Once in a while a figure two pack comes along that seems to correct all issues found in previous releases of the molds packaged inside. Maybe the colors have been fixed, or the mold has been tweaked, or maybe just the simple changing of accessories is enough to redeem the figure(s) in the eyes of a collector. For me, this two pack does just that—it fixes any issues that I had with both of these molds and quickly places them into the “favorites” category in my collection. Why is that? Read on…
When the Piranha Attack Boat first came out, I was pretty excited. After all, we were getting a boat that was both functional and realistic in styling. It would also make for one terrific display piece and besides who doesn’t love a boat with a working motor? The figure (dubbed “Shipwreck”) wasn’t of any particular use to me his parts would work for a pretty sweet Shockwave custom. However, he was most definitely not Shipwreck—especially not with that mane of red hair! Just when I thought this mold was a complete write-off, Hasbro has to go and repaint it and now I can’t get enough of it. By recoloring the uniform green, painting on a black flak vest, and adding in a brown harness, Hasbro has made this an idea mold for both Shipwreck and a custom SEAL ground team! The utter utilitarian nature of the paint scheme means that this very body could be used to give several figures a uniform look. Imagine taking the head from your GvC Wetsuit and putting it onto this body. Throw in a Chief Torpedo figure and you’ve got the makings of a great small covert ops unit. One thing that’s missing is the Polly the parrot accessory that was shown in the original promotional photos of this wave. While the fate of Polly remains unknown, at least the figure will find use in many a Joe fan’s collection—even if it is as custom fodder.
How do you improve on the Electric Eel body released earlier in Valor vs. Venom? Simple, give it a non Day-Glo color scheme and you’ve got a great update on the Cobra Eel diver. I was always a fan of this mold but I have to admit, outside of the light-up gimmick I had a hard time reconciling the translucent fluorescent green figure with the rest of my collection. Once the VvV theme was over I knew I’d have a hard time explaining the integration of these figures into my Cobra troops. However, take that same design and mold it in a basic gray, throw on some blue and black detail and the Cobra Eels have been updated for a new generation! Everything that I loved about this mold previously is still there and the darker colors bring out even more details that were obscured with the translucent plastic. Even with the reused accessories this is a pretty tight figure. (Please, Hasbro—just loose the mold to this rifle. That’s all I ask of you—just drop it into the ocean never to be seen again.) Oddly enough, the Eel does come packaged with his V-troop extra hands, which have now been molded in black. It's nice that they were included but I don't see them getting much use so it's straight to the parts bin for the giant black hands!
I’m an army builder so I had planned on getting a few extra of the Eels from this wave. Of course that meant I was going to be saddled with a bunch of extra Shipwreck figures that I had no interest in. However, after getting my hands on this set I’m okay with having a plethora of Shipwreck bodies lying around. Not only will I be able to build up quite a Cobra diver unit but I’ll also be able to make a great special operations squad out of the extra Joe bodies. All in all, not a bad deal for a set that I was originally dreading. While even I am tired of seeing Shipwreck released again and again and again, at least this time Hasbro got it right! In fact, the use of darker more realistic colors seems to be a trend in the recent Joe waves and, if this marks a trend toward a more realistic Joe line then 2005 will prove to be a great year indeed.