I’m very much in the camp of “If you have Vipers, why would you need Cobra Troopers?” and vice versa. It just makes things confusing when you have two sets of grunts to do the exact same purpose. Plus, back during the Direct to Consumer days, I bought five of the “Viper Pit” set to work as my Cobra backbone. It more than made up for how hard the G.I. Joe 25th Anniversary Troopers were to find, and actually kept me from army building anything so extensively since. It didn’t help that the 25th Anniversary Viper was a hideous mess, with its hands that could hold its gun and nothing else. Thankfully, the 30th Anniversary Viper improves on that design, and every other iteration of the Viper, in spades.
Like the Cobra Trooper, I wasn’t too thrilled when I initially heard about an updated Viper like this. However, a picture is worth a thousand words, and upon seeing the final product I was won over. While I really wanted a new design for the Viper, this took the original uniform and made it into one HELL of a figure. Also like the Cobra Trooper, the Viper uses most of the tooling from the Shock Trooper. Might as well, too, since it looks like I’m never going to find one of those…
The head/mask combo comes from the second version of the 25th Anniversary Viper, with the superb chrome facemask. The helmet can be removed, but I wouldn’t recommend it. I’ve read that it gets hard to put on after you take it off. Besides, why bother? Not like there’s a face under there!
This mold was used at the tail end of the Pursuit of Cobra with one minor change: the arm guards. The PoC version has blue arm guards, while this one has red ones. The red ones look MUCH better, harkening back to the classic color scheme. It offers a nice contrast and breaks up all the blue and black.
The accessories are different between this version and the last one. The PoC one comes with a gigantic rocket launcher, while this version comes with an assortment of guns. Both versions come with a backpack and Viper rifle. I prefer the accessory loadout on this figure, personally. While big rocket launchers are cool, they should be reserved for specific characters, like anti-armor specialists. Giving a grunt such a complex weapon seems like overkill, in my opinion.
The weapons included are fantastic. The main weapon is the newer version of the classic Viper gun, which he has a few issues holding. They aren’t terrible, though. The new weapons include a machine gun/grenade launcher combo, a smaller rifle, a silenced pistol with a scope, and the show stealer: an RPG with removable grenade.
This thing is AWESOME. It fits perfectly in his hands and makes me want to buy more Vipers just so I can have more of them. A backpack is also included, with the grenades painted red to match the ones on the chest. Some people have reported issues with theirs, but mine seems fine.
Long story short, I need more of these, and so do all of you. This figure is GREAT, and arguably the best Viper figure ever made. I’m planning on buying as many as I can find, but I’ll be content with just 3 or 4. It’s a great mold with great accessories. Come into FPNYC and start building up your army!