Tuesday, May 24, 2011

REVIEW: GI Joe Pursuit of Cobra Cobra Fury with Alley-Viper Officer

Produced by Hasbro | Released 2010

Cobra Fury Tanks roll through the nighttime streets of an Asian city to test their prototype engineering and firepower. The compact design allows these vehicles to move easily through roads and alleys. The battering ram and side-shot middle launcher can clear obstacles in their path with plenty of direct force and concentrated fury.

Alley-Viper Officers specialize in urban combat and lead platoons of Alley-Viper Troopers in ground assaults. These Cobra officers train their troops to conduct fast-strike operations of takeover and sabotage in cities around the world. In an Asian city, they battle the GI Joe team to prevent them from infiltrating a Cobra warehouse.


The Cobra Fury uses the standard Bravo Class vehicle, with the Fury itself packed away (in pieces) within the box. The Alley-Viper Officer however is visible in the cut-away panel at the front. 

There are a couple of things to note about this packaging. Firstly, the image on the rear shows the Cobra Fury sporting a different colour scheme (more on that later.) Secondly, the restraining tray/insert within is packed upside-down, so be warned when you open the pack face-up, as the pieces will fall out...

Let's start with the Alley-Viper Officer.

Alley-Viper Officer
The Alley-Viper Officer uses the same basic body as the Alley-Viper (no surprises there!) but with a few... downgrades, would probably be the best term to describe it. Before proceeding any further I'd suggest taking a moment to read my Alley-Viper Review, as I will be making some comparisons.

The figure's sculpt looks great and has some excellent detailing such as pockets, pads and plates that really make him appear to be a combination of riot control trooper and urban combat specialist. It's a nice combination of well-equipped and stripped-down that works well and he certainly looks the part. All the details I liked in the Alley-Viper Trooper are present, including the rappel loops on his belt, armoured plates and weapon sheaths, which is no surprise given it's the same sculpt wearing the same (removable) vest. The key difference comes with the head sculpt. The Alley-Viper Officer is wearing the more hood-like Cobra mask, rather than the ''angular snout'' mask worn by the Trooper.

Articulation-wise, the figures appear identical. That's definitely a good thing, as the GI Joe base body articulation is superb.

It's the paintwork that really differentiates the two figures. And sadly, the Alley-Viper Officer's paint job is a much more basic app. Unlike the Alley-Viper Trooper, which featured a variety of chevrons, highlights and other details the Alley-Viper Officer has a fairly limited paint job. What's here is fine - his boots, knee pads and left wrist all have cleanly applied paint - but he lacks the extras the Trooper has, where paint was used to pick-out details like weapon sheaths, pouches and other details. There's nothing majorly wrong with his paintwork - it's just it lacks the finesse of the Trooper's.

Cobra Fury
What of the Cobra Fury?

The Cobra Fury has some very cool details but there are also a few issues.

Let's start with a look at the vehicle itself. The Cobra Fury is a tank-like, rapid deployment vehicle that combines speed with heavy armour and armament and the presence of the multiple weapons enforces this concept. The Cobra Fury features a (spinning) Gatling gun at the nose, a pop-out mini-missile launcher on its left-hand flank, a (working) missile launcher and second Gatling gun pod to the rear (complete with gunner's position to the rear), a pop-up, rotating gunnery position with twin cannons, twin missiles and a secondary, underside/rear-firing double-cannon and a rear-mounted mine deployment device. Oh and there's also an adjustable, front-mounted battering ram/scoop.

It detailing doesn't end there. The Fury also features twin driver and navigator/commander positions, with fold-down hatches, running boards to carry soldiers into battle (thanks to the handy foot pegs) and an opening engine bay, complete with interior detail. 

The Cobra Fury's design is certainly ambitious and - on the whole - it's pretty good. However, there are a number of flaws that really start to annoy after a while.

