First of all, I have to give Barbecue17 a HUGE thanks for all of his help writing reviews as of late. I've gotten some product late, I've been short on time, so between him and Mysterious Stranger, the site has still been able to keep pretty yp to datee which is terrific. Barbecue did a great job reviewing the Paratrooper Snake Eyes, but because it's somewhat of a milestone, I wanted to put my two cents in as well. A milestone, you ask? What could be so defining about this figure, mostly a rehash (and a somewhat uninspired one at that)? Well, it defines the last official "Sigma 6" item that will appear on retail shelves.

At Toy Fair '07, Hasbro verified that the Sigma 6 "theme" was fading away, moving to a more generic "G.I. Joe" branding, taking advantage of the marketability of that name. As a G.I. Joe fan I will NEVER complain about the brand getting more focus on store shelves, but I must admit I was a bit bummed about the whole Sigma 6 identity being pushed aside. I loved the Sigma Suits, I loved the storyline behind it, I really loved a lot of the pseudo science fiction elements that Sigma 6 brought to the table (while still maintaining a pretty decent real world feel). With a movement to a more generic "G.I. Joe" brand, we're losing some of that (though, thankfully, not much). A lot of the figures are a lot more military in nature and design, which makes for some great design aesthetic, though I still have an affinity for the Sigma 6 name. What is probably the most unfortunate thing is not the "Sigma 6"'s the "COBRA" aspect. Since moving from Sigma 6 to "G.I. Joe" it seems as if a stronger focus has been placed on the good guys, and even as the Commando series moves on to the whole "Dark Ninja Master" thing, the great COBRA element is being somewhat phased out. No BAT's, no overt COBRA influences (in fact, no COBRA's mentioned whatsoever in Adventure Team or Combat Squad) and Storm Shadow seems to be the main bad guy here. Thankfully it looks like we will be getting a decent Destro and a new COBRA Commander in the later waves this year, but still, there is a much stronger attention being paid to the good guys.

I am happy to say, though, that even with the name fading out, the spirit and style of Sigma 6 is still going on fairly strong. Figures like Flint, Lockdown, Gung Ho, Commando Snake Eyes, etc... are all bringing in a heavy military influence, but are still really moving forward with the Sigma 6 feeling and style, which is terrific. Those folks who want to continue the whole Sigma storyline still have figures to play that out with. No real loss there.

So here we are...Paratrooper Snake Eyes, representing the last of the "Sigma 6" name...the last offering from that short, but sweet mythos. As we move on, the future of the 8" product in general looks a bit foggy, which is disappointing, but I'm certain there are reasons for it. G.I. Joe as a brand has survived for over forty years at this point in various incarnations, Sigma 6 and the 8" line in general were merely one small drop in the pond, but as a toyline it was different, exciting, and new. Even as the Sigma 6 name goes away, the style and sculpting has remained top notch to this day. Whatever happens in the future, it's been a great run for the past two years, and everyone who has been involved in the production of these toys deserves our thanks, our kudos, and our appreciation for these fantastic toys we've gotten. Great work, Hasbro, here's to looking forward...

Now that that's out of the way, let's move on to the review from barbecue17...


What a drought, huh?  The time between the second Commando Wave of the year and the first appearances of the new Soldier figures was an entirely too long and too brutal wait for most Sigma fans.  A good few months passed with no mass releases, although there were two products exclusive that made it to the shelf.  One of those was the elusive Ninja Tracker ATV with Snake Eyes, an item which many Sigma 6 fans believed was canceled.  The second product available was Ninja Paratrooper Snake Eyes, a Wal-Mart exclusive that appeared to be almost as elusive as the identity of the iconic ninja master himself.  This review covers Ninja Paratrooper Snake Eyes.
As far as figures go, Ninja Paratrooper Snake Eyes really does not bring a whole lot of new material to the table.  The figure comes packaged in a window box, very similar to Paratrooper Duke, and includes a DVD with season 2 episode 4, “Ambush,” and a digest sized reprint of the Sigma 6 comic issue #1.  The figure’s accessories are all reused, the DVD episode is one we have seen before, and most likely those of us interested have already picked up the issue when it was first released.  Still, the package proved irresistible to me since I have to have everything. Thanks to my good buddy Maxpower, I was able to snag one, so here are my thoughts.

The figure:

 Honestly, there is not really much more to say about the Snake Eyes sculpt.  We have seen this figure many times before and with all of the new Snake Eyes figures coming out that really mix things up and do something new, this one really does not stand out.  It is still a great figure, it just does not give you the feeling of excitement that something offering a new sculpt does.

The colors base colors on Snake Eyes are really similar to the Night Ops Snake Eyes, except reversed.  Instead of a gray base with black highlights, this Snake Eyes has a black base with some gray highlights.  The only thing that truly differentiates the two figures from the casual observer is the blue and bluish green details.  While it may seem a little odd that a ninja paratrooper would want to have bright blue details on his otherwise urban camouflaged equipment and outfit, the details really do make the figure stand out.  Kind of like Snake Eyes meets Lisa Frank. (google it if you don’t remember!)

