Spy Troops Wave 4 (Wave 7.75) - Neo Viper
Seeing some of these figures really takes me back to Wave 1 and the roller coaster that was the return of G.I. Joe to wide release a couple of years back. From the awful (Destro) to the mediocre (Gung Ho) to the almost good (Neo-Viper, Cobra Commander) the non-O-ring construction started the largest and loudest outcry ever seen in the G.I. Joe fandom. It also successfully brought back the O-ring, and as such a number of the Wave 1 figures have been retro-fitted to take advantage of that.
Neo Viper was one of the few Wave 1 figures that actually almost fit in with the rest of the line. They were slim, fairly well proportioned, and had pretty cool designs, even though their arms were horribly positioned. The Neo Viper spawned several “sequels” so-to-speak, eventually released with the HISS IV, the COBRA Ringneck and made into Neo Viper Commanders and even Wild Weasel (!?!). Wave 4 saw the first O-ring Neo retrofit, and it actually fit the Neo Viper very well! But, even has much as the new addition helped the COBRA genetic trooper, the colors were a little sketchy. Different shades of gray made for an interesting and different color scheme, but weren’t really “COBRA colors” and many fans longed for an O-ring release closer to the Wave 1 palette. Well, they got their wish, and I for one am very glad of it.
I like the Neo Vipers. A really interesting modern uniform design combined with a pretty cool pseudo-sci fi backstory makes these COBRA’s troopers of the future. Many folks see them as the new COBRA infantry, although I consider them far more specialized. Whatever the reasoning, the figures look cool, and while I loved the design, the non O-ring construction prevented me from using them heavily. Now, with these O-ring releases of N-V and the N-V Commander, that can change.
Blue and red are cornerstones of the COBRA color scheme, and these two troops really fit the bill. These molds look fantastic in these colors, and I love the different head sculpts as well. These figures probably lend themselves to the O-ring treatment better than any Wave 1 figures I’ve seen so far, and I think they’ll integrate well into peoples’ armies, mine included.
Still, I’m a little torn on their backstory. I like the idea of genetic tampering and COBRA “creating” troopers that have inherent abilities above and beyond normal folks, but I don’t want these guys to appear too invincible. I think my Neo’s will be guinea pigs for COBRA’s new Venom project and just see where it takes me. I definitely see them as more than just a new generic foot soldier, but don’t want them to “superhero-ish”.
At any rate, this two pack is a good one, and I love the way this Neo Viper looks with his O-ring, plus he comes with that cool new sculpt AK-47. I’d say this is probably the “can’t miss” 2 pack of the wave, and I’d highly recommend picking this one up.
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