Desert Viper (2009)
The extensive use of removable web gear may be the biggest improvement from the vintage to the modern era in
terms of the versatility of existing molds. Some folks complain about Hasbro’s reuse of parts, but the simple fact is that toy production has to find ways to be cost effective. If a company spends design time and dollars to create new product, it is naturally going to try to maximize its investment, hence repainted parts. Let’s also not forget that all but three of the GI Joe line’s first thirteen figures in 1982 are made up of only two different torso, arm and head combinations.
The body is from the Elite Viper, in my opinion the best trooper figure from the movie series. The web gear is repainted from a MARS trooper, and the addition of some simple painted stripes adds a bit of contrasting color to a very dark palette. The large assortment of accessories is an element of the later movie figures that’s been carried over to recent lines. The Desert Viper is armed to the teeth with rifle, sidearm, pike, axes, sword and machete. Removable goggles and a bandana top off the figure and help to give it a look that differentiates it from other movie line troopers.