G.I. Joe Convention 2017 Laser Viper

AvalancheBlasterBlockerDodgerKnockdown
MaverickB.A.T. Squad LeaderCobra B.A.T.BackstopDee Jay
COBRA CorrosionLaser ViperSky Serpent w/ Laser Viper OfficerMarauder SnowmobilesBAT Rocket Packs
Conquest X36Con Set Recap

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It seems like forever ago that we got our first glimpse of the now infamous Concept Case at JoeCon in 2012.  A showcase of canceled figures had G.I. Joe fans drooling and pressing their desperate faces to the glass all weekend long while dreaming of an alternate universe where these  toys might have actually existed.

Well, somewhere over the past five years, many of those figures have ended up seeing release.  One of the main holdouts from a fan-voted Top 10 list was Laser-Viper, and for the first time ever, at JoeCon 2017, fans everywhere (or at least fans in the greater Orlando, Florida area) got their chance to own them.

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The Collectors Club didn’t just release a Laser Viper either, they released a full blown trio of Laser Vipers, mostly mimicking the build from the concept case from so many years ago.

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G.I. Joe: Resolute Duke provides the torso, with 30th Anniversary Sci-Fi arms and what almost look to be Rise of COBRA legs.  The combination works really well, approximates the vintage (and concept case) look nicely and gives us a great update to the 1990 COBRA roster.  The parts are pretty next generation so the sculpting is great and the articulation works nicely.  Colors here are a bit more muted than they were for the concept case version, but they still work really well.  A combination of gray, blue and silver gives us just what we’re looking for in these updates to the COBRA laser specialists.

Accessories

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One thing we didn’t get that many fans wanted, though were the iconic Laser-Viper backpacks.  I can understand it to a degree, after all that’s quite a bit of new tooling that would likely be required to provide them to us, but it still would have been nice.  As it stands, they come with Sci-Fi’s laser rifle and backpack, a removable helmet, and plenty of awesomeness.

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Little by little we’re working our way through the most wanted concept case figures…at least the vintage rehashes.  Personally I would have loved to have seen some of the Pursuit of COBRA new concept ideas get moved forward, but I understand the fandom is much more adamant about the vintage updates, so that’s what the Club has been focusing on.  This Laser Viper does a great job as an update to the 1990 figure, and actually fleshes out some of the core troop builders for that year pretty effectively.  Thanks to the already released Range-Vipers, Night Creepers, Rock-Vipers, SAW-Vipers, we are now officially all caught up with 1990 COBRA Troopers.  Well, besides a standard color Undertow, I suppose.

Anyway, Laser Viper is a great figure and is one of the shining examples of this year’s selection of JoeCon exclusives.  Great stuff even without his laser backpack.


G.I. Joe Convention 2017 COBRA Corrosion

AvalancheBlasterBlockerDodgerKnockdown
MaverickB.A.T. Squad LeaderCobra B.A.T.BackstopDee Jay
COBRA CorrosionLaser ViperSky Serpent w/ Laser Viper OfficerMarauder SnowmobilesBAT Rocket Packs
Conquest X36Con Set Recap

corrosion-01 corrosion-02

Okay… this is what G.I. Joe Convention exclusives are all about.  It seems like ever since 2007 all we’ve been doing is wading perpetually through endless rehashes of vintage figures, combing the tiny, dark corners of G.I. Joe history to try and find something redeeming about isolated pockets of Real American Hero that we can mine for modern updates.

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As much as I love 1990, I still question the need for an updated Sub Zero, and in fact, even within the context of this convention set, I questioned the decision to resurrect DeeJay, especially at Collectors’ Club steep pricing.

A guy like this one, though?  COBRA Corrosion?  I’m all in favor of stuff like this.

Mostly because it explores a pocket of history that many domestic G.I. Joe collectors still haven’t properly explored and have no exposure to.  I was legitimately shocked at just how many fans, many of whom are long time G.I. Joe members of the online community, had no idea what the inspiration was behind COBRA Corrosion.  They had never come across Corrosao, the Brazilian repaint of DeeJay that belonged to Eco Force south of the border.

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But it occurred to me then that not all of these long time fans lived in a world where there were no domestic G.I. Joe releases.  At all.  Like anywhere.  No Collectors Club, no Toys “R” Us exclusives, no statues, no high end 12″ figures.  Not. A. Damn. Thing.

During times like that, fans gravitated towards things they hadn’t explored yet, like foreign figures.  So for the Club to dip into that well, as they so often do, is a much appreciated aspect of these Convention Sets, and with DeeJay a part of this set already, it just made so much sense for them to bring Corrosao to the table.

At the core, this figure is the same as DeeJay, using the same parts and the same head sculpt, with some color tweaks to better resemble the foreign original.  This all makes perfect sense, considering the figure was a DeeJay repaint back in the day.

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However, the Club does something interesting an gave Corrosao a different piece of chest armor, electing to go with the Nitro-Viper one rather than the Techno-Viper one that DeeJay had.  It changes things up a bit and gives him a little variety, which is a cool idea to establish him as a different character.  With the same modern parts allowing for the same great range of motion and sculpting as DeeJay, this figure feels like a win on all levels.  Even the colors are unique and fun.

Accessories

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Another place they changed some things up in comparison to DeeJay was with the accessories.  Marketed as a gas trooper, they included a grenade launcher with Corrosion (Hardball’s Grenade Launcher which caused a roar of celebration among Joe fans who have longed to explore yet another super obscure corner of previously unwanted G.I. Joe mythology) as well as a Rise of COBRA laser rifle.  The weapons selection is nice, and it’s cool to see Hardball’s grenade launcher again.

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COBRA Corrosion is another previously foreign exclusive that the Collectors Club is working into the more mainstream G.I. Joe universe, which is something I’m always a fan of.  Some of my favorite figures from last year’s set were Black Vulture and Flying Scorpion, I just love seeing these foreign figures in a domestic setting.  Nice job on this figure, and the ultimate enemies 2-pack as a whole.