Foreign Scum!

With a title like that, one might think we’ll talk about the Donald again, but no, this time we take a look at the Impel Trading Card #36 featuring the ever charming Baroness.

I can’t help but notice there is a trend within Cobra to employ a European specialist to do the dirty work. Right from the get-go, we have the Baroness, who is European Aristocracy. Another specialist was introduced in Destro as the arms dealer, but in the first place as just that, a specialist. The Crimson Twins are Corsican Maffia, Major Bludd is an Australian poet who kills (language mostly – occasionally a Green Shirt :-)), the Dreadnoks are Australian too, … Basically, most of the worst people in the Joeverse are foreigners. I’m not saying that it’s racist or that they have come to take the terrorist jobs from the hard working American people. Just stating the obvious. True story!

Now, let’s get back to the lady of the day. Baroness Anastasia Cisarnova or De Cobray, whatever you prefer. We first meet the Baroness in issue #1 of the Marvel ARAH series. She is the one who kidnaps Dr. Adele Burkhart. Later in the issue, she uses her disguising skills to trick the Joes into thinking she is Dr. Burkhart. Inevitably she escapes with Cobra Commander to plot away at another world domination scheme.

While we don’t get a lot of background story on the Baroness, we know she has a strong connection with Destro, even from before he became an active member of Cobra. Later on in the comics, we get to see the history of the Baroness and Snake Eyes. As a young girl, she was confronted with the death of her brother. When she arrives at the scene, the soldier who would become Snake Eyes, had rushed in when he heard the shots. Seeing the soldier with a loaded gun standing over her dead brother, the Baroness assumes he was the killer.

Years later, when she is working for Cobra, she succeeds in kidnapping Snake Eyes when he is recovering from yet another plastic surgery to restore his face. The Baroness even shoots Scarlett, leaving her in a coma. Upon his escape, Snake Eyes speaks for the first (and only) time in the ARAH run, uttering the name of his beloved redhead. Scarlett awakes from her coma and is back her badass self.

The Baroness is featured in both the Sunbow and the DIC cartoon. In the DIC series, she rescues the Commander from a life of being the pet of Serpentor and is able to return him to sort-of human. Destro left her for Zarana (mid-life crisis anyone) but doesn’t need a lot of persuasions to dump the pink haired Dreadnok and return to his beloved Baroness.

My favorite Baroness is the one from Renegades. She is a corporate figure and does PR for the somewhat legit Cobra Industries. At the end of the series (and show 🙁 Will this be the Firefly of Joe fans?), she is sucked into the wormhole that was generated by the destroyed M.A.S.S. device. I just hope she’s fine, wherever she is.

I guess we now should discuss the movie. They turned her blonde! Nuff said. Moving on.

There are a few fans out there that cosplay as Joes or Cobras. A character like the Baroness is very suitable for cosplay. Sexy yet sophisticated, ruthless but pleasing to look at. I’ll leave you to google for some of the cosplay pics available out there on the world wide web. Shout out to @CobraNorth. Let me share you one, miss Leah Burroughs as the sexy Baroness of your dreams – or nightmares…


That’s all for this post (are you even reading this or still looking at the picture above?).

Join me next time when we take on the next card in this series. Hold on to your monocle.

YoJoe and Happy Collecting!


Do you want to build a snowman?

Spring may be in the air, but this week we focus on Cobra’s version of the Winter Soldier. The Impel Trading Card #35 is the Snow Serpent.

The Snow Vipers appear to be a branch of the Cobra Eels. I guess snow is frozen water, so you could argue this is a logical next step for some of the Eels that like to have their asses frozen off.

