From the 2009 Toy Fair in New York City comes some great pictures of G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra action figures, courtesy of Collider (where you can find a whole lot more).  We’re getting a pretty solid idea of what many of the Joe and Cobra crew will look like, including two new villains, Cobra Viper Commando and Neo-Viper whom look like a variation on what Cobra Commander may look like.

But I gotta ask, why not just show us what the characters look like before we see them in toy form?

Just a quick aside: I’m glad Joseph Gordon-Levitt is playing Cobra Commander.  After seeing his starring role in the independent film Brick, which is a Maltese Falcon-style noir detective thriller set in a high school (trust me, it works), I am confident the actor will bring some great stuff to the role.

Ripcord in the Accelerator Suit

I’m digging the look of the figures so far, which includes Ripcord in the Accelerator Suit armor that we saw in the teaser trailer.

Cobra Viper Commando: Desert Ambush

Here’s the “Cobra Viper Commando: Desert Ambush” here, which could be a specialty outfit seen in the movie or just in the figure line.  There’s also another villain called Neo-Viper, and both look a little like Cobra Commander.  I’m interested in learning more.

Neo-Viper, who looks similar to Cobra Commander

Like my fellow Screen Rant writer Kofi Outlaw, who opined about the first look at a more kid-friendly Cobra Commander toy, I have been wondering for a long time why we’re seeing the toys of movie characters before their official promo shots?  And no, I don’t think it’s completely intentional; but when the toys or licensed merchandise is shown in public, it will end up on the web.

This goes back to Godzilla in 1998, when Sony was trying to keep the monster under wraps.  Unfortunately for the studio, some stickers showed up on Ain’t It Cool News that finally revealed what ol’ Godzilla would look like.

If you know the toys are going to premiere at an event like Toy Fair, why not get the official promo shots of the characters out first?  I feel a little cheated when we see these action figures or other licensed merchandise before an image from the movie.  Not to mention potential spoilers: why reveal the Neo-Viper toy if it could be a potential surprise in the movie?

Most of the time the action figures don’t do justice to what we’ll see in the movie.  The action figure for the Mark II armor from Iron Man leaked before any image from the movie.  Let me tell you, the toy did NO justice to what the final armor looked like.  The figure is flat gray while the armor in the film is a nice and shiny silver.

At any rate, regardless of whether we first see the G.I. Joe characters as toys or in official promo shots, it’s still cool to see where director Stephen Sommers is going with the movie, which opens August 7, 2009.  Now how about some real photos?!

Source: Collider