Anyone who reads my reviews knows that my bread and butter is with the new characters. Like anyone else, I have a certain affinity for new versions of the old classics, but to me, G.I. Joe would not have survived twenty-seven years without injecting new blood in the line on a regular basis, and Night Adder fills that bill very nicely.
Hasbro has gotten very creative with the tooling these days, and even though Night Adder reuses the Resolute Roadblock body (which is fantastic as it is!) with the Ice-Viper head minus a visor. Honestly I had no idea how fantastic that head sculpt looked on the Ice-Viper, but it looks terrific here, even with the holes on the side of his head. I love the red paints apps on his eyes as well, it makes him look very evil and malecious.
Using Roadblock's tooling immediately gives this character some serious stature as well. Night Adder is TALL. Very tall, very large, and very imposing. Early images gave some conflicting impressions about exactly what uniform Night Adder was wearing, as he looked somewhat gray and metallic, but in person, the African American skin tone is quite clear, even if it is very dark. In person it looks much more realistic than it did in any images I saw, especially with the blue tatoos.
Now, anyone can take existing tooling and toss a new name on there to invent a new character, but Hasbro really managed to inject some personality into this one, even with merely some well placed paint applications. Totally covering Night Adder's upper body in tattoos, especially in the style that he's got them, immediately gives the impression that this character has been around the block. He's had time on the streets, and a guy of his size and bulk, he is definitely an enforcer. It's actually a very interesting contrast. Back in the day, COBRA was comprised of mostly super-villain type fare. Even their director of security wore a crocodile skin tunic, a black face mask and looked more super villain than cop. Well, Night Adder comes straight from the streets. With no shirt, basic pants, kneepads, and boots, all he's got is a well stacked flack vest and an awesome COBRA style helmet, and really, that's all he needs.
Something that's been getting a lot of press recently as well is that there are apparently two variations of Night Adder...one with blue tatoos and one with black. I've got comparison images below. From an aesthetic perspective, I understand, as the blue tats are more visible against the dark skin, but the black tattoos look a LOT cooler, I think. For whatever reason the blue colors of the tats just don't look all that great.
Along with the vest, Night Adder comes simply equipped, but nicely equipped, carrying a familiar tactical shotgun (which fits his hands to absolute perfection), a pistol, a knife, and of course, his guard dog and leash. I don't really care one way or the other about the dog relationship, this is one massive character that looks like he could handle any issue thrown his way with or without his four-legged companion.
I was incredibly impressed also at the range of motion this figure has. Even with his larger bulk, the joints move freely and easily, and he can move and pose into any pose that his smaller peers can.
Night Adder, plain and simple, looks rugged, tough, and nasty. He could easily pass for a Dreadnok, but I love that he's got a very "real world" feel (beyond the elaborate facemask). As the live action movie universe continues, I'm interested in seeing how well they manage to marry the live action feel with the G.I. Joe fantasy, and even for a character not at all connected to the movies, Night Adder is a raging success. A great, great figure.
Buy this figure at Big Bad Toy Store!