Vapor (1990)

Yet another Cobra pilot subjected to physical modifications, I have to wonder: is Cobra telling the people who volunteer that they may at some point have their craniums cracked open to accommodate electrodes, or their DNA modified to turn them into heinous monsters; and if so, who the heck is volunteering? I mean, I can understand some folks being fed up with chasing the traditional American Dream, or being bored with the grind of a life on the straight and narrow, and joining the ranks of Cobra, but I would have to be pretty far gone to risk the fate of being turned into a freak of nature.

I’ve always thought that the Vapor looked like sort of like a cyborg, or some pilot variant of a BAT. Not so, as they’re just regular guys, albeit with shunts that connect their optic nerve to the aircraft they pilot, the Cobra Hurricane. Speaking of the Hurricane, it’s one of the nicer 90s vehicles, and also one of the cooler Cobra aircraft to come along since the Rattler.

As a figure, there’s a lot of detail, but an unfortunate lack of paint detail. Most of the figure is simply painted with red or black highlights. Maybe it’s just a consequence of the sculpt, as even the 2003 convention exclusive repaint of the mold into Air Viper showed a dearth of detail in terms of paint.

Reading the file card again, it’s another case of confusion about whether this is meant to be a trooper or an individual character. The second part of the bio sure sounds like this is meant to be one guy, but who knows?


  • Now I know I should get the one Vapor I found in the flea market box–I just hope I find his other leg!

  • My brother had this one (and the Hurricane) and he was super cool. I don’t think my brother like him as much as I did because he really didn’t like some of the bigger sci-fi ideas that started moving into the line during the 90s. However, even if he wasn’t my brother’s favorite, the figure and the Hurricane both rocked.

  • Vapor is a cool figure even if he does suffer from the same fashion mishap as superheroes do: Wearing your underwear outside your pants. He’s otherwise nicely detailed and pretty rare to get. The only one I ever owned was over a decade ago, when a fellow USENET group member sent me a slightly scuffed extra he had lying around. The Hurricane itself is one of the pricier Cobra aircraft and another standout vehicle from 1990.

    I personally preferred the original, neo-fascist version of Cobra from the early issues of the comic along with the Sunbow cartoon’s first three years, roughly 1983 to 1985. All these technologically altered troop builders began to appear in earnest after Serpentor and Dr. Mindbender debuted in 1986, which is right about when the franchise veered away from its more realistic origins.

  • He reminds me of a couple of things. Firstly: a character [i think he was a villain/pilot guy] from the CGI Voltron cartoon that came out about the same time as Beast wars
    and secondly OCP’s terrible attempts to replace Robocop [the one that shoots itself and the other one that rips its own head off]

    On the subject of SCIFI [ha theres a pun in there] and GIJOE. Hasbro could get away with puting Transformers in space and using cyborgs [Autobot Spike] but Joes using too many robots and aliens just deviates too far from the core

  • This is one of the more elusive figures for me. I wanted to get this guy, eventually I probably will, and I wanted to use him as an individual. Sure, Wild Weasel is all fine and what-have-you, but I wanted to make VAPOR into the best and most dangerous villainous sky warrior in my GIJoe world.

    I think VAPOR fits this single, unique individual role, too.

    Cobra attracts the best pilots from around the globe by doubling and tripling their salaries’ ‘The best secret agents work for private corporations for better pay’ And from the Air Vipers, after qualifying, one can become the creme de la creme of pilots known as Strato-Vipers.

    From there, Star Vipers take there high-altitude resistance surgeries, and get the electro-shunts to really get that pilots edge.

    As my made up individual, I was thinking VAPOR would have had all these surgeries, plus his optical nerve “hook-up” (the ultimate in human-to-machine integration through a wild “HUD” solution!!) make him almost like an ultimate fighter that is going to the ends of the earth to become the most unbeatable sky warrior….ever! (red baron, look out!)

    The helmet is very scifi looking, but that wild look is like some kind of extreme adrenaline junkie going all out to push his thing to the edge.

    Still, this is one elusive figure, mostly for the price for me.

    The only Hurricane I ever had was faded pretty bad, too.

    Now, it’s too bad somebody went and threw the Hurricane mold away……., it makes for a better contender to the old Skystriker, don’t you think?

  • @Scott thats spot on what you said about pilots and spies. I’d love to stay on this all night but the cat just sprayed my custom Tiger force vehicles and i need to clean them:(

  • When I ditched 95% of my moderen era joes,I made it a point to try to get all the “rarer” Cobras like Vapor,the 2 Interegators,Decimator and others.Vappor is a really cool figure. I gave him Taurus’s rifle,and he stands proudly up front in my display case.

  • I always thought VAPOR’s mismatch sized eyes made him look a little perplexed and trippy, king of like “Bill the Cat” from Bloom County. But I still think he’s cool as juice.

  • Robot-monkey head. He was cool, except the red waist which should’ve been left grey like the rest of him. Box showed him with a pistol but he didn’t come with one.

    Dic answered the question of “character or trooper?” by showing multiple Vapors, which was surprising for that series as they used very few vehicle operators during their entire run. However, in their 1991-92 season, they also used multiple Sky-Creepers, and he was definately just one guy. Personally, I think Larry Hama ran out of air-related word to stick in front of “Viper” (he never used Sky-Viper, though), and thus Vapor is one of many.

  • Dreadnok: Spirit

    I like the look of this figure, but I think more than one color for the waist part could bring out a lot more detail. Even if it were black and red, I think it would be a better appearance.

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