Monday, November 6, 2023

Action Figure Review: Tele-Viper & Cobra Flight Pod (Trubble Bubble) from G.I. Joe: Classified Series by Hasbro


   The newest figure and vehicle set for the G.I. Joe: Classified Series has been out for a month or more but now that Halloween (and Re-Halloween) is over, it's time to get back into plowing through the crazy amount of stuff that's showing up at the end of the year. Today I'm looking at the Tele-Viper & Cobra Flight Pod (Trubble Bubble) set, a figure and vehicle combination based on two 1985 releases from the vintage G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero toyline. Since 1986 was really when I got into G.I. Joe I never had the vintage version of either of these figures. The Python Patrol Tele-Viper was my Tele-Viper but I didn't have a Cobra Flight Pod until the 2008 25th Anniversary release. The Tele-Viper was depicted as the pilot of the Trubble Bubble on the vintage package, so it's pretty fitting to have him included here. This Tele-Viper has three portraits, though, but being packaged with a vehicle makes him tougher to army build. Is this a cool set? Let's take a look and find out after the break...

The Facts: Tele-Viper

Height: 6 3/8ths inches

Articulation: Swivel/ hinge ankles, boot swivels, double hinged knees, swivel thighs, ball jointed drop down hips, ball jointed waist, mid-torso hinge, butterfly pecs, swivel/hinge shoulders, bicep swivels, double hinged elbows, swivel/hinge wrists, ball jointed neck base, and a barbell jointed head.

Accessories: Three swappable portraits, scanner, cord, backpack, wristwatch, and wrist computer.

The Facts: Cobra Flight Pod ( Trubble Bubble)

Dimensions: 8 inches long, 6 inches tall

Articulation: Balljointed mini cannon, hinged control console arm, swivel control console, hinged dome, and hinged rudders. 

Accessories: Mini cannon, two missiles, two missile holders, engine, mine, and mine panel.

Non-Scalper Price: $55 dollars

The Positives:

* While the Tele-Viper is easily recognizable because of his resemblance to the vintage figure, Hasbro did modify his design just a bit. First of all, his vest and belt seem more modern and have more detailed equipment on them. There are multiple visible pouches and other doodads and such that might be needed in the field. The Tele-Viper also now has long sleeves. Well, his shirt still has rolled up sleeves but he's wearing some sort of form fitting shirt underneath. I could see Hasbro easily repainting this guy's arms in a flesh tone at some point to give us a more vintage inspired outfit, but I like the sleeves and the swappable heads. More on that in a moment, though. 

The Tele-Viper still has a massive helmet but this time it clearly has more equipment built inside of it. There's kind of a chinstrap/ microphone/ headset wrapped around the standard helmet and some large, silver goggles for eye protection and viewing different readouts needed in the battlefield. 

* The second portrait is largely the same as the first except the visible mouth is a bit different. This Tele-Viper has darker skin, allowing you to have a small army of Tele-Vipers if you're army building these. Hey, at at the least for pictures you can swap things up a bit. 

* My favorite portrait is this third one with a full face covering. It looks far more sophisticated, perhaps alternate types of vision for the Tele-Viper, or perhaps even the ability to pilot the Cobra Flight Pod remotely. It looks like something you'd see one of the enemies wear in a Metal Gear Solid game, doesn't it?

* On the right wrist is a small device, some kind of control unit or monitoring equipment. It is removable if you pop the hand off.

* On the lest wrist is a wristwatch (also removable). Further up the arm is a Cobra logo on the rolled up sleeve.

* The gadgetry on the back of the helmet is really cool, definitely hinting at some pretty sophisticated gear inside of the Tele-Viper's helmet. 

*  Articulation wise there's nothing new here to report, but that's not a bad thing at all, is it? Like the rest of this line, the Tele-Viper has a excellent articulation, a sturdy build, and he interacts nicely with his included accessories. He easily fits inside of the Trubble Bubble, too, and looks great piloting it. 

