One of the most overlooked parts of G.I. Joe history is the Real American Hero Collection, a short run of mostly re-used parts that went from 2000 – 2001 and heralded the “next stage” in G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero. Introducing some new characters while revisiting plenty of classics, all in the familiar o-ring style, it was the RAHC that put GeneralsJoes on the map and truly reignited my love for G.I. Joe. I’m glad to see the Collectors Club examining that crucial part of G.I. Joe history.
This set is available for sale now at the G.I. Joe Collectors Club store.
One of the more unsung releases of the early 2000’s in my mind was the Wave Crusher w/ Sub Viper. Not because of the Wave Crusher necessarily, in my mind, one SHARC repaint is more or less like another, but the Sub Viper was a very cool figure, and an excellent update using the old school Sludge Viper tooling.
Interestingly, the Club did a version of the Sludge Viper in 2014 (though they named him Repulsor) yet when they developed the updated Sub Viper, they used a different parts formula entirely. I’m actually okay with that, as I think this Sub Viper looks more like an underwater operations specialist and manages to look a lot like the classic Sub Viper, too.
There are no new parts here. He’s got the head (and helmet) of the Rise of COBRA Aero-Viper, the torso of Barbecue, arms of Techno-Viper, and the legs of Rise of COBRA Snake Eyes. They are relatively recent parts with some excellent sculpting and great range of motion, which I always enjoy seeing.
Where this figure really excels, though, is in the color scheme. The blue base uniform is bright and vibrant just like the original, standing out amongst the darker and duller COBRA Troopers. The silver trim throughout the figure is striking, a very stark and almost chrome finish that looks excellent and is quite eye catching. The combination of colors is quite different than most other figures we’ve ever seen, and is a great update to the 2001 original figure. The thing I liked most about that figure was its paint scheme, too.
For accessories, Sub Viper comes with a knife, underwater machine gun, flippers, and a pair of mines to plant on unsuspecting G.I. Joe watercraft. This makes him much more than just a glorified SHARC pilot, which I love. This figure is a lot of fun.
On the other hand, the Wave Crusher itself just manages to be pretty much any other SHARC repaint. I really enjoy the spirit of the SHARC. A vehicle that’s a combination of submarine and aircraft is a really neat concept, and the flip-up cannons provides some fun play value.
Unfortunately, while the SHARC was innovative in 1984, it’s received countless repaints and re-releases over the years, and at this point, there’s little to remain excited about. Even utilizing some new tooling for the 25th Anniversary line left us with a vehicle that’s more or less the same as its always been. I do like the shade of blue here, which matches the Sub Viper (but does not match the 2001 vehicle). The applied decals are a nice touch, and the Club has managed to give this a very “COBRA” feel. I’m glad they elected to match the Sub Viper colors, but in the end, this is still the SHARC, a vehicle that I enjoyed over 30 years ago, but offers little in the way of newness now.
At the end of the day, I love the figure, don’t much care for the vehicle. If the Club could find a way to release the figure at a better price without the vehicle, I’d probably grab a handful. As it is, I’m happy with one, but won’t seek out many more.
Once again, you can buy this set right now at GIJoeClub.com.
COBRA Wave Crusher w/ Sub Viper
Vehicle Paint Deco
Vehicle Play Features
The G.I. Joe Collectors Club continues to pull inspiration from all eras of G.I. Joe with this modernization of the 2001 Toys “R” Us Exclusive Real American Hero Collection set. They make some aesthetic changes, specifically with the colors of the Wave Crusher itself, but they’re good changes, and the updated Sub Viper looks nicely vintage inspired, but with a really interesting parts recipe. The colors are spectacular, with very vibrant blues and silvers, and they truly did one of my favorite 2000’s era figures justice.