The Collectors’ Club offered up several environmental themed figure sets in 2006-2007. That first year was a sort of odd in-between for the GI Joe figures based on the Real American Hero era, with the end of the online DTC experiment, the continuation of Sigma 6 at retail, and just before the explosion of the 25th Anniversary nostalgia bomb. These classic o-ring mold releases from the club sat sandwiched, and didn’t get much interest from collectors. The sets also languished at the club store for quite a while. That’s a shame, because the army builders in particular are quite nicely done. The Ice Viper from the series is one of my favorite re-uses of the mold.
The Frag-Viper doesn’t excite me quite as much, however the unique jungle paint scheme is a great selling point. Where the original figure’s uniform color is solid and simple, this one features an intricate jungle camo. Say what you will about the Collectors’ Club figures prices, but they always seem to go a few steps further than retail with their paint apps. This one I guess isn’t technically an army builder as it, like other Flaming MOTH Cobra sets, is listed as an individual on the file card.
The original Frag’s accessories are mostly missing. The unique grenades, machine gun and grenade tube are gone. However, the all-important grenade thrower AKA the Jai Aai Cesta of Death is present. The cool backpack, with posts for storing grenades has been replaced with Range Viper’s pack, and he’s also been given the same figure’s grenade launcher. The lack of the backpack is a bummer, but the grenade launcher makes sense given the specialty. I guess this particular Frag-Viper has to pull the grenades out of the included pouch and hurl them a la a ballpark hot dog vendor. Budget cuts must have struck Cobra well ahead of the ’08 US economy meltdown. Then again, maybe the Commander just spread his resources too thin with all those BATs he was deploying over in the Sigma 6 line.