As a kid, I found the Tele-Viper to be a very lame Cobra troop. Some of my feeling was based on the sculpt, which was both plain and odd looking. Some was based on the specialty (how cool could a communication trooper be?). Some was based on the accessories (was that a Wham-O Air Blaster he was carrying) and some was the overly cutesy way that the cartoon version would communicate via a text readout on their visors. Ugh.
The new sculpt version would solve some of the issues that kept me from liking the original. First, the look was much more appealing. The all-over blue with a few purple highlights was changed up in favor of more color variety. The figure also has a more battle-ready look than its predecessor. The bulbous helmet has been trimmed down and given a more menacing look.
The accessories are more in line with a trooper who is also a capable fighter. The comm gear has become a nicely incorporated shoulder piece rather than a bulky backpack. He was equipped with a couple of decent firearms, and the weird transmitter/gun is finally gone. A handheld communicator, though incredibly tiny, is a sensible upgrade considering the advances in miniturization of technology.
Finally, the file card gives the specialists a little twist on their roles of communications. Now the Tele-Viper also serves as a bodyguard for high ranking Cobras. Definitely a different spin on the old bubble heads.