Thursday, May 19, 2011

[Review] G.I. Joe: Pursuit of Cobra Desert Battle Cobra Viper

To be completely honest, I wasn't aware of the Cobra Vipers' existence until the 25th Anniversary line came out. The G.I. Joe toys that we had as kids consist mostly of Battle Force 2000 characters and the neon-colored figures that fans would later love to hate. Though we enjoyed our Joes back then, I never thought that we were actually missing out on a lot of good stuff. The classic Cobra Viper is probably one of the most sought after army-builder figures, and it's because the design of the figure is so iconic you just have to own some. So, when I first met the Cobra Viper while I was expanding my 25th Anniversary  collection, I instantly got hooked. The G3 figure looks nice, but it suffers from a lot of fundamental errors that later turned the figure into one of the most-lambasted G3 figures ever. I was able to look past the faults of the G3 release (permanently angled hands, removable goggles that won't stay in place, bad ankle articulation), and I, even up to now, consider the figure as one of my favorite figures from the TFAC era. Responding to criticism, Hasbro tried to make improvements on the base figure on later releases, and they somehow got the figure right. And now, with the POC line consistently giving us modern takes on our favorite characters, a new Cobra Viper has emerged, and this new figure puts every single variation that came before it to shame.

I initially thought that Crazy Legs is the hands down star of this wave, but after spending some time with the Cobra Viper during the photoshoot for this review, I can now say without a doubt that Crazy Legs is only a close second behind the Cobra Viper. Both Crazy Legs and the Cobra Viper excel in being mishmashed figures, but the Cobra Viper wins this bout because it uses the amazing POC Cobra Shock Trooper base body, one of the best generic bodies available.

So, let's break down the parts used for this figure. The head, including the glued-on helmet is from the 25th Anniversary Cobra Battle Pack #3 Cobra Viper. The torso, upper arms, hands, upper legs, lower legs, and feet all come from the POC Cobra Shock Trooper. The lower arms come from the cancelled Jungle Strike Storm Shadow.

Keeping up with the times, the POC Cobra Viper deviates from the classic Viper design by sporting some changes. The battle dress is now done in a darker shade of blue, the crimson arm guards and the red gloves have been replaced with blue gauntlets and black gloves, the ribbed thigh-pads are gone, and the knee-high boots have been downgraded to a more traditional pair of combat boots and a pair of knee-pads.

Articulation-wise, the only concern I have is that the elbows cannot be bent to a full 90 degrees. This is probably due to the size of the Jungle Strike Storm Shadow arms, as the Cobra Shock Trooper doesn't have the same problem regarding the elbow movement. You don't really need to worry too much because fortunately for us, that quirk is somehow offset by the added wrist articulation.

Since majority of the parts are molded in color, paint applications are minimal, but crisp. Note that the boots were applied with a metallic paint wipe.

All of the POC Cobra Viper's gears are just reissued items. The vest and the backpack are from the TFAC Cobra Viper, while the rocket launcher came from the Resolute 5-pack. The rocket launcher is done in a darker shade of gray, and the tampographed Cobra sigil and serial number present on the previous version are both gone. The assault rifle is different from the one that came with the TFAC Cobra Viper, with the shorter pistol grip being the most noticeable difference. It is not new though, as the previously mentioned 25th Anniversary Cobra Battle Pack #3 Cobra Viper also carried this weapon. Also included is the requisite display stand which features two foot pegs.

Paint applications on the accessories are also great, as evidenced by the picture above. Hasbro is really giving us our money's worth with this figure.

This figure is part of the POC Desert Battle theme, but we all know that we can use this figure any way we want to. This one is perfect for army-building, and needless to say, this one deserves to be copped! Get yours until supplies last! 

Some parting shots:

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