Wednesday, April 20, 2011

REVIEW: GI Joe Rise of Cobra - Para-Viper

Produced by Hasbro | Released July 2009

PARA-VIPER units are highly trained aerial commandos for COBRA who have undergone a procedure that renders them utterly fearless. Their next-generation, low-profile heli-packs provide extended flight and keep them undetectable to radar.

Packaging Shots

This figure is a repaint of the 25th Anniversary Cobra Para-Viper, as Reviewed here. As such, this Review will be relatively short and will simply concentrate on the changes to the 25th figure, rather than provide the usual full Review.

There's not much to say that hasn't been covered in the previous Review and the only real difference between the figures is the paintwork and the accessories. Whereas the 25th Anniversary Para-Viper was rendered in a pale blue with bright orange and yellow detailing, this Viper's colour-scheme is more subdued. I personally prefer this design and it's pretty well applied, overall with clean apps and plenty of detail.

The new figure's accessories - however - are not such a great improvement.

The Rise of Cobra Para-Viper includes all the same accessories as his 25th Anniversary counterpart - namely a folding-stock rifle with removable bi-pod and ammo clip, flippers, removable helmet (with goggles) and vest, ankle knife and SMG. As far as I can tell, these are identical to the original.

So far so good, but when you come to assemble and play with your Para-Viper, you'll run into a few issues.

For starters, there's no way to get him to remain on his stand. His right foot hole is too big for the peg and his left is too small. Trying to get him to connect to the stand is actually a harder task than it is to simply get him to stand unaided, which is why he's base-less in most of the shots here. Seriously, how hard is it to produce a stand that fits? Clearly Hasbro has used a standard Rise of Cobra base which, for whatever reasons, doesn't fit with this figure's foot ports. That's sickeningly lazy.

Secondly, there's the heli-pack- an advanced, rocket-firing backpack with spinning rotor, used to allow the Para-Viper to fly for short periods - which attaches to the port in his back. At least that's the theory. In practice this isn't ever going to happen. The mounting peg that fits into the back port doesn't (fit, I mean) and any attempt to get the figure to hold/ride the heli-pack results in this:

I can see the MARS Industries designers pitching it now: ''and as an added bonus, it also cripples the pilot before he even lands! How many do you want?''

I've mentioned before how I'm not a fan of the Rise of Cobra oversized weapons but this one is probably the worst of the lot. You can't display it, it doesn't fit the figure and - craziest of all - the fire button to launch the missile is actually on the underside, so you can't even use it as a weapon if the figure is attached to it. What an utter waste of plastic.

Final Thoughts
The improved colour-scheme doesn't do enough to justify buying this figure over the 25th Anniversary Para-Viper. I'm actually disgusted at how poorly-produced the accessories are here and Hasbro really shouldn't be allowed to get away with releasing such a sub-standard toy. I mean, they can't even be bothered to check that the figure and the stand fit properly. Or maybe they just don't care.

Don't even bother with this.

Production QualityD
Final ScoreD

Image Gallery


  1. I like coloring of both this one and the Anniversary one.

  2. I prefer the look of this one. It's just too bad it's so badly assembled, produced and designed.


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