Snake Eyes Through the Years: a Retrospective

Many G.I. Joe fans, both active and casual, list Snake Eyes among their favorite Joe characters. The silent commando has risen above most of his comrades and gained a bit of iconic status among fanboys.

Snake Eyes’ file card classifies him as a ninja commando, and those who follow know he was a member of the Arashikage clan, of which Cobra ninja Storm Shadow is a fellow alumni. For a full description/history of his character go here. When G.I. Joe was first repackaged in 1982 as a 3 3/4 inch action figure, complete with a Marvel comic book title written by Larry Hama and soon after a Sunbow cartoon series, Snake Eyes was among the first wave of characters released.

1982 gi joes

image via Plaid Stallions

His visual design was unique- he wore all black and his face was hidden behind a mask. His character backstory was equally engaging- he never spoke and his history was somewhat clouded. He generated instant intrigue, and quickly became many fans’ favorite character. Most G.I. Joe characters only had one action figure/comic/cartoon design throughout the life of the series, but Snake Eyes is one of the few who have gone through multiple design updates. The overall look remained: black gear, supposedly disfigured face hidden by a mask, generously strapped with swords and guns; but the changes were visible.

Here we examine the many looks of Snake Eyes over the years:

 

Original Snake Eyes

Before the rise of Kung-Fu Grip, this version of Snake Eyes was included in the first release of the 3 3/4 inch action figures. All black color scheme, minimal decoration and built-in weaponry. Solid black goggles and 4 small slits on the mask. This was the version that appeared in the Marvel comic series for the first 25-30 issues.

1982 snake eyes

 

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