Monday, November 7, 2022

Action Figure Review: Cobra Viper Officer & Vipers from G.I. Joe: Classified Series by Hasbro

 

 

   There have been quite a few G.I. Joe Classified Series releases lately, so I'm currently in the middle of a review miniseries. Today I'm checking out the Cobra Viper Officer & Vipers 3-pack, a set of Cobra Vipers with multiple rifles and firing effects. While there were multiple Viper figures released in the vintage A Real American Hero line, the idea of a Viper Officer didn't really appear until 1998 with the release of the Toys R Us exclusive Cobra Infantry Team, a set consisting of two Cobra Troopers and a Cobra Officer. Most of the parts used were from the 1986 Viper figure, so this set seemed more like a set of Cobra Vipers than just standard Cobra Troopers. That's what this set makes me think of though this set is streets ahead of the 1998 set (which I think I still may own). It's also much pricier, though, with a noticeably higher price tag for three figures (almost $30 bucks each). All three figures do have something that sets them apart though; the Cobra Viper Officer obviously has a radically different color scheme but each figure also has a different skin tone, noticeable under their bandanna. It actually took me over a week to realize that! With five different rifles, three pistols, a suppressor, and multiple firing effects, this set really is a lot of fun to play around with. I've been messing with it non-stop since I picked it up. Is it worthy of your attention? Stay tuned and find out after the break...




The Facts: Cobra Viper Officer and 2 Vipers

Height: 6 1/4ths 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, hinged neck, and a ball jointed head.

Accessories: 5 rifles, 5 magazines, 3 pistol, 1 suppressor, 3 holsters, 3 bandannas, 3 goggles, 3 backpacks, and 9 firing effects.

Non-Scalper Price: $85-$90 dollars


Comparison:

* Here's a shot of one of the Vipers from this set (left), the 2021 Cobra Island Cobra Viper, and the Cobra Viper Officer. While the sculpts are the same on all figures, the paintjobs are different. The Officer is noticeably different with his grey and maroon but the Vipers in this set have more muted colors than the brighter Cobra Island Viper. The vintage Viper was pretty bright, so he seems more vintage accurate. These guys still look really cool, though. The goggles now have silver lenses, too, and the bandanna is a bit more muted as well. 

The Positives:

* Like the original Viper figure, this is still an excellent sculpt. I love the color scheme of the Officer and I'm actually pretty OK with the more muted Vipers as well. Everything is neat and clean here. I mentioned it above but all three Vipers have different skin tones visible on their necks. One Viper has light skin, one Viper has brown skin, and the Officer is kind of in the middle with tannish skin. It's a neat way to add some more simple variation to the figures. 


* The Viper's flak jacket and forearm pads are actually separate pieces, though they're not really removable. Hasbro really nailed the tactical, Classified vibe on these as there are lots of straps, snaps, and details. The Cobra emblem on the right breast is neat clean and the grenades on the left side are a cool touch, carried over from the vintage toy. The regular Vipers have red grenades while the Officer is toting black grenades. Cobra is so into appearances that they color code grenades!




* The Viper's trademark helmet is recognizable; very classic looking yet still sleek and modern. The Cobra Officer sports a grey helmet with a gold faceplate, kind of like the 2004 Python patrol Viper. I love the look of that gold visor! It's sharp as a tack. 


* The standard Vipers are sporting the same great helmet in the classic color scheme. The helmet kind of resembles Cobra Commander's headgear with the shaped helmet and the silver face shield, but it clearly looks more designed for combat than Cobra Commanders' helmet.


* All three Vipers come with the same grey bandanna. It's a simple piece that fits around the neck, giving them that cool special ops. These guys seem pretty elite and dangerous, so they probably spend days at a time out in the field, rather than always being dressed to the nines and hanging out at a Cobra base. The bandanna probably fulfills a lot of purposes. 


* I had a few complaints with the first Classified Viper and I think Hasbro did address them. The goggles on that figure were really frustrating but these goggles work much better., the strap seems longer and it's easier to fit the back of the strap on the lower back of the helmet to keep things secure and in place. Not perfect, still, but a big improvement. Also, the lenses all get a metallic paint application. 



* The Cobra Vipers have fantastic articulation. Plentiful joints, a great range of motion, excellent durability, and they can easily hold all of their rifles in two-handed firing poses. These guys are pure hand candy and I keep picking them up and messing around with them because they're so cool.
* The Vipers come with quite a bit of gear to kit them out. First up is their backpacks. There are two for the standard Vipers and one for the Officer (it has a gold Cobra emblem. The backpacks have some really nice paint applications (the paintwork is slightly different than on the standard Viper) and the pegs are now longer, meaning the packs stay on more securely. Besides whatever the Vipers have stored inside there are also four grenades easily accessible on the back and a length of rappelling cord. The grenades are all grey here rather than matching the colors of the grenades on their vests. 




* The two standard Vipers comes with the same pistol as original Viper. It's a simple, all black weapon with no paint highlights, but it's a cool sculpt. We saw these a lot early on in the line and I liked their very modern/ maybe slightly futuristic look. 



* For the Viper Officer there's a special pistol. It's a new sculpt and it looks awesome. Very modern and realistic. A custom job, too. Check out the maroon slide and the skull design on he grip. There's a hole in the barrel as well, meaning it can hold the suppressor or any of the firing effects included in this set. 




