SpartanNerd Unboxing and Review…GI Joe 50th anniversary “Shipwreck” and “Cobra Commander” two pack

I picked up these at Toys ‘R’ Us in Spartanburg yesterday.  I’ve had my eye on them for awhile…some time back I saw them there and a larger assortment of Fiftieth Anniversary GI Joe products in the “adult collector” section.  They were a bit pricey, though cool enough for me to stare at for awhile and consider a purchase.  I saw them get marked down a few weeks ago, and finally decided Shipwreck and Cobra Commander were a cool enough deal for only $9.99.  Longtime SpartanNerd readers know that I already reviewed a couple of GI Joes, though I am certainly not hardcore.  In fact, I’m not even close to as awesome of a fan as some other reviews of this I’ve read on the internet already.  So I’ll be offering my humble opinion on what isn’t really an impulse buy, but something a little different for me.

First of all, the packaging.


The package appears as a simple cardboard back and a blister.  The back has text in four languages.  Not sure what the “52501” over Snake Eyes is.

It is a good package, but when I carefully opened it at home, I made a discovery that really got me going!


Using my nifty Father’s Day pocket knife, I separated the plastic blister edge and saw that the cardboard becomes a kickstand for MOC display.  This was SO BEAST!  I was opening this at 11:15 at night…It was my intention to photograph the next day, but I went ahead and broke out my photography stuff when I saw this!

I’m not a Mint on Card collector.  But this is notable, and I’ve seen no other reviewer mention this.  SO “NYA Nya nya!”


Opening the box reveals this.


Multi-lingual bio cards and just the blister with everything you’ve already seen!

Back when the SpartanNerd was a kid, you would purchase GI Joes, and then cut off the bio cards from the back of the package and keep up with them.  Maybe.  If you didn’t destroy the package too badly, and could find some scissors.

These two bio cards reveal the name, and other details of the character, but the little story provided leaves alot to be desired.

(I later discovered that this set of toys is based on a comic called “The Hunt for Cobra Commander.”  It sold for 25 cents, and I will have to see if I can find that to complete the display.  The bio cards evidently depict events from the story, Cobra Commander escapes on a boat, and Shipwreck pursues him in his own boat.)

I’m not sure If I find it more annoying that it is printed in four languages or not.  Why not make four different packages, one for each language, and then you have more space for cross sells and better bio cards.

Next.  Tragedy.  When I tried to get the little silver knife out of the blister for Shipwreck, the pressure caused it to launch from the package across my kitchen.  And I haven’t been able to find it!  I didn’t really care for it…it was all silver, and reminded me for of a knife without a handle.  So sorry, guys.  No bland boring silver knife in my review!


Here is Shipwreck with all the pieces I extracted without incident.  I removed the tactical jacket, and was surprised with he classic “NAVY” tee shirt underneath!  This is a great sculpt with lots of details.  He has glued-on details, like the holster for the pistol, which also comes with a SILENCER!  This is stored on the holster as well!  There are ammo packs and little details sculpted on, and the paint is gorgeous!  This is a small scale figure, and the paint apps rival most of my beloved six-inch figures!  Shipwreck comes with a couple of other guns, described as M4’s by the SpartanTeen, (who knows way more about guns than I do.)  And he also comes with his iconic parrot.  I don’t remember if I owned Shipwreck as a kid.  It seems like I must have.  I really remember this parrot, though.  And finally, there is a great GI JOE stand with pegs…this time with his name on the base.


Here is Shipwreck up and ready for action.  I had a hard time getting the weapon in his hands.  His hands are small, and the handles just don’t seem to want to cooperate.  Notably, this was the case in the vintage toyline as well.

But look at this figure.  Isn’t it incredible!  He appears absolutely intense holding that rifle.  He will make a proud addition to my nerd closet, and later my music classroom!  Below is a more casual pose with Shipwreck.


