Valor Vs. Venom Wave 5 - COBRA Viper (Python Patrol)
name: COBRA Viper
Assortment: Valor vs. Venom Wave 5
Price: MSRP $7.99
Availability: October 2004
Well, I suppose I should get used to defending my stance on this figure, especially because I'm about to say good things about it again.
Having a successful troop builder in the Valor Vs. Venom series so far as been something that has sort of eluded Hasbro's grasp so far, I think. The first Viper figure was pretty amazing, I thought (but I was in the minority). The Alley-Viper that came with him was a mis-proportioned, scrawny mess, and the rest of the V-Troops have been hit or miss as well.
Swamp Rat was an enjoyable figure to be sure, but other figures like Razor Trooper, Coil Crusher, and Snow Wolf just didn't excite me and tempt me to really work to build armies of new sculpt troops.
Now Hasbro has decided to take what was, arguably, their most successful COBRA Trooper of the Valor Vs. Venom series and match him up with one of the most successful Spy Troops army builders, the Tele-Viper. Rather than doing what I'd hoped, and coloring the Viper in a more classic color scheme, they decided to go to Python Patrol territory. In some ways it works, but in some ways it doesn't. It's good to get another Viper figure, sure, and the colors are pretty nicely applied, but it doesn't necessarily match the normal Python Patrol figures. Still, on it's own merits, this new Viper figure is pretty cool.
As it did in the first series, this figure mold really, really impresses me. He is borderline proportion-wise, having legs just a tad too long, but not so bad as to take any many points from the figure.
The head sculpt is fantastic, using a lot of elements from the classic Viper, yet streamlining it and adding a neat angled flair to the facemask. It's a very effective remake of the original, mold-wise and brings a lot of character to the mold. His torso is an awesome flak vest with armored shoulder pads and a trio of grenades down the right hand side. His side and back really look awesome, too, with layered plating that attaches to his rubberized body armor underneath, and then tie in with his collar very well. His arms are bulky and have some great pouches on the forearms, with some even cooler armor plating on the elbows and forearms.
His legs share a lot of the same cool qualities as his arms, being a little large and muscular with just the right amount of storage detailing, and yet with some cool added sculpting to the inside of the legs. His kneepads and boots are also nicely done, bringing the entire figure together very nicely.
Paint Applications/Color Choices
Well the colors here are really pretty cool, although not really what I was expecting.
First of all, the similarities to Python Patrol are inescapable, with the black and red criss-cross pattern over a segment of the figure. However, the package makes no mention of Python Patrol, and a large portion of this figure isn't colored to mesh with that series very effectively. I'm not really sure where this figure will integrate into my COBRA troops, but his colors are great and appealing, so I guess it doesn't really matter.
The overall base of his uniform is a great dull gray. It's a different look for a COBRA trooper, yet works for a mild color pallet suitable for night operations or many other purposes, too. Most of the figure is clad in this color, but also has just the right amount of black trim. His chest pad and boots are the largest application of black, although his helmet has a decent amount, too. All of this black darkens the figure effectively and we get a pretty neat, dark figure.
The red cross-pattern indicative of the Python Patrol is shown throughout his chest and throughout the bulk of his legs. His inner upper legs have it as well as the bulk of the bottom of his legs, but covered nicely by his boots. To add a nice splash of color, Hasbro chose another Python Patrol shade, gold, to color his faceplate, grenades, and arm guards. It all looks great.
The Viper comes with a nice assortment of accessories, although not a lot of them. He has the same machine gun and knife as the original, but instead of his "body snatcher" pod of unknown origin, he comes with the new sculpt AK-47 that came with the Neo-Viper originally. This is a terrific weapon addition and I really love the fact that a decent COBRA trooper comes with it. Nothing against the Neo-Viper, but he seems more like a specialized troop...I'm happy to see the plain Viper come with this rifle, too.
My first impressions on this figure were mixed, since it seemed like Hasbro was trying hard to mesh with Python Patrol, but it didn't quite get there. Since then, though, I've learned to appreciate the figure as a separate entity, using the Python Patrol technology as a stealth camouflage method for a "night ops" Viper trooper. His coloring his great, and matches nicely with Python Patrol, but also allows him to stand off on his own and look cool.
All in all, I'm not really sure if I like this color pallet better than the original, but it is very cool regardless, and I think will supplement the Viper corps well. Definitely consider investing in this pack.
Ratings (out of 10)
Mold : 8.5
Paint Apps: 7.75
Overall score (not an average): 8
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