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Hasbro: G.I. Joe Classified Techno-Viper Review

I was not collecting action figures much and neither were my friends when the 1987 line-up from G.I. Joe hit shelves, so I missed out on a lot of characters including the original version of the Techno-Viper. He’s one of those figures I wasn’t really familiar with until the Classified line got me back into G.I. Joe, but the purple on purple costume with the quintessentially ’80s helmet design was instantly appealing to me. Let’s take a look at the G.I. Joe Techno-Viper!

Window boxes are back in the 4th iteration of Classified packaging in four years of the line. It doesn’t affect me too much since I toss this stuff, but I do wonder how MOC collectors feel about the frequent changes. I am glad that they kept the little digitally rendered scenes on the back as I enjoy the storytelling snippet we get from those scenes. The side and front corner character art seems a little less stylistically varied between figures than it used to be, but this one looks particularly nice to me with the contrasting green background to the purple costume.

The figure comes with a pack, three tools, a rifle, a pistol, a connector tube, and a red read-out piece. The pack is interesting to me because all the material from Hasbro indicates that the handle should face down and the two purple tanks be up top, but the original figure had the the opposite orientation on the box art. I think it looks good both ways, but I find that the tube plugs into the weapon and allows for more movement if you put the tubes and dials towards the bottom. The tube plugs into the rifle or any of the three tools that can be stored in slots on the back. The tools are a softer plastic and I feel like they could use some silver paint to bring out the details. There are two tube ports on the back of the pack, but only one tube, so I kind of wish they would have included a second tube like the vintage figure. This is a much nicer tube than that old figure, however, with ridged details and silver paint that matches the tubes sculpted onto the torso of this figure.

The red translucent piece serves as a sort of holographic heads up display and it plugs into a hole into the either wrist gauntlet. It’s a fun little part that adds some more sci-fi to a pretty sci-fi guy. I like how the holo-display piece looks in conjunction with the little red read-out tampo on the gauntlets. I think it works as a diagnostic tool or perhaps some communication.

The pistol looks like re-use from the B.A.T., which feels fitting since he shares the same pistol belt (which kind of rides up like it did on the B.A.T.). You have to figure these guys work on B.A.T.s from time to time, so I can see them sharing equipment.

The rifle has an extremely sci-fi feel to it in keeping with the original design. On the vintage figure it was called a phase-pulse plasma rifle, and it does give a very laser-gun feel to it. I’m not seeing a peg or anything on the pack designed to hold the rifle, but I was able to wedge in-between the figure and pack when I put the pack on upside down. The rifle can accept the standard blast effects in the barrel.

The sculpting on the Techno-Viper is sharp and I initially didn’t clock that the arms, crotch, and legs are re-used from Tripwire. It’s probably because both figures have some overlays that disguises the re-use well. His shoulder pads have this great panel and rivet details that matches up with the tabbard on the front of the chest. The shoulder pads are a separate piece that is plugged into the shoulder socket similar to how the more recent Black Series Stormtrooper shoulder pads work, so it rotates along with the arm swivel and lifts up when the arm hinges out. They also have a bit of a clip onto the biceps so they stay attached while moving the arm.

Articulation is G.I. Joe Classified standard and he moves well for the most part, but the head movement seems more limited here than most ball-jointed necks with little tilt and the lower neck has little movement. One of my figures has a bit of a wobbly waist, but the other one is tight. He has:

  • Ball and socket head, lower neck, and waist
  • Swivel/hinge shoulders, wrists, hips, and ankles
  • Double-hinged elbows and knees
  • Hinged mid-torso and pectorals
  • Swivel bicep, thighs, and boots

Paint is pretty solid with a lot of clean separation between black, silver, and purple color breaks. The biggest paint downside for me is that the knee-pads are cast in black plastic and the legs in purple, so the knee discs show black when bending the knees. It’s kind of an unfinished look for an otherwise polished figure. I also think a bit of silver would be nice on the tools for a bit more detail.

Overall, this is a pretty solid Cobra army builder though I only picked up two, which is the smallest number of army builders I’ve picked up so far. I don’t think it’s based on quality because it’s as good, if not better, than the other army builder figures that I have. I think that since I don’t have the same level of nostalgia for this one, he’s more of a specialist than infantry, and the fact that I do have a pretty massive Cobra Trooper army, led me to hold back on this figure just a bit. I’ve still got the H.I.S.S. color repaint coming with the H.M.S. very soon.