Viper (1994 Battle Corps)

The presence and popularity of the 1986 Viper within Joe fandom goes without saying. The updated faceless Cobra trooper appeared more battle ready than the previous ’82-83 blueshirt, and is many a fan’s favorite army builder. The design continues to resonate into the most recent toyline.

The 1994 Battle Corps figures were rife with re-dos and repaints of previously released characters. The lone original Joe for the series, the infamous Ice Cream Soldier, was covered in head-to-toe armor, much like this new Viper. While a faceless trooper can make for an imposing force, some exposed skin, whether it be a partial face or even bare arms, makes for a more humanized force. This figure seems too well armored compared to previous Cobra grunts. The mold may have been better suited as a specialized trooper, maybe as an updated Annihilator. Funny enough, the mold in its entirety was later repainted as the Iron Grenadier Iron Anvil trooper in the 2005 convention exclusive set. Hey, a late-line figure actually fulfilled the frequently repeated “repaint it in better colors” wish of collectors.

The redesigned Vipers made a few appearances in the final issues of the Marvel comic, albeit in a different and (believe it or not) far gaudier color scheme. Overall, it’s a well-detailed, yet somehow nondescript figure.

8 comments

  • I might get this. Someone should go back in time and tell Hasbro this should be in Iron Grenadier colors.

  • When I looked at the design for this guy back in ’94, I could feel that the end was near. Good call on him looking more like an Annihilator than any Cobra troop we’d seen before. Destro’s forces do tend to play fast and loose with their uniform colors, especially the drivers. (Not that Cobra wasn’t always a blue and/or red kind of deal!)

  • Nice mold, but bad colors!

    • and the console is a toy, sonhteimg for people to play with. You’ll get way more excersise playing with actual toys then what you would with a console. On console you just get fat

  • Back in ’95, this was one of the few figures I had available to me. In fact, he was one of my first forays into army building as I actually bought 2 of them at retail.

    In the comic, the character had a green body and a gold helmet…very reminiscent of the Aero Viper. In that color scheme the figure probably would have been better received.

    The MC Iron Anvil wasn’t too bad and did redeem this mold to an extent. But, I would have loved to have seen one or two of these guys included in the Viper Pit in original Viper colors just to give that set some diversity.

  • I like the mold, but those colors are horrid, I had him for a while but eventually got rid of him, just too funky of a paintjob.

  • In some fans eyes, some redesigns go too far. Like the 1991 Cobra Commander or Jet Pack Hawk.

    I liked them, not as much as the original Viper. I still see them as Vipers, just in armor/hazmat gear (the gas mask and purple makes them very Toxo-Viper like). Never owned an IRON Anvil, anyway.

    Their accessories sucked even by the bright colored sprue standards of the time…Monkeywrench’s harpoon gun, air commando spirit pistol and Toxo Viper pistol.

    If you look the 1994 product folder, it calls this figure INFANTRY VIPER. That’s funny.

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