I've always been a fan of urban warfare and close quarters combat, and I'm really glad that Hasbro decided to include a MOUT (Military Operations on Urban Terrain) theme into their Pursuit of Cobra line.
I've already confessed my love for the POC Desert Battle figures, but recent acquisitions are now slowly tipping the scales in favor of the City Strike figs. I'm not wild about the re-painted Alley-Viper, but the likes of Destro, Firefly, Beachhead, Low-Light, and the Cobra Shock Trooper are all top-notch figures for me.
This Cobra Shock Trooper figure is simply amazing! There are a few things that keep it from being perfect, but overall, I think that this figure is one of the best 1:18 figures ever made. And for me, that says a lot.
The sculpt is completely new, and it is a damn good one at that! Hasbro really captured the SWAT (Special Weapons And Tactics) look with the figure's sculpt, and the limited paint applications definitely worked well for the figure. Sometimes, less is really more. Sporting dark shades of blue and black, with some bits of silver, grey, and red, this Cobra trooper surely seems to know how to dress the part.
Articulation is great, as what you would normally expect from a G3 (Generation 3) G.I. Joe figure, with the welcome addition of the pegged-and-hinged wrist joints. Up-down movement of the head is somewhat limited due to the head sculpt.
Speaking of the head, it's one thing that doesn't go well with the figure. The masked face looks great, but instead of ending at the jaw and chin, the sculpt continues down to the open end of the hood/balaclava, making the figure look very long-necked with or without the vest on. It's really odd that Hasbro decided to give this figure this kind of a melon.
Moving on to the good stuff, the Cobra Shock Trooper is absolutely loaded with accessories, pretty much looking like a Pit Commando counterpart. His gear includes a three-piece headgear composed of a helmet, a full-face gas mask,and a pair of goggles. The goggles are too large to fit over the figure's eyes, being designed to only fit over the helmet (similar to Dusty's). The mask, though designed to be worn with the helmet, fits over the face on its own incredibly well.
The Cobra Shock Trooper also has a well-sculpted tactical vest that features a drag handle at the back. Cobra cares for its troops after all. This bad boy also has a handheld radio (that plugs into a hole at the lower back of the vest), a riot shield, a beautiful assault rifle, a shotgun, a sub-machine gun, a pistol, a sledgehammer, and a pair of stun batons. It would have been great if the figure came with a functional backpack similar to that of Low-Light's or Firefly's, as this figure obviously can not carry even half of his issued accessories, but as it is, the figure still commands a lot of respect. You just can't keep a good figure down, I guess. The figure also comes with the requisite display stand which features two foot pegs.
The goofy head and the inability to carry all of his accessories at once are the only things that keep this figure from being perfect. This figure is a must-have, and I can definitely see myself buying several more of this bad boy!
With the Alley-Vipers already established as Cobra's default urban assault troops, many Joe fans wonder what role the Shock Trooper plays and fills up, but for me, that's a non-issue. Heck, you can give away your army of Alley-Vipers now, 'cause the Cobra Shock Troopers are taking over the streets!