2010 Cobra Deviant

2010 Cobra Deviant

In 2010 fresh after the retail disaster of GI Joe: Rise of Cobra, Hasbro had to drastically overhaul the GI Joe toy line. All traces from what would’ve tied Pursuit of Cobra back to the film’s toy line were removed, and instead we were presented with an original toy line that was a little bit closer to GI Joe’s roots, just by way of some extremely drab colors. To tie in with the line’s near-future aesthetic, Hasbro resurrected and modified the Sigma 6 Iron Hammer and produced a pair of new mecha for 1/18 scale- The Steel Marauder and the Cobra Deviant.

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The too-serious-for-ninjas community will typically draw some ire from the idea of GI Joe having any kind of mecha. I can understand that line of thinking a little bit, since at it’s core, GI Joe is a military fantasy, not a mecha fantasy, so it’d be a mistake to have more than the occasional piloted mecha. Still, that’s been a thing with the brand going back the the SNAKE Armor in ‘84, and continued with Armor Bot and the Star Brigade Mecha too. I like mecha a lot, and I feel like the occasional inclusion of something like this breathes a lot of life into a brand that has had little to no imagination since 2003.

In 2010, I was 16 and had no money still. So trying to acquire the PoC toys was a struggle, besides that line’s abysmal distribution. Still, a pair of toys that were not hard to find were these mecha: at the modest price of $20 with an included driver, these failed hard and went straight to clearance after only a 6-month period at retail. In some ways I found myself happy about that, as thanks to that I was able to acquire a pair of Deviants that I otherwise wouldn’t have been able to afford. In other ways though, it also showed a solid rejection of GI Joe mecha by the line’s consumer base, since the rest of the toys performed fairly well besides these.

The Cobra Deviant is a weird toy. Aesthetically, it matches up with GI Joe really well, the cockpit design is mostly lifted from the Sky Hawk’s canopy, which goes a long way towards making this feel like a design that should exist in the GI Joe universe as opposed to just looking like something lifted out of Aliens or an 80‘s Kunio Okawara design. But what does it do? It’s only guns are a pair of turrets underneath it’s cockpit. Maybe that’s all it really needs, but taking the idea of a piloted, 1/18 scale robot toy and arming it only with a grappling hook and hammer is a feat of lameness only Hasbro could really accomplish.

gi joe cobra deviant pursuit of cobra 2010 mecha sigma six

With that said, the Cobra Deviant has a solid amount of play value and I find it fun to mess around with. Most GI Joe robots have had a history of not being very exciting (the SNAKE armor stands there, Armor-Bot falls apart, and the Star Brigade Power Fighters also just stand there), whereas the Cobra Deviant can pose a little and do a few things. The hammer arm is a very fun spring-loaded item, it feels powerful and is pretty satisfying to fire it. The grappling hook does… something. There’s enough cord to imagine it climbing a building with it, though I still just find it a very odd choice for a robot toy. The cockpit has ball-jointed control sticks and comfortably fits a classic o-ringer (more comfortably than it’s included Cyber Viper, in fact), the console area is detailed and looks pretty good. I feel like the size is another strong point, it’s really perfect for playing around with without feeling dinky (SNAKE Armor) or stupid and cumbersome (Armor-Bot).

Another neat feature is that the arms are modular between all of these mechs, so you can switch attachments or even plug additional arms into the ports on the side of them. It’s pretty cool and adds another element of play to these, though it’s mostly just an artifact from the Sigma 6 Iron Hammer. As far as I know, the grappling hook on the Deviant is new tooling, whereas the Hammer and both attachments for the Steel Marauder are just weapons from the Iron Hammer. Another new weapon would’ve been included with the Arctic Rescue mech and a different new attachment with Cobra Minotaur, but alas those never materialized. Because of that, the swappable arms are a mostly defunct gimmick.

A big weakness for the Cobra Deviant besides the odd weapons, is that it’s articulation still isn’t all that good. This is a big shame, as the toy has some very stout ball joints in it’s ankles, hips, waist and shoulders, but it just can’t make good use of them for it’s own design. There’s massive pipes on it’s thighs, which are probably the biggest hindrance to this thing being able to pose any; they block movement for both the legs and the arms. For the later that’s sadly not so much of an issue, as the grappling hook arm really serves no purpose to be aimed or moved all that much. Still, as the most detailed robot ever sold under the GI Joe brand, it’s quite a swing-and-a-miss type moment for it to have that much articulation and all of it be nearly redundant. At the very least the ankles give it a nice amount of stability, so it doesn’t topple over too easy.

Another small gripe I have about it, though also about most of the vehicles from the era, is that the stickers are shit. I almost completely forgot this until I noticed that I never applied all of them to one of my Deviants, but yeah, they don’t have enough glue and most of them fall off as soon as they’re applied. This was a common issue going back to at least 25th Anniversary in 2007, that being the stickers were a complete lottery as to if they’d stick or not. The issue was especially pronounced on vehicles like this, since it came with a considerable scroll of small decals.

The Cobra Deviant is not too hard to find, and fetches about $12 for the complete vehicle and $30 for a boxed one, loose ones with the Cyber Viper and paper-work tend to go for $30 too. Fortunately for the Deviant it doesn’t have a lot of parts that can get lost too easily, so besides the control sticks and the smoke-dispensers on the canopy you don’t have too much to worry about with one. I’ve been sitting on this draft since at least April or sometime thereabouts, and back then these were much harder to find and a little more expensive if memory serves, so the Joe market really seems to have sunk over the summer.

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2010 Cobra Deviant Links:

Generals Joes

Parry Game Preserve

That Figures

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5 Responses to 2010 Cobra Deviant

  1. JoeRizzo2025 says:

    I still have the cockpit of this …..thing. A really cool idea, I was going to customize it as some kind of Techno-Viper recovery vehicle, but the hammer thing was dumb, it should have been either a large machine gun or some sort of claw to lift overturned tanks or something. So really the “arms” suck on this thing. I had the Joe version as well, I think it was even worse, if memory serves.

  2. Selenium says:

    These are awesome! The mecha from PoC and VvV lines have always reminded me of long lost Exo Squad designs that were tweaked and repurposed for the GI Joe line. However I feel like if they were going to do “deluxe” mechs in this scale at a higher price point it would have been better to add interchangeable weapons/appendages as a play feature. The Joe and Cobra mechs are so similar that it’s kind of a joke..being able to swap a weapon arm for a manipulator arm or legs for a tread bottom would have been amazing and exciting for collectors.

  3. Mr. Acer says:

    What about the Defense Mech and Pulverizer from 2004?

  4. A-Man says:

    What a hot-mechs this is.

    For once, Hasbro under-armed a vehicle. I think the other barrel thing on the grappling arm is supposed to be a weapon. But it requires a sticker to sell that idea.

    I might have an incomplete one I got used. I can’t remember. Probably missing the canopy, I swear they bolted those canopies on, kids would still find a way to remove them.
    One thing they could’ve made more snake themed and gotten away with, do a new canopy, make it less a copy of the Joe mech.

  5. R.T.G. says:

    I never got the Deviant, but I did get the G.I. Joe version. I thought it worked really well, both with modern error figures as well as the vintage O-ring figures.

    Totally agree with you on the fact that this Mech-Suit really fits the G.I. Joe aesthetic. In a lot of ways, POC was the only post-1994 G.I. Joe revival that managed to feel like G.I. Joe.

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