G.I. Joe: 50th Anniversary - Battle Below Zero Cobra Wolf w/ Ice Viper

I will say this was an especially pleasent surprise when the 50th Anniversary line was unveiled. I don't think the Cobra Wolf or Ice Viper was anywhere on anyone's radar before the line was announced, so the Toy Fair press release took us by surprise. But it also generated a ton of questions... was the Wolf new tooling? Did they make this purely for the 50th celebration? Where exactly did the Ice Viper come from?

First and foremost I can confirm that the tooling for the Cobra Wolf is indeed the vintage tooling. There don't appear to be big changes to the core of the vehicle itself. The foot pegs are sized for the vintage figures, though thankfully the cockpits are more than large enough for the modern figures to fit. Both the Ice Viper and Snow Serpent fit in the cockpits with no problems whatsoever, and in fact the Ice Viper can grab those front control handles marvelously well.

I do really enjoy the Wolf overall, with an awesome sleek armored design and lots of cool play features. The fold-up treads for ski-ing downhill, and the flip up rocket launcher are both great. I really dig the top mounted twin guns, too. Even though I'm not huge on arctic stuff, this one is a winner. It amazes me that the tooling still exists, too, especially with so much vintage tooling reported as being disposed of.

There are some changes here for the modern figures, though... the removable skis on each side are actually pegged for modern figures, so the newer Ice Viper can ski on them. Makes me wonder if this vehicle was going to come previously at any point, or if they did that just for the 50th Anniversary line. Overall, this vehicle is amazingly reminscent of the vintage version, and for anyone looking to replace their old and yellowing Cobra Wolf, this makes a spectacular update.

Ice Viper

As much of a surprise as the Cobra Wolf was, I think getting an actual Ice Viper driver was probably an equal surprise. Former Hasbro employee (and current Boss Fight Studio designer) Erik Arana has mentioned that he did the deco for the Ice Viper as part of the tail end of the 25th Anniversary line (slated to come with the Arctic HISS before he was replaced by a HISS Driver). Mimicking the red ninja mask, this Ice Viper comes with a ski mask, that I think we can all agree makes much more sense. Most of the figure is the Snow Serpent/Arctic Snake Eyes, except for the forearms/hands which for some strange reason use the Rise of Cobra Neo-Viper/Viper Commando arms. I'm not entirely sure why they made that choice, and in fact there are other throwbacks to the Rise of Cobra era, too. He comes with the Elite-Viper submachine gun and laser pistol, too. I'm really not a huge fan of those clunky forearms, but as far as complaints go, that's probably a pretty minor one.

Paint work here is quite nice, with a very subtle arctic camouflage pattern, and nice matches to the vintage color scheme. The tooling choice gives him great range of motion, and using the sai-sheaths on the legs was a really great idea. Base figure works well, and the subtle changes to make it look more like the vintage version.

ACCESSORIES

The accessory choices for Ice Viper are inspired, as well. He's got a few items that are new to us, but were likely tooled for the 25th Anniversary version we've heard about. The fur collar and bandolier is quite cool, even if not 100% vintage accurate. It makes more sense as a strap full of pouches than it does as a weird row of metallic plates. He's got two newly tooled up sais (that are different than the ones we've gotten with other releases) to fit into the thigh sheaths. Using the G.I. Joe: Resolute Cobra Trooper helmet and goggles does a great job of approximating the vintage look, too. As I already mentioned he has the submachine gun and laser pistol from the Rise of Cobra generation, too.

An already nice base figure gets a terrific accessory assortment, and the end result is a great Ice Viper that resembles the vintage version nicely, but gets some really great updates as well. I will say without the fur collar his neck is ridiculously long, but the collar helps with that, and the overall look of the figure is pretty great, in my opinion.

It's a perfect match. A vintage Cobra Wolf with a vintage themed Ice-Viper that fits in the cockpit perfectly. Really great combination and a nice foil to the Ghost Hawk w/ Snake Eyes.

Get this set at Big Bad Toy Store!

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