Cobra Fury w/ Alley-Viper Officer

I could never quite get my head around the Rage. Was it an urban vehicle, was it a desert vehicle? No matter where it was supposed to operate, how the hell did it move with those wheels?

1990 was certainly in intriguing time for G.I. Joe...Hasbro had bucked the entire Joe formula that year and did almost a complete 180 from tradition. Where they were starting to mostly recycle their core characters into new outfits, in 1990, Hasbro did the opposite. They took many of the specialties of their core characters and totally branched out into a line of completely new characters. Not only that, but Hasbro seemed to refocus its attention on accessories as 1990 gave us some very cool, unique figures with even more unique load outs. They weren't all successful, but they were undoubtedly different.

While the G.I. Joe mainstay of that year was the very familiar Hammer, on Cobra's side, they went way more eclectic, and gave us the Rage, a low profile, insanely well armed vehicle that was designed like a speedster, yet decoed like a desert vehicle. As I said, I really couldn't get my head around it.

Here, twenty years later, I still can't get my head around it, but I've at least learned to appreciate the cooler aspects of the vehicle design and take the Rage (errr... the Fury) for what it's worth.

No longer saddled with desert deco, the Fury is now (and honestly, has been since 1998) firmly in the camp of an urban assault vehicle, and frankly, I love it a lot more for that. This vehicle has been saddled with the "repaint" moniker quite a bit, as the vehicle is mostly the same on the surface, but in truth it's been retrofitted quite successfully into the Pursuit of Cobra line. First of all, Hasbro has obviously jumped with both feet forward into the urban operations scheme, as their premier Cobra operatives for the first wave of PoC are "City Strike" figures. The Fury only makes sense to follow that up.

The overall look of the vehicle is much the same as it was two decades ago, with a cool low-profile slope immediately giving a sense of speed and maneuverability...though I'll be honest, I have no Earthly idea just how this thing moves the way it's designed. Suspension of disbelief, I suppose.

Even with the monsterous twin battle cannons that the Fury posseses, it still manages to maintain a cool sense of aerodynamics, which is pretty incredible based on just how much raw firepower those guns look to have. Like the original Rage, the Fury's cannon tilts up into a more fire-ready position, and an awesome double-chain gun rotates underneath to provide additional close-range fire support. While Hasbro did give the kids some spring-loaded fun with this vehicle, collectors can rejoice because the launcher is 100% removable, and the powers that be even included a pair of the familiar missiles to go in its place!

All of the familiar removable panels are there...the flip out minigun, the mine-layer, and tons of footpegs to carry your troops into any city you so choose.

Straying even further from the desert paint scheme, the Fury is a very nice deep, dark dark it's pretty close to black, with just the right touches of silver and other Cobra-like colors. It is a 110% improvement over the original. Heck, even the bad ass '98 version looks bright and chintsy next to this beast. A very cool addition to the Fury is an amazingly subtle camouflage scheme scattered throughout the vehicle...a series of very familiar rectangles that immediately bring memories of the old school Alley-Vipers into my head. Granted, the PoC updates don't retain that same pattern, but the tribute is appreciated just the same.

Originally planned for the Rise of Cobra line as it came off of the 2009 Paramount motion picture, thankfully, the Rage got rotated into the Pursuit of Cobra expression where many of its cohorts were reduced to mere images and fanboy wanting.

Alley-Viper Officer

During the aforementioned process of this vehicle coming to retail as part of the Rise of Cobra line, overseas sellers offered up the driver on the cheap, and I grabbed a couple of them. By and large the figure is mostly unchanged in concept, though in execution, there are some significant differences. Both figures use the familiar tooling from the original Alley-Viper (and now the Pursuit of Cobra Alley-Viper as well), only the officer is a mostly gray figure with very dark maroon accessories to offset the Fury's paint scheme.

There are some strap color differences as well, but perhaps the most glaring difference is the amount of weathering or "paint wipes" on the legs of the figures. The overseas version is loaded with them, the production version has none. In the end it's quite easy to tell them apart, and unfortunately, I much prefer the production version. I say unfortunately because these bad boys are going to be a lot more expensive to get my hands on than their gray market counterparts ever were.

While this Alley-Viper Officer comes with a small chunk of the same gear that his cohorts came with, it doesn't seem like nearly enough. Sure he has the same helmet and webgear as the original (with the same head underneath) and a pair of knives for the sheaths, but that's it. No gun, no backpack, nothing else to speak of. More and more the vehicle drivers seem to be getting a bit of the shaft in the accessory department. Hell, none of them even come with battle stands any more.

I will be honest. I was *this close* to not even pulling the trigger on the Cobra Fury. I have both versions of the original Rage, I didn't see a whole lot here to sell me. But in the end, I bought it, and I'm very glad that I did. The paint improvements are impressive to say the least, the updated Officer paint scheme is great, and loading this bad boy up with the Alley-Vipers I finally have my hands on makes for a fantastic display piece!

While not on the level of the HISS or the VAMP in my opinion (mostly because of the "been there, done that" scenario) the Cobra Fury is still an excellent vehicle that's a lot of fun, and especially for folks who may not have the Rage already, could be a nice part of your Cobra armory.


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