2009 Serpent Armor

2009 Serpent Armor

GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra, was a botched toy line in more than a few ways. It did however give Hasbro the opportunity to make some lovably odd toys, like the Serpent Armor. The original SNAKE which this toy is based on, is not the most compelling item from the early line, but getting a new one in black was more than welcome by me.

So, the Serpent Armor is technically a new mold, though as far as I can tell the sculpt is identical to the original SNAKE. The original tooling went to Funskool in the 90‘s, where I assume it was used until it broke, since they opted to make a new mold. Originally, the SNAKE was going to be featured in the 25th Anniversary line, but the last wave of vehicle sets were canceled. If memory serves, we never saw much of these besides a WalMart computer listing and possibly a test-shot from China. Either way, it serves to explain why Hasbro produced new tooling like this for a line of Target exclusives, which also featured some even more questionable releases like a new Jet Pack.

The Serpent Armor is a pretty simple toy, it has four interchangeable arms, and the torso and legs open up, which allows you to either insert a figure or place the included black stand. I never stick figures in this thing since that feels like a waste, so for me it just bounces around with the stand. The hands include a machine-gun, a missile, a claw, and laser-gun. The claw and laser look pretty lousy, so for me these almost only use the other two parts. Other than that, there’s not much you do with it, but it’s a decent little vehicle for it’s size.

As a toy, I get the sense that the BAT was essentially just a more refined version of the SNAKE armor, since they’re both robots and have similar gimmicks. As a concept, I think the SNAKE seems a little less absurd and therefore, a little cooler than the BAT, but the BAT wins for it’s practicality. Again, it’s not very fun to put a figure inside the SNAKE, and there’s really not much it does besides stand there. If the goal was just giving Cobra a robot weapon with swappable arms, the BAT’s superior. Also, the BAT has a place to put it’s spare arms, which the SNAKE does not, and that sucks.

The black colors on the Serpent Armor were really nice, and broke from the trend of most post-’08 vehicles being reissues to some degree of an 80‘s item. It’s also pretty nice that the toy features a handful of silver paint applications on it, which you don’t see on other versions of the mold. For me, my favorite part of this toy is that matches really well with a lot of my early Cobra items; black puts it perfectly in line with HISS Tanks, FANGs, STUNs and everything else from the period where black was the main color for Cobra vehicles.

Serpent Armors often hit $30, but can easily be had for $20, boxed or loose. This price lines up roughly with what a Black Major SNAKE will cost you, as well as a decent ’83 example, so it makes sense. These were fun to grab at retail with an included figure for $10, but $20 isn’t an appalling price to me. I can’t say the SNAKE armor is my favorite toy, but it’s fun enough the have around.

gi joe rise of cobra serpent armor snake 1983 2009 target exclusive gi joe rise of cobra serpent armor snake 1983 2009 target exclusive

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Photo by Scarrviper

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3 Responses to 2009 Serpent Armor

  1. JoeRizzo2025 says:

    My IG account has a picture I took of drunken Dredknocks putting a BAT inside of some SNAKE armor. The idea was better than the execution I guess. I also don’t put figures in my SNAKES except if I’m missing the stand, then I’ll put a poor Lanard victim in there!

  2. A-Man says:

    I like it but the solid black obscures the details. No wonder they painted some silver on it. I wonder what it was going to be paired with/against for 25th?

    As a kid using the original as a robot didn’t occur to me for awhile, more like pretending it was manned. So few Cobras and to “waste” one inside a clunky armor suit. I guess there’s supposed to be knee joints on those legs or otherwise it’s a bit absurd. I see SNAKES as much hard to destroy than BATS, but much slower moving.
    If I recall the other attachment was a flame thrower, but they might call it a laser now.
    I preferred flame thrower and machine gun. The missile can’t reload. It’s a one shot thing. The claw is a melee weapon on a slow armor suit…good against obstacles but most people would avoid getting near it. There’s nubs on the back of the armor to stick attachments to, apparently. They stick out and looks as stupid as you’d think. I never realized it was a thing until the internet.

  3. Mike T. says:

    As a kid, I despised the SNAKE. It was such a bad toy. But, I threw away all of my little skeleton thingies and had to use a figure with it. Back then, though, I did have enough broken figs to make it work. But, it still fell apart too easily and just wasn’t fun.

    I did buy a BM SNAKE just to have one and it reinforced my childhood feeling that it’s just not that much fun.

    I wish Hasbro would have done more vehicle releases in 2020-2022. I’d have loved re-releases of things like this, etc. as more options to get vehicles that aren’t as brittle as vintage.

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