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.
love Python Patrol and this figures is soooo much better than the original Copperhead
I actually hope to get the DTC Python Copperhead at some point.
Copperhead’s inclusion into the Python Patrol got him on the DIC cartoon while other Sunbow players were never seen again. For a relatively minor character, it made him known to the a newer generation of collectors.
Copperhead was one of my favorite characters as a kid. I used the figure until it was just a mess. When I found this figure as a adult collector, though, I had to use him as an army builder. These were the swamp fighters that Cobra always needed.
I’ve really come to appreciate the vintage Python Patrol in recent years. The Trooper, Officer and Copperhead are all really nice figures and the Viper and Tele Viper aren’t terrible. (The CG kind of sucks, though.) I like the green and black combo that gives them some versatility missing in many vintage enemies. But, they are still offbeat enough to be distinctly Cobra.
The Python Patrol figures are easily my favorites out of the entire GI JOE line, with the Officer and then Viper being my favorites. I remember getting these at Children’s Palace when I was around 9, which would have been ’92. Luckily, Children’s Palace always had toys from a couple years back, otherwise I never would have owned these.
How much did they cost back then?? I’m curious about older figure prices from way back when. The only idea I have so far comes from a Kay Bee price sticker on this 1990 Rapid Fire I have, which says $2.99 (or was it $5.99?).
The waist could use a better paint job to bring out the details, but other than that, this is a great looking figure!
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