Adding insult to injury – the origins of the G.I. Joe: Retaliation Swamp-Viper

As usual, notpicard has got a great eye for parts, unused or otherwise.  I posted images of the Fang Boat w/ Swamp-Viper last night, and today, notpicard left a comment referencing some old unused “Clutch” tooling.

It was a story that I posted some time ago, pointing back to the Facebook page of Matt Brouillard, who is apparently a freelance sculptor who did some work for Hasbro, including an incredibly awesome looking “Clutch” (a name Mr. Brouillard used).  This Clutch looked pretty futuristic, yet had a ton of amazing detail throughout…and guess what?

Yeah, that’s Swamp-Viper.  Only the figure looks considerably different once it’s tooled up with reduced detail and articulation.  There’s absolutely no doubt that the Clutch sculpt was the foundation of this figure, yet it’s downright depressing to see how much detail and design is lost through the articulation changes.  Ugh.  It’s not just missing joints, the entire figure just doesn’t look as sharp or as cool.  Check out the comparison image below:

Obviously the armor design and overall uniform design is the same, though there are some missing pouches around the waist, and with the t-crotch added, you loose the detail in the upper legs as well.  Some of the sculpting work on the gloves is not the same either, and overall, things just look a bit softer and less crisp.  It still looks like a very impressive design, but by reducing the articulation, the figure itself suffers in almost every way.

A real shame.  Again, big thanks and kudos to notpicard for picking up on this instantly.  He’s got a great eye.

In hand images for G.I. Joe: Retaliation Fang Boat and Ninja 4 x 4

Kudos to gijoefrank from The Terror Drome, who has posted some very cool pictures of the upcoming G.I. Joe: Retaliation vehicles, the Fangboat w/ Swamp-Viper and the Ninja Commando 4 x 4 w/ Snake Eyes.

This is our first look at the overall design for the Swamp-Viper figure, and the lack of articulation becomes an even bigger, more crushing disappointment as the figure design is very nice.  I love the helmet, I love the uniform design…it looks really, really cool, and would be a selling point for this vehicle alone if he had normal articulation.

As it is, I’ll probably skip the Fang Boat entirely as I don’t especially need yet another Water Moccasin, and I have no need for this figure as it stands.  We’ll see.

You can check out the Fang Boat thread right here, and the Ninja Commando thread here.  I’ve mirrored a handful of images below, but you should check out the threads for even more images.

Toys “R” Us Sting Raider reviewed

GeneralsJoes contributor Mysterious Stranger got his hands on the recently released Toys “R” Us Exclusive Sting Raider w/ Copperhead & Swamp Viper and has reviewed the vehicle for us right here!

Also, hit up the Rise of Cobra Review Page to see all the other reviews that have been posted.

Triple Play of TRU reviews posted at TerrorDrome.com

The TRU Exclusives are indeed hitting hot and heavy over the past few weeks, and the Terror Drome is staying right on top of it, with three reviews posted for Arctic Threat Doc, Arctic Threat Shipwreck, and the Sting Raider w/ Copperhead and Swamp-Viper.  I will be posting my own review (courtesy of Mysterious Stranger) later today of the Sting Raider, but here are some mirrored images for the excellent reviews I linked above.

TRU “Arctic Threat” Doc

TRU “Arctic Threat” Shipwreck

TRU Sting Raider w/ Copperhead & Swamp Viper

Sting Raider w/ Copperhead and Swamp-Viper in stock at TRU.com

It’s been on the site for a while, but just was recently listed as “In Stock” and available for purchase.  Hit up ToysRUs.com to grab yours before they’re gone!

Loose images of Pursuit of Cobra Target Mini-Vehicles emerge

We’ve seen other images already, but they were pretty low on detail…now HissTank.com has some loose images up which are looking at least a bit better and clearer.  Mirrored below are images for the following:

  • Cobra Twin Battle Gun w/ Range-Viper
  • Flight Pod w/ Elite-Viper
  • RAM w/ Sandstorm
  • Glider w/ Capt. Ace
  • Water Moccasin w/ Copperhead & Swamp-Viper

When Hasbro does good, they do really, really good, but when they do bad, it’s pretty bad.  And I gotta say that Glider and Water Moccasin, in my opinion, are pretty damn bad.  I mean, Capt. Ace with a moustache?  That’s Tripwire’s head anyway, so why the heck paint a fake moustache on there for a guy who’s not supposed to have one?  Or if you must paint one on there, why not just make this Slipstream?  I gotta tell you, too, I’m feeling pretty sorry for poor AVAC…he keeps getting saddled with terrible paint schemes and new specialties.  First he was a pretty bad ass red and silver, then he turns into pukey purple with the CLAW, and now he’s poop green and brown as a “Swamp-Viper”.  Enh.  Not high on my list.

The others, though, are impressive.  Love the Range-Viper and Whirlwind…that Elite-Viper in red is pretty damn cool, too, I gotta admit.  Hell, even Sandstorm with the basic Reactive Armor torso and desert camouflage pants is pretty bad ass, and he’ll fit in real nice with the Toys “R” Us Troop Builder packs.  Considering I haven’t loved any of the Target exclusive mini vehicles I’ve seen yet (except the SNAKE) these are looking really nice.  Check out the images yourself:

Catching up – More info from Hasbro Panel at JoeCon 2009

Still playing a bit of catch up today and yesterday with JoeCon intel as I was on the road for a lot of the excitement, then ended up at work until after midnight with a Firewall/Switch issue.  When it rains, it pours…

Anyway, a spontaneous Hasbro round table was held yesterday in conjunction with the Rise of COBRA panel, and they showcased a lot of images of upcoming 2010 exclusive items, mostly available at Toys “R” Us and Target stores.  They also talked about some “zipcord” figure/vehicle sets intended for the kids’ market, but those vehicles will come with fully functional Pursuit of COBRA action figures in them.  They are listed as follows:

Rip Attack Zipcord Vehicles

  • JetStorm Cycle w/ Snake Eyes
  • Tiger Snake w/ Street-Viper

Target Exclusives

  • RAM w/ Sandstorm (the Joe that Zartan kills and disguises himself as!)
  • Trouble Bubble w/ Elite-Viper
  • Glider w/ Ace
  • Twin Battle Gun w/ Range-Viper (a darker colored Range-Viper from the 7-Pack?  SOLD!)

Toys “R” Us Exclusives

  • Single Pack Doc (Arctic Threat)
  • Single Pack Shipwreck (Arctic Threat)
  • Sting Raider w/ Copperhead and Swamp-Viper (Swamp-Viper is an AVAC in green)

And in perhaps, some of the best news of the panel, Hasbro revealed they are retooling the Sigma 6 2.5″ Iron Hammer mechs to fit the full sized figures!  Hell yeah!

Images are mirrored below, courtesy of JoeBattleLines.com.

The panel also discussed Shadow Tracker, who is a COBRA tracker who refuses to use guns, and only uses melee weapons.  He was conceived of to work with Jungle-Vipers, who are all macked out on nanomites, and use advanced technology to pin down their targets, then Shadow Tracker goes in to finish them off.  A very cool team, and an absolutely bad ass looking figure.