Fitz’s Toy Chest #7: Cobra Commander

Hey gang thanks for joining me for another look into musty toy collection!

So far in this series I’ve covered a couple of Star Wars mail-away figures.  This time I’m sticking with that theme but switching franchises!

In 1982, the first wave of G.I. Joe figures only offered 2 figures for the Joes to fight, a Cobra soldier and a Cobra “officer”. They basically looked identical with just a slight difference in their paint schemes.

Then Hasbro pulled a Kenner and introduced the first G.I. Joe mail in figure.  And it was a DOOZY.  No longer were these two hapless Cobra soldiers running around the battlefield willy nilly, now you could add their supreme leader to the fight!

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I can remember he arrived packed in just a clear plastic bag with his file card.  No cardback or bubble.  Which I should’ve mentioned in the previous mail in posts was the standard for these things.  No fancy packaging whatsoever.

Cobra Commander
Company: Hasbro
Acquisition Year: 1982
Acquired via: Mail-in
Years In Possession: 36

This figure was a bold departure from the color schemes they had been using on these guys. Up until now they had been all greens and browns and navy blues.  But this cat came kitted up in a bright, almost baby, blue dress uniform.

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But what really made him cool was that mirrored face plate.  Unfortunately, it was around this same time that scratch off lottery tickets and other “scratch off” items were getting popular and to my stupid 9 year old brain I thought OH SHIT I wonder if you can scratch that silver off and reveal his real face?  Dumbass.  So that’s why mine is missing some of the silver paint.  Spoilers: there’s nothing underneath it.

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You can also see this one has the chest emblem that was only available on the mail in version of the figure.  Later they did put this guy out as part of other sets and as a carded figure, but the chest logo was tightened up and looks a lot smoother.

I also discovered a bit of trivia while looking up the history of this figure.  This was the last Joe figure to be made with the “straight arm” design, after that all the figures changed over to the swivel arm battle grip.

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Another cool feature of this figure was a unique channel on his back where you could snap his gun in and have him carry it on his back.  Mine never really stayed in place, and was lost to the ages.

This is one of my most prized Joes, and is one of the more rare and valuable loose figures around.  There were a couple of times I nearly parted with this figure during a figure swap of some kind with my cousin who was also way into G.I. Joe (possibly even more than I was).  I was very lucky not to have let this one go.  And even though his face is marred, shockingly his thumbs are still solidly intact!

That’s going to do it for another edition of Fitz’s Toy Chest!  Thanks for reading.  Come back in 2 weeks for another trip to the 80s!

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