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.