Cobra Viper (2003)
With the GI Joe relaunch in 2002, the o-ring style originated in the 80s made a limited comeback. In just the first two years, the classic Viper mold (well, most of it–more on that in a minute) had been revisited five times in the mass market, and once (okay, twice if you count the fuschia fiasco) as a Collectors’ Club exclusive. I was a bit troop-builder crazy in those days, and even picked up a few of the Venom Cycles just to get some more of these Vipers. I guess I wanted a rainbow of Cobra troops.
Folks who pined for a subdued hued Viper got their wish with this figure.The muted green and blues make for an interesting variation on the standard blue and red uniform. It’s too bad the paint app doesn’t follow the boots. The entire lower leg paint looks a bit cheap, but I suppose it’s meant to replicate the lost original Viper legs. The Viper of this era, in general, suffered from ill-fitting components and seemed to have an aversion to being posed in any realistic manner. I consider myself lucky that I was able to get two of these guys to behave for my photos. The legs are problematic in that they originated with the Cobra BATs. As a result, they don’t quite seem to fit with the rest of the figure, and also lack the flair of the original Viper gams.
If you can get them to stand, they don’t look too bad as a forest-y variant uniform. They certainly look better in rank than they do riding their somewhat bloated (but fun) Venom Cycles. To see what I mean, check out the JAD video review of the cycle right here–and forgive me when you watch it, I was really sick that day.