I personally don’t like the cold, maybe that’s why I don’t have a fondness or any recollection of seeing the Snow Serpents in action. I’m guessing they were introduced in the ARAH comics issue #2 since this takes place in the Arctic. They probably appear in the Special Missions #2, Word of Honor as well when the Joes disable the poison gas left in a glacier stranded WWII bomber in Greenland. But that’s just me guessing, I really need to do more research before writing these posts 🙂

The Action Figure has had 10 iterations released. The one on the Impel Trading Card is sporting the v1 style of 1985 (later reprised in the v7-10). I must say that this is a great look for a cold weather operative. Fur details, ski mask, snow shoes. Grey, white and blue colour scheme. It’s working for me. The 2nd version of the figure, however, was released in the colourful early 90’s and had a lot of yellow. Yellow snow jokes aside, the Joes also had a Tiger Force Blizzard figure that was even brighter yellow. The later figures went back to a more normal colouring and used lots of white, grey and blue again.

As with the comics, I don’t recall seeing the Snow Serpents in the cartoons anywhere. They are probably featured in some episodes, so if you know, let me know and then at least I’ll be halfway through the battle 🙂

Next time we stay close to home with a character we all love to hate with European roots. Stay tuned!

Happy collecting and YoJoe!


We are back with a BANG, BANG!

This week we have Captain Grid-Iron’s former classmate featuring the blog post. What better way to introduce this fan favourite (please ignore the sarcasm), than the following video (bad quality, I know, but hey, so is the character).

Ladies and Gentlemen, please give a warm welcome to Impel Trading Card #34, Metal-Head.

What’s there to say about this character? I’m not a huge fan of him. Mainly because when I think of Metal-Head, the only memory that springs to mind, is that awful DIC cartoon. Although I have to say that he does remind me of someone else. Take a look at the guy and tell me you don’t see the resemblance with Commander William T. Riker of the Federation Starship Enterprise.

Image result for william t riker

I mean, look at them! Even the uniform is practically a copy. Granted, Commander Riker is less of a nutcase. But still, I think Larry had been watching a little too much of TNG when he cooked up Metal-Head.

There have been 4 versions of the figure released, starting with the original one in 1990. The last one was released as part of the 2015 International G.I.Joe Convention, organised in Springfield, IL. The exclusive Tiger Force versus Destro´s Iron Grenadiers box set from the Official G.I. Joe Collectors’ Club also collected Sgt. Stalker, Dial-Tone, Big Brawler, Wreckage, Recondo, Edwin “Lifeline” Steen, General Mayhem, Undertow Officer, three Iron Anvils and three Undertow. Personally, I like Destro having his own little army. After all, he does have the need for some personal security and with the customers he supplies, I know I would feel safer having a personal army to defend myself in case they are not happy with a product or in case they want to try and steal some new prototype.

In the ARAH comic books, Metal-Head first appeared working for Cobra but spying for Destro. I don´t recall him being in a lot of stories, so not much more to tell. I´ll have to reread them again.

I won´t go into the cartoons here since I´d like to remove the memory of Metal-Head in the cartoons.

Next time, it´s time for some chill (sadly G.I.Joe is no longer on Netflix – at least not over here).

Happy Collecting and YoJoe!

Hello? Is it me you’re looking for? 

I guess I could start this post off with a bad joke like “How many Tele-Vipers does Cobra Commander need to make his troops retreat? “. Nowadays he’d use 140 characters, but I covered that in last week’s post ?

This time around, we will discuss the Impel Trading Card #33, the Cobra Tele-Viper (or Televiper?), Cobra´s force of Radio Communication Officers.

The Joe team have 2 Communication Specialists, Breaker and Dial-Tone. Cobra has like hundreds of Televipers to transmit messages on all frequencies. Of course, Cobra Commander has been known for hijacking the various TV channels all over the world and divulge on his current plan or ask for ransom demands. I guess he would need an army of technicians and hackers to get this done.

For what the toys are concerned, 9 iterations of the Televiper have been released. Of these 9, 2 were Python Patrol editions. The original 1985 version is still the coolest if you ask me. Just look at that Cobra belt buckle and tell me you´re not impressed. I dare you! I´m not much of an army builder, I´m more of a gotta catch them all collector, but I must admit that I don´t have a lot of Televipers in my collection.

