25 Nights of Nineties Nostalgia: Snake Eyes

Welcome back to Go Joe Saturday where we’re taking a look at the GI Joe figure Snake Eyes. He is one of the most popular characters having appeared in every series the franchise has produced. Snake Eyes is the Joe’s professional ninja; yes a ninja dressed all in black with a snake-themed name was on the good guy’s side.

Snake Eyes was yet another creation of Larry Hama for his comic book and the Hasbro toy-line. In the initial wave for their new toy-line, Hasbro attempted to save money on their paint budget and provided Hama with a figure made entirely of black plastic with no paint. Hama took that figure, and with barely anything to work with, was inspired to make the lack of identity his draw. So Hama created a character shrouded in mystery, with all information on him being classified.

Having no past or discernible physical appearance would allow any child to put whatever story they wanted behind that mask. Snake Eyes could have been anybody and done anything, allowing kids to envision themselves as the hero. Immediately, they could be right there with all their heroes having adventures fighting Cobra.

Snake Eyes version 2 YoJoe provided by Phillip Donnelly
Snake Eyes version 2 YoJoe provided by Phillip Donnelly

Hama’s logic proved right as the figure became one of the most popular, earning not one but two re-releases. The second release received a new head design, Uzi, sword, and pet wolf, Timber. Oddly, enough even though Snake Eyes appeared in the original GI Joe TV show, he never had a speaking line, but his wolf Timber did require voice work and wound up being voiced by Frank (Megatron) Welker. The toy got some much needed detail to improve on the original, and the helmet he received would become his most iconic look, appearing in multiple continuities including the live action film.

Larry Hama said on multiple occasions that Snake Eyes was the most successful character he has ever created. After this look into this GI Joe figure you can see why.

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Al Baldino is half bear, half owl-bear, which makes him some sort of terrible fraction no one wants to think about. He's a co-host on the Line Cutters every Wednesday at 7pm EST.