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Jan 15

Cobra SAW Viper (2006)

I suppose the Direct to Consumer (DTC) line bridged the gap between the GI Joe vs. Cobra/new sculpt/whatever era and the 25th anniversary/modern lines. By the way, GI Joe fans really like to categorize and name these things, don’t we? The DTC series marked not only a return to single carded figures, but also to a more classic styled packaging. It also continued a few improvements that came near the end of Valor vs. Venom, most notably the rivet-less shoulder joint which dramatically improved upper body proportions.

Available first as part of Hasbro’s noble collector focused project, the SAW Viper was one of my favorites of the short-lived line. The figure is one of those cases of great choices in reuse of parts. Using most of the molds from a pretty obscure driver figure, and giving them more paint apps than they’d previously had, makes for a figure that really looks new. The vest echoes the old SAW Viper look, but takes it in a more realistic direction. The newly created helmet still has a sci-fi element to it, but is not outlandish. Overall, the SAW Viper strikes a bulky and imposing figure, an improvement from the original, which seemed too thin in comparison to the huge machine gun he carried.

The machine gun here is not as large, but nonetheless impressive. The file card paints it as a pretty advanced weapon, with infrared scope and silencing capabilities. The toy version looks like a standard machine gun. Maybe all that fancy stuff is hidden.

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  1. Kansas Brawler

    Agreed, I was so excited that I actually found these at a Toys ‘R’ Us when Hasbro let them trickle out to certain brick and mortar outlets in addition to the website near the end of the DTC experiment. I’d gotten pretty burned ordering from a third-party Joe retailed that will go unnamed that I was very reluctant to buy anything from the Internet (I did get my Wave 1 of DTC from that retailer but the experience of doing so was not pleasant) to do a degree still am to this day.

    I’d kinda written off getting any more DTC guys but I made a random Toys ‘R’ Us run and was able to find both him and Monkeywrench which was fine with me as those were really the only ones I wanted and I was NOT disappointed with what I got. I had the original SAW Viper and loved the specialty but thought the uniform was just awful so he didn’t get much use. This guy, on the other hand, managed to overcome just about every flaw the original had without using a single new bodypart. Kudos all around to the design team for the (in my opinion) genius body reuse for this iteration of the SAW Viper.

  2. Skymate

    I like the more subdued colours. Is this the first S.A.W viper since ’98?’90?

    1. Acer

      Since 2003, when they repainted the old figure as part of the Python Patrol 6-pack.

      I got this figure while they were still around, and I agree, the use of Rollbar’s head, torso, waist, and legs, combined with the DTC Barrel Roll’s arms, is pretty ingenious. I think it’s also nice they included the original version’s backpack as a nod to that same figure.

      I ended up gluing the helmet on after nearly losing it a few times.

  3. mike

    I was pretty stoked about this figure too and it holds up pretty well. I do wish they had went with a more generic, perhaps semi masked face instead of using Barrel Roll’s. Or at the very least the helmet should fit better and not look so removable.

    1. Acer

      It’s actually Rollbar’s head.

  4. Ben

    I love this figure, one of the few DTC Joes I got, off eBay, when I was getting back into Joe. He is 1000% better than the ridiculous original…I really like the subdued colors and realistic weapon (compared to the original.)
    I like him so much he never fell under my customizer’s knife even though that was the intention when I bought him. What a cool fig!

  5. Clutch

    Voicing everyone else, I too, like this guy better than the original. Improved proportions, colors, and a gun which won’t topple the figure. After all, this is supposed to be the first Cobra unit responsible for actually offing some Joes. The 1990 version didn’t strike me as cutting that particular mustard somehow.

  6. Jeremy

    This figure is one of my absolute favorites in my entire collection.

  7. Neapolitan Joe

    Nice figure!

  8. Anonymous

    Yep one of the best of the DTC line and one of the best army builders of the whole New sculpt era imho.

    Mine add protective firepower to my DTC Range vipers on their long range scouting trips.

    They are always ground troops in my verse probably cos they cant sit properly in many vehicles due to that extra plastic around their midriff, In all honesty the ‘skirt’ doesn’t put me off as much as it did many fans when Rollbar was released. Then again Rollbar was meant to be a driver figure capable of sitting in his Humvee so I can understand why some people weren’t very pleased.

    – John.

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