Viper Pilot (1983)
Apologies for the less than pristine figure, but that’s how these guys are often found. The Viper Pilot is of course the standard original Cobra trooper mold, with a silver sigil in place of red. Something about the silver paint used for the chest emblem just doesn’t hold up to play over the years. Viper Pilots certainly got their share of play back in the early 80s, at least until their vehicles crashed enough times to render them unworthy of flight.
I never had the Viper Glider, instead electing to pick up Joe’s Falcon in a trip to the local Montgomery Ward. I had ten dollars of birthday money from my grandma burning a hole in my pocket, so I convinced my parents to stop at the store on the way home. I found this figure in a lot at a flea market years later, and he’s still in my collection. Sure, I could spend a bit of money to pick up a more mint specimen, but I find some charm in this worn out fellow, and so I keep him around. His barely-there emblem reminds me of what these toys once were, before the days of collectors sealing them in baggies or airtight Lucite cases. I’m sure this pilot spent his fair share of time both in the air and stuck in trees, waiting for his young owner to free him. I wouldn’t want it any other way.