Among the more strange repaint ideas Hasbro came up with during ARAH, Python Patrol Copperhead was one of the most unusual. An oddball vehicle driver from the early years of the line, revisited in new colors for the Python Patrol. Personally, I’m really charmed by oddball repaints like Python Patrol Copperhead, and as a figure I think he has some strong qualities. At the same time, he’s also somewhat flawed.
Copperhead is a cool character. A gambler who fights to pay off his debts to Cobra, it’s an interesting choice that helps flesh out the organization and break away from the generic radicals and Mary Sues there were a lot of. Despite this however, he’s never been very prevalent in too much of the GI Joe mythos. According to Half the Battle, Copperhead had a measly two minutes of screen time in the Sunbow episodes, and appeared for a little more than four minutes in Operation Dragonfire. With all that said, it certainly made him an obscure choice for a character that Hasbro could bring back.
The figure is rather colorful and attractive. A few of the Python Patrol figures didn’t receive flattering interpretations this pallete (such as the Python Guard), but thankfully Copperhead is mostly green and black with some yellow and red details. There are some issues with his deco, however. Noticeably, there’s no Cobra symbol on this version of the figure, which just seems somewhat strange to me. Second, his waist. His waist is a solid, unpainted piece of yellow plastic. It certainly looks odd and sadly is a mar on an otherwise great looking figure. It seems understandable that budget constraints might’ve stopped them from painting this piece, but it would’ve been better if at least it wasn’t yellow.
Unlike V1 Copperhead, Python Patrol Copperhead includes some parts. He included both the m-16 and backpack from V1 Leatherneck in black. The backpack is a nice sculpt and I enjoy it’s inclusion with Copperhead, however, the M-16 is a piece I don’t enjoy so much. The sculpt has always felt overly bulky to me, and the grip is also really long and looks weird. On the brightside, at least it’s a real gun he can hold well.
On another interesting note about this figure: his filecard is slightly rewritten. Originally, it was “presumed that Copperhead is native to or otherwise intimately familiar with the Florida Everglades.”. For Python Copperhead, they changed it to the “rain forests of the Amazon basin”. This version also explicitly states he is indebted to Cobra and not simply working for them to pay a different debt, though amusingly one could assume this to mean he’s actually racked up more debts between figure releases. Either way, these small filecard revisions really showed how much care Hasbro was putting into line and characters at the time.
These days Python Copperheads can go for a lot. For a complete figure they range between $12 and $18, which seems like a little more than I paid for mine, but the market is pretty dry at the moment so that could be why. Despite that I think this is a pretty good figure, I think one’s enjoyment of him is entirely dependant on what you think of the Python Patrol. If you love the Python Patrol (like I do), he’s a must have. Howver if you dislike them, the figure doesn’t provide much over the original.