Cobra Laser Viper (2003)

Sometimes I’m really bummed about missing a few years of the 80s and 90s as a kid collector. 1988 through 1990 were off my radar until I started collecting again in 1991. As such, I often have a more difficult time remembering which toys are from which year. I know, it’s not a big deal, considering all of the web sites and books available to remind me, but for the other years of GI Joe, I can spout it all off the top of my head.

The Laser Viper is a figure that I think my kid self would have loved, had he been available prior to 1988. I’d always been in love with accessories, and this new specialized Viper would have easily been a favorite Cobra trooper. He’s got lasers on his backpack, for Pete’s sake! How cool is that? And he’s wearing a sci-fi helmet. The little Star Wars geek in me, though dormant by 1986, would still have loved the Boba Fett-ish helmet. It may also have struck a chord with the emerging Marvel Zombie I was becoming. I could see the design as an 80s Iron Man villain.

The Laser Viper mold stands as one of Cobra’s more sci-fi influenced troops. The gold, red and black add an air of menace that was missing from the original color scheme. Overall, I found the updated Python Patrol color palette much more pleasing than the old greens, greys and yellows.

Thankfully, his laser system and distinctive helmet made it to this version. Such was not always the case during the 2000s, and particularly the later six packs.


  • The laser viper seems to be a bit of an under-used profession in the cobra ranks.
    Ilike the bronze/gold. He was steam punk before it popular.

  • I love the Laser-Viper, especially because of its sci-fi look and feel.

  • I’ve always been a fan of the Laser Viper, but this version really looks cool with the gold helmet and Python Patrol-style camo.

  • I loved the original Laser Viper and had him back in the day, but in the Python Patrol color scheme, it looks even better. While there was only one real loser in the Python Patrol set, I think Laser Viper was probably my favorite troop builder from that set. It really took well to the pythonizing process.

  • The helmet certainly brings Marvel to mind. It looks very Magneto-ish.

  • Regarding the 1990 figure, interestingly, when last I checked the stats over at Yo Joe, Laser Viper was the least sought after figure (lowest have + want values) from the main line of 1990 (excluding Rapid-Fire) and its rarity based on those numbers doesn’t really stand out from the pack. I found that a bit baffling as the Laser Viper was one of the more stand out figures for me (1990 had some great Vipers. Hmm, is laser, rock, saw some kind of Cobra equivalent of paper rock scissors?). How could they not look cool?

  • Though his filecard NERFed this weapon power (I would’ve expected targeting lasers from the Joes), his concept is all Cobra. His all-Python bodysuit is most believable regarding their stealth tech.

  • Best figure in the Python pack. Too bad the effort put into the later six packs dropped off.

    Amusing that some artwork (package and maybe the card game?) shows him using his handle as a laser weapon. What were they going off of? LOL.

  • @Little Boa
    I wonder if his gear was anything to do with it?
    I remember when my Brother and i went Joe shopping we always picked the guys who had the most gear.
    This guy was on the shelf alongside Salvo and i’m wondering if more kids picked Salvo as he came with more stuff. I’m wondering if Rapid fire was the least wanted as all he came with was a neon submachine gun…AND one of the stupidist episodes ever made.

  • Also, good job on the photo of the Laser Viper. It reminds me along the lines of the old Kenner catalogs with pictures of the various Star Wars figures.

  • I don’t know about the collector’s market, but the reason I always passed up Rapid Fire as a kid was that at twenty dollars, he was easily the most expensive figure on the rack. At the time, standard Joe figures were about three bucks.

  • @Skymate: I disagree with your statement that Revenge of the Pharaohs was “one of the stupidest episodes ever made”. “One of” should not be in there. It’s just flat-out “the stupidest episode ever made.” Of course, if you see it first, the rest of the DIC series becomes downright watchable.

  • @Captainswift
    No kidding my head hurt after watching it

  • @Captainswift
    Sorry about the delayed response, i was at my I.T class and couldnt finish of what i was typing.
    I meant to add that Revenge of the Pharo’s is so stupid it makes Metel heads unfunny antics and forced slapstick in the rest of the series passible. It also looks as though the script was never revised after completion, the Joes all act like inept bufoons. It is my firm beleif that the Lady Jaye in the Dic series is a pod person doppleganger because she’s too damn inept to be the Sunbow Lady Jaye. And honestly, a new personality brought on by a head injury? who does Night creeper leader think he is? Fred Flintstone?
    Following that, the Joes just leave that looted city without sparring a thought for the inhabitants. So much for being heroes! Oh and Night creeper leaders line “Even you would betray me” is not a quote from any Pharoa i know. Those were Hitlers last words. I guess Night creeper leader couldnt remeber which dead tyrant he was supposed to be!

  • @ Skymate
    Rapid Fire was more expensive than regular figures (due to the VHS tape. He was clearly designed as a quick/cheap exclusive to accompany the tape, not the other way around) and he was only on shelves (best I can tell) for a few months later in 1990 (and early 1991 before the new figures arrived).

    I do find it funny Hasbro could choose such a horrible episode to encourage people to become viewers of the series with.

  • @ Little Boa
    Sorry about the delayed response. I’m out of town and am having to use a dodgy hotel connection.

    It certainly seemed like such an odd episode to choose from. Why not pick Dragonfire part 1. It had a decent cast and the cliffhanger ending would have made kids eager to find out what happened. Plus from what i remeber there was a sevre lack of stupidity as opposed to Revenge of the Pharoa’s.

    I remeber buying one of those neon coloured crah dummy figures which also came with the only crash dummy episode. I watched it so many times, i wore it out and the spine broke off. But that crash dummy episdoe was supposed to be funny, unlike Revenge of the Pharoa’s

  • This entire Python Patrol set is, in my opinion, the best of the multi-packs.

    In hindsight, I should have snapped up as many as possible.

  • I liked the figure and the set, but part of me wishes they’d stuck to the 1989 team colors for consistency’s sake. It seems with modern era, they’ve decided that the original team’s color patterns are the way to go.

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