Monstro-Vipers (1993)

Bet you didn’t know that there was a GI Joe figure with poo flinging action. Okay, it’s really called a gut bomb, and I suppose it’s more along the lines of throwing vomit or a hair-ball, but can you blame me for making the connection? After all, the toy looks somewhat ape-like, and we all know the fondness our primate cousins have for hurtling their own mess at one another.

If you thought that the GI Joe line hadn’t gotten strange enough with the introduction of ecology minded and drug fighting units, then the Mega Marines sub-set should convince you that 1993 was the year Joe officially jumped the SHARC. I for one don’t really care. After all, it’s not like the presence of whacked-out concepts like the Mega Monsters negates the coolness of the earlier 80s years. Just sayin’.

The Mega Marines had to have someone to fight, and their main antagonists were monsters. Hideous Cobra monsters of horrible origins, created by Dr. Mindbender to menace the world, the Monstro-Vipers were former Range Vipers who had been—you guessed it– genetically mutated by the good doctor. What exactly makes up these monstrosities? How about a creepy cocktail of rabid werewolf, Bigfoot and grizzly bear? That’s a mighty mish-mash of cryptozoological creatures. Also sounds like a candidate for a starring role in a Saturday night SyFy Original Movie. GrizWereFoot?

In this case, the main weapon is the aformentioned Gut Bomb, a fairly ingenious and economical method of delivering deadly payloads. Need an endless supply of ammunition for your troops? Why not weaponize their bodily secretions? The method the figure uses to make its Play-Doh weapons is pretty inventive, as the mold is built right into the figure’s belly. The right arm is spring loaded, and ends in a hand molded into a scoop. It all adds up to a perfect Gut Bomb delivery system. What could be more fun than throwing Play-Doh guts at your Joes?

The gimmick and the limited articulation bring to mind the Intruders, the weird alien strongmen enemies of the Adventure Team. They were equally wacky in origin, and were squat, monstrous looking, shoeless fellows with a built-in action feature. Anyway, I could go on and on about all of the crazed detail the Monstro-Vipers are chock full of, but I’ll let the file card speak for itself. Enjoy.
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14 comments

  • Well whaddaya know–the precursor to Valor Vs. Venom.

  • I wonder if the idea behind it was inspired by “Iceburg goes south”? Or it was yet another attempt at jumping on the Ninja turtles bandwagon?

  • I really liked the MegaMarines subset (having Gung-Ho, the Mega-Viper and Blast Off–picking up more than one of an expensive subset shows how much I liked the concept) and adding in the Monstro-Viper really made me happy. I like the gut-bomb idea better than the armor in terms of functionality for the play-doh. The weapons he had were a great addition and it was just a pretty cool-looking beast. I didn’t use the gut bombs much, but let me tell you, you could get a respectable distance out of a Joe figure tossed by the Monstro-Viper and that was a really fun way to show off how strong and nasty these guys were.

  • @Kansasbrawler
    You gotta be careful with playgoh based toys. My brother and sister got a playdoh based board game [the GRAPE escape] for Xmas in ’93. They never cleaned it out properly after the first go so it never worked very well the second time nor has it ever worked since then. There is still twenty year old dry playdoh jamming all its joints.

    I wonder how many of these are lying around with dry playdoh caught in the joint?

  • Wonder if the file card’s “brutal battle beasts” line was an intentional throwback.

  • That guy is wild! Looks more like a figure from the first few waves of Ninja Turtles than a Joe.

  • I’d like to meet the guy who would troop build these things.

  • The Mega Marines/monsters were Hasbro’s answer to Kenner’s ALIENS toys, though, IIRC, by that time Hasbro had bought Tonka (which owned Kenner). The bright colors were no doubt inspired by the other boys toys of the time, such as TMNT. Where the playdoh factors in, I’m not sure…just to charge a few more bucks for the figures?

  • Love that Monstro-Viper. Love it.
    It needs a modernized update, somehow.

    The gimmick was cool back in the day. When I ran out of Play-Doh, I just had him fling Joes across the room with his spring-loaded arm.

  • Ugh, awful IMHO. I don’t mind weird, supernatural, or off beat figures but this just doesn’t even seem like Joe figure to me. Even if it weren’t a joe it would be just as awful. Everything about it is just wrong. The colors, the non-articulation, the concept, the weapons etc.

  • Pingback: Return of the Monstro-Vipers! »

  • Giant Monsters to fight Duke and Snake Eyes? Awesome! You did “good”, Dr Mindbender. I can forgive you for both Serpentor and the yellow pants.

  • I had stopped collecting GI Joe by the time these came out (I was busy learning to drive), so I missed out on the insanity of the Monstro-Vipers.

    There’s a blurb on the front of the package that proclaims (or warns) that the Monstro-Viper has “Real Monster Smell”.

    Can anyone tell me what “Real Monster Smell” smelled like? I can scarcely imagine. I hope it didn’t turn out to be “like the Play-Doh you stuff into the Gut-Bomb mold”, as that would be fairly disappointing. Are we talking like Masters of the Universe Stinkor here?

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