Home, home on the Range. Where the Cobras look extremely Strange. Their skull face is plain and their helmets are brains and the Joes are dying all day. This past week has been crazy good for G.I. Joe Classified shipments, heck the whole month of September was chock full of good stuff, but last week I was receiving a new figure in the mail every day. Tough on the wallet, but a hell of a lot of fun. Let’s take a look at one recent arrival, the Walmart Exclusive Range Viper!
This box has a neat little jungle scene on the front that features some purple crystals that I think we’ve heard Hasbro refer to as Dark Energon. I do miss the file cards and comics, but I also appreciate that they try to work in a little story with the figures and the packaging.
The Range Viper comes with a bunch of stuff including three guns, and ammo box, a pack, an axe, a sai, a neckerchief, and a bullet belt.
The bullet belt is cast in a gold-ish plastic and stays on pretty securely due to the bulk of the figure. Initially I was thinking the scarf was more of a moder flair, but the more I look at the original figure, the more I see that little triangle around the neck that this matches fairly well. At any rate, they do allow for a little bit of easy customization to differentiate your troops a bit.
The pack attaches with a peg, like most joes and like most joes, it stays on okay. It does have a really flat inside back, so I find that sticking it on makes it jut out at a bit of an angle instead of contouring to the body for a flatter look. The detail on the thing is really nice with a walkie detail (though I wish it came off), shells, and even a small electronic screen. There are a few paint hits that brings out that detail a bit too. The pack has a small hose connected to it that can attach to a hole in the back of the figure’s head and allows for full range of motion.
The axe is a sharp looking little thing cast in black plastic that can attach to the pack via a peg through the head of the axe. I like the way it attaches to the pack, though it was the thing I knocked off most when handling the figure. Unfortunately, the grip is a little small for the figure’s hand, so he doesn’t hold it tightly either.
The Range Viper comes with a grenade launcher with a spinning chamber, similar to the original V1 figure. This is also cast in a plain black plastic with no paint detail. The weapon fits solidly in the hands, can attach to the bottom of the pack, and can accept blast effects.
The machine gun is also plain black plastic, but the detachable ammo box contains a small trail of bullets cast in golid-ish plastic. It can also take blast effects (not included), but does tend to bend at the barrel. I do like him having a gun that actually uses the type of bullets on his bullet bandolier. The original figure didn’t have this weapon, rather came with a missile launcher. Between the grenade and missile, I wonder if the original intent of the “range” in Range Viper was that they were long-range troops, but Hama took it in another direction in his file card that emphasized survival.
The pistol is a fairly standard Classified pistol, though a little interesting because of the longer magazine. It also takes blast effects and fits securely in the holster.
Finally, the knife is also some standard black plastic and fits well in the belt loop. I do like the unique sai-like design a lot, though it’s also a little loose in the hand.
Sculpting is just wonderful here and even though he’s mostly re-use of the Outback base body, the new body armor, belt, and leg straps do a lot of work to disguise that fact. His chest overlay just looks really cool with the straps, more ammo, and pouches that give it a modern military feel. I really love the sculpting on the arms on this base body, but I also don’t love it when they paint something clearly designed to be flesh a solid black color. That’s really all beside the point for me here because the head draws all focus and that thing is a beauty with the robot skull and brain motif looking as metal as it gets.
Articulation is quite good, keeping with the current Classified standard, I only really miss the hinge in the upper neck for more crouched or crawling poses. The Range Viper has:
- Swivel/hinge shoulders, wrists, hips, and ankles
- Swivle biceps, thighs, and boots
- Double hinged knees and elbows
- Hinged mid-torso, drop-down hips, and butterfly pecs
- Ball and socket waist, lower neck, and upper neck
I’m really glad that they made the vest and belt two separate pieces because it allows for full torso range of movement and I hope we’ve seen the end of the Viper style one piece that locks the torso up.
The paint is fairly simple and is mostly clean, though I did notice some slop between the blue and gray on the head. I feel like the face and brain are calling out for a wash to highlight that lovely detail too. In the original figure there was a dark blue on the arms and around the neck that is black here and I kind of miss that extra color here. I also wouldn’t mind some shinier bullets.
Overall, this is another solid G.I. Joe Classified figure. I have some nitpicks, but the only thing I would I really want to change is to add some new arms with clothing detail rather than a big veiny arm painted all black. Even then, I feel like I’m starting to get used to it between this and the Tele-Viper.