1987 Nemesis Enforcer

1987 Nemesis Enforcer

In some ways, I feel like you can’t have an opinion about Cobra-La that’s not an opinion about GI Joe: The Movie. Partly, I think that’s because these toys would have no reason to exist if not to be the movie’s new villains. So if you like the movie, you probably like Cobra-La. If you hate the movie, you probably hate Cobra-La and the Cobra-La Team 3-pack. For me, the movie is an absolute guilty pleasure, and I’m open Cobra-La because of that; the same thing is pretty much my opinion of Nemesis Enforcer.

As a design and concept, Nemesis Enforcer provided GI Joe with an interesting opportunity to do some very odd things. I feel like this something crucially missing from modern interpretations of the brand, as Nemesis Enforcer really has a lot more uniqueness and identity embedded in him than your run of the mill Ghost Clancy: Call of Honor-inspired commando toy. There’s a deeper imagination present here of the kind of enemies GI Joe might face, which in Nemesis Enforcer’s case, is an abominate and soulless creation of an ancient bio-mechanical society. It’s like something from a super market tabloid, and in it’s own way I find a great deal of interest in that.

Uniqueness aside, Nemesis Enforcer is not the most breathtaking figure I’ve laid eyes on. I like the Royal Guard a lot better, though Nemesis Enforcer is leaps and bounds better than Golobulus, if only for the fact that the lower half of the toy isn’t a green-turd. I feel like the figure suffers from the fact that the sculpting on his outfit is a little more vague, and at the same time, the details of his face don’t contrast very well. Speaking of his face, I think it’s neat they painted his eyes as a pair of eerie white dots as opposed to painting them normally, but again, it doesn’t show up very well.

Nemesis Enforcer takes the liberty of using some fairly unusual colors for a Cobra. 1987 was the year where purple became a Cobra color, but on Nemesis Enforcer, it’s more of a lavender shade, much lighter than the Techno Viper or the Hydro Viper from ‘88. It’s paired with red details and some tan/off-white, along with a few other colors for small details (silver on his arm spikes and white for his aforementioned beady-eyes). These colors accentuate him nicely, and give him the feeling of something a little bit older than his release year. The kitsch colors make me think of a comic-book villain from the 60‘s or early 70‘s (I guess Magneto fits that criteria).

His parts are very odd. He comes with no ordinary weapons, but instead a pair of backpacks representing the appendages he could spontaneously grow on his back, one that features a pair of bat wings, and another with a series of green tentacles. Both are made from a soft, rubbery plastic, which is pretty unique to this figure. It’s hard to justify a GI Joe with no real weapons, but as a kid I would’ve probably liked this a lot. I loved Guyver and characters that had blade-appendages on their arms, so he would’ve probably found some roles among the likes of Blanka. Likewise, these backpacks would’ve probably seen plenty of use with the Star Brigade. Makes me sort of sad the tentacles never saw a use again, using it as a parasitic growth on some random Cobra repaint would’ve been really cool.

A mint, complete Nemesis Enforcer is worth about $10, though ones with the filecard consistently hit $20. Relatively speaking that’s not too expensive, though as a maligned faction, Cobra-La has never been popular, which has shown through to the pricing of these figures for years. I find Cobra-La a lot of fun as some kind of novelty, and also because I liked the movie, so I’m glad figures like this one remain affordable when most Joes are not.

gi joe 1987 Cobra La gijoe the movie Nemesis Enforcer Nemesis Immortal Royal Guard gi joe 1987 Cobra La gijoe the movie Nemesis Enforcer Nemesis Immortal Royal Guard gi joe 1987 Cobra La gijoe the movie Nemesis Enforcer Nemesis Immortal Royal Guard

1987 Nemesis Enforcer Links:

Forgotten Figures

Half the Battle

Joe A Day

3D Joes

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

4 Responses to 1987 Nemesis Enforcer

  1. Josh Z says:

    I’ve never understood the tentacles. He doesn’t have them in the movie (only wings) and the bright green clashes badly with his purple. Also, why give a figure two backpack-type pieces? He can’t use them simultaneously.

    The color is a better match for Golobulus, but he also never had anything like that in the movie. And why would a snake-man have tentacles?

    The bat wings are much better, but too small. I’ve seen sellers on eBay and Etsy make custom wings that look great on him

  2. A-Man says:

    I never knew what to do with Cobra-La and by the time they came out my Cobra existed in world with Star Wars and Robotech. Even then they seemed hard to fit into Cobra. O their own they were a mere 3 figures and Golobulus was useless.

    Concept was a better fit for Inhumanoids than GI JOE.

    But yeah, modern GI JOE and imitators are rather generic military types these days. The most odd they get is some HALO-inspired villains or something, and that’s also aping Cobra’s faceless hightech troops, too.

  3. General Liederkranz says:

    I hate the movie, and I used to hate Cobra-La. But the Royal Guard and Nemesis Enforcer have grown on me as an adult, just because they add some weirdness which can sometimes be nice in a photo. (I still hate the movie, but I have a hard time accepting anything outside the feel, if not necessarily the storyline, of the original Marvel comic run.) I agree with your point about modern Joe lines being too focused on modern day elite special forces. Everyone wants the “tacticool” Navy SEAL wannabe look. I like that the ARAH line originally was a mix of basic WW2 or Vietnam aesthetics, and then some futuristic sci-fi stuff. Honestly, I like that mix. Figures with lots of kevlar and pouches fall in an uncomfortable middle–too 21st century to fit with the old school army look, and not sci-fi enough for the Cobra La or Star Brigade (or even just futuristic, like 86 Sci-Fi) look.

  4. cobramotorpool says:

    I just recently sold my Cobra-La set on eBay. I got them as a kid and even back then I had a hard time incorporating them into my personal Joeverse. Other than acting out scenes from the movie, I didn’t really have a use for them. I’m glad I sold them, as all they’d do is sit in a bin if I kept them. I hope the guy who bought them from me digs them.

    I’m really torn on the movie. It had its moments. I really dislike the retconned Cobra Commander origin story though, along with pretty much everything they did with the “Rawhides”. If you read Falcon’s filecard, he’s a badass Green Beret and a natural leader, not a whiny little punk. And making him Duke’s half brother? Weak. Honestly, the opening credits are the best part of the movie. I want to see the story of the planning and prep that went into that Statue of Liberty attack, along with how the Joes caught wind of it and were ready for Cobra. Maybe Mercer defected during the planning stages and revealed the details to the Joes?

    Cobra-La is just a bit too much for me and that’s coming from someone who really liked the supernatural/weirdo/scifi episodes of the cartoon. I already wasn’t a big Serpentor fan and Cobra-La just makes that origin story even more bizarre. I didn’t hate the movie at the time, but I’ve enjoyed it less and less as I’ve gotten older.

Leave a Reply

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