Extreme Conditions: Cobra Heavy Weapons Viper
Not every figure in a multipack can be a winner. In the Extreme Conditions: Arctic set, the weak figure is the Viper listed as a heavy weapons specialist. The figure itself is decent, however, some of the decisions Hasbro made with it mean it doesn’t work well as an arctic figure. If this were a regular heavy weapons Viper, it would be okay, but as it stands, the arctic heavy weapons Viper does have some problems that impact how it interacts with the rest of the set.
The heavy weapons Viper in the set is probably the figure with the greatest differences between it and its standard counterpart. The legs come from 25th Anniversary Copperhead. It’s an unusual choice, but they’re quite big and they look a bit more heavily insulated than regular pants. However, they do have some shared elements with the 25th Anniversary Viper legs and I think that’s a nice touch. Up top, the heavy weapons Viper uses the torso and arms from 25th Anniversary Roadblock. The vest from 25th Anniversary Roadblock version two is used to cover up the torso and it means the Viper looks like he’s wearing a thick vest to stay warm. Unfortunately, the Roadblock arms do have some problems. First of all, they have some very defined shoulder balls. The 25th Anniversary line did a great job of making the figures’ joints look more seamless and natural at it went on, but the Roadblock arms still have a pretty distinct and unnaturally round ball up at the shoulder joint. It leaves him looking a little more like some of the Joe Vs. Cobra figures than it does like an actual person. Then we have to look at the elbows, which are slightly restricted because of the way they’re constructed. They’re not as bad as Duke arms, but there’s still a little loss of articulation in the elbow due to the sculpted bands on them. Finally, the Viper also has the same hands as 25th Anniversary Roadblock, which means they’re awkwardly preposed. I think this figure came out before the 25th Anniversary Python Patrol Copperhead, so that explains why the preposed, gloved hands got used here, but it’s still a less than ideal build. Up top, the figure does use the great 25th Anniversary Viper head. However, this is still from the days when Hasbro packed the goggles loose, so that means if you move the figure, you need to be careful not to knock the goggles loose off the top of his head. Like the other Vipers, this version’s head may be a tad small, but it still looks decent and the additional detailing stands out so much better than it did on the vintage figure.
The heavy weapons Viper is painted using a lot of the same colors as the rest of the figures in the Extreme Conditions: Arctic set, but there’s one slightly baffling color choice that hurts the figure quite a bit. The base of the figure uses the same arctic blue that the rest of the figures used. I really like this color a lot and it works well especially well for a Viper since their base color has traditionally been blue. The pants use light and dark gray on the detailing and there’s some black for his boots. Up top, the Viper’s vest is painted black with some light and dark gray trim and brown for the pouches and knife sheath on the right side. The paint work here is surprisingly sloppy. There’s no slop onto other parts of the figure, but the paint looks like it’s applied too thickly and so it leaves the vest looking a little less crisp than it could be. The arms are where I have a problem with the color scheme because his lower arms are painted in a flesh tone paint. Now, I’m a pretty big guy and sometimes run around in the winter without a jacket on if it’s not that cold, but I’m not going to be wandering around the Arctic in short sleeves. This really hurts the figure since it’s supposed to be an arctic figure. The Viper’s helmet is blue with silver on the faceplate and goggles. The helmet looks quite sharp and the detailing on the helmet pops because the paint isn’t over-applied like it is on the vest. The colors are solid, but having an arctic Viper wearing short sleeves just doesn’t make a lot of sense and that hurts the overall look of the figure.
The heavy weapons Viper gets a surprisingly large gear load, especially considering the standard Viper in the set just got a Viper rifle and a Viper backpack. Since this Viper is a heavy weapons specialist, he comes with the large machine gun that came with the second 25th Anniversary Roadblock. It’s a good piece and is at least more holdable than the earlier model. It also comes with the requisite bullet belt, which he can actually kind of hold thanks to the funky, preposed hands. To fill the holster on his hip, he’s carrying a fairly large pistol, though it doesn’t fit in either hand all that well. For a backpack, the heavy weapons Viper uses the same one that the 25th Anniversary Snow Serpent uses, along with the rocket tube. That makes sense for a heavy weapons trooper and it looks good on the Viper’s back. The gear is solid, it’s just a shame that the Roadblock parts do make it a little hard to use it all.
The heavy weapons Viper from the Extreme Conditions: Arctic set came so close to being a good figure, but some strange decisions make him a little worse than he should be. The biggest problem is the exposed skin on an arctic figure. That just breaks the illusion for me a little. Admittedly, that does mean I can just use him as a standard heavy weapons Viper, but when he’s supposed to be an arctic figure, I think it’s a problem that he doesn’t work as well as he can that way. The Roadblock hands are also a bit of a drawback, though when this figure was released, there weren’t other options, so I’m at least a bit more forgiving on that. It’s nice to get a heavy weapons Viper and get a Viper that’s built a bit bigger, but there are just a few problems with this figure that make him a little less effective than he could be.