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… Wherever There’s Trouble… (pt.2) — Arctic Assault Squad Review

October 20, 2008

EXTREME CONDITIONS PACK (2 of 2): COBRA ARCTIC ASSAULT SQUAD

This review covers the figures found in the second set of the online exclusive multipacks. In my opinion, this is the better set of the two mainly because it contains the debut of Scrap-Iron, albeit in winter-blue tones; also, I find the Snow Serpents and Vipers more visually interesting than the Crimson Guards and Cobra Troopers of the Desert Assault Squad. Finally, they come with a ton of cool accessories which elevates these figures from just being re-packaged and repainted toys (I’m looking at you Star Wars and Transformers!).

1) Cobra Viper — Heavy Weapons Trooper

  • Head: Cobra Viper (w7)
  • Upper Body: Roadblock (w8)
  • Lower Body: Copperhead (cp w4)
  • Weapons: Snow Serpent (w9) / Roadblock (w8) / Copperhead (cp w4)

An interesting re-use of parts combining the upper half of a G.I. Joe member with the lower half and head of Cobra figures, the Heavy Weapons Trooper makes for a visually stunning toy. The color scheme here really works in favor of the Cobra trooper. This guy also comes with a bunch of weapons to choose from, though I prefer to keep him mobile without the machine gun. The only perceptible flaw is that he inherits the wide hands of Roadblock, has difficulty holding weapons, and has shirt sleeves that are painted on rather than molded. ***

2) Snow Serpent Officer — Polar Assault Officer

  • Body/Accessories: Snow Serpent (w9)
  • Gun: Cobra Commander (w6)

While this is pretty much a straight-forward repaint of the Snow Serpent figure, there are enough differences to make him stand out. First of all, the obvious difference is that the fur trim around his collar and on his gauntlets are brown. Other paint differences include his goggles are tinted yellow, his web gear and boots are dark grey instead of the standard blue, and his face mask is blue instead of dark grey. By simply reversing the standard colors, we get a unique looking figure. Overall a great figure except for the snow-shoes. While it’s definitely cool that he can wear them on the figure stand, the peg is not long enough to really secure him to the stand so he can fall off if you’re not too careful. This flaw is minor since it doesn’t detract from his looks are playability. ***

3) Snow Serpent Trooper — Polar Combat Specialist

  • Body/Accessories: Snow Serpent (w9)

Not even a repaint, just a repackaged Snow Serpent with a new file card, this figure, as cool as he is, doesn’t feel fresh in comparison to the others in this set. He’s not the worst of the bunch, but I wish they gave him a little more flavor to be unique within this set. Maybe if they tinted his goggles or put highlights in his uniform or something. Anyway, the damned snow-shoe flaw rears its ugly head; and for some reason, my Snow Serpent has wobbly knees. I also wish the goggles could flip down to cover his eyes. That would be awesome. **

4) Scrap-Iron — Anti-Armor Specialist

  • Head: New
  • Upper Body: Cobra Officer (w1)
  • Vest/Lower Body/Weapons: Firefly (cp w4)

This guy kicks major ass. First of all, he re-uses Firefly’s body from the Comic Pack which looked bad-ass then and still looks bad-ass. He comes with his old trusty anti-tank cannon and remote; the only difference being the legs have been retooled to be one piece instead of two interlocking pieces. And he has a removable visor! That’s right. You take it off, and you see his scarred face and dead eyeball. It’s detail like this that brings a collector to geekgasm. A stand-out in a bunch of excellent figures. ****

5) Snow Serpent Trooper — Polar Heavy Weapons Specialist

  • Body: Snow Serpent (w9)
  • Bazooka/Backpack: Sgt. Bazooka (w9)
  • Riot Gun: Lt. Falcon (cp w5)

Technically the same Snow Serpent that came carded, this figure proves how accessories can help create the illusion of a new figure altogether. He has better luck holding his bazooka unlike my Sgt. Bazooka, and the shotgun makes a welcome reappearance. Once again, I can’t get enough of these Snow Serpents, though the snow-shoe problem persists. ***

6) Cobra Viper — Arctic Trooper

  • Head/Vest/Lower Body/Backpack/Rifle: Cobra Viper (w7)
  • Upper Body: Cobra Trooper (w2)
  • AK-47: Snow Serpent (w9)

Basically, a Viper with long-sleeves to combat the cold weather! Easily the least interesting of the squad, it’s still cool to get a Viper. And he does have two weapons to hold. In an ideal world, Hasbro would also figure out a way to make a Cobra Viper with a removable helmet, a la the Crimson Guard from the comic 2-pack. If they can do it for the Star Wars line, they can do it here as well. **1/2

7) Tele-Viper — Arctic Communications Specialist

  • Head: Tele-Viper (v w1)
  • Body: Snake-Eyes (w8)
  • Backpack/Radio Gear: Lt. Falcon (cp w5)
  • Computer: Dataframe (cp w6)
  • Submachine gun: New

The second-best of the squad after Scrap-Iron, the Tele-Viper comes with a ton of accessories. The computer with foldable legs is a great touch, and the backpack that opens to reveal removable communications gear is just awesome. A fantastic looking figure. ***1/2

Overall, this set exceeded my expectations by proving to me that you can repackage and repaint figures and give them lots of accessories and make them look good and make them feel new. I can’t wait to see what Hasbro will come up with next if they continue these Extreme Conditions sets. Undoubtedly they’ll exploit an Underwater theme and a Sky theme. Until then, I get to enjoy both the Arctic and Desert Squads.

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