* Each of the Vipers comes with a removable holster for keeping their sidearm at the ready. Both of the included pistol models fit perfectly, so no worries here.




* One of my favorite parts about this set is that there are three newly sculpted assault rifles included, though they're all configured differently. You can tell they're all the same base weapon, a kind of a mishmash of different assault rifles, but all with different attachments and different barrels. First up is one configured for a marksman. It has a scope, and angled forward grip, and a stock with a cheek pad on it. This actually comes packaged with the suppressor attached, but I'll get to that piece in a minute.


* Next up is a version of the above rifle with an optical scope, an under-slung grenade launcher, and a standard stock. This is a pretty impressive piece of equipment and the different configurations in this set really help to give you more options when gearing up your Vipers. Each of the barrels is hollow for attaching suppressors or firing effects and this one has a hollow grenade launcher tube as well.


* Last up is a short version of this rifle with no scope. It does have a vertical forward grip, an infrared illuminator, and a reflex sight. Oh, and the barrel is shorter. This one's apparently for getting right in the middle of things.




* Each of the three above rifles also have a removable magazine. They're all compatible, too. It's a pretty cool feature and one of those things that just makes this line tops in my mind.


* In the package (and on the back of the box) the suppressor is shown attached the to long range rifle. It fits on all of the weapons in the set except for the smaller pistol that came with the original Cobra Island Viper, and it looks great on the new pistol. It also has a hollow barrel, so you can still place a firing effect on the end if you want.



* I still think the Viper rifle included with the first release is one of the best guns in the series and this set comes with two of them. Looking at the design, especially aspects like the magazine and the barrel, it really looks more like an actual firearm with a slightly futuristic design. I love these and the Vipers holds them well.




* These also have removable magazines.










* In addition to all of the gear and weapons we've looked at this set also has nine different firing effects that will fit on the guns in this set (minus the older Viper pistols) and on any other Classified Series firearms with hollow barrels. The firing effect are mostly all made from softer, more pliable plastic with solid plastic pegs, so breakage seems fairly unlikely. Nothing feels brittle. First up is a standard firing effect. Is it a bullet? A laser? It's up to you, I guess.




* The next effect is also a standard firing effect molded in red and yellow (so it turns orange in the middle), though this one is less smooth and more "swirly" looking.






 

* The third effect is kind of like a "splash" with the flash popping out in all directions. I love the look of this one. Plus, there's a hole in the center so you can stack the firing effects.









* This effect shows the flames launching in four directions. It kind of reminds me of the weapon bursts from Contra or Metal Slug. It looks cool, though I'm not sure what the intended effect is supposed to mimic.


* The fifth effect look like it's supposed to mimic a weapon firing in an arc, as if the shooter is sweeping the gun or moving it up. I think some of the Mezco One:12 Collective figures have had effects like this one.




* The sixth effect is a white smoke effect. It's different than the ones included with the Marvel Legends Series figures; solid white rather than wispy and clear.





* The seventh effect is a smaller standard firing effect. Just a straight little muzzle blast with a white puff at the base.




* The eight effect looks like a cone and makes me think it would look great on a shotgun. I think Flint's shotgun will take the effect, so use it there. It also has a hole in the center to add in a second firing effect.




* Last up is an unusual circle effect. It just looks cool. Maybe impractical and unrealistic, but cool. There's a lot of variety here and these all came out really nicely.




* As mentioned above, the firing effects can stack, allowing you to create some crazy looking set ups. This is a great kit and can allow you to get quite creative with your displays.




The Negatives:

* Hasbro did improve the straps for the goggles on these Vipers, making them a bit longer and more pliable than on the Cobra Island release, but they're still not perfect and can fall off. Personally, I'd like a peg or something on the back to attach them to the helmets or an elastic strap like the Star Wars Rebel Trooper in Hoth Gear from The Black Series.


   This set comes in at the new "luxury" pricing Hasbro is saddling a lot of their figures at, and while I got mine at a nice discount thanks to an Amazon warehouse deal, you're still paying between $20 to $30 dollars a figure. The Viper was already a more deluxe feeling figure at least, and the new rifles and the firing effects at least soften the blow. To be honest, I'm still really happy with this set and it's easily one of my favorite releases of 2022. These are three Epic figures with improvements over the earlier Viper and lots of fun accessories. If you have interest in the set and find a bit of a deal, go for it. These are really fun and not only are they great on their own but the addition of multiple firing effects allows you to spruce up your other Classified Series figures, too.

   If you're looking for more Cobra Vipers check out my review of the G.I. Joe Classified Series Cobra Island Cobra Viper.

For more G.I. Joe Classified Series reviews check out the following:

Destro   
Flint  
Zartan



4 comments:

  1. I picked these up, too- getting back into Classified, some cool figures have come out since that initial release.Also ordered some Target Exclusive stuff...

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    Replies
    1. 2 of my Target Python Patrol exclusives are in transit. The BAT arrives today and the Viper arrives tomorrow.

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  2. the blast effect in multiple directions is similar to how RoboCop's auto-9 gun fires. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's a darn fine observation! It makes it even cooler now.

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