Cobra is an army of specialists. They’ve got Secto-Vipers, Toxo-Vipers, Eels, Sand Scorpions, Snow Wolves—the list goes on and on. However, there was always one environment that GIJoe outclassed Cobra in and that was the jungle. The Joes had Recondo and the closest thing that Cobra had was the Dreadnok poacher Gnawgahyde. However thanks to Master Collector, the balance has changed as Cobra seeks to dominate the jungles and rain forests of the globe. Beware Recondo… the Jungle Viper is here!
I’ll admit it—I usually don’t purchase the exclusive figures from Master Collector. Other than the Crimson Viper set and the translucent Zartan, I’ve simply not been a big fan of the “frankensteined” offerings of the past. This has all changed with the Jungle Viper who truly shows just how much potential some of the V-troop molds have. The recipe for this figure is deceptively simple: the torso and head from a Razor Trooper, the arms of a Sand Scorpion, and the lower body of Coil Crusher, paint the figure in dark greens and browns, and you’ve got Jungle Viper. In fact, it is such a simple recipe that I’m surprised I haven’t seen it used before now. The only aspect of the figure that seems a bit odd is that the neck of the trooper is painted flesh tone making for a stark contrast to dark earth tone palette of the rest of the body. I might have gone with a black or a brown—giving the implication that the suit is all-encompassing. Yet this is an EXTREMELY minor nitpick and doesn’t hamper my enjoyment of this figure in the slightest. The Jungle Viper comes equipped with a grappling hook and link, Croc Master’s machete, and the same machine gun with bayonet that came with the 2004 Sand Scorpions. It’s a nice gear set that allows for all sorts of fantastic dio opportunities. This is a figure I can see slogging through the darkest jungles, tracking down a squad of Joes and picking them off one by one.
Whoever assembled this figure for the folks at Master Collector deserves a nice bonus come Christmas time as this is an exclusive that I can see selling out. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that Master Collector could sell this figure in troop-builder packs without having to worry about having too many sitting around the warehouse. This figure represents the lost potential of so many of the V-troop sculpts which were initially saddled with action figures and garish paint jobs. How much more interesting would the first Razorclaw figure have been if he’d arrived in a paint job similar to this? Would people have accepted Coil Crusher with real arms and a much darker color scheme? Given the fact that this figure is a Master Collector exclusive it will most likely retail in the neighborhood of $25.00 if extras are offered to the public. However, MC could do quite well by lowering the price point and encouraging troop building of this figure. I myself would love to add four more to my collection—utilizing him as a troop instead of a single character. Regardless, this is a terrific exclusive and one that sealed my decision to join Master Collector this year.
If you’re a completist, then you’ll already have ordered this figure. If you’re going to the 2005 GIJoe Collector’s Convention and have cash to spare, I’d highly recommend picking up a few of these to add to your existing troops. The Jungle Viper fills a long-empty niche in Cobra and he does it with style! I haven’t been this happy with an exclusive since the Crimson Viper sets and the Cobra Infantry Forces sets from TRU. If you grab no other exclusive this year, make sure you pick this one up!
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