Cobra Para-Viper | Produced by Hasbro | Released 2008
COBRA PARA-VIPER troopers are the deadliest, most highly trained commandos in the COBRA legions. They specialize in high-altitude, low-opening jumps to go behind enemy lines or infiltrate unsuspecting countries or targeted facilities to conquer, steal or cause generalized chaos. COBRA PARA-VIPER troopers are selected from the ranks of the COBRA EEL troopers and are chosen for their exceptional audacity, independent attitude and utter fearlessness. They are given a parachute, instructions and not much else; their purpose is to go in first and pave the way for the main assault force.
The Cobra Para-Viper is from the sixth Wave of the 25th Anniversary GI Joe line. Although some of his body parts are recycled from Captain Ace, his equipment and additional costume parts give him a very unique look.
The sculpt - beneath the gear - is solid enough, although a little uninspired. He's wearing coveralls with a few additional details. There's nothing really wrong here though and I doubt anybody will be displaying him without his (removable) gear. Speaking of which, the helmet can be removed and reveals a masked head beneath.
His forearms are particularly interesting, with what I assume are some form of guidance fins and his left wrist has an altimeter, which is probably quite handy... There are also some pre-attached ammo clips and pouches on his thighs and a knife sheath (with removable knife) on his right ankle. The backs of his calves include small pegs to allow the mounting of his flippers (see below.) He's pretty heavily laden-down, but given he's a parachutist, it makes sense.
Articulation of the core figure is fine. There are no problems and even when dressed with his leg harness, there are few (sensible) poses he can't manage. The chest and back packs are not so bulky as to inhibit movement and he can, as you can see, easily hold a weapon in both hands. Joints were nice and firm and there were no issues with looseness or overly-tight points of articulation.
Now we come to what I consider the weakest part of the figure, the paintwork. He's rendered in blue plastic with some orange detailing that's just too day-glo bright for my tastes. Were he painted in a more muted set of tones, he'd look excellent and would fit right in next to his Joe-cousin, Skydive. As it is though, whilst I'm kind of getting used the cartoon-ish colouring of the 25th Anniversary Range, I think the figure would have been much more effective in a black or darker blue set of fatigues. The dark grey on his accessories (see below) is for once more lifelike than the figure's colouring.
Paint is at least well applied, though and it's clean, with no splodges or mis-applications.
We'll start with the simple stuff: the Cobra Para-Viper includes his own stand (interestingly though, with only one foot peg - Cobra Commander was the same.) He stands well on this base and is a good fit.
The rest of his equipment is superb. The helmet is nicely designed and well-painted. A set of orange goggles atop the helmet are removable, should you so wish.
The HALO vest and chute pack is well-designed and fits easily over his shoulders (just pop-off the head) and then the breathing apparatus tubes connect to the helmet very snuggly. It's a nicely-tooled piece that works well. He also has a leg harness (to keep his legs in-place during jumps) and to also help keep his flippers in-place (even though they pop tightly onto his calves.)
He's also armed with a small SMG, a dagger and a larger sniper-style rifle (although I'm not sure why it has a bayonette.) This rifle includes a fold-away stock, bi-pod and ammunition clip.
It's all very nicely produced and these extras really make the figure pop.
I'm new to the 25th Anniversary line of GI Joes and, in my experience, some of them are just a little too cartoonish for my tastes. The Cobra Para-Viper is straying close to that territory thanks to his hideous colouring but fortunately the awesome equipment pulls him back. Not only does it look great, but it's also very practically designed. Everything fits together well and thought has been put into where this stuff is going to be stored.
Although he's not the most poseable/playable of figures (thanks to all his gear) he's a good display toy and - colouring aside - fits right in beside the Pursuit of Cobra toys. Part of me is tempted to find a more suitably-coloured Cobra trooper to don the gear to create a more lifelike-looking Para-Viper. Until then though, I'm perfectly happy to have him sitting in my display, as - colouring aside - he's a great figure.