1984 Cobra Commander

1984 Cobra Commander

There’s a lot to say about Cobra Commander. To a certain extent, you can argue he’s the central character of the GI Joe story line. After all, GI Joe’s plot entirely centers around countering and defeating Cobra, and by association, Cobra Commander. Of course, he’s also one of the most prolific characters too, with almost as many toy iterations as Snake Eyes, and in ARAH alone, more.

When I started collecting vintage figures, this Cobra Commander was among my first dozen or so acquisitions. At the time, I remember being ecstatic to own another figure besides Major Bludd that was so old, as it felt cool to collect figures that were a decade older than me. Given that, I don’t have many memories of doing much with this figure besides photographing him a lot. It’s weird, because other figures I acquired in the same period like Major Bludd and the Lamprey, bring me a nostalgic feeling for how exciting it was to buy old Joes back then, whereas this figure I’ve kind of just taken for granted. Of course, I partly attribute that to the fact that I already had several other Cobra Commander’s that were pretty good.

I really like the figure’s deco, it’s striking yet at the same time blends well with the early Cobra cast. With that said, it’s to be forever compared to the original CC color scheme, and those colors are ultimately my preference. The light-blue coupled with a bigger focus on a contrasting red color is both more interesting and iconic than this figure, which is dark and relies on gold for most of the secondary coloring. It’s not without it’s own merits and some like the more regal look of these colors, but to me, the brighter ones are better.

The sculpt’s an area where the figure again really shines, namely for new head. Among his ‘82 contemporaries, it was fair to say V1 Cobra Commander had a more interesting and nicely unique design, and that holds up well with the hooded version. The hooded head sculpt is well done on this figure. It’s simple, but portrays an ominous look fitting of an anonymous terrorist leader. It seems like a simple thing to get right, but when compared to subsequent hooded commanders, that wasn’t always the case. A few examples from Valor vs. Venom and the early 25th line show how it can be done wrong, and while I love the Talking Battle Commander/Battle Corps sculpt, it’s certainly a lot sillier looking than this one.

Like with V1 Cobra Commander, your only accessory here is his laser pistol. In ways, you could look at this as being kind of boring. In other ways, it was a charming example of a figure with a part that had play value built in to it, as well as expanding the character from just what could be seen in the toys. Being able to store the pistol on his back was a neat way for them to add a little more interest to an otherwise less action-oriented character. As well, the fact that Cobra Commander had a unique, sci-fi gun as his personal weapon over the Soviet surplus his legions came armed with, spoke to the character.

This would be the last V1 CC repaint besides Red Laser to come out, and sadly the 3rd party producers have yet to tackle this mold, either. I personally think it’s a shame as there’s a lot of potential left in the Cobra Commander mold, plus you can pretty easily make some army-builders out of him, too. The fact that the mold’s remained untouched all these years at the very least has prevented it from becoming diluted, but I’d still like to see it done up in the canceled ‘97 color scheme, or black and silver like some of the later CC’s.

‘84 Cobra Commanders have always been easy to obtain figures, and thankfully they look like something that’s going to stay that way, too. Last couple of auctions I saw for this figure ended around $10, which is pretty fair given the craziness of the market as of late. For one with a bit of paint wear, I got mine for $4 or $5 dollars as I recall, which was about a decade ago.

Cobra Commander Gijoe Hasbro ARAH vintage action figure Cobra Commander Gijoe Hasbro ARAH vintage action figure Cobra Commander Gijoe Hasbro ARAH vintage action figure Cobra Commander Gijoe Hasbro ARAH vintage action figure Cobra Commander Gijoe Hasbro ARAH vintage action figure

Cobra Commander Gijoe Hasbro ARAH vintage action figure

I did dioramas a lot differently 11 years ago.

1984 Cobra Commander Links:

Forgotten Figures

Half the Battle

Joe A Day

3D Joes

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3 Responses to 1984 Cobra Commander

  1. Mike T. says:

    In about 3 minutes, I came up with over a dozen repaints of this figure that people would love. And, that didn’t include any of the Black Major standard oddities like tiger force, python patrol or his new “sightline” color scheme. It’s a mold that would give and give. Plus, slapping a Trooper head on it would make for a cool new Cobra Officer that would better stand out. It seems BM has moved on to ball head molds, though.

    As for this figure, he’s great. And, with 1983 CC’s running around $100 these days, getting this guy makes a lot more sense for the price. Plus, he doesn’t discolor as easily. I kind of like the wispy look for CC as he was never meant to be a combatant. So, even among later releases, this mold works.

    • A-Man says:

      There actually was a Cobra trooper/officer wearing that CC uniform in Marvel issue #1…a survivor of the Cobras that get blasted on the beach.

      In my various used acquisitions from yards sales and such I’ve come across hooded CC twice, well once in pieces missing his waist. I can’t recall coming across CC V1, swivel or straight arm (I did get one at a flea market in the 90’s).

  2. R.T.G. says:

    The 1984 COBRA Commander is an excellent figure. I wish the gold was a little stronger, but it’s still a beautiful figure and design.

    I recently realized what makes this COBRA Commander so much nicer than say, the 93 TBC Hooded figure and repaints, is this one isn’t so goddamn ornate and ceremonial. Sure this mold is a little dressier than the 82 Trooper and Officer, it’s still utilitarian enough that seeing him in the field isn’t an abnormality.

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