Cobra Ninja Viper (2008)
It’s amazing to think that the Ninja Viper, a one time mail-in figure from late in the Real American Hero era, would get not one but two homage figures. First as the Ninja Trooper in the Valor vs. Venom series, then this one. Who knew a teal ’84 Storm Shadow repaint could be so inspiring?
I quite like what was done to make this particular version. Rather than going for a straight repaint of version 1 Stormy again, the Ninja Viper also incorporates parts from later Storm Shadows. Even the “improved” Duke arms are put to good use. The color, a more basic and vibrant blue, is also different from the original mail-in. Yes, the end result is yet another ninja, but at least there’s some variation going on.
Unlike his inspiration, which was equipped only with two swords, the Ninja Viper is armed to the teeth. Granted, most of it is held over from another Storm Shadow, but again it helps to differentiate the figure from the most famous Cobra ninja.
My favorite aspect of the figures is a quote from the file cards. “If given the opportunity, Cobra Ninja Vipers could wreak enough havoc worldwide to seriously damage the GI Joe team’s operations.” Uh, okay. I wonder if Cobra Commander knows this.