My favorite franchise as a child was Transformers.. I loved the cartoon, the characters, comics and of course the toys… but my favorite toys.. the ones I played with more than anything else without question, was GI Joe. Not only because of the huge colorful cast of characters, amazing vehicles and battle sets you could fill your room with… but because of the articulation. Yes, back when I was <ten years old or so, I appreciated good articulation. More than appreciated it..I often turned my nose up at toys that lacked in that department. In fact, while Star Wars was easily my favorite movie/make-believe universe back then… I really didn’t like the figures… I never asked for them for Christmas (xwing, millennium falcon & tie fighter being the exceptions)or spent a dime of my allowance on them.. because I knew with their super limited articulation, I couldn’t pose them in exciting fighting poses. They couldn’t hold a gun in a cool way or wield those super rad lightsabers in both hands like they did in the films… they couldn’t even look up.
I had a ton of Transformers because I loved robots.. but I walked right past Masters of the Universe, WWF Wrestlers, Thundercats, etc in the toy isle. If they didn’t have a swivel bicep joint and rubber band holding them together, I really wasn’t interested.
Which brings me to today. Today, I’m holding a GI Joe… well, not just ANY Joe.. the most badass of Joes, freak’n Snake Eyes.. and he’s put together by the guys behind some of the MOST articulated and well made 1/6 figures available on the market today, 1000Toys. (Check out a few more of their figures we’ve reviewed here, here and here)
I can’t imagine how this could not be a match made in toy heaven.
I’d planned to pick this guy up during SDCC as he was one of their early release exclusives, but finances didn’t line up at the time and I was unable to. Thankfully, my friend Yuta from 1000toys hooked me up and sent me Snake Eyes (along with another very unexpected and awesome gift, a Mechatro WeGo Chubu…) so I want to thank him and the rest of 1000toys again, up front before I dive into this review. Thanks guys, you’re always too generous!
While I was after the early SDCC version, the final version of Snake Eyes is available RIGHT NOW on their website for a limited time for preorder. So if this is something you’re into, click the link and head over there while you still can!
Anyway, I’m excited to get started on this review so lets… GOOOO JOE!
The front of the box is a nice graphic of what appears to be a photo of Snake Eyes standing in some rain, all mysterious and epic-like. On the back are various symbols, one in particular that fans will recognize.
Inside, safe and sound is Snake Eyes in a plastic shell. He’s also draped with a thin plastic sheet for extra protection with various parts of his suit wrapped with pieces of taped plastic.
I have to say, getting those little plastic wrapped bits off was kinda of a pain.. though I’ll admit I was using my teeth and fingernails where a small knife or scissors would have been far more useful.
SnakeEyes travels pretty light. He comes with a sword and sheath, a SMG, a small shoulder knife with an extra, *larger handle (more on that later), two grenades, two extra SMG clips and 4 sets of hands.
On top of all that stuff, he’s wearing a pair of wicked looking gauntlets that have two blades in each which flip out so he can get all wolverine-y whenever you please-y.
THE REAL AMERICAN HERO
1000toy’s Snake Eyes is a pretty drastically different take on the silent ninja. In fact, he’s not strictly from the GI Joe universe. He’s tied in with 1000toy’s TOA Heavy Industry line and is actually more of hybrid between their Synthetic Human and the infamous Joe. Style-wise, the closest, main stream iteration of him that I could think of is the GI Joe Sigma 6 line of figures Hasbro released in the early 2000’s. But only if you squint, are cross-eyed and have poor vision.
He sports a slender build, somewhat anime-inspired aesthetics, almost robotic in appearance. I love the modern update to his iconic visor. There’s some really fine details on the back and a nice matte and glossy contrast on the front.
As I mentioned before, this guy come with several sets of hands/gloves which seem to use the same basic mold as some of the previous thousand toys figures like the anti-carb. You get a pair of flat hands, fists, gripping hands for holding his sword and knife and trigger hands for holding his gun.
His sword and gun fits his hands perfectly but for the shoulder knife, you’ll need to pop on the larger grip in order for it to fit. I’m not sure why the handle was made separately but perhaps it was initially an aesthetic choice as the scale does look a little out of whack with the larger grip attached.
One thing that is truly confusing is that Snake Eyes comes with a set of really nice looking grenades, held in their own dedicated holster…
However, he lacks a hand that can really hold them well. The best I could do was lay it on the flat open palm. It seems odd to go through the trouble of making them detachable and accessible to play with, but not give Snake a way to use them directly.
On a similar note, Snake Eyes comes with a holster with those two extra magazines for his sub machine gun. They look cool, but the mag in the gun isn’t removable so they’ve got nowhere to go. Other than posing him as if hes about to change clips.. its another accessory that is practically unusable for anything other than aesthetics.
I hate to continue this trend of gripes but as long as I’m here, I might as well get them out of the way. The holster clips that hold both the magazines and grenades are a pain in the nut buckets. They look great when they’re in place and function really well holding their intended accessories… however, during the shoot I was having an incredibly difficult time keeping them attached to his belt. They sorta clip with a half loop “c” over the top of the belt but don’t actually attach securely. Bumping them knocks them right off. Now maybe Im not a patient man, but trying to put them back on and keep them there while posing Snake Eyes was a personal hell for me. I ended up getting so annoyed I simply left them off. In fact, you can probably see that the majority of the photos in this review are absent of them. Now you know why.
