2010 TBM Black Cobra Trooper

2010 TBM Black Cobra Trooper

It seemed like not so long ago that a bunch of mysterious, bootleg Cobra Troopers popped up on eBay and no one really knew what they were or what they’d be like. While the “factory custom” scene has changed a little in the years since then, it’s interesting to take a look back at some of the very first figures. This black Cobra Trooper was the first one I acquired.

When these figures surfaced, I was dead-broke, so I couldn’t get too much of what was available. Because of that, I singled out figures I thought might be more well suited for use in small numbers apart from bigger squads. Given that this guy is mostly just a single black color, I thought he could make decent for a sniper. I believe I stole the idea of using an all-black Cobra as a sniper from the Sideshow Cobra Sniper that came out a little before that, which struck me as an interesting concept.

At the time, for a bootleg that nobody knew much about, the quality of this release was quite impressive. A series of similar Trooper bootlegs had come out roughly a year prior, which were much flimsier by comparison. Since then, I think the subsequent Black Major releases have made this figure seem less nice. It has a few interesting quirks not seen on later releases, namely the backpack hole. On the original run of TBM Troopers, all of the figures had smaller screw-holes/backpack holes. This was done deliberately to further distinguish these figures from their vintage counterparts, but it also means they can’t use a backpack.

For the most part, the figure is solid black with some light gray painted details and a silver Cobra sigil. It’s a simple look that fulfills it’s role in my collection nicely, and also looks good with basically any other early Cobra. The paint is sharp and clean, although interestingly there’s a good amount of excess paint above the belt on the waist. The later Troopers from TBM don’t have this problem, but on all of the 2010 Troopers, everything above the belt is painted, which is a bit quirky.

For accessories, you get only the classic Dragunov sniper riffle like with the original figure. It’s a faithful recreation and at the time, this part was precious and hard to come by. Of course, it’s the only part you get and later releases improved by including the Officer’s AK-47 and a Viper backpack. Still, at the time just getting the black Dragunov was great, and I certainly enjoy having no shortage of them years later.

Pricing Black Major customs can be difficult, as this figure’s gotten much harder to find, as you might expect. Of course, most of the customs including ones from around the same time tend to cap their value around $20 to $30, so it’s fair to say this guy’s probably in the same ballpark. I think Black Major’s second run of Cobra Troopers was better than the first, but this is still a really a cool figure I’m glad to have in my collection.

TBM the black major custom Cobra Trooper black 2010 gi joe vintage hasbro
TBM the black major custom Cobra Trooper black 2010 gi joe vintage hasbro
TBM the black major custom Cobra Trooper black 2010 gi joe vintage hasbro

2010 TBM Black Cobra Trooper Links:

Collection of all 2010 TBM Cobra Troopers

Pre-Black Major Cobra Trooper customs

Later TBM Cobra Troopers

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2 Responses to 2010 TBM Black Cobra Trooper

  1. R.T.G. says:

    I’m quite fond of this figure. Of the earliest batch of TBM troopers, this one was probably the most unique. I guess it was the fact the mask and web gear didn’t match.

    The using him as a Sniper (via the Sideshow Doll) was an idea I used too. It gives the figure a use, and also gives Cobra a useful and new specialty

  2. Mike T. says:

    I had one of these guys as, like you, I was broke and just bought some one offs. But, since I only had one, he was sold off along with most of the other early BM Cobra Troopers I had.

    Looks like BM is coming back to this mold again. The Red Shadows figure seems like an FU in some respects to the ongoing drama queens. But, the rest of the figs haven’t spoken to me. I do think some of these early figs could be redone now, and sell well enough. But, at $18 per figure, probably not enough to justify a production run.

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