Alley Viper (1994)

The crash of the blog last week was a blessing in disguise. What was a pain in the rear to fix also turned out to be a call to action for me. You’ve probably noticed that I’ve been less inclined to include figure pics in my posts lately. Some of that is due to the stuff of life, but a lot is just plain laziness mixed with–I’ll be honest–burnout.  

After several hours of boring WordPress repair work yesterday, I felt energized to  get off my blogger butt and do something with the site. I broke out the camera, set up the light box I hadn’t used in months, and began to rummage through the collection for subject matter. It was just like the old days of 2011! So look for more newly photographed figures coming soon. Yay!

Speaking of the old days, the 1994 Alley Viper was one of the first few figures I covered. As such, the photos of the time were less than impressive. Anyway, it’s been one of my favorites since the time of release. Looking at the 1993 figure from which it came, the Alley Viper was a great update of the original Cobra urban operative. Even though it was bright yellow, there was a lot to like in the mold and accessories. Thankfully they made the transition with the ’94 repaint. 

What I enjoy most about this figure is its bold color. Sure, the palette is a result of Hasbro aping the style of another successful toy line rather than innovating, but the result for me is so gloriously, shamelessly toylike that it just makes me happy. There’s no fitting this figure in with earlier Cobras, unless the bad guys were recruiting for an urban clown force, and that’s fine with me. 

One aspect I hadn’t noticed about the 90s Alley Vipers were the details on the missile launcher. When I bought these figures, I did as most other collectors and chucked the launchers into a storage bin. Now that I look at the card art, I see the side of the launcher features a molded in keypad, like some sort of guidance system might be built into the thing. Now that’s a nice little touch. Actually, if you look closely at some other launchers, you’ll find some bits that add a little more interest. Cool stuff to notice after all these years. 


  • You’ve got the “Striped” variant fig, too.

    I never found this guy at retail. I got one included in a lot of ’97 figures that also included a loose Joseph Colton. It was the guy’s childhood collection. It was odd to think of a kid playing with Joes in ’94 and ’97. Now, that guy’s in his 30’s….

    I’ve found the spring loaded weapons to be a fun new avenue to explore, too. I tossed them in a Nike Air Moab shoebox back then and they are still there today. But, pulling them out every now and then shows that Hasbro really paid attention to the molding of even those items. The care and thought put into the line stuck around until the end…even if the final production releases didn’t fully utilize it.

  • I’m glad something positive came out of the hassle. Glad to see you up and running again!

  • Glad you’re back and feeling ready to tackle some Joes again. I’ll say that I never really saw this color scheme as aping the more successful TMNT of the time. I saw the orange and blue as a throwback to the 1989 version more than anything else. Even as a kid, I kind of remember wishing I had known that a blue and orange Alley Viper like this was going to be coming out because while I loved my yellow and black one, I thought this one would look better with my original 1989 version.

  • Nice photos! It took some consideration for me to adjust to neon figures. But I like this Alley Viper. There’s no hiding – he’s out there! This particular version is kinda tough to track down, and the blue discolors on them to aqua, nevermind the gold paint wear. But for someone with vibrantly colored Cobra urban forces, this figure is a good fit.

  • Love that cobra shield! I love “Urban Clown Force”. Sounds like something insane clown posse was born of.

  • Those orange eyes. I liked this one. It’s funny the 1994 Battle Corps repaints were complete recolors, except poor Beach-Head who just got a yellow vest.

    If only the legs had made it to 1997+ releases. But anyway, there’s really no bad ARAH style Alley Vipers, the original and Battle Corps uniform designs shine through any colors.

  • So many ‘clown’ related things in my life at the moment

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