REPULSOR v.1 (2014)
Here’s yet another Convention Set review. Today I’m gonna be taking a look at the only individual Cobra character from the set. I’m glad that we got at least one specified “name” Cobra figure in the set. Faceless troopers are nice but they need to be led by someone. Cesspool would’ve been the obvious choice to lead the Toxo-Vipers and Toxo-Zombies had he not been included in the Club’s figure subscription service a few months prior. In lieu of Cesspool I half expected the Club to include a zombified Cobra Commander since tooling for just such a figure is known to exist in Hasbro’s vault of prototypes. But instead the Club has given us Repulsor.
Like the 2013 set’s Crimson Asp, Repulsor is a completely new character. He has never appeared in any past comics or cartoons. I think it’s great that the Club gives us new characters every now and again. I’d actually like to see some new characters peppered into their subscription service in the future.
Now, one could argue that Repulsor isn’t exactly new. First off he’s made 100% from reused parts. From the neck down he’s a repainted Techno-Viper. From the neck up he’s got Red Star’s head and a Zombie-Viper helmet. At least other Frankensteined figures from the set like Flint and the Toxo-Vipers were given brand new helmets to give them a unique look. Repulsor has a very familiar, been there/done that, feel to him. I think he would have really benefitted from a brand new helmet but what can you do. The Club clearly has to be economical about how many new pieces get tooled for their box sets and I think they did a pretty nice job on this set overall.
Even though there nothing really new and exciting about this figure I still like him and I think the parts choices work fairly well. The Techno-Viper body has a loose fitting uniform that fits in nicely with the baggy protective gear look of the Eco-Warriors. The teal color used for the base uniform and the large flat bio-hazard chest plate tie Repulsor to fellow Eco-baddie Cesspool very nicely. Consistency amongst your sub-teams is always a good thing.
Red Star’s head was a good choice. A new head would’ve been ideal but I will rarely have his helmet off so it’s not a big deal. Red Star is not an immediately recognizable character anyway and with the hair painted black you’d hardly recognize him. When I first looked at this face with its black hair and broad chin it made me think of Negan from the Walking Dead comic. If you read the comics you know who I’m talking about. Negan is a pretty vile villain with a real sadistic streak. The association immediately made view Repulsor as a real creep before I had even read that he is a “severe and cruel taskmaster” on his file card.
We’ve seen similar clear visored helmets a couple of times before and I gotta say I’ve never really been a fan. The first one showed up on the 2009 Lamprey figure. I loved the look of the original 1985 Lamprey which had a solid blue painted visor on a sculpted masked head. I’m usually all for removable helmets on modern Cobra Troopers as long as they just have ski-masks on underneath because it keeps them generic and anonymous. That’s the way it was done on the Range Vipers, Mars Troopers, SAW Vipers, and others. But not only did the Lamprey’s removable helmet have a clear see-through visor but an unmasked face underneath. It took all the mystery out of the Lamprey. If I decided to troop build them was I just supposed to accept that all Lampreys looked the same under their masks? I suppose you could rationalize it as a Fred situation (you Joe nerds know what I’m talking about).
The Lamprey masked was used again on the Convention Annihilator in 2012. I felt the same way about the Annihilators wearing the see-through helmet as I did about the Lampreys; wasn’t a fan because I don’t like seeing generic trooper’s faces.
So while I haven’t liked these kind of helmets in the past I actually like it here. Because Repulsor is intended to be an individual character I don’t mind that we see his face. I actually like that his face is exposed through the clear red visor because as I stated earlier I find the face really dictates his personality for me.
The overall color scheme is just the right amount of 90s brightness. Repulsor is clearly a homage to the 1991 Sludge Viper. I’m actually not sure why the Club didn’t just name this figure Sludge Viper. Maybe they felt, like I did, that the set needed a “name” Cobra to take the lead. Perhaps 4 trooper types were too many for one set. Had they called this figure Sludge Viper, everything else being the same, I wouldn’t like this figure as much because I’d have the same issue with it as I have with the Lamprey and Annihilator. His file card actually makes mention of him wearing the remnants of a Sludge Viper uniform to honor his leader Cesspool.
Repulsor came with a display stand, a pistol which can be holstered on his belt, a shotgun, a repainted version of Barbecue’s backpack, and a sludge canon that attaches to the backpack via tube (which I couldn’t get to stay on). But his coolest accessory is his newly sculpted K9 companion “Dawg” who I’ll review separately in a mini review.