For starters, the colouring of the vehicle on the packaging doesn't tally with the actual toy. Look again at the box art and you'll see the vehicle there features a much more subdued colour-scheme, with dark greys and gun-metal details (complete with what appear to be paint washes) really setting the tone for the Cobra Fury as a menacing urban combat vehicle. When you actually see it in daylight however, it's a purple-ish/burgundy-brown that's not a million miles away from the Cobra HISS Tank. And the gun-metal details are in fact silver. Which wouldn't be so bad, except the silver plastic they used looks incredibly cheap.

The photos probably don't show it but the turret and hatches have a number of ''marbled'' lines from where - presumably - the plastic was poured into the mold and not mixed properly prior to use. It's not an attempt to create a camouflage effect (like that used by the Wolf Hound) but is an actual production error. The pieces that use this silver plastic (the turret, missiles, hatches and engine cover) are also incredibly soft, quite ''blurry'' in their casting and feel cheap. Their inclusion really drags-down the quality of the toy.

Another feature that misses the mark is the elevating gun turret's design. The weight of the turret (especially when manned) is simply too much to allow it to remain in the elevated position, unless you lock it at a right angle, in which case it makes a loud cracking sound and the firing missile launcher/Gatling gun pod pops out of position thanks to the rear-left wheel arch. It just feels like a tacked-on ''feature'' somebody insisted was included and so the designers did the most half-arsed job they could just to say it was on the list...

On the plus-side, the basic vehicle's look is great, a superb combination of speed and power and the whole thing rolls along nicely when you give it a shove. The moving pieces work relatively well - doors open without too much effort, the wheels spin and the missile launches without any issues. The only real minor problems are in the form of the front-mounted battering ram/scoop (which can be a little difficult to reposition and sometimes the C-connectors holding it in place will pop off) and the rear-mounted mine deployment device can be a little stiff.

It's just such a shame that there are so many little flaws with this vehicle, as the basic look is really quite good.

The Alley-Viper Officer comes with two knives and a helmet. His vest is also removable.

The Cobra Fury includes a missile for the missile launcher, two additional clip-on rockets/missiles (for alternative weapons configurations), a full-colour sales sheet, instructions and a sheet of stickers (which I haven't applied yet.)

Final Thoughts
The Cobra Fury is a shelf warmer in pretty much every discount store I visit (most Ross stores will have them for around $12 or so). That put doubts in my mind as to the quality of the toy and as a result, I did delay opening the box for some time. My initial worries were put aside when I started assembling the Fury, as it looked pretty cool. However, after spending some time with it I began to see a number of small flaws that - taken together - add up to really impact the Cobra Fury's quality.

The colour scheme is quite off-putting. I like that there's black camo detail but the purple-brown chassis is just really not good, especially when teamed with the bright silver pieces. Add to that the fact that these pieces are cast from incredibly soft, cheap-feeling - and even cheaper-looking - plastic and it all starts to unravel. Worst of all, the silver pieces are very sloppily cast and are lacking in detail. That wouldn't be so bad if they were somehow hidden but given that the turret - the largest part cast from this silver plastic - sits atop the vehicle, it's pretty difficult to avoid. It's like a well-crafted, nicely decorated cake onto which somebody's deposited a big steaming turd...

The Alley-Viper Officer is a nicely produced figure but given you can buy the Alley-Viper Trooper for less than this vehicle costs (even at a discount store) even his inclusion can't save this toy.

If you can live with the cheap looks and clunky design of the functional pieces (the raising turret and adjustable ram) you might have some fun with the Cobra Fury but given that for the same price you can pick-up the HISS Tank or even the VAMP I can't really recommend this toy and unless you really like the concept and design, you won't be missing out on much if you pass on this one.

Alley-Viper Officer

Production QualityB
Final ScoreB

Cobra Fury
Production QualityC
Final ScoreC

Final ScoreC+

Image Gallery


  1. I really dig the figure. For a generic POC Cobra Viper you really cannot go wrong.

  2. actually if you want to army build the figs, Viperkingdom has them on ebay for cheap

  3. Thanks for the tip Jason. And I agree - great figure (although the single carded one has better paint!)

  4. I love the Alley-Vipers my favorite Cobra troops next to the standard Cobra Vipers and Tele-Vipers.

  5. Yeah, they are really cool-looking figures.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...