Considering who the Sigma 6 line is aimed at, we, as collectors, simply have to get used to the idea of recurring versions of the same characters over and over. Current retail climate dicates that toys must be released in "wave" format to verify sellthrough, and if the manufacturers want the fan favorite characters on the pegs at all times, we just have to continue seeing versions of these characters released time and time again. I don't like it, but I understand and accept it and realize there isn't really anything we can do to change this fact. It's just what we'll have to deal with.

That being said, this version of Snake Eyes is really the first duplicate figure released of an existing character that comes across as kind of non-essential. The Sea Ops Duke was actually a great figure with some nice uses...I mean underwater gear is really pretty invaluable to your basic special missions force. But Snake Eyes with this ubiquitous "Ninja Armor" doesn't seem nearly as necessary, and unfortunately comes across as somewhat of a "fluff figure", unlike the previous Duke. While Duke's cool goggles, mini-sub, and other assorted gear was some versatile and useful equipment for almost everyone, Snake Eyes' "Ninja Armor" really doesn't fit (meaning, it doesn't have a purpose necessarily), and just seems to be new for the sake of being new. That doesn't mean it isn't cool, but it just seems unnecessary.

The base figure is the same figure we got as Snake Eyes in Wave 1. He's got that same funky slender body style and almost seems to have more exaggerated animated features than the other Sigma 6 members, too. The colors are very similar, with only some green tiger-stripe type decos here and there. The jagged green stripes are actually kind of neat, but are just a little added color which provides little real functionality.

It's quite obvious that the main draw for this figure lies within the new armor additions...unfortunately as cool as this new armor is, there is little about it that really makes it necessary and makes this figure a "must buy".

We'll start off with Snake Eyes' new helmet design. Personally, I LOVE this look for Snake Eyes. The visor/helmet combination really comes together quite nicely and still gives you a strong "Snake Eyes" feel. It looks like it provides a lot of great protection for his head and face, yet still manages to be sleek and somewhat stylish. The rest of his armor is the same way. His chestplate is nicely angled and joined together by strong elastic straps, and has some cool designs throughout. His shoulder pads and shin guards continue this theme, and you really end up with kind of a medievil look to him, which as strange as it might sound, actually is pretty effective. You would have thought a samauri or oriental look would work better for him, but even here, with almost a "Knight" look, the armored componants are pretty neat and seem to offer some protection as well as being appealing to the eye.

Another important aspect is how well the armor stays secured. In too many cases some cool accessories or armor has ended up hurt by not staying put well enough to be played with, and usually the more elaborate the armor is, the less likely it is to work well during play. I'm pretty happy to report that Snake Eyes' armor actually works pretty well and the elastics combine with small rubber pegs to provide a decent amount of security and are able to hold the armor plating in place pretty well. While it looks pretty neat with that dramatic angled slope, the chestplate does end up kind of sticking out a bit over the stomach, and not really lying flush. It's a minor gripe, but one I feel like I should mention, since that armor in particular seems to rely on elastics and not really on pegs to hold it in place. The shinguards even add another nice little element to the figure with some flip out blades that could potentially cause some havok with enemy troops.

Beyond the armor itself is the highlight of the figure, the "air brake" backpack and weapons. While the spear doesn't really work well for me necessarily, and the tri-blade sword almost seems too gimmicky, the machine gun and backpack are flat out awesome. The design and execution of the "air brakes" and just how the machine gun looks really brings some much needed coolness to the figure. It's great to see Snake Eyes toting around something other than an Uzi, and the gun still looks very "commando" style and very cool. I really love the firearm. His backpack is fairly sleek and effective, and the spring action of the air brakes is pretty neat overall. The end result is a souped up Snake Eyes that looks like he could take on an army of B.A.T.s all by his lonesome. Of course, full details will be in the tech specs section.

So man, sounds like a can't miss, huh?

Not really. Is the armor cool? Yeah, it really is. Are the weapons and the backpack neat? Sure. Does this all add up to a figure worth the $15.00 price tag? I don't think so, no. As cool as this armor is, it is ultimately frivolous and unnecessary. The figure ends up looking somewhat bulky, even though his articulation moves well, and while the overall design and implementation works on some levels, it is still ultimately a $15.00 set of armor, and isn't worth that coin, I don't think. I do like it, but it's not really useful. Equipping a duplicate Soldier Asst. figure with some accessories that others could potentially use is one thing, and isn't nearly as painful. But dropping $15.00 for some armor that would look kinda silly on anyone else and isn't your typical special forces equipment kind of leaves a sour taste in your mouth.

Ultimately, this figure is pretty neat...but it doesn't really work as a default Snake Eyes, and the extra armor, while cool, doesn't validate a $15.00 price tag. All around, it is a mixed bag, because for $15.00, I'd rather have a new character or at least a more useful accessory compliment. It doesn't help that Snake Eyes really isn't one of my favorite characters, and this particular figure isn't among the best either. I'd say you can pretty safely avoid purchasing this figure and really not feel like you missed out on much. I can't say that for COBRA Commander or Long Range, but this one...yeah, it's safe to take a pass.

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