Direct to Consumer Wave 3 - SAW Viper

Toy name: SAW Viper
Assortment: Direct-to-Consumer Wave 3
Price: MSRP $4.99
Availability: December, 2005

Personally, I never saw the appeal in the original SAW Viper. The helmet was oddly shaped, the figure seemed almost weak and scrawny (ironic, considering he was supposed to be a big, beefy machine gunner) and he had certain uniform componants that just didn't seem to make sense. The tight-like purple pants with those bizarre red leggings, the skinny arms and long purple gloves...all in all, amongst a nice, thick batch of 90's figures, SAW Viper just looked skinny and non-threatening. Not to mention the fact that he came with crappy accessories.

Well, Hasbro took a pretty serious departure from that look, and they had the potential to do something really cool, but ultimately, they end up falling pretty flat with this straight up repaint of the Night Ops Rollbar.

I don't even really mind that they used Rollbar's head, since my SAW will remain masked most of the time...but the body is what gets me. There are certain aspects that are cool, but there are enough aspects that just aren't cool that it just knocks the figure down some notches and even with some great potential, makes it the bum figure of the wave, at least to me.

Figure Mold

This is right where my problems start, and it's really the only problem I have with the figure, but when the figure mold lends itself to issues, no amount of great paint apps or cool accessories can hope to make up for it.

Rollbar's mold isn't a bad one at all...especially the Night Ops version. But it's pretty basic military, and worst of all, that coat-tail attachment so severely limits articulation and leg movement that this feature alone almost kills the entire figure.

First of all, the coat on Rollbar didn't make a whole lot of sense to begin with...from an asthetic standpoint, it looked good, which is fine, but when the driver of your Humvee can't even sit in the seat because of the figure design, there's a problem there. Sure he looks fine standing up, but his legs don't bend enough with that hard rubber coattail to even allow him to sit, kneel, or even attempt any sort of semi-realistic walking/crouching position. While that proves to give some negative points to Rollbar, when you take that element and apply it to what should be a mobile, fast moving, ducking-for-cover heavy machine gun trooper, well that articulation limitation makes no sense whatsoever. Not to mention the fact that this classic military jacket look really doesn't look like something you'd find a COBRA Trooper wearing. Considering the fact that none of Rollbar's elements really translate to SAW Viper elements, I'm just a little curious as to why they would choose this figure as a base.

Besides that problem, the mold, like I said, does have some potential. The tac vest pouches are all designed very nicely and look cool (and are a great addition to what would have been a REALLY boring mold had they just used the version 1 Rollbar). In fact the entire torso looks fantastic, from the mesh surface of the vest, to the intricate detailing of the pouches and works great. The arms and legs are very basic, being pretty much simple cloth uniforms (the legs being Rollbar's, the arms being DTC Barrel Roll's) and again, just don't seem like something a COBRA troop would be toting around. I do have to give props to Hasbro for using Barrel Roll's arms, though, because the swivel wrists and "trigger finger" make perfect sense for a machine gunner. However, I do wish that perhaps different legs and a different waist were also used to kind of give the SAW Viper more "COBRA-ness".

Paint Applications/Color Choices

Colors on this figure are a BIG plus, actually, and almost make up for the substandard mold choice. I love the deep, dark blue of the uniform is very COBRA, and very different from how the original SAW Viper was painted. I'm kind of surprised they went for these apps simply because it is so different, but it still works and I love the blue.

The red pouches and red boots are also a terrific deep, dark, rich shade, and again, a very COBRA-esque. Mold-wise, the figure looks like pure vanilla US Military...color-wise, he makes an awesome COBRA troop, but again, the colors just aren't enough to make up for the mold. I do like the COBRA symbol on his arm, and the figure really stands out nicely, even if the mold doesn't work.


Well, we have another huge selling point for this figure, which I think almost makes me more upset about the mold problems, because with the paint apps and the accessories, a better molded figure would have made this guy nearly perfect. First of all, the machine gun is flat out AWESOME. We've all been waiting for a Hasbro produced M249 SAW for a long time, and while this isn't your traditional Squad Automatic Weapon, it uses enough of it for a foundation that you end up with a very cool weapon very reminiscent of the SAWs we all know and love. It even comes with the removable ammo box.

Along with an awesome weapon, we have a very cool helmet, too. While not at all reminiscent of the old school SAW Viper, this new helmet is a great one all on it's own with a terrific open-faced design, microphone extending to his mouth, and a great green visor over his eyes. With this great helmet on, you don't even notice it's Rollbar's head under there, and that works for me.

The figure also comes with the same old blah SAW Viper backpack, which is pretty forgettible, but since this IS a SAW Viper, it makes certain sense. I'm just thrilled we didn't get stuck with another version of his aweful old school heavy machine gun.

Final Comments

Great colors, great accessories, kinda crappy mold choice for a character that I'm not incredibly enamored with. While Hasbro could have done some great things to make a SAW Viper I liked for a change, I'm not all that heartbroken, I guess, and this figure can make some okay filler. I will probably monkey with the coat tails a little bit and see if I can make some adjustments that might save the figure, but straight out of the package, it is somewhat disappointing. I'm sure the army builders will still be all over him, although the Rollbar head might drive some of them away. It's an okay figure, but not a great one, and not one that I plan on buying a ton of.

Ratings (out of 10)

Character: 6.5
Mold : 4
Paint Apps: 8
Value: 6
Overall score (not an average): 6

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