Cobra Viper (2006)

The Viper has a storied history of releases during the new sculpt era. One would think such an iconic Cobra trooper would have been a slam-dunk success, a license to print money where army builders were concerned. Not so, thanks to weird mold choices and color schemes. Blue gave way to greens, browns and greys, and the 1986 BAT legs stood in for the original appendages.

The Viper Pit multi-pack was a welcome sight to classic Viper fans, as it presented six figures done up in a color scheme close to the original, and featured newly sculpted replacement upper legs. The set wasn’t the perfect modern re-release of the ’86 Viper, but it can mercifully closer than anything else of the time.

This figure isn’t referred to as anything to differentiate it as a character from its team-mates, but obviously the designers intended it to be an officer of some sort. The only differences from the other five troops are the golden faceplate and vest buckles. I’ll admit I hadn’t noticed the buckles until I looked closely at my photos. A tiny detail, but nonetheless interesting.

Unfortunately the figure still suffers from the mold issues that plagued earlier 2000s Vipers; the head is not too mobile and the legs are difficult to pose. I don’t know if this is common to all sets, but my figures also have incredibly tight o-rings. In fact, several of the figures’ crotches broke when bending the legs at the hips. Ouch.

3 comments

  • Great idea, but poor execution. I’d have preferred a couple of environmentally themed Vipers along with a couple of classics: just for some diversity. The poor construction quality really limits these guys. Lots of broken crotches and about 1/4 of my figs o-rings have snapped in storage.

    I do love the gear. The grey rifles are a good choice and I love the SAW.

  • The construction issues could be remedied by sanding the inside of the crotch and changing the o-ring. Certainly not something you should have to do, but it seems to fix them either way.

    The painted details were the best part of this figure IMO. That and the parts, I love that MP5!

  • The flaws are common across with all sets. Too tight o-ring and stress on the crotch strip caused by the thighs. Some people took to filing down the crotches to prevent breakage. The recast thigh pieces actually made this figure worse than the 1997-2005 releases. Even if you have an original Viper waist, it won’t work any better. They should’ve recast the whole waist and legs or just not bothered. If you have to “damage” your figures to prevent them from breaking or to get them pose correctly, then the set is a fail.

    And Viper is still stuck staring at the ground, too, from that neck change back in 1997. Because I guess Hasbro likes that. They must there’s more than a few modern figures that look stupid as heck because their heads cannot look forward. But some folks go and pay premium for them anyway.

    Viper Pit was in some ways was the worst o-ring 6-pack they made. Even the lazy Heavy Weapons team didn’t have flawed figures.

    The choice of weapons, if Viper’s use SAW’s, then why do SAW-Vipers exist? Not crazy about the ambush bullypup rifles, either. They cannot be aimed/held well.

    Yeah, it seems they were too lazy to make another file card.

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