Notably, the bird doesn’t really fit anywhere.  It didn’t come with a stand.  Shipwreck can only hold him on the tips of his finger, and even this is dubious.  The parrot could probably sit on the “bar” on the back of the military vest, but I think that is supposed to serve the purpose for mounting an oxygen tank, or am I wrong?

So shipwreck has an incredible sculpt and paint job, and I played with him for a good thirty minutes to get good pictures of him.  He has some trouble holding his weapons, and the can’t even hold the little pistol with silencer, at least not firmly.  But still, for display purposes, I could make it work.  I don’t won’t to dock any points because the aesthetics of the thing are so doggone incredible!

So what about the other figure…the one that really caught my eye?  Growing up, I was always the evil Cobra guys when me and my brothers played GI Joe.  So Cobra Commander was why I bought this set, though Shipwreck turned out so incredibly well.


No incidents in getting Cobra Commander out of the blister.  I was surprised to find that his head has a round silver painted piece that the helmet fits over…I expected it all to be one piece.  Cobra Commander isn’t meant to be displayed without the helmet, so I’m not bothering to show that to you.  But nevertheless, that is an extra piece!

The black and red color scheme for Cobra Commander…I had never seen this, and yet it feels so right!  He is usually blue, with the blue hood.  Red and black are reminiscent of the VIPER soldiers prominently featured in the cartoon…(if my memory serves me right!)

He comes with a Cobra stand.  A cape.  A hood.  A knife that sheaths to the side.  A pistol.  A futuristic looking machine gun.  And two…grenades?  Bombs?  Vials of chemical?  Really, when I first saw them in the blister, I thought they were shoulder pauldrons!  Nope.  They appear to be red canisters of what is probably toxic.  I vaguely remember “plasmatox”…”Chemical Z” or something like that.

Cobra Commander’s sculpt is every bit as impressive as Shipwreck’s, but the black paint hides some of the details.  He has some silver and gray accents.  It’s the red that makes this work.  The red shoes remind me of Ronald McDonald!  And yet, they work here because he is Cobra Commander.  A guy who builds underwater bases that rise above the sea!  A guy who is feared for his ego because of his style.  Destro even comments often about Cobra Commander’s excesses.  So he can get away with Black and Red.  It will make him look better flying the Night Raven!

Oops.  Got carried away!


I found in posing Cobra Commander, he has more problems than Shipwreck.  His ankles are weak.  Not usually a problem for small scale figures that don’t weigh all that much anyway.  But it matters here when you are trying to get him to stand like you want and are fiddling with getting the guns in his hands, which are even worse than Shipwreck’s.  Cobra Commander can’t even hold his knife, nor the two red bomb things, which are extra bummers.  He can barely hold the pistol.


He looks great with his hood and cape on.  I have to point out that the hood snaps on tightly to the ball joint, but the way it hangs down and touches his shoulders prevents you from articulating his head any.  AND THEN I had trouble removing it.  I was really afraid of breaking the peg.

But look how menacing he appears!  I can see him appearing on every channel around the world now, making his demands and waving that pistol!

Overall, I am going to award these figures a 5/5.  While there are some problems, I’m not entirely sure they aren’t just the SpartanNerd’s impatience with 2.5 inch figures.  I’m used to the larger scale.  But compared to the Star Wars Black Series Rey, the sculpt is better.  The paint is better.   And this is by the same company.  (Hasbro.)  What gives?

So the SpartanNerd awards 5/5 to GI Joe Fiftieth Anniversary Shipwreck and Cobra Commander.  Do you agree or disagree?  Would you like to see more reviews of GI Joes from the SpartanNerd?  Let me know that as well!  I don’t collect Joes.  But these two are incredible, and the two I reviewed from Dollar General a couple of years ago were also pretty good.  I am in a place where I am wondering what to do with this burgeoning blog.  I am running out of room for my items.  Maybe GI Joe will give me a shot in the arm.  Lego really hasn’t done it.


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