2006 SAW Viper, DTC

2006 SAW Viper, DTC

I’m a big fan of the DTC (Direct to Consumer) GI Joe line. The handful of times I spotted them at a TRU in 2005/06, they really caught my attention with the excellent character selection and retro styled packaging the line featured; in a way that the prior GI Joe lines had failed to do. Alas, I wouldn’t acquire any figures from the line at that time as I was already fully preoccupied collecting Gundam figures and Transformers.

A year or two after that I finally went down the rabbit hole of GI Joe collecting and picked up some of the DTC figures from years prior I had missed. Luckily for me, the lot of these figures were a simple task to acquire for small change online, giving me a healthy selection of modern styled SAW Vipers, Range Vipers, Snow Serpents and a few other figures to add to my newly growing collection of Cobras.

Apparently, the “New Sculpt” figures were at one time much the collector fad in the same vein as the Modern Era GI Joe figures. Like the early 25th Anniversary line, many of the sculpts did not age well, and once this format fell from favor, collectors were quick to dump their collections favoring only the vintage classics or the new modern figures.

I’m a really big fan of late 80‘s and 90‘s Cobras, but the 1990 SAW Viper is a figure I’ve never found it in me to love. Strange design, questionable colors, scrawny sculpt, terrible weapon… By far I think he’s my least favorite ARAH army builder. So for a figure to redesign in the DTC line, the new SAW Viper doesn’t have to do much to improve over the original.

The proportions and scale of the sculpt on this figure looks very reasonable. The worst I can say is that his head seems a bit tiny, but with his helmet on it looks passable. The chest and legs have a fairly bulky look that suits the figure well, and are a major improvement over the original figure.

The colors focus much more on black accentuated with maroon. I feel a little like this moves too far away from the figure’s original color scheme and actually makes this figure a little too realistic. Most wouldn’t view this as an issue, but perhaps keeping the purple instead of the maroon would’ve tied the figure back to the original a little more and given him some more of that 90‘s Cobra charm.

For parts, he includes his removable helmet and the original SAW Viper’s backpack, as well as a M249 LMG. Given that under the helmet all of the SAW Vipers end up looking like clones, I find this accessory somewhat redundant, but it acts as a play feature and I respect it for that. The backpack was a pretty decent choice in this case, as although I don’t like this part much, there again it ties him back to the vintage figure, which is needed here. Lastly, the M249 is a really nice sculpt and I dig the removable box magazine it features. I’ve come to associate this gun with the SAW Viper more than it’s original weapon, but that’s mainly just because the original was such a monstrosity.

If you don’t mind the construction, this figure provides a lot and acts as a nice alternative to the V1 SAW Viper. Like with many figures these days, finding them is not as easy as it used to be, but when they do show up, they remain dirt cheap. A carded figure can be acquired for as little as $7, and a loose figure or one in a lot may have the price drop to around $5. For that much, it’s definitely a figure worth looking out for.

direct to consumer 2006 hasbro cobra new sculpt viper 1990 gi joe direct to consumer 2006 hasbro cobra new sculpt viper 1990 gi joe

2006 DTC SAW Viper Links:

Yo Joe

Joe A Day


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2 Responses to 2006 SAW Viper, DTC

  1. A-Man says:

    Lost points for me due to its inability to sit because of the shirt tail piece. I prefer functionality over form for GI JOE. Also the visor feels like it was sculpted upside down or something. Never looked right to me. I kinda miss the chin strap of the 1990 helmet, too.

    The swivel wrists are a huge plus, and new sculpt should’ve used them more.

    Definitely more believable than the 1990 release. No hip waders.

    Yes, they are all clones of Rollbar, or is Rollbar an escaped SAW-Viper clone? Whatta ya want from a figure with no new parts and one new accessory?

  2. Mike T. says:

    The machine gun made the figure. I nearly bought one to get the rifle. But, the Viper Pit solved that for me.

    Hasbro hit their stride with the DTC era figs and vehicles. They were closer to vintage than we’d ever seen in terms of craftsmanship, design and playability. If Hasbro hadn’t been dumbfucks about the community, it could have been successful. But, they ran off half the collectors by announcing the line’s cancellation while failing to mention the DTC experiment.

    I think this era of figures is far superior to the anniversary line as toys and action figures. But, they never took off as collectibles and that doomed them.

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