I don’t recall exactly how I ended up with two of these reptilian killers. I’m pretty sure they were birthday gifts or Christmas presents, something like that. Either way, of all the figures to get two of, this wasn’t the one I would have picked.
The hand-crafted leader of Cobra managed to avoid the fate of many of my other G.I. Joe figures and has kept himself in one piece over the last 30 years.
The egotistical Serpentor was never a character I particularly cared for. He always had a bloated sense of self importance. Sure, Cobra Commander had the same failing, but there was something comical about it. Serpentor, on the other hand, took himself too seriously. Like a spoiled child whose folks told him he was special until he believed it religiously.
When I think of my childhood and playing with my toys, it’s always my G.I. Joes.
I used to go outside and play in front of my apartment building with the figures in the dirt and bushes. They’d have elaborate adventures, battling Cobra while climbing through the branches and hiding behind leaves.
But as the 1980s came to an end and the 1990s began, my interest in the Joes waned. Not in the figures that I had, mind you. Or the animated series I watched religiously, the Find Your Fate books I loved to read or the comic books I still have. It was in the new figures and shows being produced. It was during this time that the figures started to get… silly.
Glimpses of this began in 1989, but really took hold in the years after.
Snake-Eyes went blue. Cobra Commander got some strange orange face mask. The B.A.T. got lime green highlights. These ridiculous designs continued well throughout the 1990s, along with some oddball character names such as Long Arm, Muskrat and Headman.