Kre-O Alpine and Night Viper
This is another one of those Kre-O pairings that doesn’t quite make sense, but they’re who’s left so I guess they go together. If I want to force a theme on Alpine and Night Viper, I guess I could point to the fact that I wanted both these figures as a kid but never found them on the pegs. I liked Alpine in the cartoon and was a little bummed I could never find him and Night Viper looked so awesome on the card back that he just reached out and grabbed on to my imagination as a kid. I’ve since gotten modern versions of both of these characters, but the original looks still have a bit of mystique to them because they’re in that small group of Joes that I consider “missing” from my childhood collection.
When Bazooka was packed with the Wolverine, I’d hoped that meant his hetero lifemate Alpine would be coming at some point and the Kre-O folks didn’t disappoint us there. The Joe’s mountain climbing expert is a fan favorite partly because of all the exposure he got in the cartoon and partly because he’s just a well-designed figure. The Kre-O team recreated his classic details fairly well, but there are a couple things I wish could be changed. First of all, the green hands are okay and a nod to the original figure, but the original figure’s gloves were darker than his sleeves and I kind of wish they’d been able to do that here as well. I thought it was a paint mistake until I checked out the original figure and learned he did indeed have green gloves, but they aren’t the same green as the rest of the figure. Alpine’s face tampo is also missing his signature goggles. I can see why they did it, because I think the goggles painted on his face would kind of obscure his facial details, but at the same time, classic Alpine was pretty unique because of his molded goggles and I miss them here. Alpine looks almost a little unprepared to scale a mountain without the goggles. My final complaint comes from his chest rope. I love the rope tampo, but parts of me kind of wish they’d been able to do it as an added on piece like Rock ‘N’ Roll’s bullet bandolier. I think it would look just a little better. The tampo isn’t poorly done by any means, but they’ve done things like that as added on pieces before, so I would have liked to have seen it done here as well. Criticisms aside, Alpine is a great little Kreon. The tampo work is very well done and there is a lot of character in his little face. Alpine also gets quite a few accessories. To complete his original look, Alpine has a hat and it really does help complete the classic Alpine look. Alpine also gets a backpack, grappling hook and climbing axe. The climbing axe and grappling hook can be attached to each other by a string. Alpine also carries a Kre-O version of the cartoon laser rifle. However, I do wish he’d come with a double clip so you could clip the grappling hook under the barrel of the rifle, just like on the classic figure. I don’t think it’s a deal breaker, but it is a little surprising that they didn’t do that since they did it for the Alley Viper’s climbing gun and that, until its modern release, was just a prop on his backpack and not an actual weapon he could carry. The green and brown look for Alpine look great and he’s a very good representation of the classic Joe.
The Kre-O Night Viper is almost as cool as the original figure. The details of the Night Viper transfer down to the smaller Kreon scale very well. The figure is predominantly green with a lot of black tampoed over it. The black details stand out against the green very well but still have depth to them. The bright green Cobra sigil and the logo on his left shoulder are there, just like on the vintage figure, and help finish the look. Night Viper’s face tampo is based on the 50th Anniversary version which gave him a black armored face mask on underneath the high tech helmet. My only complaint about the Kre-O Night Viper is how they handled his helmet. You’ll notice that my version’s helmet is not standard. I took some of the pieces from his rifle (and an additional Lego piece left over from another set) to bring the night vision monocle down in front of his face. The standard Kre-O couldn’t really bring it down in front of his face in a convincing manner, so I felt the need to fix that and the parts used to trick out his rifle did the job very well. Without the pieces on there, Night Viper is equipped with the Kre-O long rifle and it’s a great piece to use since the Night Viper has traditionally been given the role of a sniper because of his helmet rig. Everything works very well on this Kreon, especially after making some modifications to the figure. That’s the nice thing about Kreons—if you want to tweak them and you have the pieces, you can modify them however you want. I have since modified the Night Viper helmet rig and made it a little less bulky and it only uses parts from the Kre-O set. I haven’t grabbed photos of it since he’s currently hanging out in my Terrordrome, but after a couple versions of fiddling, I think I have come up with a decent solution to Night Viper’s helmet.
Alpine and Night Viper are two figures that work very well in Kre-O form. Neither of their original designs relied heavily on sculpted elements and I think that helps. The paint work is also very crisp, something that can’t be said for every Kreon in my collection. The Kre-O team did a great job with the Joe line and while I’m still concerned about the line’s future, I am satisfied with what they did. I just hope that they will still get a chance to do more. There’s a lot of Joe history to plumb in brick form and if it gets as well done as the last two waves of blind bagged figures and the Terrordrome were, they’ll do a great job.