Frag-Viper (2006)

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.

Frag-Viper (2006)

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.

Cesta of Death!


  • The colour scheme is a lot better then the original figures

  • Odd head color ruin this figure for me

  • How much did the club reduce the sets to as they languished?

  • The club deserved to get stuck with these figures after they jacked up the price by 50% to provide boxes no one wanted and then tried to save face by saying, “they weren’t MEANT to be army builders”. I’d say they lost a lot of good will there, but they didn’t really have much at the time anyways.

    It was cool to see this mold appear. But, it would have been a much better fit for a TRU set and would have likely more appreciated by collectors. The extra paint masks are a nice touch. But, something just seems “off” about the figure. It might be that the bizarre mold is just difficult to salvage. Or, it might be overkill of paint applications on the head. But, of the figures offered in the sets, this one had the least impact on me.

  • I think I like this one better than the original, but you’ve gotta have the v1 accessories. “Cesta of Death”! 😀

  • The “specialty” Vipers, in my mind, were essentially walking weapons systems with the standard Viper personality type underneath.

    The Frag-Viper is obviously the grenade guy made more dangerous than your average exploding shrapnel tossing person through technology. Sometimes simpler is better in this case.

    I would have bought these “not” army builders if they had not had the packaging or the two-man team theme. Original gear would have helped sway me toward the purchase, but only so much can be done on this, I suppose.

    I rather like the coloring on this Frag-Viper, as much as I would have simply LOVED a design scheme closer to that of NetViperX Now, that recolor shows some real continuity reasoning behind it. As opposed to the club kind of just giving it a “jungle” theme.

    The big takeaway for me here is the term, “25th Anniversary nostalgia bomb,” which I am going to use whenever I have the opportunity to do so.

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