Toy Maniac: G.I. Joe Retaliation Toy Review (

By:Robert T. Trate
Review Date: Friday, March 29, 2013

A lot the of the G.I. Joe Retaliation toys have sat in hiding until the film received its 3D upgrade. Finally, the Toy Maniac is able to sink his teeth into some long awaited G.I. Joe Retaliation goodies. This isn’t all of it. In fact, there are some items that appeared at Toy Fair 2012 that I am still searching for (see here, last picture). Let’s not dwell on the past, let’s check out the new stuff right now. 
THE VEHICLE: G.I. Joe Ghost Hawk II


At first glance the Ghost Hawk II seems like the right toy at the right price. A funky cool vehicle that comes with a major character, Duke (Channing Tatum) in a flight suit. What’s cooler than having a guy and vehicle to get your play time rolling?
The box is way cool and features both Roadblock (Dwayne Johnson) and Snake Eyes (Ray Park) in action. The package mentions that it comes with Conrad “Duke” Hauser, but he isn’t visible on the box. In fact, one would actually have to read the box to see that a figure is included. The old packages had the pilots/ drivers completely visible. This told the kids who they were getting and the parents what their money was going towards. 
Though highly detailed, this Duke figure only has 5 points of articulation. That ranks him down there with a 1977 Star Wars figure. In fact, he is even missing the essential G.I. Joe feature, the swivel arm battle grip. How can you leave that feature out? They should have just made the pilot of the Ghost Hawk II a member of the Steel Brigade (seen here). He looks about the same. 
The Ghost Hawk II has an incredible assortment of bombs and missiles, none of which stay on the Ghost Hawk II when it is in flight. My original Cobra Rattler’s missiles and bombs never fell off. These didn’t even make it through the sticker application. 
The Ghost Hawk II comes with simple instructions for its construction. However, there aren’t any Ghost Hawk II blueprints to tell you what everything is. This was included on every original G.I. Joe toy from the 80’s. Even the PAC Rats had blueprints.
The stickers/ decals are great and that is one thing that hasn’t slipped for this G.I. Joe toy. Despite the incredible decals on the outside, there are no decals for the interior of the cockpit. 

The Ghost Hawk II is clearly a 21st Century version of a B-24. What amazes me is that, just like the Cobra Rattler, the Ghost Hawk II is completely unrealistic. It is basically a jump jet that has wings that would rip right off. Ironically enough the wings and the turbines fell off numerous times as I tried to assemble the Ghost Hawk II. 
The Ghost Hawk II is a cool looking ship. It’s play life is about 5 minutes, though. I was carefully moving it around and the bombs and missiles just fell off. Outside of those that fire, expect all of them to disappear. Thankfully, they are painted orange and you’ll find them right away. Mania Grade: C-
THE WHO: Ninja Duel Snake Eyes
The coolest of the cool G.I. Joe’s has arrived and this 2013 version outshines his earlier incantations. 
The colors are great and they reveal all that “Ninja Duel Snake Eyes” can do. One has to wonder, where is Snake Eyes’ file card? This, like the swivel arm battle grip, is also essential. Lame that it was not there. Here is the original one below. 
The details are amazing. This Snake Eyes literally lives and breathes in your hand. Though basically dressed all in black, Snake Eyes has his Arashikage Clan in red on his arm, and a dark brown leather strap on his shoulders. Hasbro could have easily made this black, too, but they didn’t. Kudos on this brilliant sculpt and paint job. 
Who lost all of their Snake Eyes weapons and had nothing left but Timber? Well, Timber might not be present with this particular Snake Eyes, but he comes complete with all that you see below. He even has a holster for his pistol, a sheath for his knife, and back sling for his sword (see top picture as well). The coolest part is he comes with 2 swords and 2 knives. Fear not if you lose one, for he has extra! The zip-line is a sweet feature, as well, but you’ll spend too much time with everything else here. 
At least 16 points of articulation are on this particular Snake Eyes. He is able to hold all kinds of positions. Far better than any Snake Eyes from old. Check out the review of the Cobra Soldier Figure here featured in this photo.
By far, this is the best Snake Eyes figure I have ever had. His weapons are great, the paint job is superb, and Snake Eyes is still the coolest of the cool. Mania Grade: A+ 
You Decide: Snake Eyes or Deadpool? Fight!

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Mania Grade: B
Toys: G.I. Joe Retaliation
Vehicle: Ghost Hawk II
Price: $24.99
Figure: Ninja Duel Snake Eyes
Price: $9.99
Distributor: Hasbro