I´m sure the Tele-Vipers are present in the cartoons, I just can´t remember them being there. They are not the most memorable foes, to be honest. They are what they are, technicians working behind the scenes and making sure that every single one of Cobra Commander´s rants gets onto the air for everyone to enjoy. I do remember seeing them in one of my favourite episodes. It´s an episode I have on VHS (in Dutch) and I believe the English title is In the Presence of my Enemy. Slip-Stream (my all time favourite pilot, who the F is Ace anyway?) crashes onto an abandoned Cobra research facility with a female Strato-Viper and they encounter several traps and they have to work together in order for them to escape. Anyway, in the beginning of the episode, the Tele-Vipers send out a message to one of Cobra´s satellites and Slip-Stream intercepts it.

All in all, not the most memorable Cobra out there, but they are important none the less. Without them, nobody would know about Cobra Commander´s mad schemes and plans to conquer the world. Not until Twitter was available that is 🙂

Next time, we go out with a BANG when we discuss a hockey analyst?! Who comes up with these? Oh, right, Larry Hama (who is a GOD!). Have you seen the Kickstarter campaign for the Larry Hama Action Figure? Too late to enter now, but I´ll post about it when I have the figure in hand 🙂 (Admit it, you´re jealous!)

Until next time. Happy Collecting and YoJoe!

Big in Japan

This week we visit a son of the Land of the Rising Sun. Tommy Arashikage, better known as the Cobra Commander’s ninja bodyguard and assassin, Storm Shadow.

As with every good written character, the real situation is not that black and white. Tommy really is a good guy, an honorable ninja. He got his ninja training, before enlisting in the US Army and serving in the Long Range Recon Patrol along with Snake-Eyes, Stalker, Wade Collins, Dickie Saperstein and Ramon Escobedo. (Listen to A Letter from Snake-Eyes Pt1 from Wordburglar)

He became besties with Snake-Eyes and after the war and drama in Snake-Eyes’ personal life. They both went to Japan to (re-)join the Arashikage Ninja Clan. Snake-Eyes soon became the better of Tommy and it was rumoured that he would become the new leader, even though Tommy was the nephew of the Hard Master. No spoilers here, but long story short. The Hard Master was killed with one of Tommy’s arrows – intended for Snake-Eyes- and Tommy fled from the ninja clan. He joined Cobra because the Commander promised him he would reveal the true identity of the masked man who killed the Hard Master. If you want the long story, check out the entire A Real American Hero run (from Marvel and IDW) 🙂

In the original cartoons, his rivalry/friendship with Snake-Eyes was replaced by honorable fights with Spirit and Quick Kick. The DIC cartoons however, follow the toy line more closely and in these episodes, Storm Shadow is a member of the G.I. Joe Ninja Force. Later on in the Spy Troops and Valor vs Venom cartoons/movies, Stormy is back with Cobra and does have some face-offs with Snake-Eyes.

As for what the figures is concerned, there are about 7,452 different versions of Storm Shadow out there. (The actual number may be closer to 50, but hey, who’s counting). I recently got the v9 from 2002. Here he is wearing his suit from the Ninja Force, but it’s red and has a Cobra sigil. The most cherished Storm Shadow in my collection is the v4 from 1994. This is the color changing Shadow Ninja one. I have the Belgian Ducth/French carded one (I also have Snake Eyes v6 carded). Lastly, I just saw the v1 of Storm Shadow posted by a fellow collector an Instagram I want to show to the world. It’s like a toothpaste commercial, so WHITE! Check it out here. In Dutch, Storm Shadow is called “Bliksemschicht”, which translates into Lightning Bolt (落雷 in Japanese).

Next time, we’ll tackle one of my all time favorite figures.

Until then, Happy Collecting and YoJoe!

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