Neo-Viper (Rise of Cobra Desert Pack)
While some folks may not have liked the movie, the Rise of Cobra line was very effective at what it did—getting screen-accurate action figures out quite quickly. However, some of my favorite pieces were the repaints. Without even trying, I amassed a pretty impressive army of Neo-Vipers and I’m fine with that. I really liked the movie’s take on the Neo-Viper and I find all the variations in my collection to be pretty cool, each in their own right. Weirdly, my favorite version came out of the K-Mart exclusive desert four pack. It’s just a basic Neo-Viper with a different color scheme but I think the look is striking and it’s a unique addition to my collection.
From head to toe, this version of the Neo-Viper is exactly the same as the standard version that was released in the first wave of the movie line. It’s a solid representation of the character in the movie and it’s a decent figure. If you want the full details on it, go read my review of the standard Neo-Viper. I really do like the design Hasbro and Paramount pictures came up with for the Neo-Viper. It’s really a sinister-looking trooper and I appreciate the fact that the film actually made them dangerous (at least in one battle) since they were souped up with nanotechnology. It’s not often that the Joe brand remembers that things like Neo-Vipers or B.A.T.s, while troopers, are supposed to be far more dangerous than normal people. Not only did the Neo-Vipers get treated like super soldiers, they looked just as dangerous and that’s something I like seeing on my shelves whenever I look at the Neo-Vipers.
Where this version of the Neo-Viper differs significantly from the standard release is in its color scheme. Like its set mate, the M.A.R.S. Industries Weapons Officer, the Neo-Viper uses a dark brown base with copper for the metal parts.
These colors work excellently together and with the Neo-Viper’s armored body, it looks even more sinister and inhuman. Honestly, the desert Neo-Viper looks kind of like a scarab, and I really like that. The paint work is crisply applied and that helps this figure a lot since the copper color would stand out pretty badly if it was somewhere it wasn’t supposed to be. Rounding out the paint work, the Neo-Viper also has a red Cobra sigil tampoed on his left arm. The red pops nicely against the dull brown body suit. It’s a solid look and it’s very striking. It makes the Neo-Viper look even better, and truthfully, I didn’t think that was possible since I like the standard looks so much.
The M.A.R.S. Industries Weapons Officer exposed me to a lot of new gear, but the Neo- Viper doesn’t. That’s okay, though, since I do honestly like the non-springloaded gear that Hasbro equipped the Neo-Viper with. The standard pulse rifle is a good piece, as is the two- handed model. Yes, they’re a little too bulky and aren’t quite as streamlined as they should be, but they’re still good accessories. Add in the fact that he can store them on his backpack and I think they’re the perfect accessories for the figure. The backpack is a simple piece, but that’s fine. The Neo-Viper is still a standard trooper. They wouldn’t need all sorts of fancy extra stuff on their backpacks. Rounding out his gear, the Neo-Viper comes with a pulse pistol. Like the rest of the Neo-Viper’s gear, it’s nothing flashy, but it’s also done up in the copper color and I really like that. It looks so at home in the Neo-Viper’s hands that I actually have him carrying it around instead of both the pulse rifles.
There’s not really a whole lot to say about this figure because I’ve covered it a couple times, both as the Neo-Viper and as the Viper Commando. I know that Rise of Cobra doesn’t have a lot of fans either as a movie or a toyline, but I like them both. The Neo-Vipers were a big
part of why I liked the movie so much, since it showed Cobra could be an actual threat. Add in the striking design and you have something that appeals to my brain. The toyline, for its faults, did something that I appreciated. It gave me screen accurate versions of all the major players in the film while throwing some neat, old school nods in when they could. I hope the Joe brand’s future will be less in flux soon, but if Hasbro handles the movie lines as well as they have in the past, at least when the next Joe movies roll out, we’ll get some good toys out of the deal.