Moving on… The first time you see Snake Eyes, what will probably stand out to you is the awesome looking armor 1000toys designed to cover the front and back of his torso. Theres some design hints that echo a rib cage along with some more chunky aspects that deliver a more armored look than what I’ve seen on the character before.
Here’s a spot I’m torn. I love the look and design of the armor, something I can say for the entire figure… but I am a little confused as to why there isn’t a cut in there somewhere to allow for some waist or ab crunch movement. I mean, this is a figure from a company that’s known for it’s highly articulated figures. It’s a big part of what sets them apart from the Hot Toys of the world.
To limit the articulation of this figure so much due to a solid piece of armor is the stuff conflicted emotions are made of. Adding a cut may compromise the consistent look of the armor, however without any waist mobility, it really limits the kind of cool poses you can get with Snake Eyes… who as we all know, is a ninja… making cool poses is kind of his whole deal.
The rest of the armor bits echo the torso and all look great. You probably notice there doesn’t look like there’s much in the way of paint detail on his armor (or anywhere on Snake for that matter) but there’s actually quite a bit of subtle, well done weathering. Several nicks and scratches as well as small logos/icons adorn the armored parts here and there to break up the black. Despite what I’d consider a slight anorexic silhouette on the guy, aesthetically I’m really digging the way he looks, even more so in hand than from the promo pics.
The fabric elements of his outfit feel like a real improvement over the last clothed figure from 1000toys we reviewed. His pants actually seem to be made of two different types of material. One part is a very thin fabric almost like nylon, the other appears to be a soft rubber-like material. It’s hard to tell exactly what it is, but it definitely has a nice texture to it.
I think an unavoidable affect when putting clothing on the Synthetic Human base body is that the clothing is going to hang a little oddly simply because it’s over such a thin under-body. You’ll notice it most around the waist, where it’s bunched up like sweatpants around a skeleton. Companies like Hot Toys use more muscular base bodies with most of their figures but also very often fashion a “fat suit” to layer in there so they can bulk up a figure even more to get the look as close to true-life proportions as possible. Of course, the more padding, the more limited the articulation, a trade-off Hot Toys fans have had to deal with for years.
The last part I’ll touch on real quick is the fact that you can take off his helmet “shell” just like every other 1000toys figure I know of and there’s a creepy skull face there to stare back at you. This one is cool flat black with big white scary bug eyes.
Snake Eyes, one of my favorite characters, from one of my favorite toy lines, newly designed by one of my favorite toy companies… is a bit of a mixed bag with a few knocks that missed the mark for me. What hurts is that most of these little aggravates seem like they’d been relatively easy to address (though potentially pricey on the engineering sides of things) and would have taken this toy from a pretty cool figure to something really amazing.
I don’t want to come across as negative, so let me be clear that I really do like this figure.
I definitely love the aesthetic they captured, the way Snake Eyes looks. The promo shots caught my attention, but I wasn’t really “sold” on him until I had him in hand. I also want to be sure to note that even without waist/torso movement, you can still get some striking poses out of him… as he can flawlessly wield his sword and gun for combat. Just leave the grenades in their holders and you’ll be happy.
It really all comes down to what is most important to you in a figure/collectible. As I stated at the beginning of this review, articulation has always been of the utmost importance to me… so my enjoyment of any given figure is going to be swayed by how well it does in that area. In the end, if you like snake eyes and you like the design 1000toys came up with, I think you’re really going to enjoy the figure. Just keep in mind there will be a few limitations in areas where you may not be used to having limitations, particularly for a 1000toys figure. Snake eyes is currently available for preorder on their website. I believe they offer free shipping worldwide. If you’re liking what you see and trying to decide whether or not to pounce, I recommend grabbing him now and worry about the rest later. I’m sure like previous 1000toys figures, once he’s gone he’ll be tough to track down for a fair price
1000Toys continues to innovate on and expand what they offer. They’re kicking butt out there in toy land by picking up exciting new licenses and collaborations… even pushing into Hideo Kojima territory. Here’s a shot of some prototypes from that collab they showed off recently.
My point is, they’re getting bigger and badder every year. I can’t wait to see what they come out with next.
- Very cool/futuristic/unique design – he’ll stand out on your shelf
- Great looking sword and sub-machine gun
- A nice allotment of hands and accessories
- Love the gauntlet claws… very fun to play with
- Other than the torso area, fantastic articulation throughout. You’ll be able to make the most of what the figure’s base body has to offer
- Torso armor basically eliminates any articulation from the torso to his waist
- Grenades cannot be held by any of his hands
- SMG clip is not removable/swap-able, spare clips are for aesthetics only
- The belt clips loop over the belts and are difficult to keep on/frustrating to put back on once they fall off
Thank you to Yuta and everyone 1000 toys for sending me the sample to review. As always, I really appreciate it.
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