Cobra Deviant w/ Cyber-Viper

Throughout the years, it always seemed as if Cobra had the upper hand with technology, and the Joes just made due with what they had, and more standard military equipment. Sure, both sides had their share of cutting edge gear, but for some reason, I always saw Cobra have that edge.

Well, with the Pursuit of Cobra, apparently that edge is gone. It does seem to be evident to some degree when you compare the HISS v.5 to something like the Wolfhound or VAMP, but besides that, both sides are on pretty equal technological footing.

When it comes to these two Mechs, though, it's obvious that Hasbro elected to give the Joe team the edge, though I'm not entirely sure why. Obviously Hasbro used the same Mech tooling for both the Joe and Cobra Mechs. One difference the designers put in place was to swap the legs around on the Cobra version, giving it a more "chicken walker" type of appearence. I actually like that. It does seem to limit mobility just a bit, but not enough that it makes a huge difference, and visually it still looks pretty cool.

But what baffles me here is the decision to give the G.I. Joe mech all of this crazy offensive firepower, but limit the Cobra one to a battering ram. I would have thought the Cobra Mech would be the one with the destructive prowess, but instead it's the other way around, as Cobra is severely outgunned when it comes to the Mechanized warfare division. I realize Hasbro had limited elements to work with, having to use the parts from either the Iron Hammer or the unreleased Shadow Hammer, but heck, I wouldn't have even minded if they re-used the rocket launcher for the Cobra it stands, it seems woefully under-powered.

Not only are the weapons substandard, but for whatever reason, the arm joints on the Cobra Mech don't have those cool extensions that the Joe ones do, so the arms cling tight to the body of the vehicle, not allowing for some of the cooler positions or mobility of the Steel Marauder.

Though I will say, even though I'm not a fan of the arm choices, the designs are still quite sound. I love the bizarre shape and angular look of the grappling hook, and I find the spool works really well. The battering ram, while pretty useless at long range, looks like it packs a power punch up close and personal, and I suppose I could see Cobra creating terror and mayhem by having this Mech bulldoze through things instead of shooting at them from a distance. And, truth be told, with the socket joints on the arms, you can swap them around as you see fit, but you do have to worry about color combinations.

Another cool aspect of the arms is the secondary sockets on the outside of the arms for added armament.

Where the Steel Marauder used traditional military greens, grays, silvers, and blacks, the Deviant uses a pretty nice red/purple color pallet with it's own share of grays and blacks. It's a very appealing color scheme that does look very Cobra-like.

I am impressed at just how different Hasbro made the two Mechs look, even though they share the bulk of the same tooling. The Cobra Deviant also uses the canopy from the unreleased Shadow Hammer, which separates it even further from the more standard military fare.


I'm not quite sure where I fall on the Cyber-Viper yet. I'm one of those few fans who actually really had an appreciation for the vintage version, and loved all of the obvious cybernetic enhancements he had throughout his body. This new era Cyber-Viper, while his filecard proclaims that he uses those same enhancements, it's not quite as visually obvious, which is a shame. I would have loved to have seen B.A.T. arms somewhere or some indication that he really is a full on cybernetic trooper, and not just a guy with some implants.

Looking at the figure itself, he's not bad. Between the AVAC, the Swamp-Viper, and now the Cyber-Viper, we're certainly getting used to the Zartan legs being re-utilized as trooper legs, and with the new era Zartans being so bad ass, I don't even mind that much. Sure, the wrist chains seem a little bizarre, but I think the Rise of Cobra trooper torso meshes with the rest of the parts good enough, and the trooper remains a fairly sleek and elite looking pilot.

Using the Wild Weasel head is another great move, I think, which maintains the feel of a new era "cybernetic" trooper, even if the head sculpt represents a helmet design two decades old. Another thing I really love about the character of the figure as well is how his filecard depicts him as a trooper who is enhanced and designed purely to control this Mech, and that the integration between his body and the technology gives them an edge over the G.I. Joe team. That is a pretty cool concept, I gotta admit.

One very cool little easter egg on the head is the clear visor...if you look just close enough, you can actually see a targetting reticule decoed onto it. THAT is awesome.

I will admit the accessory compliment remains a bit of a disappointment here as it was with Kickstart. He's got the removable knife from the ankle holster and the Night Creeper chest armor, but that's it. No gun or anything like that at all. I realize these guys are meant to be pilots, but I still would have enjoyed seeing some sort of new age weapon or something like that for the times when the Mech is shot to hell and they need to get down and dirty.

Really, the Cyber-Viper is sort of a mixed bag. He's a pretty undetailed simple looking trooper, which really doesn't fit the Pursuit of Cobra aesthetic. However, he mixes well with the new HISS Driver, and looks just technical enough to work here. You can also explain away the sleekness and lack of detail by saying he wears some sort of special bodysuit designed to operate the Mech.

While the Deviant shares a lot of the parts with the Steel Marauder, it ends up being a pretty different vehicle, and unfortunately, nearly every difference makes it worse off than the Joe version. The weapons aren't as powerful, the shoulder joints are less effective, and overall it's just not as exciting.

The figure is fine, but not quite as cool as Kickstart. So while I highly recommend the Steel Marauder, and I suppose I should recommend this one, too, simply as a foil for the Joe vehicle, however the Deviant really isn't as good as the Marauder in pretty much every way.

Buy this vehicle now at BigBadToyStore!