and comics were going strong, and the Snow Serpent is no exception to the high quality standard we saw that year.

Army builders don’t always have the best bios, but the Snow Serpent’s filecard is pretty cool. It establishes from the get-go that these are the most highly trained, dangerous soldiers in the Cobra hierarchy. “Snow Serpents are the Arctic Specialist branch of the Eels (COBRA Frogmen)” I really like the continuity this set’s up with one of his contemporary figures. The focus on their rank also helps give the figure some substance beyond being another niche Cobra.

Building an army of Snow Serpents has been a long and hard task, and I still don’t have that many. So in my army, these guys remain an elite, highly trained force like in their file cards, while some of the V2‘s and few other later arctic Cobras function as the cannon fodder of their division.

The detail present on this figure is amazing. The Crimson Guard and Eel were both pretty nice, but the Snow Serpent is simply in a league of his own. There’s just so many folds, pockets, pouches and buckles, he seems to have a greater sense of depth to his sculpt than many of his contemporaries. The head has a particularly great look, with it’s face mask, goggles and ridges along the top of his helmet. It’s really neat how much this design has going on, and how well the figure represents it.

One of the best aspects of the Snow Serpent are his accessories. He includes a parachute, backpack, mortar, snow shoes and AK-47. This is a lot of parts, especially since most figures at the time just included a backpack and a gun. Like the figure, the parts feature a lot of nice sculpted details, especially the detailed folds in the backpack. Sadly I’ve still not acquired a 100% complete example, but most of these parts were reused a few times, so it’s pretty easy to augment one with some similar parts.

Snow Serpents are not cheap, but that’s to be expected for a figure that comes with a lot of parts and hails from such a popular year. Complete figures routinely go for around $25, and even without parts they can go for around $9. My personal strategy for acquiring these is to buy cheaper ones that still have a part or two, and slowly acquire enough parts to complete a few while gaining some extra figures for filling out my army and using in dioramas.

gi joe arah cobra a real american hero hasbro v1 gi joe arah cobra a real american hero hasbro v1

1985 Snow Serpent Links:

Yo Joe

Forgotten Figures

3D Joes

Joe A Day


This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to 1985 Snow Serpent

  1. A-Man says:

    “It establishes from the get-go that these are the most highly trained, dangerous soldiers in the Cobra hierarchy. ”

    That’s how I felt. Crimson Guard might be more educated and have higher status. But a Snow Serpent could endure a lot more. The scary almost-serial killer mask adds to their character.

    Unfortunately, these guys weren’t much a part of my childhood. My brother had one, and I had none. My snow forces were two Wolfs and their ice viper drivers, but I lived somewhere where it rarely snowed anyway! I eventually got a few used ones as an adult, few, if any complete. (Why did they never put his AK in a weapon’s pack?)

    Hasbro had this mold in the early 2000’s, but only the club used it…once. Baffling. We could’ve had a fine Cobra arctic 6 pack between the original, 1992 version and Ice-vipers. It wasn’t like Hasbro didn’t practically remake the figure in new sculpt twice! So they still liked the design!

  2. Mike T. says:

    I loved the Eel connection. So, in my childhood, the Snow Serpents were equivalent of the Joes. If a couple of them showed up, it took Snake Eyes or Flint to fight them off.

    I loved their gear. Oddly, his AK-47 ended up with Flint once I lost his shotgun. The parachute broke early. But, that was OK as it was rather superfluous.

    These guys were pretty cheap a few years ago. But, then that one guy made a big deal about cornering the market on them and the prices haven’t fallen since.

  3. R.T.G. says:

    Snow Serpents are neat, there’s a real coldness to the head sculpt, that does a lot for the figure. I get a kick out of the fact they’re the originators of the goggles over the helmet, but never catch the shit that the Viper does.

    I’ve always liked that their helmet looked like Scrap Iron’s. Though I guess it was done for the Soviet appearance.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *