1992 GI Joe Hall of Fame Snake Eyes Review

During the early months of the pandemic lockdown in 2020, I ventured to an army/navy store out in the suburbs. They were open by appointment only and everyone wore a mask, which was nice. I wish people were still wearing masks more often. 

This wasn’t an army surplus store, really. They did have some surplus gear and clothing, but they were more specialized in memorabilia and other military ephemera. Among their offerings were some 12” GI Joe figures they were trying to get rid of. Their customers really weren’t interested in dolls, which came as a surprise to the owner, who was an avid collector of 60s and 70s GI Joe toys. The owner had an entire shelf full of 90s Hall of Fame GI Joe toys in the attic, along with some 90s Action Man toys. I bought all of them for a nice price and he was very happy to let them go.

1992 GI Joe Hall of Fame Snake Eyes

I was interested in the lot both because I really liked the Hall of Fame line as a kid and because these toys aren’t very well documented on the internet. I wanted to be the person to document them. So here’s my first go at it.

This review won’t contain any “action photos” like my normal reviews do. I’m not Mark Hogancamp from Marwencol and I haven’t really figured out how to make convincing action photos of 12” army dolls just yet. 

Hopefully this will be useful and entertaining anyway, though. And hopefully we’ll slowly make it through the rest of these unloved figures, as well.

1992 GI Joe Hall of Fame Snake Eyes– My First Snake Eyes

1992 GI Joe Hall of Fame Snake Eyes

When I was a kid, Snake Eyes was pretty much a non-entity to me, even though I loved GI Joe. I didn’t own an ARAH-style Snake Eyes figure until I bought this one in 2001 or so. 

I only knew Snake Eyes (vaguely) from a few sources:

  • A few scattered issues of the Marvel Comics my friend across the street had
  • His maybe 45 seconds of screen time in 1987’s GI Joe: The Movie
  • His appearance in both NES GI Joe games, where he died after getting hit approximately twice until you upgraded him
  • Some figures kids at daycare or camp had, which they would not let anyone else touch
  • Seeing the 1991 Snake Eyes at KB Toys exactly once

So, Snake Eyes was not really a big deal to me. My adventures mostly centered on Flint, Heavy Duty, Tunnel Rat, Storm Shadow, and other figures from 1989 to 1992.

GI Joe’s marketing presence at the time did feature Snake Eyes somewhat heavily, though. He was featured in the arcade shooter game, on party supplies, in a roleplay gear set, and in GI Joe: The Atlantis Factor. Seeing the 1991 design for the figure plastered all over things made me more interested in the character. 

1992 GI Joe Hall of Fame Snake Eyes

Then, around Christmas time in 1992 or so, I saw a Hall of Fame Snake Eyes toy on a shelf at Walmart. This was the character in the look I knew. And I could tell the figure had a real cloth outfit. His mask also looked removable. I desperately wanted to see what Snake Eyes looked like under the mask. That was my driving interest in the toy– interest in the character was secondary. He had a cool look, of course, but I was much more interested in the mystery than in having a Snake Eyes figure. I had no other 12” figures for this one to interact with, and I was not at the age to be buying a “collectible figure”– I was only 8 years old in the winter of 1992.

I asked my mom to get me Hall of Fame Snake Eyes for Christmas, as I was intrigued. On Christmas Day of 1992, I received both Hall of Fame Snake Eyes and Hall of Fame Cobra Commander.

After opening both figures, I immediately removed Snake Eyes’ mask and Cobra Commander’s hood. They both wore masks underneath their masks. That was a smart move on Hasbro’s part, but it was soul crushing for an 8 year old kid.

I got over it pretty quickly, though, and took quite a shine to both figures.

1992 GI Joe Hall of Fame Snake Eyes

1992 GI Joe Hall of Fame Snake Eyes was the only Snake Eyes toy I owned as a kid. For a while, I took the figure with me on all family vacations. He went to Yellowstone National Park with me once, I remember. I kept good track of his accessories and kept the toy in good shape. He felt special to me.

I acquired a few more HoF figures as a kid: Ace, Gung Ho, and Combat-Camo Roadblock. My friend across the street had Talking Duke (Math class is tough!), Basic Training Grunt, and Destro. We played with our Hall of Fame dolls once in a while, but it was kind of a hard thing to do.

For one, we just weren’t used to playing with such large figures. They were a bit awkward to us. And, more importantly, there was really no one for them to fight. Snake Eyes and Grunt can only fight Cobra Commander and Destro one-on-one so many times. Once in a while I’d take the hood off of Cobra Commander and use him as a generic Cobra soldier, but even that didn’t really seem “right” to me.

1992 GI Joe Hall of Fame Snake Eyes

This left me to wonder how kids in the 60s and 70s played with GI Joe when there were no “enemy” figures. I still think about it sometimes to this day. I’ve concluded that kids back then had much better imaginations than we did in the 90s– their big, fancy GI Joe dolls could fight invisible enemies and it was just as fun as me ramming a Night Creeper and Psyche-Out figure together. 

Still, I’m glad Cobra was a plentiful enemy for the small GI Joes I played with as a kid. I don’t know if I’d be as attached to a toy hero who had to fight invisible enemies all the time. 

But, as I said, I loved Hall of Fame Snake Eyes as a kid. He was a constant companion for a while and he was my first Snake Eyes figure. So I thought it was fitting that he would be the subject of my first Hall of Fame review.

Let’s get to it.

1992 GI Joe Hall of Fame Snake Eyes Review

1992 GI Joe Hall of Fame Snake Eyes

Hall of Fame Snake Eyes was released in 1992, and used the standard “Hall of Fame” GI Joe body with a unique head, unique clothing, and unique accessories.

The HoF line was targeted at adult collectors who fondly remembered the 12” dolls of their youth, but it was also targeted at kids who loved Hasbro’s current iteration of GI Joe. To appeal to both crowds, the packaging had to be something special. And it was!

The gorgeously designed box really stands out on the shelf, the packaging copy is great, and the toy is presented in a way where it speaks for itself. 

1992 GI Joe Hall of Fame Snake Eyes 1992 GI Joe Hall of Fame Snake Eyes 1992 GI Joe Hall of Fame Snake Eyes 1992 GI Joe Hall of Fame Snake Eyes

Upon opening the toy, I really felt like the box made it feel like a premium product. It still feels special. 

Once you open the box, 1992 GI Joe Hall of Fame Snake Eyes is attached to a red cardboard tray where he and his accessories are secured with blister bubbles and twist ties. Once you release this figure from its packaging, it’s not going back in again. This is not the “collector friendly” packaging we see in many adult-targeted toys of today.

1992 GI Joe Hall of Fame Snake Eyes

Before we get to the toy and its accessories, let’s talk about the little manual it comes with. Each of the early, regular-priced Hall of Fame figures came with one of these booklets. They’re filled to the brim with cool details and information, and they elevate these figures even further. I read and re-read these booklets constantly as a kid. 

1992 GI Joe Hall of Fame Snake Eyes

I was really looking forward to sharing the contents of each manual with you, but they don’t photograph well and I don’t have a scanner. So, instead, I made a PDF of YoJoe’s booklet scan, which was originally provided by Phillip Donnelly.

Download Hall of Fame Snake Eyes Booklet PDF

Note the pledge of allegiance and the ‘code of conduct,’ which insists that Real American Heroes stay away from drugs and alcohol. You have to give Hasbro credit– they were ever-vigilant about their propaganda bullshit. 

The figure itself stands 12” tall and has a wonderful, premium look right out of the packaging. The design is fantastic and the clothes are well made. The vest is made of both a black and grey material, and it includes a patch for both Snake Eyes’ name and the GI Joe logo.

1992 GI Joe Hall of Fame Snake Eyes

Though HoF toys aren’t the most playable figures ever made (which we’ll get to shortly), they cut a dashing appearance and look excellent displayed on a shelf. These aren’t quite the quality of what Hot Toys or Sideshow premium figures, but I think their overall looks still hold up pretty well. This 12” Snake Eyes is a great representation of the 1991 figure design done in classic GI Joe scale.

I’m not taking off the outfit to show you the figure’s naked body, because I remember getting the outfit back on was a chore when I was a kid. But, if you really want to, you can see the figure in the buff over on its OnlyFans page.

1992 GI Joe Hall of Fame Snake Eyes

1992 GI Joe Hall of Fame Snake Eyes includes the following clothing: 

  • Blue long-sleeved, turtleneck sweater
  • Grey and black vest with both velcro and buckles
  • Black pants with blue leg piping, complete with velcro and button fly
  • Rubber boots
  • Backpack with buckles, sword sheath, and opening storage area

1992 GI Joe Hall of Fame Snake Eyes

The clothes look great and fit the toy in a very natural way. The backpack is especially impressive, as it allows you to store extra weapons and accessories from other figures and sets. 

1992 GI Joe Hall of Fame Snake Eyes

The figure also comes with various accessories that aren’t part of its basic outfit:

  • A translucent red mask, painted with silver and blue details
  • Two intricately-detailed arm guards
  • A knife sheath with velcro strap
  • A set of dog tags
  • A black trench knife with knuckle guard
  • A silver katana
  • A gigantic uzi, complete with light and sound features
  • A black doll stand

The mask, knife, sheath, and sword are all fantastic and fit the character perfectly. He holds both the knife and sword flawlessly. The knife sits in the sheath just how it should, as well. The mask looks brilliant, with the clear portion being the highlight. The arm guards are also nice, but they’re tough to get on and off the figure without bunching up the sweater sleeves.

1992 GI Joe Hall of Fame Snake Eyes

The dog tags are pretty nice, too, I guess.

1992 GI Joe Hall of Fame Snake Eyes

The uzi itself is hilarious. When you press the red button on the side, the barrel lights up and it makes a decent machine gun noise. But it’s waaay oversized. I know it had to be a little bit on the large side due to technical limitations of the day, but I think it probably could have been a little bit smaller and still retained its gimmicks. Still, despite its comical size, the figure holds it well in just about any position and the sculpt itself is very well done. 

1992 GI Joe Hall of Fame Snake Eyes

When you remove the figure’s mask, you see his blonde eyebrows and scarred face under a black balaclava. Tricky Hasbro! It’s actually a good representation of the Snake Eyes we know from the Marvel Comics, so Hasbro was paying attention to detail.

1992 GI Joe Hall of Fame Snake Eyes

There’s also an Arashikage tattoo on the figure’s inner forearm, which is a nice touch. I know it should be on his outer arm, but it’s cool that Hasbro thought to include the detail in the first place.

So, that’s enough gushing about the figure. Let’s talk about its very real flaws.

As toys, Hall of Fame figures are not good. They technically have plenty of articulation, but a lot of it isn’t very useful. The shoulders and hips have the good range you’d expect from a GI Joe figure– they can move both up and down and side to side with ease. The head also swivels 360 degrees with no problems.

1992 GI Joe Hall of Fame Snake Eyes

The knees and elbows are where we run into problems, though. 

Both the elbows and knees are encased inside the figure’s rubber body, which I guess preserves the natural look when the figure is nude. But the joints themselves are ratcheted and only move a couple of small clicks either way. The figure maybe only gets 45 degrees of motion in its knees and elbows, and that is being generous. Despite having forearm swivels, the figure cannot get into any good two handed weapon-holding poses and cannot get into any real dynamic stances with its legs.

Even as a kid, the articulation frustrated me– and I regularly played with Toy Biz X-Men figures that had far less range of movement. I guess I just expected more from GI Joe.

1992 GI Joe Hall of Fame Snake Eyes also has bare hands, which ruins the look a little bit. But that’s true for every single HoF figure– they all had bare hands, whether it fit the character or not. God forbid Hasbro sculpted some gloves on them. You’ll also note that each HoF figure has the weird inverse thumbnail on one hand, which proved that it was a “real GI Joe.” Okay, whatever.

1992 GI Joe Hall of Fame Snake Eyes

The figure does include a nice doll stand, which is helpful for display. The figure’s boots slide into the stand’s grooves quite well, and it makes for a solid display. I find the figure stands up just fine without the stand, but it’s nice to have a little extra reassurance. 

