A lot has been said about the GI Joe figures of the golden years of 1982 through 1986, but I’m here to tell you again not to overlook some of the later releases. The Night-Viper figure is hands-down one of the most amazing figures of the Real American Hero era. The Night-Viper’s purpose, sculpt, and accessories all came together in an amazing way.
When it was repainted for the Collectors Club’s Operation: Flaming MOTH series, the mold got a lot of new life, in my eyes. While the first version is an excellent figure, and an all-time classic Cobra army builder, the new color scheme brings out the sculpt’s detail with some reversed contrast and excellent added paint apps. It’s not that the first version’s colors were lacking, but the additions and changes make so many elements of this figure stand out. Even though it’s intended as an environment specific (jungle) uniform, the colors will also work in more generic settings.
Like the other Cobras in the series, this Night Viper is intended to be an individual squad leader, an interesting departure from the usual nameless Cobra figures of old. This guy’s file name is Spencer Davis. I guess someone at the Club was a British Invasion fan.
You’ll get no arguments from here regarding this figure. The ’89 Night-Viper mold is a classic, one of the great army builders, and by far the best Cobra specialist introduced in an otherwise lackluster year.
This version is equally awesome. I hadn’t seen it up close until now, but the revised paint apps really do bring out the details. The reverse contrast is an interesting touch which might have helped many others figures from the repaint era turn out better. This one is a definite winner for sure.
Wow, that name is a funny coincidence.
1989 sure did have some great army builders. Its always good to see old molds get reused [especially as late as ’06] . Its also good to see squad leaders for them. And i like the fact that cobra has camo uniforms. Not everything is blue, red or neon orange
This is a nice looking figure especially with the greens, black, and brown paint scheme. I think it works really well if you’re going for an outdoors feel. It would fit really well in the woods. The only negative I can see is I think the night vision lens is way too long. Aside from that, this one looks top notch.
This figure is good. But, the fiasco of “these aren’t intended to be army builders” and having collectors pay for boxes instead of figures really killed the demand for these guys. Plus, Funskool was looking at doing an exclusive Cobra blue run of Night Vipers for a US dealer. But, the mold was sent back to Hasbro. I guess this figure for $18 was better than Cobra blue Night Vipers for $4 each…..
It was that very not “intended to be army builders” premise that at that time, combined with the two-per-box purchase, that dissuaded me from getting these. (Real life happenings at that time also helped sway me away further.)
The whole MOTH series, with the exception of the Chuckles/ Shipwreck set, was very appealing to me still (I had no interest in those two ‘Joe figures). The three Cobra sets had figures I totally would have liked to grab. The desert Flak and Range vipers were the lesser of the three (for me), but still had cool looks to them.
The Ice Viper and Snow Serpent…, well, if I could have snagged a few each, I would have been sold. Those are some awesome looking figures. I would have traded every original figure I had of these in for an army builder set of these Cobra arctic troopers.
The Frag Viper was very cool looking, too. I would have traded my classic ’89 Frag Vipers (I had two) in for these.
The Night Viper in topic here, well, I wanted Night Vipers, period, up until late 2005. After purchasing the 2005 MARS INVADES set, the only trace of Night Viper I had was in those Iron Grenadiers. There was something where I didn’t want to get Night Vipers since Destro had more or less commandeered that Vipers gear as his own in my mind.
(Add in that at the 2005 Convention, I couldn’t find a NIght Viper for less than $30 each loose; obviously, I didn’t get one….)
Looking back, had the Operation MOTH thing NOT had the boxes, and been limited to just the 6 Cobra figures spread out over the year, I would have bought into that.
OR even a deal where similar to convention sets, where if I were to buy the box set, I could then buy multiple “loose” figures sets to army build these to a small extent, I would have gone for this.
An idea to toss out here, in regards to two-packs: didn’t two-packs generally get the “thumbs-down” from us back in the day? I seem to remember that being a unfavored point around the GvC through VvV retail days?
@Scott was the chuckles & Shipwreck set the one with the sleevless Chuckes?
In my neck of the woods i scooped up as many two packs as i could find. The still shelfwarming Spytroops stuff was a cheap and effective way for me to contine operation phoenix
If that US dealer was Smalljoes.com, then I’m glad that didn’t happen.
The problem was the mold got shipped back to Hasbro but was only used to Convention/fan club sets, whilst the retail release of 2 COBRA NIGHT THEMED 6 PACKS THAT DID NOT CONTAIN A SINGLE NIGHT VIPER was insulting. So many potential reissues were lost because Hasbro was lazy, retailers were fickle and the collector’s club was determined to milk unreissued and “rare” vintages mold slowly…until they were all sold for scrap. So no Night Viper army builder sets, no WORMS, no Vapors, no Mega Vipers, no Decimators…
Okay, now I’m depressed. The info Mike T. and Rolo Tony shared above makes me dislike the collector’s club even more. They’re rapidly crossing the line beyond “necessary evil” into plain fed up.
All those lost vintage army builders that could’ve made comebacks…
What a waste.
@ Clutch. You hit the nail on the head with the club.Why does it exist anyways? So a few “Joe Elite” can make gobs of money,prevent and /or hinder Hasbro from making figs collectors trully want to see without paying a premium for them? Despite what L———- would have you believe, there’s nothing wrong with criticizing Hasbro or the Club no matter what your economic status is…
Night-Viper is back (Retaliation wave 4)!!!