G.I. JOE: 30TH ANNIVERSARY (HASBRO)
“ZOMBIE-VIPERS are COBRA infantry troopers who have been given a mysterious chemical substance, Compound Z, that has turned them into drones. Wiped of all thought, they follow orders mindlessly and cannot be reasoned with or sidetracked. They have retained skill at combat; in fact, their desire to fight has been increased, making them more dangerous than before. In other words, they are deadly zombie warriors.”
After a rather noticeable hiatus from retail shelves, G.I. Joe is making its return later this year, with an all-new line of 6-inch figures. I myself am quite excited for this new line, so in the mean time, I’m going to look at some of the older items already in my collection. Today, I’m turning my sights on the 30th Anniversary of the 3 3/4 inch line, which in addition to updating some of the older figures to the modern day, also served as the distribution point for a handful of left over ideas from Hasbro’s rather inventive Pursuit of Cobra line. PoC attempted to introduce some new ideas into the franchise, including a few new styles of Cobra trooper. And since everyone was going crazy about zombies in the early 2010s, we even got one of those!
THE FIGURE ITSELF
The Zombie-Viper was part of the fourth assortment of the G.I. Joe: 30th Anniversary line, which would prove to be the final assortment of the 30th line. Unfortunately, due to Paramount not wanting competing product during a movie year, the 30th line was shoved into 2011, which wasn’t its actual anniversary year, and the fourth assortment in particular was practically non-existent at retail. Fortunately, the Zombie-Viper got a more or less unchanged release for the 50th Anniversary line in 2016, making him much easier to find. The figure stands 3 3/4 inches tall and he has 26 points of articulation. The Zombie-Viper’s non-zombie parts are re-used from the Pursuit of Cobra Shock Trooper. The same figure served as a parts source for both the standard PoC Cobra Trooper and the Viper, so there’s a nice connective tissue to it, which sells the backstory that these are infected Cobra forces. The new parts do quite a nice job of selling the whole zombie thing. The level of detailing is really impressive at this scale and at on a mass retail item, and is honestly enough to give other zombie lines of the time a run for their money. The forearms are designed like those of the BATs, allowing for them to pop out at the joint and be swapped out for other attachments, in this case a set of tendrils, adding to that more sci-if side of things. They are also compatible with the BAT attachments, allowing for some mix and match. The Zombie-Viper’s paint work is mostly on the drab side, which is sensible for a zombie, but with a little bit of bright blue thrown in there, again to play up that sci-fi side of things. There’s some nice accent work wit ph a wash, which helps highlight the intricacies of the sculpt. The Zombie-Viper is packed with the previously mentioned tendrils, as well as a containment helmet and tube, and a display stand with the figure’s name and the Cobra insignia on it.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
I was quite looking forward to this figure when it was first shown off, but unfortunately Wave 4 never showed up at retail around me, and by the time I realized it hadn’t, the full sets had long since sold out online. I wound up tracking down my one must have figure (Lifeline) on his own, but never did get the Zombie-Viper. Fortunately, via the 50th Anniversary reissue and Max not wanting to keep both of them from the two-pack, I was finally able to get one. I’m glad, because he’s a really cool figure.