|Code Name: SCAR-FACE|
When G.I. Joe began in 1982, Hasbro had little faith in the line's ability to persuade good All-American children to buy toys of terrorists. The Cobra Officer and Trooper figures were issued in stores along with the original thirteen G.I. Joes, but Cobra Commander initially only came out begrudgingly as a mailaway. Kids lapped it up, and very slowly more 'named' Cobra figures were added to the line. But in the meantime Marvel comic writer Larry Hama had to devise his own for the comic. Among the longer-lived was Scar-face, a Cobra Officer with a distinctive V-shaped facial disfigurement. He functioned as a courier, pawn and general patsy until he was killed off when named Cobra toys began to arrive in the comic in larger numbers.
However, fast-forward to 2008, and the character gave Hasbro a way to get another variation out of the 25th Anniversary Cobra Trooper/Officer mould. In this case, a modified head cast was enough to make the thing look like Scar-face, and was promptly issued in a two-pack with the Fred Series Crimson Guard.
The new cast is surprisingly subtle - the scarring is visible, but doesn't look like he's got big pink lines on his face or anything. It also involves giving him hair, though it's painted on the smooth 'bald' head and does look ever so slightly strange. Aside from this he has a different rifle than regular Troopers, a modern assault rifle replacing the usual sniper-style model.
Indeed, my only real complaint is that Scar-Face looks a bit much like a ground-configuration Air Trooper (my own preferred army-building rank figure), with only the weaponry making him look any different from any significant decision. It's harsh to blame the figure for my own personal choices, but I'm going to anyway. Still, it's nice to get a figure of a fairly obscure character, even if it is just an obvious minor retool.