Every once in a great while, everything comes together with the latest toy or product that you've purchased. We've all had our share of "buyer's remorse" when something doesn't keep quite the same shine the next day as it did, or when something doesn't quite have the functions and features that we thought it might. Nothing is worse than investing some hard earned money into something only to find that it doesn't have everything you thought it did, and wished it did.

But then there are those days that you find the perfect deal. Some toy from an obscure line on clearence that you didn't know about. Some missing piece of the toy puzzle that you had been oblivious to, but that now you'd suddenly discovered. Even that DVD player you invested in that has more features than you initially thought. Those are some of the most rewarding times to be a collector.

When I first heard about the Adventure Team concept, I must admit I was not sold. I was pretty big on the military element to G.I. Joe and didn't really see these guys as "adventurers" more as soldiers. Not only that, but the idea of animals to go along with them also didn't rock my world. Even back in the old 3 3/4" days I found little use for Junkyard, Timber, and Order...I preferred my Joes take on the COBRA threat with their own skills and their own weapons. When we finally started seeing some pictures of these Adventure Team items, though, my hopes rose a bit. The figure designs were actually pretty darn cool, and the animals looked great. We were still getting weapons, still getting a decent amount of gear, and best of all, still getting some great looking toys. Maybe this wouldn't be so bad...

Boy was that an understatement. After first seeing the Pyramid of Peril set at Toy Fair in February, I finally got my hands on one here in the beginning of July...and from top to bottom, this is one of the finest toys I've gotten in a long, long time.

First of all, I won't begin to recommend this to everyone, because you have to have an appreciation for the 8" style to really get into it. But if you like the 8" figures, I can find absolutely NO reasons not to recommend the Adventure Team toys, at least based on my experience with the Pyramid of Peril set. As I've said, sometimes a toy just comes together...the packaging, the inserts, the weaponry, and of course, the figure itself. Sometimes there are great figures, but sketchy packaging...sometimes there is a beautiful box, but shoddy plastic inside. Every once in a great while you get something that feels almost revolutionary in every element, and the Adventure Team is it, at least to me.

I've mentioned the box already...if you want to see the true "Beauty of the Box" click here.

Now that raving about the great display possibilities of the box is over, how are the toys inside? Simply terrific. Absolutely what toys are meant to be... fun!

The Snake Eyes figure is a pretty sold departure from what we've seen of Snake Eyes so far in the Sigma 6 era. Gone is his familar visor, Uzi, and Tonfa swords. No skintight ninja suit or elaborate face masks. This Snake Eyes is pretty much rebuilt from the ground up, and he looks great.

His head sculpt his quite reminiscent of the original version we got back in 2005, with a pretty straight forward ski mask look, and wide openings for the eyes. It should be noted here that unlike his version 1, he doesn't have the scarring around his eyes here, which is a little bit strange, but there isn't much skin showing, so I guess it's not a huge deal.

The sculpting of the body itself is where you really get into the beauty of this figure. The musculature still gets a little bit exagerrated, but for the most part, it is sculpted excellently, which each muscle being well defined underneath his cool new bodysuit. Snake Eyes' suit has almost a leather/rubber look to it, very similar to the Batman suit you tend to see in the movies. I really love this look and it gives him some bulk, yet makes him stand out a bit from some of the other figures. The little details are really the best ones, though...small things like the vest over his shoulders, and even a tiny zipper under his neck, which is evidently how he seals himself inside this skin tight outfit.

The green and black thin padding over his forearms and around his waist also look very cool, and just have this texture to them that I can't quite figure out. I just know it looks really great. The color combination is also something new for Snake Eyes, with a lighter gray and green mix, but I find myself loving those colors quite a bit. They look really striking, even though they're slightly different than your standard Commando fare.

The Kung Fu Grip on Snake Eyes looks to be the same that was used on Gung Ho, which is fine with me, since that was my favorite KFG action of any figure I've seen so far. The spring is tight, the fist closes securely, and he can grip pretty much any weapon with ease. Combine that with the overall texture of the glove itself, and it makes for a very nice feature.

Even without his gear, from his padded arms, to his miniature vest, to his slightly baggy pants with awesome pouches, and those modified ninja boots, this version of Snake Eyes ranks in the top 1 or 2 versions of this character that we've gotten in 8" form. I love seeing a different take on the Joe Commando and Ninja, and the way this Adventure Team version is executed is about as good as it gets. I can't really put my finger on why I love the design aesthetic so much, I just know that I do. From head to toe, this is just a great, GREAT looking figure.

But as we all know, these 8" toys are also defined by their accessories, and yes, that is yet another area in which the Adventure Team shines. I will, of course, go into full detail about the accessories in the Tech Specs section, but for a general report keep reading!

Usually even in the best toys I can find a spot that I think a few corners were cut or some features were trimmed down, just for cost sake. I honestly can't find much evidence of that here. Snake Eyes comes with a vast arsenal of gear, including a grappling hook/zipline (that hooks through his belt so he can repel, too), two flashlights, binoculars, an amulet, a nice hooded mask, a sword, and a shotgun. He is LOADED. That doesn't even count the fully articulated king cobra, or the pedastal and jewel. There is a ton of cool stuff in here, more than enough to make your own "adventure".

The real beauty, though, is how interactive it all is. Place the jewel on the pedestal, then raise the switch in back. Remove it, and you trigger a "Trap" that swings those two swords together. Feed the grappling line through the belt buckle, and Snake Eyes can hang on it, or slip the pully/zipline over the cable and send him soaring. The string is nice and long and has two great hooks (one on each end) which give you some nice versatility for using it.

Then you have the snake, which I wasn't excited about originally, but I have come to appreciate. It has several different articulation segments, which allows you to put it in all sorts of various poses and positions. It can be slithering, or raised up, preparing to strike. A very cool accessory that will look great at COBRA Commander's side. The belt also has a Sigma port on the left side to hold his sword, and a hook for one of his flashlights. Putting it simply, he's got tons of gear, most of it functional, just what you want from your 8" figure.

From the top of the packaging, to the inserts, the accessories, and the figure itself, you don't get much better than the Adventure Team "Pyramid of Peril" with Snake Eyes. It's got great presentation, a whole lot of play value, and a striking design. I highly, highly recommend this piece, it's about as good as you can get in the toy world these days. Whether you're a MIB collector, loose display collector, a kid, or a loose "play" collector, this set will appeal to everyone. Fantastic.














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