In the Slave Leia/R2-D2 review, Artemis wondered who the "Heroes"-scale figures appealed to. Well, if the package
I just got from HasbroToyShop is any indication, the answer is "me." The order included Galactic Heroes, Superhero Squad and the new Combat Heroes.
During the run-up to 2008's Comic-Con international, Hasbro teased fans with info about their second GI Joe exclusive (the first, of course, being Cobra Commander). The info they doled out at first made it sound like we'd (finally) be getting a Sigma Six Scarlett, but alas, that was not to be. The eventual reveal wasn't bad, though - after all, everybody loves Snake-Eyes!
For their first Combat Heroes release (which served
double-duty as the announcement/preview of the 2009 line), Hasbro played it safe: this is the iconic version of Snake-Eyes, rather than the original turtleneck-wearing "commando" version or the later super-ninja-y ones. You know the one - black uniform, grey details, medieval-style visor... all that. This is the Snake-Eyes you saw on the cartoon.
Snake-Eyes is sculpted in the same superdeformed style we fell in
love with when it was introduced with the Playskool Star Wars sets that eventually evolved into Galactic Heroes. His pose is more extreme than those early offerings, with all his weight resting on his right leg, while his left trails out to the side. He's twisted to his left, aiming his adorable little Uzi at some unseen enemy, and he has his black sword held over his head, ready to slash if his opponent gets into melee range.
When you consider their small size and cartoony looks, the
sculpted detail on these Heroes-scale figures is always fairly impressive. Snake-Eyes has all the straps usually seen on his costume, plus pouches on his belt and grenades on his bandolier. How violent! He moves at four points: waist, shoulders and right wrist. That's an average number for these figures now, and the posing of Snake's shoulders preclude him having a neck joint. The grey paint is a bit sloppy, but that's always a problem with this style of figure. You always need to compare paint apps, which isn't exactly a possibility with exclusives like this - always a downside.
You may have expected that Snake-Eyes would be packaged by himself, rather than with a partner, since this was just a preview for the line, but come on: would it really be fair to get a Snake-Eyes without his wolf Timber? Okay, yes, the wolf only ever came with one of the original figures, but that was stupid; besides, the one figure he came with was the one that inspired this figure, so it makes sense.
Timber looks more like a puppy than a wolf, but that doesn't stop him from being pretty nicely detailed. There are random tufts of fur on his body, and his tongue is lolling out the side of his mouth. He moves at the neck, which isn't a huge amount, but come on: most animal accessories don't move at all. The paint is nice, fading from dark to light gray as you move from his back to his feet. Technically his nose should be black, not pink, and the blue eyes suit a Siberian Husky better than a full-blooded wolf.
It probably doesn't surprise you to learn that when the Combat Heroes line starts for real, Snake-Eyes will be one of the first figures released: he and Timber will come in a set with Zartan. Of course, there will be some changes made: he's painted grey rather than black, his grenades are green, and he has an entirely different sword; and on top of that, Timber will be a completely new mold! So you don't have to worry about duplicating if you get this set - it's a quite nice exclusive, and has substantial (cosmetic) differences from the eventual mass-market release.