GI Joe: Pursuit of Cobra
Jungle-Viper
3 3/4 Inch Scale
By: Hasbro
$6.99

Although Hasbro’s GI Joe: Rise Of Cobra movie and subsequent toy line, weren’t failures, they likely didn’t quite live up to the aspirations set out by the big H. So much so, that the toy line sort of dwindled to a death at retail and seemed as though GI Joe was losing the battle. Hasbro, rather than throw in the towel is responding with the Pursuit Of Cobra toy line, which is a follow up to the movie line. If this line had a mantra, I’d say it’s “We can do better than ROC, see.”


Wave 1 had a couple of neat figures, as did the TRU exclusives, but Wave 2 seems to be what everyone is after. One of the hot figures in Wave 2 is the ARAH Night-Viper inspired, Jungle-Viper. I always loved the original Night-Viper and when I saw this figure, I knew I had to have it. Jungle-Vipers aren’t entirely new, however, as the GI Joe Club actually came up with the concept a while back and produced a couple of exclusive figures.

Jungle-Vipers are special Cobra silent marksmen. Their opti-camo ghillie suits have digitalized camouflage blades, which make them disappear from any detection devices. They also use multi-visual imaging systems that give them wide visual displays of surrounding territory.

These figures sport new articulation as well. So how does this super stealth, night assassin with awesome camo stack up? Surprisingly not as good as I thought he would.

Packaging:
One of the things Hasbro had to do to ensure that this line was a hit, was to distance it from the Rise of Cobra packaging. That said, they still had to tie it in somewhat. Essentially what you’re left with is a cross between Rise of Cobra’s blacks and silvers, with GI Joe 25h Anniversary packaging. The packages remind me a bit of the later DTC figures. It’s a nice futuristic update to the old Joe packages.


The front is particularly good, showing off some sleek elements, while maintaining the basic Joe scheme. I’m glad they didn’t decide to do any dynamic posing or any of that nonsense. It’s a pretty package, I must confess.


Also hidden behind the figure is a cool map deco. I’m highlighting this, because I quite liked it. You can’t see it much when the figure is in, but once he’s removed it’s neat to see that they added this here instead of just a basic color. There’s a sticker to watch the “HUB” which is Hasbro’s new network. I was foggy on the details of the HUB, but apparently it’s taking the place of Discovery Kids Channel (Which I didn’t even know existed) and will air a new GI Joe cartoon as well as the old GI Joe cartoon (YES!), also chances are you probably have the Discovery Kids channel. Check your local listings.


The back of the package looks neat, with the file card and lots of almost Sigma 6 inspired slate blue colors. There’s also a neat diorama and some basic GI Joe info. All this is excellent, but Hasbro gets some FAIL from me for not redoing the old checklist/more members are being added to the team thing. I loved that and it’s important for any back of the package to let us know what else is available.

Considering Hasbro practically invented a lot of this stuff, it’s disappointing to seem them not use it. It’s still a nice package overall, but it’s just missing a few key elements from taking it over the top. The diorama should have been moved or omitted all together.

Sculpt:


Straight out of the package with all the “wings” and “blades” removed, you’re left with a mildly interesting figure. He’s got some strange little knobs on him which hold on his camo suit and a pair of handles as well, that honestly I have no clue what they’re for. He looks decent enough, but you’re pretty much required to put on at least the two wrist suit pieces or he’s going to look a bit stupid. I do dig the all white eyes.


The backpack/vest deal is nice and has some weathering painted in. Unfortunately it’s NOT glued to the figure, but it’s connected to the belt in the back. This means that it sort of flops around at parts. It should have either been completely removable or completely fastened to the body. By splitting the difference, Hasbro created a problem, where there really shouldn’t be one.


Even though it’s not necessarily anything new, I just wanted to point out how much I love the fact that Hasbro can sculpt IN SCALE holsters for the guns. Jungle-Viper has two, including this one on his boot. They look fantastic and they have form and function. On my 1980’s Joes, this would have been sculpted in, but in today’s Joe it’s sculpted and removable!


Once you get the ghillie suit on, he can completely immerse himself into it. You can tell Hasbro spent a lot of time engineering this suit to have a lot of uses. Ultimately I think it fails, because it’s cumbersome and largely pointless, but it’s not for a lack of trying on their part. The problem is, if you remove the suit you’ve got a pretty bland look guy who seems to be missing something. If you keep the suit on, he’s too cumbersome to do much with. I liked him best with just the wrist blades on, but even those get in the way and don’t quite work as well as I’d like them to.


I’m not really sure he could hide in much (maybe the top of a coconut tree?) but he’s definitely got a cool look when he’s all geared up. Assuming of course you can keep his ghillie suit on, since it plugs into his backpack socket and falls out worse than my vintage Nemesis Enforcer attachments.

Articulation:
Articulation on the 3 3/4 GI Joe line has always been good and this continues here. You have all the same articulation as usual, but there are a couple of tweaks and improvements. Not just on the figure itself, but also on the gear.


Every piece of the ghillie suit has a connector that’s a legit ball joint. You can’t quite get full range on some because it tends to pop off the joint, but they’re surprisingly poseable. I’m not sure why exactly, but they’re there.


“WEST SIDE! ERRR… COBRRRRA!!”

The new wrist articulation is nice and it’s always good to see figures getting MORE articulation. I don’t think it’s really needed or will add a ton of poses, but it has some potential. Plus you can make the Jungle-Viper throw out a Crips hand sign, err, Cobra hand sign.


