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Cobra Viper (v16)
Review by Nick Zurawski
I can't tell you how excited I was for this figure when it was announced and shown. I have many diseases when it comes to my toy collecting and one of them is army building. I have a disgusting amount of 25th Anniversary Cobra Troopers and expected to buy these by the dozen - until I had it in hand.
The card back does not disappoint. It gives me all the nostalgia funny feelings it should but my good will towards this figure stops about there.
First the vest - it gives the torso the look of the vintage figure without having to sculpt a new torso. It looks nice enough but restricts some movement of the arms. It is removable from the figure but it doesn't look right without it.
Next the goggles. There has been a long debate over why this figure even needs goggles when its helmet is enclosed with a face shield. I think Hasbro tried to meet collectors half way by allowing these goggles to come off so you can use them or not. I find them to be annoying because they won't stay on the helmet at all. They fall off with the slightest bump. I think kids will be losing these very soon after opening the figure. They will surely find their way up more than one vacuum cleaner. The helmet does not even come off to reveal a human head inside to be able to put the goggles on, making them even less useful. I really dislike the goggles and wish they would not have been included at all or would have been sculpted as one piece with the helmet like the classic figure.
The backpack looks great and is a great update on the classic pack. It fits on the back through a hole in the back of the vest. The new pack is on the left in the following picture.
When I first opened this figure, I thought Hasbro had simply reused the classic rifle, but they did not. It is a brand new sculpt. It takes a bit of examining to tell the difference but once you see them side by side, it is obvious. In this picture the new rifle is on the top of the classic one.
The major flaw with this rifle is not really with the rifle at all but with the goofy hand sculpts that are meant to hold it. There is no articulation at the wrist and the wrists are sculpted into a weird position. It makes it impossible in my trying to get the figure to hold the rifle by both handgrips. You can sort of get the left hand further up the barrel but it doesn't look right either. The wrist sculpts are the second major problem with this figure in my eyes after the goggles.
I don't have a lot of confidence in the flesh paint on the arms either. Mine isn't painted on very well and looks like it might start flaking off at some point.
When you put this figure side by side. I think the classic figure still holds up. It still has a bit of an oversized bobble head but still looks good. The new figure does look good from a distance but once you start examining it, its flaws start to appear.
I tried to put the Viper on the back of the H.I.S.S. tank and didn't have much success. Because Hasbro moved the foot peg holes from the heels of the figures closer to the toes, they kept falling off backwards. I took the backpacks off and it helped a little but not much. Even when I had the figure on its stand, it wanted to fall backwards. The boot sculpt restricts the ankle articulation so I couldn't distribute its body weight better.
This figure is hitting retail and online stores now. Expect to pay a recently increased price of about $7. I am sure this figures will be hard to find as others like me will plan to army build them. Luckily Hasbro is packing the Viper two per case in the early wave 3 cases.
The Viper disappoints me and I am only giving it a ** 1/2 rating. It looks great on the card but between the goggles, the wrists, the vest restricting the arm movement, the ankle articulation, and the foot peg placement, I am really annoyed with it. I so wanted it to be perfect and it came so close but yet so far. Maybe my fanboy expectations were too high, but a lot of the other figures in this toy line are far too nice for this one to be so lacking. I was expecting to buy this one by the car load. I currently have six loose ones and I feel like I bought at least four too many.