Sand Viper (2005 Single Pack)

The Sand Viper concept is an interesting update of previous Cobra desert operatives. These newer arid attackers are even more effective at functioning in high desert heat. Not only are they chosen for their innate ability to withstand the rigors of the environment, but they’re also given a high-tech uniform to aid them. The outer body armor is resistant even to most pistols, and the inside of the suit is able to recycle and purify the body’s water supply. Hmm, now where have I heard that idea before?

Originating from the Spy Troops series, the Sand Viper has a holdover from its first incarnation in the form of a night vision helmet. Initially part of a disguise, along with a vest, to make the trooper look like a member of the Joe team, the helmet functions well within the Sand Viper’s specialty. They’ve always been identified as infiltrators, so I think the idea of sneaking about the desert at night is fitting.

The Sand Viper mold sure got a lot of use in the 2000s. This version even had a release as late as 2008. While the colors aren’t much for either the desert or general night operations, the gold accents are quite rich. I would even venture to say the figure could be used along the lines of a royal guard for Cobra Commander. It certainly stands as a more impressive figure than the six pack guards from the same era. The ornate armor is even reminiscent of the bio-mechanical designs of Cobra-La. Did I just dare mention most fans’ shark-jumpingest Joe baddies? Yeah, so what? I think the Joeverse could use the shot in the arm of a few crazy bug men nowadays.


  • I love Sand Viper. Not gonna lie. He’s one of my favouritest army-builders in the history of forever. Yes, i’m probably biased as I’m a new-sculpt era person, but the whole thing just works so fantastically for me. The design of this figure has allways looked good, especially with the integrated tech-y gear on the suit. I army built them en-masse during the short-lived Australian Spytroops release, and even gave different sub-specialties to the different colour variants.

    I’d love to see a modern version of Sand Viper. I also want a pink unicorn that farts rainbows, and I suspect I’ve got better odds of it.

  • This is a very well-sculpted, detailed figure, even if the proportions are wonky.
    The head is great for customs, too, easy to cut under the chin, hollow out, and stick on a peg.

  • Sand Viper was definitely one of the best new sculpt army builders. I thought it was great in its original colors and man, these colors are even better. Kind of makes me wish I’d been near Dollar Generals back in 2005 when they came out. That black and gold looks great together…maybe even better than the original and I wouldn’t have to guy a butt load of desert-colored Beachheads to get a group of them.

    • I actually had forgotten that I bought a buttload of these guys. I still really really dig them too. Neglected to mention he has a black ’84 Firefly backpack sans cover.

  • I have a good idea for uses for this figure. With the coloring, it could fit right in with the Iron Grenadiers, so I have these Sand-Vipers dubbed “Iron Sand” units, loaned to Destro by Cobra. I also have an idea for redistributing his accessories (sans helmet):
    -The rifle and pistol can go to either the Neo-Viper that came with the Battle Hornet or the Ringneck.
    -The backpack can go to the BJ’s 8-Pack Firefly.

  • Shark jumping? Reminds of that comic issue in which was riding a shark.
    I have a couple of versions of this guy. I got the maroon one what came with the 3 pack with the little copter and comic and another version i got with a bag of other spytroops stuff at the Paramatta collectables fair.

  • These guys would benefit from an update right about now since The Pit is still based in Utah and Cobra is going to invade it (again) in the IDW Hamaverse Joe comic.

  • @Acer – I picked up on the colour link too but went the other way with it. In my Joeverse, this guy is Iron-Viper; Cobra Commander’s liaision to the Iron Grenadiers. CC uses him to spy on Destro and Destro uses him to to spy on CC. In the meantime, he’s collecting data from both to keep in his back pocket.

  • I don’t see Cobra-La so much as I see the head without the helmet looking a lot more like Overkill, the BAT leader.

  • Possibly one of my more favorite “new sculpt” figures that I had, I had three.

  • I got a bunch of these guys via Dollar General and Family Dollar. Their look is more sci-fi than my ideal Cobra, but at $2 a trooper, hard to resist.

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