So we take a brief detour from Japanese Monster Week to review something I just had to talk about. See ever since the GI Joe Rise of Cobra toys started to hit, I’ve been excited about the upcoming re-release of the SNAKE Armor. You may remember back in August I did a Spotlight On: S.N.A.K.E. Battle Armor and last night I stumbled upon the new SNAKE armor much to my joy.


Even though the SNAKE armor was always a bit hokey, it was the precursor to the BATs and the first real significant piece of sci-fi injected into the GI Joe Franchise. It appeared in the comics a few times in the early runs and a lot of people have remembered how cool the toy was in recent years, but unfortunately vintage SNAKES are a bit hard to come by. Thankfully Hasbro has heard our call and has brought them back out in the new Target Exclusive battle packs and at a price you can’t beat. Plus it comes with an incredible repaint of the Neo Viper.

Packaging:
We’ve went over these packages before, but I’ll touch on them a little bit.


I’m still a fan of these Target exclusive packages. They’re nice little boxes that can be hung or stacked. There is some space lost with the “Chase the case” thing inside, but it’s not enough to amount to much. I assume Target is still giving away stuff from that contest, otherwise it’s a silly pack-in.


The back includes a little information and also has the bio card. You’ll have to cut that out yourself. Interestingly it lists the Neo Viper now as a Viper Commando. I assume this is a different ranking of the Neo Viper. I’m probably going to use it as a suicide trooper, since this guy looks like he’s willing to kill anyone, including himself, to get the job done. Especially with the SNAKE armor’s previous issues of not working up to snuff.

Articulation:
The Viper Commando has all the same articulation as previous Joes. I’m not going to go into it too much;. The only area where this Neo Viper mold differs from some other 25th & beyond style Joes is that it has a bit of an extra swivel in the wrist.


If you have any of the many other versions of Neo Vipers that have been released, you know what all you’re getting in for. There doesn’t appear to be anything new to the mold, which is fine with me, as I love this sculpt and the range of articulation is good.


The SNAKE, now known as the Serpent Armor has all the same articulation that it always did as well. That includes some minor movement in the legs, cut arms and cut wrists. The wrists pop off to show you different weapons and of course the figure fits inside.


Originally there were rumors that this version didn’t include the little rubber legs that allowed the SNAKE to pilot itself. That’s not true, it does indeed include those. So you don’t have to put any Joe figures into the Serpent Armor, it’s fully functional on it’s own.


Sculpt:
I’ve made it no secret that the Neo Viper design is my favorite of the new trooper designs and obviously somebody in Pawtucket loves it as well because we’ve gotten tons of repaints of it. If this is to become our version of the Clone Trooper, I’m all for it. He looks incredible in this repaint with black, a rusted silver color highlighting his armor and the red highlights on the rest of him. I think you’ll agree this is the most ruthless this figure has looked.


The Neo Viper sculpt is a good one and I found it much less clunky than the regular Viper sculpt. As I said before in previous reviews, the Neo Viper is an actual version of vintage Joe and it never had a really good distinctive look, so I’m cool with this updated design being the Neo Viper from now on.


Of course everyone’s really here for the Serpent armor. It’s the mini vehicle that makes this worth the $9.99 that Target is charging. I’m happy to report that it remains the exact same as it always was. If you have a SNAKE, you know what you’re getting here. The only major differences I can see is that it has a new trademark stamping 2009 on the back.


I haven’t put the stickers on mine just yet, but rest assured it does come with stickers. It appears to have all the same or similar outside stickers, but none of the cool inside stickers that the original had. Too bad.


There doesn’t appear to be any alteration to the inside or elsewhere but there may have been minor retooling to better help the modern figures fit inside. I don’t think so, though. The SNAKE armor doesn’t have much issue with new figures anyway, so if changes were made they were minor.


The Serpent armor comes with all it’s attachments and is really just a prefect re-release of the classic vehcile/weapon/robot. The black paint scheme really works here as well and they did paint a few new pieces on it to make some of the details pop a bit.

Accessories:


The Viper Commando comes with all the Neo Viper weapons, except the stupid missile launcher. No loss there. His weapons are cast in black this time and to switch things up, his backpack is cast in silver. He also has the standard ROC stand.


I like his weapons fairly well and it’s nice that Hasbro didn’t cheap out and give him less of his arsenal. He’s completely armed to the gills. As always you can remove his vest if you want to.


As I mentioned above, the Serpent armor comes with all the vintage SNAKE accessories. This is really cool because if you were missing any attachments for your vintage SNAKEs, you can use these as well.

Value:
At $9.99 you’re getting plenty of value for your buck. Original SNAKEs usually run over that on Ebay alone, plus the Viper can range from $5-$8 depending on when and where you got him. Plus this is an exclusive repaint of the Neo Viper and it’s the best he’s looked yet.

Score Recap:
Packaging – 7
Sculpting – 9
Articulation – 8
Accessories – Pistol, Laser Rifle, Laser Blaster, Backpack, Stand, Rubber Legs, Additional Serpent Arms
Value – 9
Overall – 8.5 out of 10

If you really love the SNAKE armor, then this is an easy 9 out of 10. It’s been a long time since we’ve been able to army build SNAKE armor troopers. The fact that this set is so affordable, comes with a cool pack-in trooper and looks good after all these years is just a bonus. I hope to get a few more of these sets because I’m a ridiculous army building fool.


Wicked.

Check in later tonight as we return to your regularly scheduled Japanese Monster Week!

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