Can you believe it’s taken me this long to get around to the icon of 80s Cobra troop building? I must apologize; then again, I’m not exactly getting bombarded with requests for certain figures. I suppose I should get a pass, since I’ve covered the mold in several of its later incarnations.
I wasn’t a big fan of the Viper figure as a kid. Blasphemy, I know, but there it is. My best friend at the time had practically the entire range of figures that year well before me, and my first experience playing with one was at a visit to his house. Nothing about the figure really sparked my interest, at least not enough to run out immediately to get one. As a kid, if I was interested in a figure, I was tenacious about picking it up ASAP. The previous year, for example, the Eels, Snow Serpent, Shipwreck, Barbecue and the Crimson Twins were in my hand within days of seeing them. The Viper didn’t set off my “must have” sense. I remember thinking that the figure looked too pudgy and generally not sinister enough. Maybe the head was just too big. Regardless, like many other adult collectors, I have been geeking out over this mold for years hence.
The Viper doesn’t have that same nameless minion of an emerging terrorist group look to his uniform. Where the original blueshirts wore…well, just blue shirts, the Viper is more elaborately equipped, an indication that Cobra had been amassing massive amounts of capital to arm and outfit its troops. The Viper was also the beginning of the name designation that would come to dominate the organization in years to come. Within a few years, what started with the plain vanilla Viper turned into a veritable tide of specialties.