Python Copperhead (1989)
“The COBRA PYTHON PATROL is an elite unit of troopers that have been handpicked from various COBRA VIPER units. They are specially trained and equipped for stealth and infiltration missions. They wear camouflage uniforms to mask their presence, which confuses GI JOE radar detection systems.”
Made up of old figure and vehicle molds, it’s easy to be cynical and say that it was an easy cash grab; a way for Hasbro to cheaply get product to shelves without the expense of new tooling. And yet, there’s something fascinating about it.
Maybe the color schemes are what make me take pause whenever I come across the line in my collection. I will say that look of the vehicles are interesting to me. The Python Conquest is one of my all-time favorite Cobra aircraft, even if it is a repurposed Joe vehicle. The liberal switching of Joe and Cobra vehicles is another element that I found to be a fun change for both Python Patrol and Tiger Force.
The figures’ color schemes varied enough that while the unit as a whole still meshes, the individual figures are still distinct. Copperhead is, like his original figure, an individual character rather than a trooper. Perhaps that explains the distinctly different uniform from his teammates. In the DIC animated mini-series, he was also the chosen leader of Python Patrol, which could also explain his look. Then again, maybe I’m reading too much into what’s just a plain weird paint job.