I decided to go back to get the other set, to complete the set of three packs. I had already gotten both of the Wave 1 three packs, so why not these as well? This set isn't too bad...but it's definitely weaker than the Cobra one IMHO. Let's break it down:
Airborne was a character that I never had a lot of interest in. I got his 25th Anniversary figure mostly so that my Spirit could have another Native American to pal around with, but other than that as a kid and an adult the character is largely invisible to me. I'm not sure what body he uses, but the entirety of his worn gear is that of the Cobra Paraviper. This is good and bad. On one hand the Paraviper was a pretty awesome figure back in 25th Anniversary. He was a variation of the Cobra Snow Serpent in the fiction, which really hammered in the idea that Snow Serpents were the Cobra equivalent of US Navy SEALs. Decked out in his HALO gear, he looks fantastic, ready to jump. All he needs is his ruck sack hanging under his reserve chute, and he's good to go! His colors are Airborne's colors, although inverted from the typical Airborne look.
While that's all and good, he runs into the same problem I have with the Paraviper...once he lands...he's got nothing. No combat vest, no ammo pouches, nowhere to store his weapon in mid jump...he's just a figure that kinda stands there, ready for his jump. It's just pretty boring, and does not have the strength of the paratrooper in the Cobra Invasion set. The parachute has given me hours of fun, dropping him from the upper floor of my house and watching him float down, while Airborne is just gonna stand at my desk.
His weapons are rather light, coming in with the Micro Galil rifle and the Remington 870 MCS that has been getting around as of late. His headsculpt is really nice though...it looks generic and I'd love to get a few of those to troop build.
This is the big reason why I didn't want to buy this set initially. Not another goddamn Snake Eyes. It's extremely difficult for me to get another one after the **AMAZING** PoC Snake Eyes with all the stuff, but I have the pack and I need to live with it.
He really isn't all that bad. First off he uses that amazing, fantastic body. It's a straight up black rendition of the character using the ninja visor head. He only has the arashikage symbol on his right shoulder, and his kneepads are black instead of the PoC grey. He retains every built in feature...the holster and leg sheath, and the weapons to store them.
His gear includes the webgear and harness from that cancelled jungle Storm Shadow thing...and the color is kinda off on it. I don't mind weird colors being a G2 Transformers kid, but it just doesn't work for the figure. A better green or a more subdued color would've helped the figure tremendously. It's also very clear this is the figure the set wants to emphasize...with a pair of Mac-10 SMGs, two ridiculous,giant claw things, a pair of more reasonable claws, and the swords and sheaths that first came with Resolute Storm Shadow.
The backpack sheaths seem to ride high on his back and it makes it look a bit awkward. I wished he just used the 30th Anniversary Storm Shadow backpack instead. All in all not bad of a figure...just the colors kinda kill it. The web gear is removable...but it's a hassle. It's the type where you have to unscrew the thigh halves to pull it out, because the pouches and pistol holster get in the way.
This guy is the raison d'ętre for why I wanted this set. He's a character that is cool in his simplicity, and he's wholly new without any previous fiction to compare him to. So because of that, I can take a fresh look at this guy...a rolled sleeved marksman/sniper, with a Pro-Tec helmet and body armor. This guy is moving light, moving fast! His body armor is VERY well sculpted, with a pair of mag holders on the hip of the vest, and what appears to be tool pouches on the left side of the back. The helmet is a Pro-Tec model, and it's WELL sculpted with what appears to be an NVG mount on the front of it.
The weapons are the crazy bullpup fantasy rifles from the Retaliation GI Joe Trooper...which I love. I love seeing them here too. He's got a knife which actually has a sheath on the back of the hip, and it's also fantastic. I love figures that has small weapons storage like that.
However...the awesomeness of his vest is also the biggest fault. It's a bit too big, and it prevents the arms from closing around the chest to have a proper rifle holding pose. The vest is also nearly impossible to remove...I've tried it but I just can't do it. I think it's a shame that he can't really hold his rifles in a way that is convincing.
Finally, the last element of this set I decided to put on it's own, since it's kinda no one's accessory. It's a zipline which is the gimmick of Retaliation. The vest is actually the one that comes in the Ghost HAWK II, and the grey piece is a clip that you clip on a table edge and you can winch someone up. The problem? It's just plastic on the insides of the clip...so even if you clip it on the table it just slides off without any rubber. Such a shame considering how cool it is. The other thing about the zipline base is that it can clip under the railing of the Ghost HAWK II, so there's that extra playability that comes along with it.
Unfortunately because I can't get the vests off of Mouse and Snake Eyes, it's on Airborne.
This set isn't as strong as the Cobra Invasion set. It isn't horrible...but every figure has some nagging issues that add up together to make it not as good. I don't regret my purchase...but I definitely wouldn't get another set. I would gladly get another Cobra one, but now that I have Mouse I can't really see myself getting another set. Still, it wouldn't hurt to get a set if anything for Mouse!