Hall of Fame Snake Eyes is much more of a display piece than it is a toy, which is unfortunate. The vintage 60s and 70s GI Joe dolls were packed with useful articulation. They could realistically pose with all of their ancient weapons and take on any stance a kid could ever imagine. The Hall of Fame toys cannot do any of that. In that way, they’re a big step down from both their direct ancestors and their ARAH counterparts.

1992 GI Joe Hall of Fame Snake Eyes

But, this toy does look beautiful on a shelf. It’s a striking design that’s well translated into 12” form. Because I had this figure as a kid (and because of all of the marketing materials of the time), this is Snake Eyes’ iconic look for me. When I picture Snake Eyes, this is the costume I immediately see. This Hall of Fame doll’s oversized presence in my youth has a lot to do with that.

I really like this toy, even if it’s more of something that sits on a shelf than something that plays out fantasy adventures. 

Overall: 1992 GI Joe Hall of Fame Snake Eyes is a gorgeous sci-fi military doll that still looks impressive on a shelf, even 20 years later. The clothing is well made and the accessories are mostly cool. It’s also a great interpretation of the iconic 1991 Snake eyes figure. It is unfortunately a lousy toy, though. The articulation is bad by GI Joe standards and it can’t move around like you’d want it to. And because only three villains were ever properly made in the Hall of Fame line, there’s not a ton of play value to be had with it. It’s a cool piece, but it’s not a good action figure. So it’s Mildly Recommended at best.

Closing Thoughts on 1992 GI Joe Hall of Fame Snake Eyes

1992 GI Joe Hall of Fame Snake Eyes

After I bought that big HoF lot in 2020, I got pretty ambitious. I got a real photo tent to take photos of the figures. I also bought one of the mail-away Cobra Trooper uniforms, a cheap late 90s GI Joe body, and an extra HoF Cobra Commander. Using a hair dryer and other tools, I swapped the CC head (which I burned a little, oops) onto the better-articulated body and slapped on the trooper outfit. It did not go as planned and I felt a little bit defeated. 

Here are the results:

That whole experience soured me on my new doll collection a little bit. But, I’ve since recovered since I realized it was my first time ever trying to customize a 12” doll and that I shouldn’t be so hard on myself.

I think I’m going to review/profile these Hall of Fame and Action Man figures more regularly. After all, my goal was to provide good information on them where almost none exists elsewhere. I hope you’ll join me.

Did you own any Hall of Fame figures in the 90s? Did you play with them as a kid? Let me know in the comments!

12 thoughts on “1992 GI Joe Hall of Fame Snake Eyes Review

  1. generalliederkranz

    This is great! I had this figure as a kid, but only after the 1991 Snake Eyes. It was a revelation to see how the 3.75″ sculpt translated into real clothes with multiple layers. Somehow I’d never thought about that. I also liked that they included the trench knife as a shout-out to the 1989 version (which I think was itself a reference to Snake Eyes’ “spike-knuckled trench knife collection” referenced in the comics way back in 1983 or so).

    I differ with you on the HoF’s quality as toys–at least, in relative terms to other 12″ Joes. The articulation definitely sucks, and it frustrated me as a kid. But Barbie’s is even worse and she’s been around for what, 75 years? I think you’re right that it’s about expectations. The 1960s body and the ARAH swivel-arm body were so well-articulated that we’re spoiled for anything else. But as someone who played with HoF, then collected later incarnations of 12″ Joes, it seems to me that in the world of 12″ military dolls, there is ALWAYS room for more articulation, more detail, and more historical accuracy. I followed the progression: HoF–>the slightly improved 30th Anniversary body–>Classic Collection–>Ultimate Soldier (not Hasbro but I loved it). Beyond that was Dragon, which was way too expensive and specialized for me. And then I guess there’s Sideshow. But almost every step makes the figures more fiddly and more boring as toys. As I’ve started photographing my Classic Collection figures in the last few months, I’ve been reminded that as well-articulated as those bodies are, they are hard to stand up. The modern-era 4″ Joes feel the same way to me–technically they’re great but they just don’t work as toys.

