H.E.A.T. Viper (2003 Python Patrol)
Since its original version was released during my toy collecting hiatus, I don’t have much of a connection to the original HEAT Viper mold. It’s an interesting, if odd, figure.
As part of the Toys R Us exclusive Python Patrol multi-pack, the figure utilizes a paint scheme that’s more in line with the classic Python vehicle colors than the vintage figures. I actually prefer these darker colors over the originals. The older figures were all over the map in terms of deco, and I always thought the old Python group could have been a bit more unified in its use of patterns and colors.
Being an anti-tank trooper (or Bazooka Man, as the 1989 figure refers to it) he’s armed to the teeth with a wicked missile launcher. There’s just so much going on with the figure and the main weapon, my head is spinning. Hoses jut from the figure to the weapon, making it look more like a Cobra vacuum cleaner specialist than a missile trooper. It’s all more than a bit fanciful, to say the least. I’ve also often wondered about the viability of carrying live artillery shells around one’s shins. Whatever the case, they definitely put ’85 Snake Eyes’ ankle workout weights to shame.
I hope to own the ’03 Python Patrol at some point. I do believe some customizers take this figure’s head and put it on the 2001 Fast Blast Viper.
I skipped the ’89 original as well, mostly due to its weirdness factor. What was the point of a half visor? Why the hose? I only realized that ’85 Snakes has those workout weights after you brought up this dude. This is one “busy” figure. Give me the classics like Zap and (dare I say it) Bazooka with his uncanny lack of protection. The H.E.A.T. Viper is the Yang to Bazooka’s Yin. For a better example of a Cobra anti-tank man, I’d take the 25th Anniversary Cobra Bazooka Trooper. Simple and to the point.
The large hose connects to sighting electronics in the left side of the helmet.
I guess that means, normally he sees out of one side of his helmet.
Yeah, it’s weird. The backpack is quite odd, too. Like it was meant to carry the weapon, but doesn’t. Or it’s an exhaust for something.
The shells on the ankles reminded me of oldWW2 German troops with the potato masher handled grenades stuck in their jack boots.
Heat Viper is damn stupid. In both color schemes.
H.E.A.T. Viper is a perfect target, a sitting duck, for a good sniper…
hahahahah you’re exactly right
Oddly, they kind of make reference to that in the figure’s file card. It says the HEAT Vipers have to hit their target with the first shot, because if they miss they’re almost assured to be killed immediately
HEAT Viper is one of my favorites, mostly because I had the green 1990s version AND a parts-less original orange version as a kid. The 1989 one’s wacky accessories are a bit of a fun puzzle to me. I never can figure out which end of the launcher is supposed to be the front, though.
Honestly the whole contraption looks more like it should be some sort of anti-vehicle energy beam weapon. Then the backpack would be some sort of cooling device, and I guess that’s why it has exhaust pipes?