Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Cobra Commander v1 & v1.5 - GI Joe '82-'83

Like all the original GI Joe figures "Battle Helmet" Cobra Commander was released in a straight arm version in 1982 and a swivel battle grim version in 1983. Every time I look at these early goes I just think I'm so glad they added the swivel arm feature. It really did make the GI Joe figures so much more poseable. Who would have ever guested that when they created this nameless faceless villian in 1982 that people would still be making toys, comics, and movies about this character 30 years later.


Cobra Commander wears a blue military dress uniform with a large Cobra logo on the front. His identity is covered by a blue helmet with a silver face mask. The entire figure mold (except the head) would later be reused for a hooded version of the Commander


Cobra Commander comes with a dark gray hand gun tha is often described as a hair dryer. The coolest thing about the gun is that his back is molded to allow the gun to be stored on his back. This is a pretty unique feature in a line of over 500 figures only a few can have their weapons attached to their bodies.

Unfortunately my swivel arm Cobra Commander has yellowed quite a bit with age. I used him as one of three main villains in my stop motion animated series Action Figure Adventures. My friend Don Langsdorf provided a very funny voice for the character.


In addition to the two styles of arms  Cobra Commander was released with, there are also two versions of the straight arm figure. Very early samples of Cobra Commander's logo was not very clean looking. These figures are lovingly called Mickey Mouse Cobra Commanders and command a higher price (ha ha... pun intended). Quickly the logo was changed to the one we all know an love today.


In 2004 my entire family went to Joe Con in Florida as a day trip while visiting my Grandparents. My sister remembered that I was looking for a straight armed Cobra Commander at the convention and tried to get me one at Christmas time. At some point she emailed me a description asking if it was what I was looking for. I told her yes, and then I pasted the description into ebay. The auction came up an the Straight Armed Commander she was bidding on was actually a miss listed Mickey Mouse Commander. So I watched her win the auction because I wanted to jump in if she bailed out before it reach a decent price for a Mickey Mouse Commander. My sister won the auction, gave it to me for Christmas, and I told her how much more awesome this figure was than what she thought she was buying for me.

12 comments:

  1. Your Cobra Commander looks like my Shipwreck, He is just like new with tight joints and perfect paint but has turned an odd color.Very cool to have the Mickey Mouse version. Iv never owned one, well I guess I possibly could have thinking about the number of them with no symbol left on there chest Iv owned.

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  2. Much prefer swivel arm. They are great! But even the new 2008 joes are so awesome too.

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    1. Oh yeah, the modern figures are great too. I just mean that addition of the swivel arm allowed for two hand poses and much more dynamic poses.

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  3. It's interesting to me that most of the Joe knockoff lines kept the straight arm configuration. I wonder if it was too costly for them to replicate.

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    1. I think it makes the upper arm take 3 different pieces that must be assembled instead of just one part.

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  4. Nice! Am sort of partial to the later released battle armor one but the helmet one is always good too.

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  5. LOL I'm starting to believe that you own 10 of every action figure ever created, Kevin. And I mean ever, that includes the Mesopotamia age.

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    1. ha ha ha. I have a shit ton of toys, but I know people who have way more. When I was in High School and College I really focused on collecting GI Joe and Star Wars figures. I buy lots of stuff at flea markets and yard sales so I get go deals a lot of the time.

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  6. Love the new header BTW ;)

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    1. Oh, thanks! I Designed the AFA logo in college for the stop motion show. But the only image I had was a pretty low-res one. I recently spent some time in photoshop creating enlarging/cleaning it up to create a hi-res version. Then I cut it up to create the long banner instead of the 2-line rectangle.

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