    Nice job on the custom Trooper! As tough as it was to make it looks good and poses well enough to hold the AK. That Cobra Trooper accessory pack was vital to my play patterns (the only thing it was missing was an AK. I had a die-cast one from another toy line and I’m glad you gave him one). There was also a helicopter backpack set that came with a blue Cobra jumpsuit. With those two outfits I could make army-builders for my HoF Joes to fight.

    The world-building in that booklet was amazing. I wonder who was responsible for it. Normally Hasbro was really bad at that kind of stuff, and embarrassed themselves whenever they tried to do it without Larry Hama’s or Buzz Dixon’s help.

    For what it’s worth, there were actually some enemies for the 1960s Joes: they made Japanese and German soldier figures. Hasbro produced some comic strips as advertising, showing kids army-building them and making huge dioramas. I wonder if 12″ collectors in the 1990s went crazy lining up hundreds of Nazis in glass cases?

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  2. animatedtako

    I remember the HOF figures fondly even if my hands on experience wasn’t tremendous with them, as I wouldn’t get heavily into the 12 inch figures until HOF was on it’s way out. I did have Destro and Rapid Fire, who I hope you got a hold of!

    Probably the most important thing about the HOF collection was seeing my dad’s eyes light up seeing toys that more resembled what he grew up with. He was responsible for my first Joe figures on name recognition alone, but he got a little extra interested in Rapid Fire. One day soon after at my grandparent’s house, he came down from the attic with a vintage 60’s footlocker. Not many of him and my uncle’s childhood toys had survived aside from tinker toys, legos and plastic army men that my grandparents kept out for us grandkids to play with, but seeing Rapid Fire was like it unlocked a memory for my dad where one survivor was stashed.

    Inside was a 70s flocked hair Adventure team Land Adventurer, who’d had his beard shaved down but kept some rad sideburns. There was also a ton of uniforms and accessories from the 60s, and it was the first real look I got at ancient G.I.Joe. I say “ancient” but that toy was about as old then as this Snake Eyes is now!

    Right away having a direct comparison, I understood how limited the HOF bodies were, and that soured me a little on getting more, unless they had heavy character pull on me. Which, it turns out happened to be more on the Street Fighter side. Later I noticed the improved bodies in the classic collection, and as my younger cousins and neighbors’ younger brothers were coming into prime action figure age I followed them getting swept up in the 1:6 renaissance that unfolded.

    For the most part, since we didn’t really have “enemies” in that sense the origins and time period of figures mattered very little, and I pretty much universally observed and took part in playing with 12inch figures like drafting a bunch of eccentric mercenaries that was just “my guys vs your guys”, so someone’s dirty dozen might include “USMC BAR-MAN (Korean war), COUNTY SHERIFF, SKI ACTION MAN, AUSTRALIAN ODF guy and some 21st century sneering green beret” all fighting side by side. I did occasionally play alone with the hand-full of WW2 and Korean War themed ones I had, which was pretty much always just imagining them holding a position against a continued imaginary assault.

    As I understand it, these two patterns are pretty much how my dad, uncle and their friends played too. Later when I got one of the early complete G.I.Joe Encyclopedias and asked my dad about the “Soldiers of the world series”, he didn’t know about them. “There’s no way they would’ve bought us a Nazi!” I guess my grandfather probably did have complicated feelings about that, having served through that war and all…

    So anyway I missed out on HOF Snake Eyes, but I kinda got a chance to make a custom a few year later. His mask was reissued in all black with a “G.I.Joe: 2010” figure, Operation: Lion’s Den. It also included a much more reasonably scaled Uzi! I gave that figure a black shirt, a balaclava and a backpack and had myself a nice pose-able sorta-Snake Eyes.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. generalliederkranz

      It’s cool that you played with the later CC figures. I only played with the first wave in 1996, then kept “adult” collecting after that. So I didn’t really face the problem of having no adversaries.

      I wanted Rapid Fire SO badly. I pined after him in TRU and I remember making up stories during class. But by the time I’d saved enough money he was gone. I found one years later at a flea market.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. animatedtako

        I kinda had both mentalities! I certainly fell for the package insistence of what was special and what wasn’t, so I tended to make myself believe the nicer boxed figures were “for my collection” and the cheaper blister-carded figures + accessory packs were fine to beat up outside. In fact, I still have a bunch of CC boxes stacked up at my parent’s house I’ve been agonizing over what to do with.

