Rock Viper (2003 Python Patrol)

Talk about frustrating. How can a toyline go from presenting a pack of great, seldom seen army builder remakes (with all their accessories present to boot) to an abominable set like the Heavy Assault Squad? Whatever the excuse was: limited molds, rushed schedule, etc., I would have rather seen some of the Python Patrol set peppered into later offerings.

The Rock Viper is one of those later molds that I think stands up well next to any ’85-86 Cobra troops. It’s got that menacing element to the design, along with a specialty that’s more than a trooper but not too much of a niche figure. Cobra could have used a mountaineer to counter Alpine earlier in the line.

Which brings up a question: was the first Rock Viper actually designed as a named character? I ask because of the prominent facial hair. Maybe Cobra Commander just requires all his Rock Vipers to wear the same mustache. Man, can the guy be a stickler, or what? If the facial hair was a goof up, one would think it could have been fixed with this release. Not so.

Unexplained mustache aside, the figure is still one of the greats. I’m glad that the softer plastic of the modern Joe era was in use, since vintage Rock Vipers have a tendency toward broken crotches. The mold also benefits from the updated Python Patrol color scheme, which more closely resembles the vehicle paint schemes of the 80’s. Black, red and gold give off a look of menace that the old sub-team was missing. The detail is wonderful, and the smaller scale of the modern crosshatch pattern works so much better than its predecessor.

The original accessories are here too, thankfully. The figure could have been sunk had the new sculpt era tendency toward weapons randomization been applied with this pack.


  • I wonder what trooper they could’ve used instead of the SAW-Viper for that pack? My ideas:
    -Eel (using the 1992 mold)
    -Night Vulture

  • This set was cool when it came out but lost its luster rather quickly. The molds and accessories were awesome but the colors were tough to use. I wish this guy and the saw viper had shown up in the urban pack instead of scrap iron and storm shadow. That would have been awesome. But could have been is the theme of the try sets.

  • I got to get this one!!

  • I was sifting through my old-ish Joe stuff searching for parts off a Joe vehicle I’m trying to restore and ran across this guy a few weeks ago. I’d forgotten just how nicely done he was. I had the original but benched him after he got damaged (I agree wholeheartedly with the fact that it suffered from Brittle Plastic Syndrom) so seeing him in the Python Patrol pack was a no-brainer for me. I think I had copies of all the figures in that set except the kit-bashed Bludd (and even then I loved the Zap that was used for his body) and was stoked to pick them all up again as part of the Python Patrol. The color scheme for PP2.0 is far better than the original, and I have to admit, they look really great sitting in a Python Stun since they match the vehicle so well.

  • I gotta admit…the more I looked at him the better I liked him. The deatail is good, but the backpack is great!

  • They could’ve painted over the mustache detail like Ceaser Romero as the Joker.

    I think they are under-rated troopers. It’s interesting the toe of their boot is turned up a bit, for mountain climbing poses?

    Not sure I like the second Python colors more than the 80’s ones. Neither gold or yellow are steathly. And the 1989 releases had some jungle element to them. Crimson Guard vs. Saw Viper, which is worse? LOL.

  • The accessories look way better here. I’ve never cared for his rifle but only now just noticed the detail on that backpack.

  • The mustache is part of the uniform – required!

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