G.I. Joe: ARAHC - Rock Viper

Here he is. My top pick for figure of the year! Out of all of the newest release figures, from Rip-It to General Tomahawk and everything in between, this guy is the top of the line! He is THE man! Rock Viper. It's a name that Hasbro reused from an earlier Mountain Climbing trooper, but I really think it works for this guy as well. He is described as a "Cobra Attack Unit" signifying that he is the all around trooper from the new line so far (at least until they release a Viper...come on, Hasbro!). Man, am I ever glad this guy fits the bill! He is the coolest.

He starts off with an evil, menacing skull mask and nasty, toothy grin. Hasbro used a mixture of silver and white paint to get a sinister looking facemask, and it works! The Rock Viper is scowling and sneering, looking evil and scaring the begeezus out of any unfortunate troops he should happen to come across. Then, you have the mold, a once again often overlooked character from the 90's (notice a pattern here?) who deserves some recognition. Range Viper. But plain and simple, this version even blows the Range Viper away! Classic Cobra colors, red and a deep blue, sort of a mix between the new Cobra Commander and the HISS Tank, and it works perfectly. I've got to wonder if the white sleeves might a look a little cooler in black, but perhaps once I get enough of them, I'll make a "Rock-Viper Leader" with some minor paint variations. We shall see. It will be hard to improve on the greatness seen here.

The paintwipes are generously applied on this particular figure, but it only adds to it, and does not detract, especially on the skull mask and the white sleeves. He looks like a "down and dirty" special forces Cobra trooper, and that is exactly what he will be in my universe. He's got twin Cobra sigils on each shoulder which look downright awesome, and I don't care what any fans say, I LOVE the COBRA running down his leg. Perfect touch! Accessories are another winning touch here as well, giving him the large backpack and the absolutely killer grenade launcher and blade that the original Range Viper came with. It makes me wonder why Hasbro gives some of these guys scores and scores of accessories, but leaves others out in the cold? Still, all together, this figure is the gem in the bunch, which is a tough call, since there isn't a single 2000 (2001?) figure that I DON'T like. Buy them. Buy many of them. You can always customize the Major Bludds... : )