G.I. Joe 30th Anniversary Cobra Viper
Something happened between 1982 and 1986 that completely redefined the way the Cobra organization was perceived in the comics, the cartoons, and the toys. Somewhere along the way, the backbone of the Cobra infantry made the shift from common blue pajama wearing terrorist to extremely well equipped and well armored futuristic warriors. Even now, 30 years later, the Cobra Viper looks pretty revolutionary...but what is truly astounding to me is that Hasbro can release a reconceived blue shirt Cobra Trooper and a Cobra Viper within the same wave, and somehow they don't cancel each other out. Some how I can find a place for each of them in my collection and in my army.
In my mind, one of them doesn't necessarily replace the other, even though they were initially designed that way. I could see the Cobra Viper being primarily a front line Cobra Trooper who needs the heavier armor and heavier weapons to smash through enemy lines. Using the Cobra Shock Trooper torso and upper arms gives the Viper a nice bulky appearance, almost looking like a weight lifter. Using the Arctic Storm Shadow lower arms makes an attempt to simulate the familiar gauntlets that the old school Viper wore, and while the previous Pursuit of Cobra version had these in blue, this version has them in red as a nice homage.
Thanks to injected wrists, the figure has great range of motion in his entire arm, which is a fantastic change when compared to the Anniversary Viper was was extremely limited in mobility. Even with the old school Viper vest on, he can hold his weapons amazingly well and realistically, which is very important when you'r talking about a Cobra infantry member.
The Pursuit of Cobra Cobra Viper came with an assortment of weapons, but really couldn't hold them exceptionally well. While I love the old school Cobra Viper rifle, the handles are thick and not really well suited to a comfortable grip, even for these more modern figures.
To solve this problem, Hasbro essentially threw the kitchen sink at this updated Viper, giving him a great assortment of different weapons, and he can hold the rest of these weapons nearly flawlessly. I especially love the extended stock machine gun and the rocket launcher. I'm not normally even a rocket launcher guy, but this particular weapon (initially planned for release with the Resolute Baroness) can be held amazingly well. The scope fits right to his eye, his hands clutch the handles to perfection, and it really is a terrific weapon. Heck, the rocket can even come out of the launcher! Awesome.
When I did my initial review of the Cobra Viper, I lifted heavy praise on it. My only complaints in the previous review was the inability to hold his weapon perfectly and the fact that his red forearm guards would have made it a more fitting tribute. Well, Hasbro took care of both of those problems in this one release, uplifting it from "great" to "fantastic". This is one awesome update to the Cobra Viper and belongs in everyone's collection.
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