STRATO-VIPER / AIR-VIPER v3
I still have all kinds of new Christmas toys to review and this is sort of one of them. I ordered this guy myself and gifted him to myself a few days before Christmas. He is one of the many new/old figures that arrived along with the Sgt. Stone that I recently reviewed. I say new/old because he’s new to me but all of the figures I ordered in that shipment were at least a couple of years old, some of them were even 20 years old. Just like Sgt. Stone this figure was released in 2009 as part of the Rise of Cobra movie related toy line. On the box they call him Air Viper but I can’t help but refer to him as Strato-Viper as that is what these Cobra pilots were originally called in the 80s. The original Strato-Viper was released in 1986 and was included as a pilot to the Cobra Night Raven stealth jet. He looked just like this except he was painted red and black. For whatever reason when Hasbro released their first modern version of Strato-Viper they called him Air-Viper. Air Vipers did exist in the Cobra ranks before but they never looked like this. I’m not sure why the change was made but it doesn’t really matter, both sound fine, and the figure is super cool.
This version of Strato-Viper (or Air Viper version 3 if you rather) was packaged with a modern day version of the ’86 Night Raven. It’s a wicked cool vehicle which I have never owned personally; Doug owned it when we were kids. It’s one of the few vehicles that I would actually like to add to my collection but it’s just too big and I don’t have the room and so I passed on it when it was readily available in 2009. That didn’t change the fact though that I still wanted the included Strato-Viper who had been repainted in a new color scheme. He wasn’t exactly a high priority purchase though as I already had a couple of modern Strato-Vipers in their classic colors so I simply put this guy on my “eventually” list.
Well it took 3 years for me to find one cheap enough to bother picking up but I finally scored this guy loose for only a couple of bucks. I don’t have his jet and he never came with any weapons to begin with so just the figure is all I have and that’s all I need. I have plenty of guns laying around should I choose to arm this gentleman. There’s really not much to say about this figure that I didn’t already cover in my last review. He looks great and he really captures the look of the original. The only thing new about him is the paint job. I have this figure in 3 different colors now, the classic black with red, the reverse red with black, and now this black and silver. I quite like them all but I still prefer the original. This guy’s silver paint job oddly makes him more realistic looking and more science-fiction looking at the same time. I think it’s the blue-ish silver used on his goggles that give off an alien kinda vibe. The addition of that bit of blue and the red on his goggles really give this figure just enough flare to keep it from being boring. The black and silver color scheme is more subdued than the other versions but it allows him to blend in nicely with other movie based characters like the Neo-Vipers. I wish all repaints came out this good. 7 out of 10.