        Rapid Fire was awesome… I have a lot of thoughts about him, but I’ll save those for his profile on here in the future!

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  3. Dracula

    As a kid in the 90s I had a strange inferiority complex concerning my GI Joe figures, brought on by talking about the original 1960s Man of Action with my dad. He wasn’t impressed by the O-ring figures, noting that they couldn’t hold rifles realistically like his childhood figures could. I remember when the HOF figures came out and thinking I could finally impress my dad with a modern Joe figure. I got the Basic Training Grunt figure, since it was the closest thing to a “normal” vintage-era Joe that I could find. I think I got some accessory sets to dress him up.

    And then I had that same sense of disappointment when I realized that not only could the HOF figures not hold a rifle well, they couldn’t really do anything well other than stand there and look cool. Grunt ended up collecting dust in an under-bed bin along with all his realistic scale military accessories.

    Thankfully I grew out of my childhood need to impress my dad with my toys. I knew it was pointless. But I’ll always associate the HOF line with that time.

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  4. A-Man

    I had many of the Hall of Fame 12-inchers. A couple of the Street Fighter ones, too.
    They were amusing, but in a limited fashion. Everything fun about them had to do with thing’s ARAH 3 3/4″ mostly did not have, removable closes and gear, non-breakable thumbs and crotches, and larger scale. But that was it. The line was too big for vehicles, though they made 2. The was no real army building. Articulation was worse.
    Things got odd in the last year, as previously Hall of Famers were 12″ versions of 4″ figures (more or less), but then 12″ Flint became a green beret, Duke and Roadblock wore camo paint on their bodies and Major Bludd was shirtless wearing body armor. When GI JOE Vs Cobra launched in 2002, a similar model followed, 12″ figures that mostly weren’t really based on 4″ ones.

    Funny they kept the inverse thumbnail nod to classic 12″ GI JOE, but not the level of articulation of vintage GI JOE.

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  5. Clutch

    A note of trivia on Rapid Fire: His head sculpt and hair color seems to be based on Sgt. Saunders from the 1960s WWII TV drama series, “Combat!” Saunders was played by Vic Morrow, and as a huge Saunders/Morrow fan, I sought out Rapid Fire after I realized on whom the sculptor had based the figure on. I got him for a fair price in a sealed but damaged box many years ago on eBay. Chances are that if your dad watched the show and played with Joes in the early to late 60s, he likely noticed the connection as well.

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    1. A-Man

      12 inch Hall of Fame Rapid Fire was a recolor and flocked version of the Basic Training Grunt (It was a TRU exclusive, so no new parts). So I guess Grunt was the Vic Morrow stunt double first.

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  6. Sam Smith

    If Hasbro didn’t make a 12″ HOF BAT, then that’s a shame. I would have really enjoyed incorporating a giant Sentinel-like Joe-hunting robot into my 3.75″ play pattern. Because ofc, Dr. Mindbender would have been an X-Men fan as an evil boy genius.

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  7. Yes! To everything. I wanted Snake Eyes for the SAME reason – also Destro, but he gave you a lot more in the unmasking (like, an actual face). I never ended up doing much with this for reasons you mentioned, but I also had a passion for gearing up, and I had a few accessory sets, so I loved packing up Snake Eyes’ backpack and giving him a few more bladed options.

    In the end, I sold him and Destro, but I still have the accessory packs and the Ninja Force Snake Eyes (which I thought would have an unmasked face as well, but NOPE, same eyes staring back). Ninja Force Snakes was bogged down even further with a chopping arm, but he had an amazing normal-sized uzi, a new gold sword, and this wicked double-pronged knife.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. generalliederkranz

      Thanks for bringing up NF Snake Eyes! I thought of him after writing my comment. I loved that Uzi too. I agree about the accessory packs—the best part of playing HoF was planning out what gear they’d need for a certain mission.

      I’m really enjoying this comment thread. I don’t think about HoF nearly as much as 3.75” but hearing everyone’s memories is bringing back a lot of my own. Thanks Dragon Fortress!

      Liked by 1 person

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