G.I. Joe Cobra Commander Action Figure Review 1983

By:  Karl Stern (@dragonkingkarl, @wiwcool, karl@whenitwascool.com)

Cobra Commander's Cobra logo has had two versions.  This is the one that was most extensively used while another version dubbed the "mickey mouse" version is hard to find and expensive.  It was called the "mickey mouse" version due to the thinner lines in the logo resembling the mickey mouse logo.

Cobra Commander's Cobra logo has had two versions.  This is the one that was most extensively used while another version dubbed the "mickey mouse" version is hard to find and expensive.  It was called the "mickey mouse" version due to the thinner lines in the logo resembling the mickey mouse logo.

Here is my look at the 1983 G.I. Joe Cobra "The Enemy" leader Cobra Commander.  Cobra Commander was originally a mail-in only figure from the original 1982 wave but was released carded the following year.  Soon after, there was a hooded version of the same figure but this release featured his classic battle helmet.

Cobra Commander has a very cool design.  His helmet and features were explored more in the early issues of the Marvel Comics: G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero where occasionally tidbits about it would be reveled like how it was booby-trapped to prevent removal and how it was vented to allow for food or water.  

Early in the comics it was hinted at that Cobra Commander was horribly disfigured or otherwise adverse to look at but this was later dropped or ignored.  In the Marvel Comics series by Larry Hama, Cobra Commander's face has never been clearly shown.  While he has been shown unmasked many times he is always either wearing a disguise or shadowed in some way.

In the cartoon series, Cobra Commander was portrayed as more of a bumbling nearly incompetent buffoon and the comic book drifted toward that portrayal later on as well but early on in the series, Cobra Commander was treated as a more serious terrorist threat and military leader. 

Cobra commander came with a weird, vented, "laser pistol" which snapped onto his back.  see the video for more details.

Cobra commander came with a weird, vented, "laser pistol" which snapped onto his back.  see the video for more details.

cobra commanders entire body was unique and not used on any other 1982-83 figure making him really stand out as different.

cobra commanders entire body was unique and not used on any other 1982-83 figure making him really stand out as different.

Cobra commander's 25th anniversary update is really detailed and modifies a few things about his uniform.  the top part of his helmet is also DETACHABLE leaving a metal silver head underneath.

Cobra commander's 25th anniversary update is really detailed and modifies a few things about his uniform.  the top part of his helmet is also DETACHABLE leaving a metal silver head underneath.

cobra commander's movie updated version further modifies the uniform and especially the helmet.  the cobra commander character in the G.I. Joe movies is a radically different character than the one portrayed in either the marvel comics series or the cartoons.

cobra commander's movie updated version further modifies the uniform and especially the helmet.  the cobra commander character in the G.I. Joe movies is a radically different character than the one portrayed in either the marvel comics series or the cartoons.

Here is a video review of this very Cobra Commander figure along side the 1984 hooded version.  You can see better details about how the gun looks and works.