Jungle Terror Twin Battle Gun with Range-Viper
Produced by Hasbro | Released 2010 [Cancelled]
A Range-Viper races to a Jungle Terror Twin Battle Gun that's concealed in the thick foliage outside the Cobra fortress. Aerial surveillance has spotted the GI Joe team approaching the building's location, and the Range-Viper intends to stop them with the help of the artillery weapon's twin Gatling guns!
Range-Vipers are trained in guerrilla combat tactics that focus on stealth, surprise and mobility. In units assigned to jungle regions, they use the dense undergrowth, heat and challenging terrain to gain the advantage over their enemies.
From the cancelled Target-exclusive Deluxe Figure Wave 3 (that recently showed-up at discount outlet, Ross Dress for Less) comes the Jungle Terror Twin Battle Gun with Range-Viper.
The Deluxe Figures come in a sealed box, slightly larger than a standard single carded figure pack. There's a cutaway window showing the figure within but the vehicle itself is obscured from view (mainly due to the fact that it's in pieces.)
The rear of the pack shows some images of the Battle Gun and the Range-Viper, along with the blurb featured at the start of the Review.
Let's start with a look at the gun's operator, the Range-Viper.
The Range-Viper included in this pack is a darker repaint of the 25th Anniversary version. There's some nice detailing on the figure with a cabled-look to his sweater, for example (although given he's in the jungle, maybe that's not the best of choices...) and a tiny Cobra logo on his lapel. It's too bad his shoulder holster hides this, as it's a nice detail.
The head is particularly nice - or rather, the helmet that covers it. The grimacing skull-face is a really nice addition, especially with the eye-hole cut-outs. (I was surprised when I discovered the skull-faced head is in fact a helmet and beneath it is the actual head.) The ''real'' head is remarkably similar to Beachhead or any of the other ''masked'' Joes. Not that it matters though, as you'll be displaying him with the excellent skull helmet on.
Articulation is fine. My Range-Viper feels a little looser than some Joes I've seen before but it's not enough to stop him from holding a pose. The only real problem comes from the ammo pouches on his belt. They do restrict hip movement somewhat (unless you bend them out) and considering he's supposed to be seated at the controls of the Battle Gun, this seems an odd accessory to include and I'd have thought they'd retool or even remove the belt.
The colour work on the Range-Viper is good. He's rendered in greys and dull greens, which give him a nicely camouflaged/toned-down look that suits the character's role as a guerrilla fighter. It's all very cleanly applied on my Range-Viper and the helmet detail is particularly eye-catching, thanks to the use of metallic paint on the green detailing.
Jungle Terror Twin Battle Gun
So what about the Twin Battle Gun?
The Twin Battle Gun is a nicely-constructed, functioning toy although it's not without its problems. Before we look at these issues though, let's walk-through the toy's features.
The Battle Gun comes in parts and must be assembled. This is actually a little more complex than some of the previous toys but it's nothing you won't nail, especially as there's an instruction sheet included to help you figure it all out.
Once assembled, it's time to apply the decals. Interestingly, my Battle Gun - like my Mole Pod - came with some transfers pre-applied. Not that I'm complaining, as applying the decals is my least favourite tasks when it comes to vehicle assembly. What I find amusing about the Cobra vehicles is the inclusion of the ''Danger'' stickers. I can imagine Cobra and MARS discussing their new Doomsday Weapon and then some little bureaucrat piping-up that they can't use it until all the appropriate hazard warnings are applied and the safety regulations have been met...
Anyway, the Battle Gun, once assembled and decaled-up, is a nice-looking and fun toy. The gun barrels spin (although I expected some kind of twisting dial/knob at the base, rather than them simply spinning freely in the mounting) and can be elevated/lowered and the entire gunnery platform rotates. When in combat mode, the wheels fold-down to provide stabilising ''feet'' and also allow the gunnery platform a full 360 degrees of rotation. When switching to movement mode, the wheels lock nicely in place and rotate smoothly. There's also a towing hitch so you can attach it to a vehicle.
The sculpt work is good, with plenty of riveted paneling and chunky-looking details cast into the black and grey plastic. There's no paintwork, but there are plenty of decals and transfers, including some large, pre-applied camouflage pieces, which help to break-up the plastic. I wish the seat and controls had been cast in black plastic, too, as the grey pieces look a little more toy-like than the black sections, though.
The Range-Viper comes with a removable helmet and shoulder holster/bandolier. The included pistol sits nicely in the holster and is also a good fit within his hands. He also comes with a heavy machine gun with removable bi-pod. Again, these pieces fit his hands well and remain connected well.
The Battle Gun includes a decal sheet and instructions.
There's no base included with the set.
The Range-Viper is a repaint of the 25th Anniversary Range-Viper. As this figure was a full-priced release, it comes as no surprise then that the Range-Viper here is very good (and isn't some generic mashup from previous figures.) Indeed, I'd say the pack was worth buying for the Range-Viper alone, especially as Ross Dress for Less are selling the figure AND the Battle Gun in a pack that costs less than a regular-priced single figure.
The Battle Gun, whilst it looks great, does have some functionality problems and feels as if it wasn't designed for the included Range-Viper - or indeed for any figure from the GI Joe line. For one, getting the gunner to sit at the controls is a nightmare. If he sits at the seat, he can't grip the controls. If he grips the controls, he ''hovers'' above his seat. Re-angle the cannons and they'll either knock his hands off the controls or push on his feet and dislodge him from the cannon.
If you're crafty with the way you display the two together, it looks great. It's just when you try to actually play with this or even attempt to demonstrate the functionality you'll find that it all just doesn't quite work as it should. And that's a real let-down, as the two pieces individually are great and they look superb together too. Just don't try to move anything and you'll be fine.
Twin Battle Gun