Thursday, June 2, 2016

Rarities - 2004 Cobra Infantry - Removable Helmet

Hasbro wowed collectors at the 2003 Convention with the announcement and introduction of a Toys R Us exclusive 6 pack of Cobra Troopers and Officers that would be available in 2004.  The sets were very well done, and loved by collectors.  The accessories in the set, though, were not.  Hollowed out SAW Viper backpacks and Rock Viper rifles were lackluster choices of gear at best.

However, Hasbro originally intended for the figures to also include removable helmets.  Below you can see an unpainted sample of removable helmet figure.  Asian overstock sites had fully painted samples in their store.  But, they were always out of stock.  It's likely there are fully painted samples of these figures out there.  But, they are very rare.  You can see them below as well.

I'm not convinced that the removable helmet would have been an improvement over the production level figure.  For one, the head appears to be a swivel head version of the head that was later used on the unmasked Crimson Guard figures.  And, the helmet would have likely been a source of consternation as it's fit and security may have left something to be desired.  As an alternate figure in the TRU set, this would have been cool.  As the only option, he may not have been as cool as collectors wanted.

As an unproduced concept, though, this is an interesting figure.  Maybe Hasbro retrofitted it to a ball jointed head to use with the Crimson Guards.  That way, the would have recouped the design costs.  But, it's rare to see actual unreleased accessories from the modern era as the company is desperate to use everything they spend money to produce.  So, this figure is a great look at what might have been.

2004 Toys R Us Exclusive Cobra Trooper, Unproduced, Removable Helmet

2004 Toys R Us Exclusive Cobra Trooper, Unproduced, Removable Helmet

2004 Toys R Us Exclusive Cobra Trooper, Unproduced, Removable Helmet


2004 Toys R Us Exclusive Cobra Trooper, Unproduced, Removable Helmet

3 comments:

  1. The only thing I really do not like about these are how dreadfully narrow the head is. It is like a victim in a horror movie just after the bad guy has squeezed his brains out.

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  2. You can see guys that look like this figure in issue one of Marvel's GI Joe comic, basically Cobra troopers with masks, but no helmets...

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  3. Removable helmets seem great on paper, in actuality they are often not so great.

    Hasbro couldn't seem to retro-fit the head to actually swivel for the Crimson guard.

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