1997 Snake Eyes (Commando Team)

1997 Snake Eyes (Commando Team)

Snake Eyes is a character I’ve always appreciated as an adult, but never really had much attachment to. This is probably because of the fact that I grew up more with Sunbow cartoon, where Snake Eyes never played a very prominent role. Because of this, I’ve for the most part never put a big focus on obtaining Snake Eyes figures, especially once I had the ‘97 release.

The commando look for Snake Eyes has always been my preferred appearance for the character, though to be frank, ‘83 Snake Eyes is kind of a bad toy. The sculpt is alright, but he has no paint at all, and looks flat because of it. The ‘97 figure improves on this a lot by adding details to things like his web-gear, goggles, explosive and so on. A lot of other (and probably better) repaints provided this same quality later, but this was the first one I got, so for a long time I’ve felt this is the only Snake Eyes I really need.

Of course, it’s a little annoying that this figure uses the ‘84 Roadblock waist. It looks thick on him, though overall I don’t think it hurts his look that much. The thing is though, I can’t figure out why they went to using the Roadblock waist. The original Snake Eyes waist was still floating around at the same time and was used on Stalker and numerous other figures in the Stars and Stripes set, but wasn’t used for this figure or the Snake Eyes in the Stars and Stripes set.

The biggest fault of these 1997 figures is the oversized rivets. Ever since I was a small child, I can’t remember a GI Joe figure I’ve broken: not a thumb, crotch, or gun. As an adult however, I’ve had both a ‘97 Cobra Commander and this Snake Eyes break at the shoulder, in both cases, from a light touch while handling them. Thankfully RTG (Attica Gazette), hooked me up with some similar looking arms from the comic-pack era, which has kept this guy in action since his arm broke.

Some interesting choices were made for this figure’s parts. Unfortunately, his satchel of explosives is gone and instead he picks up a black version of ‘86 Hawk’s backpack, along with the sword from ‘84 Storm Shadow, his original uzi, and a laser rifle from ’84 Baroness. The sword was a pretty nice inclusion, and I think the fact that it’s the same sword Storm Shadow uses adds something to the character. The backpack and Baroness rifle were some lazy inclusions though, and seem really out of place to me.

From time to time, you can get this Snake Eyes for about $10. Usually, he’s easier to get in the full Commando Team 3-pack, with a more interesting Storm Shadow and Lady Jaye for around $25 to $30. If you want the whole set, I think those other figures worth more to have. On it’s own though, this Snake Eyes is invalidated by a lot of later releases that did the same thing better.

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5 Responses to 1997 Snake Eyes (Commando Team)

  1. Great pictures! I have great memories of this guy. 1997-1998 was the last year I really played with Joes, and when the 1997s came out, I hadn’t yet found an 83 or 85 Snake Eyes. So I loved this figure, it filled a gap in my collection and allowed me to play out scenes like the comics. I agree the accessories were awesome. (I usually assigned the Baroness rifle to Lady Jaye though, since I hate her power-javelin.) The only drawback was that mine didn’t quite stand straight–classic 1997. But sometime in 1998 I found a swivel-arm 83 Snake Eyes at a flea market, and it felt sturdier and looked better with the proper waist, so it became my go-to SE until I stopped playing. As I’ve gotten older I still appreciate the painted details on the 97, but I’m less and less able to get past the Roadblock waist. If only they’d used the proper waist on ONE of the post-97 releases–but instead we got 2x 97s, the Kid Rhino, the ToyFare, AND the Comic pack, all with this waist!

  2. Mike T. says:

    At the time, a Snake Eyes with some paint was sorely needed. And, this figure found a home in my collection pretty quickly. But, as the mold got overused, he fell out of favor.

    While the 1997’s have aged way better than I would have thought based on collector sentiment of the time, I do wonder what we would think of them had this figure been the 1985 mold. At least Black Major delivered a ’97 style figure to fill that gap.

    But, had the collectors who were in favor of Hasbro of that time demanded better of them and we’d gotten the 1997 line as it was envisioned, I can’t help but think that the course of the line over the next few years was drastically altered. Maybe the JvC era never happens.

  3. R.T.G. says:

    I like this figure, but wish they had taken some more chances with it, the same way they did with COBRA Commander, and Destro. I know it was originally supposed to be a 1985 sculpt, but once that went out the window, it would’ve been nice to see a potentially different look for the v1 Snake Eyes mold. Oh well!

    Glad you were able to make use of those arms, Neko!

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