TELE-VIPER v.6 (2008)
Continued from Part 2
As much as I was enjoying the fun and colorful kid-friendly new-sculpt figures of the early 2000s I was pretty excited when the 25th anniversary line of G.I. Joes was revealed in 2007. A slightly larger, more detailed, collector-oriented Joe line was exactly what the doctor ordered for me at the time. The launch of the 25th anniversary figures gave birth to what has become known as the modern-era of G.I. Joe which is still going today 8 years later.
I embraced the modern-era whole-heartedly from the start. I completely stopped shopping for vintage and new-sculpt figures and focused solely on the modern ones. For years now they’ve been my only Joe figures on display. For the most part I’ve been quite pleased with the modern-era toys. Often times they’re the best versions ever released of certain characters.
The new-sculpt Tele-Viper figures released in 2003, 2004, and 2005 were all great. I loved how they fixed all of the problems that bothered me about the original ’85 figure. The modern Tele-Viper, released in 2008, brings back all the original’s problems and then some. It’s a real shame that my numerous new-sculpt Tele-Vipers are sitting in storage while this waste of plastic walks free.
The 2008 Tele-Viper version 6 shares a body with Viper version 16 released earlier that same year. It sucks that two potentially really cool figures got dragged down by the same crappy body. First off, the ankles are designed in such a way that the figure can’t stand upright. This means it’s always leaning back which is a nightmare for display purposes. The other major issue with this body are the arms. The default position of the wrists is a gimpy un-human downward bend. Neither the Tele-Viper or the Viper look right holding a weapon or even just standing in a neutral pose. The lazy re-use of the Viper’s arms also means that the Tele-Viper now has wrist guards, an element never seen on any previous incarnations. These guys are computer jockeys so the guards make little sense unless they’re supposed to prevent carpel tunnel syndrome. Bad lower legs and arms aside the rest of the torso is adequate but nothing to call home about. At least the Tele-Viper’s removable vest is true to the original’s quilted design which helps to distinguish this figure from the Viper which sports a completely different vest.
I could maybe look past all the flaws of the body if the head of this figure was awesome but it’s not. It’s a pretty good homage to the original 1985 head sculpt but I never cared for that head. It was too big and round, the helmet looked unwieldy, and there was a dopey-looking open mouth. All those same issues can be found on this head too. The mouth doesn’t look as much like it’s just hanging open but instead it’s sculpted in a toothy sneer that looks as if the Tele-Viper just smelled something rotten.
There have been 3 variations of the modern Tele-Viper since this figure came out and none of them have impressed me. Hopefully an improved version will be released eventually but what I’d prefer to see is a modern-era update of the new-sculpt Tele-Viper.
This figure also falls short in the accessory department in that he basically has none. He came packaged in a box set with Breaker, the RAM motor cycle, and a Trouble Bubble. His only accoutrements are a display base and the removable vest, neither of which really count. Hasbro couldn’t even splurge for a scanner. Weak. 4 out of 10.