The Range Viper seems to have become somewhat of a love/hate figure among the Joe fandom. The DTC version from 2005 improved the character’s popularity by a good deal, with it’s updated design aesthetic. I like that version as well, but I’ve also always been a fan of the original here.
There’s not always as much imagination with other figures that’s as apparent on this one. Range Vipers are Cobra’s skilled and brutal survivalist, an exciting niche among the myriad of questionable Cobra specialists. The figure is nicely detailed with a bandolier of bullets, various belts, a scarf, and a very distinct and detailed helmet. I think the helmet is where fans tend to become split, with a group not finding the “brainy” look so cool. Personally, I think it helps give them a scary, tribal look that would work with their specialty.
Accessories are both pretty nice and a little iffy on the Range Viper. On one hand, really anything works with the figure because he’s a scavenger. On the other hand, it’s mildly frustrating that a figure that bears a bandolier of bullets doesn’t include a gun to fire them. He has a fairly nice grenade launcher as far as ARAH goes. There’s not much competition among vintage grenade launcher’s, and I definitely like it better than Hardball’s. He also comes with a knife that has a good amount of personality, a backpack with more ammunition, and a hand-held launcher with a little missile. The launcher is by far his most forgettable part, as it’s bland and he usually can’t hold it too well either.
For me however, I could never bear to equip two Range Viper’s the same way. After all, a big part of the fun with this figure is his bio as a survivalist.