Cobra Vipers (2009 Crimson Strike Team)

The 2009 con set has a reputation among some collectors as a weak remake of a previous set. I can understand that concern, but then again, it did serve to accomplish couple of things. First, it gave folks a second chance at a very popular theme that was quite difficult to obtain at the time. It also served as an introduction to the modern construction style in the club’s output. Of course, your opinion of that accomplishment can vary based on what you think of the change from the o-ring to the updated figures. I find something to like within both styles, and each has its share of delights and duds.

Cobra Vipers (2009)

The 2009 set holds a special memory for me, as it was the year that the con returned to my hometown of Kansas City, MO. The brand was on a high, with the 25th Anniversary series having been a presence at retail, and a major motion picture on the horizon. The movie’s promotion was a big feature of the floor display at the con, and the Hasbro design team was more than happy to answer many of my geeky collector questions. The best memory for me however is the fact that my wife attended with me, and we both had a great time. Ah yes, the pre-kids days of free time and disposable income.

Back to the figure. The initial modern version of the Viper was welcomed, yet was not without faults. If you were collecting back then, you’ll remember the outcry about the odd wrist positions. I assume the idea was to make for a different positioning of the arms when holding a rifle, but the end result was nonetheless weird looking. The issue was fixed for later releases, and thankfully the con version used the improved arms.

The Snow Job/Barbecue legs are a nice stand-in for the BATS, although I wonder why they didn’t go all-out for authenticity and use the BATS parts anyway. And if the club wanted to get really true to the o-ring version, they would have modified the heads so they constantly looked down, and mussed up the legs so they would randomly kick out. Speaking of legs–here again, the added parts I think actually improve the modern Viper, which had fairly lanky and cartoonish legs. The Crimson Viper looks more proportional than his blue counterpart.

Cobra Vipers (2009) Cobra Vipers (2009)


  • Had this set been a dud, it’s unlikely that the 2010 set would have been the vintage Joe convention swan song. But, despite the negative reviews and reception, it sold well enough that the construction style was changed and those of us who were vintage only were finally relegated to a lower table than the forgotten 12″ Joe collectors.

    I haven’t looked to see if these figures have appreciated on the secondary market like the most of the other anniversary style figures. But, the secondary market has been far kinder to those figures than the vintage con figs.

    • I’ll admit, Mike, I too miss the vintage style con sets, BUT I think considering the GIJCC and Hasbro both said that a lot of those old tools were either lost or worn out (which was stated as being at least part of the motivation for switching over), given the choice, I’m glad the GIJCC went with going with the new style rather than recycle the same, small amount of available tools. I have a fond place in my heart for those old O-ring figures, but really, considering how much people already gripe about the GIJCC using a lot of the same molds (even when it makes sense to do so), I’d rather they have a wider array of tools to pull from just to keep things a little more interesting.

  • Looks like a good action figure….. Too bad the con sets are so expensive.

  • I didn’t realize this figure had different legs, and you’re right that they even out the overall look. The early 25th Vipers & CGs are spindly. This red looks slightly closer to the red used in the 2011 Crimson HISS than the traditional Crimson Guard red.

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