Alley Viper (2002)
The first Alley Viper seemed an odd duck to me, from its color scheme to the strange face shield. Urban fighters outfitted in blue and orange, wearing masks through which it appeared they couldn’t possibly see? But hey, it’s GI Joe, I thought, shrugged my shoulders, and moved on. The later 90’s Alley Viper changed up the sculpt, and included a mask with eye holes. Guess Cobra Commander finally got tired of their bumping into couches and scuffing up the baseboards at the Cobra Temple.
The GI Joe vs. Cobra series was great for classic o-ring collectors looking to do a little Cobra troop building. Vipers, Alley Vipers and Shock Vipers were all cool army builders available alongside the line’s new sculpt offerings, and in some not too garish color schemes. This Alley Viper impressed me purely from a color standpoint. The old school camo patterns, done in a very urban grey and black, were a welcome sight. And the blue complemented the camo very well. The incluson of the Tomax & Xamot rifle was a let down, but one that was easily rectified by a requisition from the weapons bin. The ’83 Duke legs are problematic in that they’re quite thin compared to the arms and torso. They don’t quite mesh well with the waist, and are prone to side kicking, but I don’t lose sleep over it.
I’m still finding these figures carded in my area, and though I already have my fill, I find it hard to resist picking up more of them. I may still grab a few more of the red variant just for fun.