Monday, August 19, 2013

GI Joe Retaliation Alley Viper

GI Joe: Retaliation spawned an interesting odd set of figures. The early waves ranged from nearly tragic to odd and peculiar to incredibly awesome. The Alley Viper falls in the odd and peculiar category.

I have always liked the Alley Viper concept even as far back as the neon orange original O-ring version back in the 80's. Throughout the life of the small Joe figures since that initial figure, the Alley Viper has been around in various styles as well various colors.

The modern Pursuit of Cobra series produced an excellent Alley Viper, but I found fault with its pin head. The head under the helmet just seemed too dang small for an actual human being. That resulted in a mash-up of the POC Alley Viper and the red Cobra trooper from the aborted GI Joe:Resolute line. (Argh!) 
Hasbro once more brings back the Alley Viper name on a new version. Does it have all of the coolness of the POC version? Not quite. The pin head is still there, so that is strike one!

The primary differences between the POC and the Retaliation versions are the vest/webgear and the torso. Okay, yeah, the colors are different, but Alley Vipers are all about the wild colors! The original vest that came with the POC Alley Viper just kicked serious amounts of ass. Bulky and loaded with gear, it was still constructed in a way that allowed for excellent arm movement.

As you can see with my custom Alley Vipers, the vests just really look so much better.

The Retaliation AV's come with the web gear from the Jungle Duke figure from the POC line. Which is okay, because that web gear kicks ass too! It just doesn't seem to work as well with the concept of the Alley Viper - at least not to me. I've always considered the Alley Viper as an assault troop in need of some solid heavy gear. The web gear just seems to leave the AV too exposed.

The torso is new for the RET version, using the torso from the 1st versions of Duke and Flint. Less said about them is better. The torso works for the AV as an armored body, but it's just not bulky enough. 

I've only bought two of these guys and really don't feel strongly enough about them to do any serious troop building. They just don't work with my custom AV's. Their fate seems to be destined for the fodder box. The web gear has already been surrendered to the Joes. Unsure what to do with them right now. I just need some toy time to play, I suppose. 
The RET AV also comes with the AV two-part helmet, the shield w baton, and the small submachine gun. Oh yeah, and one of those crazy-ass rope thingies. I believe that is the official terminology.

1 comment:

Dr Syn said...

Your custom AVs are pretty nice.

I only have one of the Retaliation guys, I wish they'd given him the 25th AV's balaclava. I might get a few more to be a scouting team for my 5 Retaliation and 2 25th AVs.

Sadly I never imported the Cobra RAGE w/AV officer.