 The blue details are only found on a few places on the figure, and add some nice mix to an otherwise dull paint scheme.  The lighter blue details on Snake Eyes’ thigh pads and shoulder pads are edged in a bluish green.  The edges of the paint on look to be a little sloppy, but that might just be my figure.  On Snake Eyes right chest, the Sigma 6 emblem appears in blue as well as the symbol of the Arashikage ninja clan.  It is a cool little detail, and being that the figure is a paratrooper, just happens to call to mind issue #21 of the Marvel comic series where the Arashikage symbol was first revealed to be on the forearms of both Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow!

Tech Specs:

One of the benefits of Paratrooper Duke was the amount of usable gear he came with.  Some of the best weapons from the Sigma 6 line came with Paratrooper Duke, and they were all redone in a cool metallic blue color.  Snake Eyes comes with some cool gear as well, but he also comes with a few weapons that you probably already have too many of (Tonfa swords, I’m looking at you!)  All the gear retains the same basic paint scheme of Snake Eyes himself: black and gray with blue details.

First off, the parachute and the harness are a big selling point of this figure, and the chute is probably one of the reasons why this figure is somewhat expensive.  The chute is really nice and appears like it would really do its job.  The material is heavy, and colored in same dark bluish green color that is on the Snake Eyes figure, with a blue 6 in the middle.  The web gear Snake Eyes comes with is pretty similar to the web gear that came with Paratrooper Duke, except that the holsters for Duke’s Switchfire pistols are now missing.  Just to note, the web gear is based off of the web gear that initially came with Tunnel Rat v1.  It is molded in gray plastic, so should be of use to customizers who can get a hold of it.

As I mentioned earlier, Snake Eyes once again comes with two Tonfa swords.  I understand that a Snake Eyes figure should probably come with a sword of some kind, but does he always have to come with this same sword?  Why not the cool serrated sword that Jungle Snake Eyes came with, or one of Airglide Kamakura’s super cool swords?  Anyways, these swords don’t look bad at all.  The same goes for the short sword that originally came with Snake Eyes v1.  These might be the nicest paint jobs on Tonfa swords that I have seen, and believe me, I have seen a lot of Tonfa swords.

The armored leg protectors that originally came with Ninja Armor Snake Eyes are included here, and honestly they don’t do a lot for me.  First of all, they make little since for a paratrooper.  They just look heavy, and all this guy needs is to be dropped in the middle of nowhere with weight he doesn’t need.  Plus, they just don’t fit too well on the figure.  They are really loose, and have the tendency to fall off at the slightest breeze.

Now for the pieces of gear that I absolutely love: The silenced automatic rifle from Nina Armor Snake Eyes, and the night vision goggles and grenades from Night Ops Grenades.  I love the molds on all of these.  The rifle is one of my favorite accessories from the line, and looks like the perfect piece of equipment for a ninja commando like Snake Eyes.  It is silent and yet efficient, light weigh while still offering Snake Eyes everything he needs for a firefight.  The gun just flat out rocks and the new paint job on it is pretty good.  This thing just looks wicked slung across Snake Eyes’ torso as he is parachuting into action!

The goggles and the grenades were some of my favorite parts of the Night Ops Snake Eyes figure, and I am glad to see them reused here. (They are also reused in the new Combat Squad Shockwave figure!)  The grenades resemble either smoke grenades, gas grenades, flashbangs, or incendiary grenades.  They’re versatile, have pegs so they can be attached to web gear or sigma ports, and feature an interesting paint job.  The brighter blue doesn’t look too bad on a grenade.  Regardless, I am always willing to have a few more of these accessories around. 

The last accessory that Snake Eyes comes with is the night vision goggles.  They fit the figure great and look plain awesome when worn.  The blue highlights bring out some nice detail on them and help match the look of the rest of the figure.

Final Thoughts:

As you can tell from the review, the figure doesn’t really come with anything new.  If you’re looking for something new, looking for a definitive Snake Eyes, or only buying your favorite figures, you can probably give this guy a pass.  If you have to have everything or know a kid who likes Joe toys, this could be a good pick.  A kid would probably go nuts over this set.  It is a freaking ninja paratooper with guns, swords, grenades, a comic book, and a DVD!  What more could you want?

Being that this guy is a Wal-Mart exclusive that so far has not seen wide distribution, this might turn into something that becomes a bit of a rarity someday.  Should you go on E-bay and drop 100 bucks so that you can lock this figure away in a vault and pay for your retirement home someday?  Probably not.  Could this end up being one of those figures that is just a little more unusual and more difficult to find than all the rest?  Probably a safe bet on that, unless these guys start appearing at Wal-Marts like crazy laer this summer and fall.  Even though overall the figure is a little dull, the blue details on the figure and weapons do help Ninja Paratrooper Snake Eyes to stand out, which might be bad thing for this guy while out in the field, but is probably a good thing on your toy shelf! 














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