Available now from both the Transformers Collectors’ Club and G.I. Joe Collectors’ Club stores are the crossover figure sets old Old Snake (With B.A.T. drones) and Marissa Faireborn with Afterbreaker (non transforming).
Although targeted to both Joe and Transformers collectors the characters seem to be obscure enough that not a lot of people are getting the reference. I’ve seen questions (And have answered the same questions) many times across the social media landscape so I though the first part of this article should be a little background.
For those who don’t remember, or who weren’t around when the original TV shows were airing in the 1980s, both the GI Joe and Transformers cartoons were produced jointly by Sunbow Entertainment and Marvel Productions (along with a slew of other licensed properties like Jem and the Holograms, Robotix, and Inhumanoids to name a few). What this meant was that the animation, writing, and voice acting were farmed out to the same groups working on all these different shows at once as they are produced.
In some cases, this lead to little easter eggs like news caster Hector Ramirez making cameo appearances as a incidental character and in other cases it lead to more direct cross-over style easter eggs.
Such was the case in the Season 3 episode of Transformers G1 entitled “Only Human”. GI Joe and Transformers had already long set the precedent for crossing over into each other’s worlds in the comics — but the TV universe, which was always regarded as vastly different, had up until that point shied away from such direct cross-overs. In “Only Human” this more than crossed the line. You can read the full synopsis on the wiki here, but to sum up – an aging former leader of a terrorist organization from the past named “Old Snake” assists some modern day (well, 2006 modern) gangsters with his knowledge and technology to usurp the Autobots threatening their illicit schemes. Four Autobots wind up in synthoid bodies and after all is said and done, Old Snake wanders off into the night shouting “Cobra!” (Though he is interrupted by a pesky cough. Old Snake is of course voiced by Chris Latta who performed the original Cobra Commander voice (in addition to Starscream, Wheeljack, Sparkplug, etc on the Transformers show).
So there is no debating that Old Snake is indeed Cobra Commander 20 years after the events of the GI Joe cartoon in the 80s. To clarify, after the Transformers movie from 1985, the series was time jumped 20 years into the future to the year 2005 for the movie, and subsequently 2006 for the 3rd Season of the show.