You may think I’m crazy, or that I simply have no taste, when it comes to my appreciation of the more strikingly colored 90’s GI Joes and Cobras. Considering how many of them that I’ve already covered, I should probably pace myself. I wouldn’t want to run out of them too soon, and be forced to write about more 1982 to 1985 figures. Who wants to hear about those dull toys?
I’ve resisted the urge long enough. I just can’t keep Cyber-Viper under wraps any longer. Just look at this figure. Is there any other that more perfectly distills what was going on in the 90’s Joe line? In an attempt to recapture the kid demographic, and regain Joe’s domination of boys’ toys, anything was tried. At times it imitated, at times it baffled, and at times it utterly failed. But a few times the product transcended the gimmickry and outlandish color to produce some of the finest and most creative molds of the era. You just have to look past the eye-popping color combos.
The Cyber-Viper lacks the bulked out properties of many of its companions. It’s a trim, exciting sculpt that is absolutely loaded with detail. There were misses and hiccups along the way, but in general, the Real American Hero line, even during the periods that are less popular with collectors, was an incredibly diverse and high quality product. The modern figures are highly detailed and meticulously sculpted, but to think of the amount of tiny detail that was put into this figure almost twenty years ago is amazing.
Design wise, the Cyber-Viper is a wild and wonderful figure. It speaks directly to the GI Joe kid in me. Can you imagine the excitement of a Cobra monster wrangler and cyborg trooper rolled into one? How much cooler would it be to stick moldable bio-armor (or Play-Doh to you and I) on a toy? Fun stuff.
Given more support in terms of media (comic, cartoon) I think the Mega Marines concept could have performed better. But by that time, RAH Joe was on his last pegs. While I would have loved to have seen a lot of the later molds repainted and re-released, part of me is glad that they only exist in their fabulously ridiculous original forms.