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EDIT – Some of my part breakdowns were horrifically inaccurate.  They have been adjusted to reflect more accurate source material!  I apologize.

Invariably when plans change and retail offerings don’t pan out as expected, some items generally hit the production chain and end up in the after market stream in Asia.  It happened a few years ago with the first run of Pursuit of Cobra figures, and it is happening now with G.I. Joe: Retaliation.

Occasionally, these after market samples will be the first time we get a glimpse at some of these figures, as is the case here with viperkingdom.  While folks who went to Toy Fair got a brief and fuzzy glimpse of the second wave of G.I. Joe: Retaliation 3-Packs, this is the first real up close and quality series of images, and I gotta say, these look to be right up there with the impressive first run.  More new characters, some great parts choices and some interesting character tweaks.  Check out the mirrored images below, and I’ll do some parts breakdowns as well.

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G.I. Joe: Retaliation “Tactical Ninja Team”

  • Sgt. Airborne (Previously cancelled Data Viper body, cancelled 30th anniversary Law alternate head, Renegades Ripcord helmet and Para-Viper webgear)
  • Agent Mouse (looks like a  new head and vest, the cancelled 30th Anniversary Lifeline alternate helmet with G.I. Joe Trooper body with some different arms)
  • Night Ops Snake Eyes (PoC Snake Eyes body, cancelled Jungle Strike Storm Shadow webgear)

G.I. Joe: Retaliation “Cobra Invasion”

  • Firefly (New head, torso, and webgear with 30th Anniversary Lifeline arms and legs)
  • Cobra Para Trooper (Shock-Trooper in red with Retaliation Cobra Trooper parachute pack)
  • Storm Shadow (mostly a Rise of Cobra Storm Shadow) repaint

I know many folks are likely going to complain about more repaints and rehashes, but holy crap I think these two sets look pretty amazing.  Airborne is fantastic and it will be really awesome to get that Data-Viper figure in hand finally.  I love the G.I. Joe Trooper, and since Mouse pretty much IS a G.I. Joe Trooper it makes sense for this figure to be built off that.  Not really sure about that bright vest, but…  Snake Eyes has the perfect base figure, and I am loving the fact that they are finally using that cancelled PoC Storm Shadow webgear!  I have to admit, though, the colors of the webgear and the base figure clash big time.  The straps are just a bit too bright for the sheer black underneath.

Firefly looks astoundingly cool.  A great modern update to the original, with a great use of PoC/30th Anniversary parts.  The Para Trooper is probably my least favorite.  I really like the Shock Trooper, but that torso looks really plain even with the parachute pack on top.  Too much blank area.  Storm Shadow is okay, and looks like a more movie-accurate version compared to the Wave 1, but overall, I much prefer the futuristic and sleek look of the first version in Retaliation.

All in all some very cool pieces, especially for being more or less kit bashed together.  If these end up being $20 for three figures like Wave 1 is, that is a freaking bargain, especially because these look to have more new characters and new imaginings than Wave 1 did.  Good stuff.

Thanks much to Kenny2274 on Twitter for the heads up!