G.I. Joe vs. Cobra - Cobra Shock Viper

Well, up until last year, there had never been a Cobra named Shock Viper...now, there's two! Both of them have very different looks, and very different capabilities...one thing they have in common, though, is the use of a different, but very cool mold.

I always wondered why Ice Cream Soldier was dressed the way he was back in 1993...he really honestly appeared more Cobra-like than Joe-like to me. Of course, I've heard that complaint about Snake Eyes as well, but still...the broad helmets and large eyed goggles...the pointed shoulder pads and metallic armor. He would have definitely worked better as a Cobra than a Joe...and now, Hasbro has done it.

The original Shock Viper fell in Hasbro's G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero Collection, and was among Wave 5, the last of that series. Which is really too bad, because Wave 5 was seen in VERY limited release to online retailers, and that figure was one that deserved to reach a wide audience, and could have possibly even become Cobra's new generic trooper, in my eyes.

As it was, the dark blue, red and black color scheme worked wonders for the mold and made this figure the most sought out from the entire wave, without a doubt. So how is this update?

Much, MUCH different. Better or worse? Hard to say...

No one is going to mistake this Shock Viper for a generic Cobra Trooper. His dark blue is replaced by a bright crimson, which is quite nicely muted by some darker paint wipes, which really bring out some sharp detail! Then, in a surprising move (to me at least) Hasbro chose gold as the armor trim. Kind of a strange choice to me, but man, does it really work with this figure!

Granted, red is quickly becoming an overused color in Cobra Troopers these days...the number of Crimson Troopers over the past year is staggering, but the use of it on this figure really makes it stand apart from the others. The combination of red and gold just make this figure cool, and a little different from his similarly colored comrades. The metallic color is very, very appealing...frankly, I love it. I originally only bought one of these figures, not sure what I would think, but now that I see it, I see myself getting a few more, I only wish he had a better pack-in partner than Dusty.

One thing, though...this figure's accessories are pretty aweful. They just do not work at all for me...in fact, I don't see this guy as a Flamethrower at all. I see him as an experimental weapons expert. His protective armor saves him from some drastic side effects, but he is proficient and able with a very wide assortment of weaponry. In fact, right now, my Shock Viper is holding both of the Neo-Viper's machine pistols, and man, he looks REALLY cool with them! I'm going to need to find a way to get some more, because I'd love to accessorize all of the future Shock Vipers with them.

All in all, this figure was a very pleasent surprise, as was his classic-sculpt comrade, Skullbuster. I'm glad to see the classic stuff isn't completely done yet, and that Hasbro still has the abilities to make the older molds fresh.