Beyond that, the articulation is smooth and it’s up to the same quality standard that all the previous Joes have had. It’s good stuff.

Accessories:
First the good…


You get a spiffy double sided poster. Both sides look pretty neat.


The poster is actually pretty big and includes the full diorama from the back of the package… Of course it had to be folded 900 times to fit into the package, thus rendering a lot of it’s “poster ability” useless. I like the inclusion anyway. He’s got a visor that fits over his head, but is a little loose and seems cartoonishly long lensed.


You also get a lot of stuff, which is cool. But wait, most of this stuff is just parts to the ghillie suit. That’s okay, I’ll just take a quick peek at the instructions and figure out how to put this together… Oh… THERE ARE NO INSTRUCTIONS! Ugh.


Yeah, so maybe it’s not that hard to put together the ghillie suit, but it’s still a bit trickier than it should be. Why we have a giant poster and no instructions is mind numbing to me. So many toys have given me useless instructions and here’s a chance when I needed some and I don’t get them.


You also get two pistols and a version of a Finnish Lahti L-39, 20mm anti-tank/sniper gun. It’s pretty cool, but there are a couple of parts to it and again, without instructions I can only assume I assembled it right. There isn’t even a picture of this guy and his accessories on the back of the package for me to compare it to. It’s just a guessing game. A frustrating one at that.


He’s also got the basic stand, back to pre-ROC style and thankfully I don’t need instructions for that.

Additional Notes:


I guess I’m stupid. I don’t really understand how to pose him with his gun and using the suit. I can get him in the suit, but his posing is EXTREMELY limited once inside it. He can’t crouch down low enough for his gun, so what’s the point exactly? That’s where a lot of my frustration comes with this figure. Even if I am doing it wrong, why not give me some instructions so I can, like, do it right?


“LOOK MA, I CAN’T FLY!”

Value:
$6.99 for a figure with this much stuff is pretty good. He’s a little rough around the edges, but there are some neat ideas here. Of course, after having this guy I’d much rather just got an updated Night-Viper. Shop around, you may find him for a little less.


Score Recap:
Packaging – 8
Sculpting – 7
Articulation – 8
Accessories – Ghillie suit, visor, 2 pistols, Sniper Anti-Tank gun, stand
Value – 8
Overall – 7 out of 10

This guy should score a high 7 or a low 8, but I’m bumping him down to a plain ol’ 7 because I found the ghillie suit intrusive, fidgety and largely pointless. That, in addition to vest not being attached to the figure, which makes the ghillie suit fall off even worse and I’m left with a figure that I thought was going to be awesome and turned out, just so-so.


“Dude, nobody is ever going to find me in my rose bush disguise!”

Sometimes I talk about a figure being better than the sum of it’s parts, but this is a rare occasion where I actually think the Jungle-Viper is WORSE than the sum of his parts. He’s still a neat toy, but he’s not going to be army built by me. I don’t need 10 guys who can’t wear their costumes running around flapping wings that are supposed to be camouflage.


Maybe you’ll find more enjoyment than I did, but I’m giving this guy a mild recommendation to skip or avoid the hype.

9 Responses to GI Joe: Pursuit of Cobra Jungle-Viper Review

  • Monte says:

    I still want him. Of course, stuck where I am, I'd be happy to buy another Rise of Cobra Duke figure…

  • clark says:

    I bought this guy the other night (along with Zartan and Recondo) but ended up staring at them in the package for a day then returned all of them. I'm tempted to get Zartan again, and maybe Recondo, but something about this figure just wasn't clicking with me.
    I'm glad you posted this review, because it will keep me from buying him again the next time I have some cash in my pocket, and I need (or my wallet needs me) to be more picky with my Joes.

  • Scottyscott says:

    I agree with everything you said. Was going to buy 6 of them, put 2 back, walked out with 4, and am now thinking I may just do with 2 of them.

  • Well I'm glad I'm not insane then! I've heard a lot of people go on and on about how awesome this guy is, but he just doesn't do it for me.

  • Yeah he's alright, but I think the other figures in the series are a lot stronger. He seems mighty popular though. Hard to find him on the pegs.

  • Yeah but you got those cool African doll things!

  • Snowman says:

    I have been a collector since 1982 and what gets me is that hasbro has a winner and they dump the the good things. Just bring out a Night Viper exactly like the original with the patch on the arm and cobra symbol in green and everyone will buy 6-12 of them. I would. But the review is right I can't play with the dude because all those branches just fall off. Bad idea this jungle viper if you ask me.

  • Lt_Clutch says:

    Every time a bell rings, Hasbro re-imagines the RAH line. Seriously, looking at figures like Recondo and Spirit, someone is paying serious homage to the original Predator film. And it looks like this guy is a cross between our beloved Night-Viper and Arnold's alien nemesis. (The ghillie suit and white eyes are dead giveaways, besides the word "jungle" of course!) The card front reminds me of those early 90's Battle Corps packages, but the back has no cross-sell? Huge fail for me as well.

  • Carnitas Fever says:

    I think he is a pretty good figure. He comes with so many accessories, not to mention THREE guns. You just have to play around with the camo a bit, but it is functional. Who needs more than one sniper anyway? I figured out a way to get him into a laying down position for a picture. A little tricky. On my figure, his hip-mounted gun kept falling off, but his camo stayed in place pretty well.

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