Ice Viper (1987)

The Ice Viper, driver of the Cobra WOLF is an interesting figure for the time, considering the accessories included: a helmet and two sais, extra acessories that set him apart from the usually weaponless drivers. I never really understood why he came with tradtionally martial arts weapons. Maybe he uses them as ice picks.

The WOLF was a fast attack snow vehicle, and the Ice Viper reflects this in its design. It reminds me of a motorcycle driver, specifically the Germans in World War II. The helmet and goggles are very reminiscent of that period, and the figure even appears to be wearing a jacket. Another nice feature are the weapons that can be attached to the figure’s legs. As expected for a cold weather trooper, the sculpt is nicely bulky, with what looks like armor or padding on the shoulders and chest strap.

The red mask in combination with the helmet makes for a nice throwback to the original Cobra trooper look. Of course it wouldn’t be a winter trooper without fur somewhere on the figure.

10 comments

  • One of my all time favorite drivers! Admittedly I already have a thing for the arctic themed stuff but that aside what a cool figure, the helmet, the red balaclava, the fur trim, oh yeah and the sais(ice picks FTW).

  • I’ve yet to own this figure so I hadn’t noticed the resemblance to WWII uniforms. Boy, have I been missing out! The Ice Viper deserves to be released or updated somehow. He’s being featured prominently in the comic as of this writing and reading your review has made him even neater.

  • I always loved this figure. As a kid my ice viper was always cobra’s most badass soldier. He had a nasty rivalry with shockwave who was my favorite joe. I got the flaming moth repaint a few years ago which is also really nice. There was a modern era one in the rise of cobra line which had very few similarities to this figure but i still imagine that it’s the same character.

    • I have the Flaming MOTH repaint as well. I remembered it when I was writing about the original. I think the arctic set was the best of those exclusives.

  • This is one of the most hard-to-find figures in the Philippine GIJoe collectors’ community. One would be very lucky to find an Ice Viper with his sais. (It’s even easier to find a complete WOLF!).

  • Great observation about the German motorcycle trooper angle.

    As a kid, I always wanted a WOLF/Ice Viper. They weren’t too hard to find… usually IIRC (though weren’t as ubiquitous as the Buzz Boar or Pogo, which I think were ironically less ubiquitous than the Silver Mirage & LCV Recon Sled at stores) but being a kid who loved snow & winter (and autumn) and having the parent who took me to the store the most absolutely hate winter led to clashes I never won. And thus I missed out on the WOLF, 85 Snow Serpent, 85 Snow Cat, and basically every snow figure except Blizzard & 91 Snow Serpent. At least I got some of the other great Cobra vehicles from 1987.

    I wonder if parental veto power led to Dr. Mindbender shelfwarming in my area back in 1986 (look at it from a parent’s perspective: your kid approaches you wanting to buy this shirtless purple-pants bald weirdo with metal suspenders, a monocle & big moustache with a name like “Dr. Mindbender”. What would you do? Many would probably refuse or try to deter their kid onto a sensible Viper or a less weird ‘weird’ like Sci-Fi).

  • Maybe this dude’s just a Red Ninja who can’t stand the cold and loves Star Wars. It would explain a lot.

  • After giving it some consideration, maybe Hasbro should’ve made this guy a name Cobra villain instead of a generic driver. Perhaps he could head-up the Cobra arctic schemes or at least be the number two guy when someone like the Baroness or Major Bludd is running a cold weather operation.

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