NEO-VIPER v4 and v5
The Neo-Viper Part 4
I figured I better try to speed things up a little before you get to bored of me rambling on so I’m gonna lump versions 4 and 5 of the Neo-Viper together. Version 4 was the last one to come out in 2002 and he was released in a two pack with the Joe’s helicopter pilot Wild Bill. This was another case of getting stuck with an extra Joe every time you wanted to get another Neo-Viper. At least that would’ve been the case if it wasn’t for ebay and it’s many Chinese sellers. I’m not sure if they were stolen from the factory or what but Chinese sellers were always offering up lots of 5 of the exact same figure for very reasonable prices. Sometimes these were figures that were only available in Canada and the U.S. packaged with a large expensive vehicle or with a Joe like Wild Bill that no one would want multiples of. Well the Chinese often came through for me in a big way allowing me to army build squads of these guys without ever having to play out a “Wild Bill gets cloned” scenario. The availability and affordability of these lot auctions made it all to easy to get bit by the army-building bug. I’ve mentioned army building before and basically it means purchasing the same figure multiple times to create a squad or unit of that trooper. For a few years there in the early 2000s army building had become a bit of an addiction and it never seemed like I could have too many of any given trooper. Neo-Vipers were my biggest unit with 31 troopers, not all the exact same mind you as they varied in color. If that sounds crazy to you, trust me there are guys out there far worse than me that have hundreds of the exact same figure. With version 4 of the Neo-Viper I only built a humble squad of three. I was tempted to do more because this is the best reuse of the Neo-Viper mold and this particular version brought with it a vast improvement. Hasbro had listened to the fan out cry and did away with the T-crotch and brought back the O-Ring style figure. Not only is the guy far more posable than his predecessors but he doesn’t look as dumpy and awkward. The change in the mold gave him just the extra little bit of height he needed to look more natural. The colors on this guy are great and I could imagine him as a desert operative. 8 out of 10.
Early 2003 brought us another re-paint of the Neo-Viper. This time in a solid brownish gray and he came packaged with the Cobra Ringneck vehicle. This guy continues to make use of the improved sculpt of version 4 but his colors are more reminiscent of the flop that was version 3. The mold really needs some of it’s details painted with colored highlights to shine and this version does not deliver. Boring. 5 out of 10.