* The Tele-Viper comes with his device that the vintage packaging called a VS-11 scanner. The vintage Tele-Vipers were radio operators, capable of sending and jamming communications, so what might the modern Tele-Vipers use their devices for? Perhaps targeted EMP bursts, psychological warfare rays, and communications disrupting signals that allow them to hack into drones and other battlefield equipment? There is a hollow barrel here in case you want to add a firing effect. Maybe there is some sort of laser included for defense?

* The communications pack is an upscaled version of the vintage backpack with more buttons and detail. It's pretty neat, especially the purple switches and buttons on the unit. 

* There is a flexible hose that allows you to attach the scanning gun to the backpack. You can also store the scanner on the comms pack thanks to a peg on the right side which fits through the trigger guard. 

* The Classified Series is really starting to get an impressive number of vehicles. Yeah, some are still on the way (the VAMP, HISS tank, and the Dragonfly) but it's definitely becoming an anomaly so far as 1/12th scale figures go. The Cobra Flight Pod, or Trubble Bubble, is a pretty neat aerial pod. Kind of like a manned flying gun turret. It's a larger, more detailed version of the vintage and 25th Anniversary versions of the vehicle with better paint and more sculpted detail. Anything that was a sticker is now painted on or a sculpted detail. 

* The control console arm moves into place, putting the controls within reach of the pilot and providing a bit more stability for seating. The scanner on top (the vintage blueprints called them infrared targeting sensors) has the vehicles handlebars and control panel attached and can rotate freely. 

* The large chin gun is attached to a balljoint, so it has a pretty nice range of motion. There's a hole in the barrel for firing effects, too. 

* The harness easily fits over the pilot and keeps them safely in place. It's nice and pliable and just looks cool. It's much more luxurious than the simple clip that the vintage toy had. 

* There are two missiles on the Cobra Flight Pod and they attach to the pod via a small tab that is also removable. No stickers or paint here; just two good old fashioned Warlock LR-3.B Laser Seeking Antitank Missiles. 

* Here's a shot with the missile and the tab detached so you can see the sculpted and painted details on the sides. I love how neat all of the printed details are.

* And here's a shot of the engine with the steering rudders on the bottom. The rudders do move and there are some great warning labels printed above them!

* The dome has a neat heads up display printed on it. That's a big upgrade from the giant Cobra logo the vintage toy had.

* The Tele-Viper fits inside perfectly. Strap on the harness, have him grip the control console, and pull down the dome, and you've got this guy ready for battle.

* An aerial mine is included with the Cobra Flight Pod, though it's much smaller than the mine that came with the vintage toy. It seems like on the original toy the Flight Pod could be piloted by a troop or remote piloted with the mine in the seat. You could do that here, too, though there doesn't seem to be a special way to hold this in the seat other than just strapping it in the harness. There's no peg or notch or anything.

* The outer panel of the mine does come off to reveal the interior. if this doesn't detonate on impact you might just have to call Tripwire to deactivate it!

* This might just be something that works rather than something intentional, but the aerial mine does loosely plug into the rear of the cannon.

The Negatives:

* It's not a perfect fit or anything but it does stay. Could be kind of cool if it fit better. I would definitely have like somewhere more logical for the mine to store, though.

* The tabs on the dome are supposed to fit down in the sides but on mine, the starboard side seems off a bit and it takes a lot of effort and force to squeeze the tab in there. Probably just a QC error. 

   The Trubble Bubble has never been one of my favorite Cobra vehicles but this is a very solid set. While I do wish the Tele-Viper had a sidearm or something, the fact that he comes with three swappable heads is pretty impressive. He's a really nicely done figure on his own but coupled with the Cobra Flight Pod he's incredible. I love the look and feel of this and appreciate the vehicle much more in the Classified Series than I ever did in one of the 1/18th scaled releases. This is an Epic set. There's a Python Patrol repaint coming soon, too, so you could potentially wait and pick your favorite. Or just get both.

This is the first Tele-Viper and first Cobra Flight Pod (Trubble Bubble) I've reviewed. For more G.I. Joe: Classified Series reviews check out the following:


  1. This is a great set. I didn't think I would like it as much as I do.

    1. Yes, the Truble Bubble is really nice and the Tele-Viper is a very impressive figure. I just wish he had a sidearm!


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