Alley Viper Officer (2015)
I’ve been a fan of the Alley Viper concept since I first learned of it upon returning to GI Joe collecting in 1991. The oddity of the design drew me in. Here was an urban operative outfitted in orange and blue, wearing a face shield that looks like it blocks all vision. Weird, yet intriguing. I picked up several examples of the original version before the later Battle Corps remake was released, and since its reuse in the 2000s, I’ve been amassing even more of the later variants. Most of them feature Duke legs that don’t work all that well, but I still enjoy he figures. Heck, I even bought a bushel of the strangely proportioned new sculpt versions. When the 25th Anniversary offering of the trooper showed up, I thought it was well done, and appropriately accessorized. The later Pursuit of Cobra version upped the ante a bit in terms of accessories, while toning down the color scheme. The result was an effective modern iteration of the classic Cobra urban warfare specialists. It even included a secondary helmet that provided full vision for its wearer. The Officer, first available as a driver in 2010, is back as part of the SDCC exclusive Cobra Strike set.
I didn’t quite know what to think about the color scheme here, the element that is noticeably different from the previous Alley Viper release in the Retaliation line. I suppose it’s sort of a marriage of the original’s boldness and latter figures’ subdued hues. The uniform could have used more contrasting camo on its lower half, as the pattern just seems to end at the thighs. Overall, the paint scheme looks half-done. Very strange. While the Officer satisfies my need to see more variants of this troop type, I’m disappointed with the look. A blue or red homage to the o-ring releases of the GI Joe vs. Cobra era would have been nice.
It seems to me that this figure would have been more at home alongside the Elite Horseman in the ground vehicle pack, swapped with the Air Trooper as a secondary pilot along with the set’s AVAC. Hey wait, I can do that myself now. Duh.
Check in tomorrow for the last piece of this set: the Cobra Scythe. The Cobra figures may not have impressed me much, but the jet more than makes up for them.