When I was a kid Doug and I played with our G.I. Joes all the time. We had a giant collection between the two of us and one of the downsides of that was the sheer amount of time required to set everything up and put everything away. Because of that we usually didn’t haul everything out of our toy boxes when we played. More often than not we would simply grab our shoeboxes of figures and maybe a vehicle or two from the toy box and play with those. Just playing with the figures on the carpet with a few throw pillows as mountains was background enough and our imaginations filled in the rest of the desert landscape. It was usually reserved for long weekends and holidays, when we could play for a solid few days, that we would break out every single piece of Joe weaponry and machinery that we owned and have what we would call a “Big Battle”. We would have the most epic week-long Big Battles during March Break. Because of these Big Battles, vehicles were an important part of our Joe Universe and many of them were must-have items. Most of the vehicles we had were awesome but there were a few duds. The main reason we ended up with the duds is because we needed to get the vehicle in order to get the exclusive figure packaged with it. We never would’ve owned key characters like Wild Bill, Covergirl or Frostbite if we hadn’t bought the vehicles that they came with. Cobra vehicles rarely came with a “name” character like Destro or Zartan. They usually introduced us to some new pilot/grunt whose sole purpose in the organization was to drive this particular type of vehicle. Some examples would be: Motor-Viper, Strato-Viper and my favourite Cobra character ever, Ice-Viper. The subject of today’s post, Secto-Viper, was one of those troop building vehicle drivers. In order to get Secto-Viper I had to get the Cobra BUGG. The BUGG was a super cool wheeled submarine/tank that leaned more towards the sci-fi fantasy aspects of the Joe brand. It had all kinds of compartments and seating for multiple figures along with a detachable mini-sub and 2 jet skis. It was sweet. Nowadays I don’t have room to display vehicles and don’t really have any desire to collect them. I only pick them up now if they’re super cool like the Starscream Skystriker or, as is usually the case, I just want the figure packaged with it. One benefit of this modern age is that if I really want a figure but don’t want the big clunky vehicle I can usually find the figure loose on ebay. If the BUGG and Secto-Viper were to come out today, Secto-Viper would be an internet purchase or I would never own him at all. The Bugg was cool and all but it was BIG and today would probably cost around $75. I wouldn’t pay that much for a vehicle which is gonna go directly into the closet just to get the figure, even though he is a cool figure.
I love the bright yellow outfit. It really makes him stand out amongst his Cobra brethren who are usually decked out in blue, black or red. The outfit is relatively simple in design but it works. It looks functional enough to me. The coolest thing about this figure is the removable glass dome that covers his head.
When he’s sporting that helmet he looks like he’s all ready for a bathtub adventure. The least coolest thing about this figure is his nose. It might seem like a silly complaint but I always hated how this guy’s nose was exposed. When you remove the glass dome you see his face which is mostly covered in a skin-tight black mask. If just his eyes were showing he’d be awesome but with the eyes AND nose exposed his cool factor is greatly diminished in my eyes. It bothered me so much that I eventually grabbed a sharpie and rectified the situation. Now my Secto-Viper can’t breathe so good but at least he looks ninja-cool. 6 out of 10.