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He’ll Fight For Freedom… (pt.2) — Desert Assault Squad Review

October 19, 2008

EXTREME CONDITIONS PACK (1 of 2): COBRA DESERT ASSAULT SQUAD

This review covers the first of two online exclusive multipacks both of which have hostile environment themes. The figures are mostly an amalgamation of parts from previously released figures, and many of the combinations are very creative. In my review of these figures, I will break down as much as possible where the re-used parts come from before giving my thoughts on the pros and cons of the figure as a whole.

Flamethrower Specialist — Cobra Trooper

1) Cobra Trooper — Flamethrower Specialist

  • Head: Cobra Viper (w7)
  • Body: Barbecue (w9)
  • Flamethrower/Gas Tank: Dreadnok Torch (cp w2)
  • Rifle: Cobra Officer (w2)

A great looking figure with an imaginative use of accessories. The only flaw is that the flamethrower’s cord makes it difficult to be placed in the figure’s hand, which is molded too wide to begin with so he really can’t get a firm grip on the weapon’s handle. He also looks slightly weird without the Viper’s goggles, but they wouldn’t makes sense here. And finally, he also has difficulty holding onto his rifle; I wonder if Hasbro could have used the Cobra Officer hands instead. ***

2) Crimson Guard — Desert Infantry

  • Body: Crimson Guard (cp w4)

The multipack comes with two of these figures which are both straight-up repaints of the Wave 4 Comic Pack figure. The color palette maintains the desert theme with mainly tan and brown hues. An excellent figure to begin with, you can’t go wrong here. The removable helmets are a plus. The only drawback, which is the same drawback as the original figure, is that the pistol does not fit snugly in the thigh-holster. You definitely are better off keeping the rubber-band on in order to not lose this small accessory. **1/2

3) Cobra Trooper — Hostile Environment Specialist

  • Head/Helmet: Cobra Air-Trooper (w4)
  • Torso/Arms/Thighs: Sgt. Flash (w5)
  • Waist: H.I.S.S. Driver (w7)
  • Lower Legs: New
  • Gas Tank/Pistol: Barbecue (w9)
  • Rifle: New

This figure is all about accessories! Definitely the coolest looking in this set and easily my favorite, he also comes with a Cobra Trooper helmet in case those environments aren’t so hostile. Besides the swappable helmets, you can also remove the clip on the rifle. Once again, the only flaw would be that his left hand is too wide to properly hold his weapons; best to use the little rubber-band again. ****

4) Major Bludd — Mercenary

  • Head/Right Arm: Major Bludd (w8)
  • Torso/Waist: H.I.S.S. Driver (w7)
  • Left Arm: Cobra Trooper (w2)
  • Thighs: Cobra Commander (w1)
  • Lower Legs: Snake-Eyes (w7)
  • Weapons: Major Bludd (w8)
  • Scarf: New

While I never had problems with the previous version of Major Bludd and its re-use of Zartan’s body, I must say that this remix version is far better and feels more accurate to the original and much leaner than the carded version. Also, the scarf is optional so you can see the Major’s pearly whites. The problems with this figure are the same as those found on the Wave 8 version: an elbow that doesn’t articulate, and rockets that are too loose in the backpack and are in danger of being lost. Otherwise, I like this figure better than the single-carded release, and I dig the scarf accessory. ***

5) Cobra Trooper — Explosives Specialist

  • Head/Upper Body: Cobra Officer (w1)
  • Vest/Legs: Cobra Viper (w7)
  • Mine-Detector/Backpack: Tripwire (cp w5)
  • Rifle: Dreadnok Ripper

Other than being the first African-American Cobra soldier in this line, this figure’s re-use of parts makes him look pretty cool. It’s a good mix, though I’m not sure the explosives expert would need the rifle with a big blade on it. The only flaw here is the same as on Tripwire in that the mine-detector’s handle does not fit well in the figure’s hand. Don’t throw away those tiny rubber-bands! **1/2

6) Cobra Officer — Desert Specialist Officer

  • Body: Cobra Officer (w1)
  • Backpack: Firefly (cp w4)
  • Rifle: Cobra Officer (cp w4)

Another straight-up repaint utilizing the Cobra Officer; this time he comes with a cool backpack accessory that opens up to reveal several smaller items: a pair of pliers, potable water tank, a bundle of explosives, and a flashlight. If it weren’t for the accessories, this figure would be pretty ho-hum. Easily the least interesting of the bunch. **

Overall a great set for army builders that gives each figure their own speciality; this keeps it more interesting than the Toys R’ Us exclusive Troop Builders. The paint scheme is a little drab, but in keeping with the desert theme. What’s also cool is that the file cards are also new rather than repeating information found on previous releases. I definitely recommend getting this set to expand your Cobra army.

Next up, a review of set 2, the Cobra Arctic Assault Squad.

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