Alley Viper (1994)
The crash of the blog last week was a blessing in disguise. What was a pain in the rear to fix also turned out to be a call to action for me. You’ve probably noticed that I’ve been less inclined to include figure pics in my posts lately. Some of that is due to the stuff of life, but a lot is just plain laziness mixed with–I’ll be honest–burnout.
After several hours of boring WordPress repair work yesterday, I felt energized to get off my blogger butt and do something with the site. I broke out the camera, set up the light box I hadn’t used in months, and began to rummage through the collection for subject matter. It was just like the old days of 2011! So look for more newly photographed figures coming soon. Yay!
Speaking of the old days, the 1994 Alley Viper was one of the first few figures I covered. As such, the photos of the time were less than impressive. Anyway, it’s been one of my favorites since the time of release. Looking at the 1993 figure from which it came, the Alley Viper was a great update of the original Cobra urban operative. Even though it was bright yellow, there was a lot to like in the mold and accessories. Thankfully they made the transition with the ’94 repaint.
What I enjoy most about this figure is its bold color. Sure, the palette is a result of Hasbro aping the style of another successful toy line rather than innovating, but the result for me is so gloriously, shamelessly toylike that it just makes me happy. There’s no fitting this figure in with earlier Cobras, unless the bad guys were recruiting for an urban clown force, and that’s fine with me.
One aspect I hadn’t noticed about the 90s Alley Vipers were the details on the missile launcher. When I bought these figures, I did as most other collectors and chucked the launchers into a storage bin. Now that I look at the card art, I see the side of the launcher features a molded in keypad, like some sort of guidance system might be built into the thing. Now that’s a nice little touch. Actually, if you look closely at some other launchers, you’ll find some bits that add a little more interest. Cool stuff to notice after all these years.