Cobra Commander

February 16, 2011 | By More

I really feel bad for Cobra Commander. In the animated series, he came off as being something of a boob. If you consider he’s put him self in a position to lead an army to take over the world, I can’t see how that could be true. And this army exists under the nose of a bunch of other folks. You couldn’t accomplish that if you were surrounded by incompetents.

Ironically, Cobra Commander couldn’t even make the cut of the first wave of GI Joe RAH figures back in the 80’s. One of his soldiers and an officer did, but not the head honcho.


This isn’t quite an exact match for his cartoon appearance. It’s close but not quite. This is the silver face plated version, obviously.

I remember all the kids making up crazy stuff back in the day. Under the mask, CC was said to be a number of things: a robot, a lizard, an alien, horribly disfigured…etc.

When it came down to it, he was a perfect villain for back then. At the end of the Cold War,  America’s foes didn’t have known personal identity. They were more of the concept, namely Communism. So, to have an enemy that didn’t have a face or a real name was a perfectly ideal way to stylize an enemy.

The head is a little more oddly shaped than what the cartoon version. Both the cartoon and card art, portray Cobra Commander fairly thin and narrow all over. However, the head of the figure looks a bit larger than what you would think.

This continues through the figure, which is proportioned as a standard figure, instead of a being serpent like. It’s not that it’s bad, it’s just not what you think of as the ideal CC.

The entire figure is molded in blue, with mainly black details. There’s some slop here and there and the years have shown some wear on mine.

Okay, here’s the thing that bugs me the most about this figure. He’s wearing stirrup pants. I know they were a thing in the 80’s. However, they weren’t for dudes. I don’t know how his troops could take him serious in those things.


Cobra Commander breaks my normal criteria for lots of gear for a GI Joe figure. I was young then. CC comes with a single gun. And it’s an odd on. It looks like a combination of radar gun and a hairdryer.

The gun does have a neat feature for back in the day, it stored on the figure. There’s a techno looking backpack built into the figure. That back has a recess that the gun stores in and is held in by a small peg. It’s pretty neat feature considering the time period of the figure.

Another neat feature is that this figure has “swivel arm battle grip”. For the younger readers, that is the mid bicep rotating joint. This feature was lacking in the original series of GI Joe figures. The originals were retooled to include this feature later on. That feature really helped set these figures apart from their Star Wars contemporaries.


While not the best of the vintage Joe figures, certainly not the worst. Compared to a number of figures that kids would have bought cause they had cool gear, Cobra Commander is a character you would want to have in your collection because of who he is. It’s the concept of the evil head of the Cobra organization that sells him.

Engineernerd Score: 89/100

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Category: Featured, GI Joe, Toy Reviews

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  1. Errex says:

    Yep, the stirrup pants were something you only saw worn by olympic gymnasts, not as a part of gala dress uniforms.

    Cool figure, though.

  2. Engineernerd says:

    I’m really surprised they weren’t some sort of dress boot. But that’s the 80’s for you.