G.I. Joe Convention 2013 - Nocturnal Fire SAW-Viper

As Hasbro has evolved into new concepts focused on the G.I. Joe: Retaliation film, the G.I. Joe Collectors Club has made their bread and butter with focusing more on a vintage aesthetic. Using new parts to build out figures based at least somewhat on older concepts is where the fans seem to want them to go, so that's what they've been doing.

So far in this Convention set we've seen Frag Viper, Letal, Mortal, and the majority of Night Force, all looking pretty similar to their old school versions. With the SAW Viper, the Collectors Club elected to go in a pretty different direction.

I think it's safe to assume that they weren't going to be able to find parts to accomodate a truly accurate vintage styled SAW Viper. Or perhaps they could...they just didn't want to. So instead, they used the template from the Pursuit of Cobra Destro (and 30th Anniversary Iron Grenadier) and went in a pretty different direction. Folks have often complained that the original SAW Viper was way too skinny and not nearly intimidating enough to be a Cobra heavy weapons specialist. The Collectors Club took that idea and ran with it, cranking the intimidation level way up by using a nice bulky body, huge layered body armor, and a balaklava face mask. Articulation is good with this figure, even if the huge vest restricts movement a little bit.

Now where the intimidation level might fall a little short with the SAW Viper is the color scheme.

Dude is pink. Like really pink. Like pinker than pink pink. Apparently the SAW Vipers are very comfortable with their masculinity, and carrying around an M249 SAW, who can blame them? The interesting thing is that the Club isn't even necessarily emulating the vintage SAW Viper with the colors. Certainly the colors pink and purple played a part in the design of the original SAW Viper, but these colors are a lot more vibrant and bright than the previous version is. I will say the minute I popped open that box, those SAW Vipers jumped right out at me, but as I'm exposed to them more, the more I wish the Club had toned down those colors just a bit. Maybe chosen the more dull purple as the main base rather such a bright pink hue. It's not something that is catastrophic to the overall design of the figure, but I think a slightly darker paint scheme wouldn't have hurt in this case.


SAW Viper comes loaded out with the City Strike Destro vest that works remarkably well. Where the gun mount on the front of the vest normally is, though, the Club placed a double-sheath with two knives, a very cool touch for this evil Cobra heavy weapons specialist.

He has a SAW heavy machine gun with ammo box, and a backpack. The SAW Viper helmet is very evocative of the DTC version, and fits nicely over the masked head sculpt.

I love this design for the Cobra SAW Viper. I'm glad the Club went out of the box with this one. However, I do wish the colors were muted just a little bit, especially on the vest. The larger, more imposing size is a great new element to the Viper, and he has some great accessories, too. All in all, a successful update to a good Cobra specialty, even with the bright colors.