Pit Viper (2005)

 Pit Vipers are the stealth, infiltration and evasion specialists of the Cobra forces. They’re trained to be sneaky and persistent, and equipped with highly sophisticated gear that allows them to avoid detection by most security systems.

This figure is the second iteration of Cobra’s sneakiest troops. While the initial version of the Pit Viper wasn’t garish, the color scheme didn’t exactly befit an infiltrator. Here the primarily black uniform makes a lot of sense, and I can really see this trooper as an effective night operative as well. The Pit Viper’s ride however, a repainted Hiss IV tank, doesn’t quite pass stealth muster. It’s painted in basic black, but is also adorned with an amoeba-like blue and silver camo pattern. That’s great if you’re going to infiltrate the Detroit Lions training camp, but not much use for breaking into GI Joe HQ.

I find this mold to be one of the best new troopers to come out of the new sculpt era. The high-collared padded suit fits well with the file card’s description of their radar resistant uniforms. The cowl with exposed mouth and chin harkens back to comic book style superhero outfits, and reminds me quite a bit of the classic Hydra soliders from Marvel comics. I don’t really understand the purpose of the crossed straps that hang down below the waist. Maybe it’s just a bit of fashion flair. Cobra has been known to do that over the years. Then again, this uniform also shares a lot of similarities (including these sort of straps) with Sgt. Airborne, who was also released as part of the same Spy Troops series as the original Pit Viper. I have to wonder if the mold was possibly originally designed as a Cobra paratrooper?

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