2005 Range Viper

2005 Range Viper

It’s probably a fair statement to say that relatively few people miss the “New Sculpt” era and construction from 2002 to ‘06, but that doesn’t mean some genuinely good toys weren’t made during the period. Hasbro’s Direct to Consumer line did a great job of showing what the style was capable of, and the Range Viper is fine example of that.

The DTC Range Viper changes up the original design in a pretty nice and significant way. Lots of folks used to have a harsher view on the vintage figure’s sculpt, and while I’m probably a bigger fan of that design, this one’s good too. By reusing most of the Valor vs Venom Swamp Rat’s body, the new Range Viper wears what’s more of a wet-suit than the original. It’s different enough that I don’t think the figure really has to be better than the original to maintain a unique appeal.

The helmet is one of the figure’s main attractions. Removable helmets for Cobras haven’t always worked out for Hasbro, like the mail-away Agent Faces helmet that looked large and a little goofy with the figures it was included with. Perhaps one could say the Range Viper’s head is a little small as a consequence of the helmet, but overall the proportions are pretty decent on both the head and the mask. I like a lot of the new helmet design, and overall I think the skull face looks a lot more intimidating on this figure than the original.

While his parts are just recycled bits from the New Sculpt era, I like what they chose for him pretty well. You get a pair of knives to fill the holsters that are a leftover from the Swamp Rat, an MP5K, and a Dragunov SVU. While none of these parts are new, I’m a big fan of the Dragunov SVU and really liked it’s inclusion here. The cool thing about the SVU is that it’s a more modern, bullpup configuration variant of the classic Dragunov. It was originally used by Russia in 1994, so there’s a few figures that could be smartly equipped with it, if you like gun-nerd type stuff.

Thinking about the era this figure was from and my relationship with it really is telling about some of Hasbro’s missteps. When most of the early New Sculpt lines came out, I was still in Hasbro’s primary demographic, but I didn’t buy many of the figures then. Most of my collection of figures like this guy were bought on clearance years after their original releases. I had interest, but Hasbro’s lack of a coherent media push and ideas like Sigma 6 kept me from really engaging the line with anymore than passing glances. It’s a topic I could make an entire rant about on it’s own, but as for what’s prevalent to this Range Viper: I personally think if this figure had been apart of the Robot Rebellion line, and that had an anime/cartoon airing somewhere like Toonami, the brand would be vastly in a better position today.

DTC Range Vipers were popular in their heyday, and it shows with how common they remain in the current market. You find them carded more often than not, and they range from as low as $6 to $9 in that condition. It’s a great army builder and cool interpretation of the Range Viper, so for anyone interested in the style it’s still a worthy addition.

gi joe dtc direct to consumer range viper cobra Hasbro 2005 TRU toys r us
gi joe dtc direct to consumer range viper cobra Hasbro 2005 TRU toys r us
gi joe dtc direct to consumer range viper cobra Hasbro 2005 TRU toys r us

2005 Range Viper Links:

Yo Joe


Modern Custom by Oreobuilder

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5 Responses to 2005 Range Viper

  1. A-Man says:

    Could’ve benefited from swivel wrists. They have a sniper rifle, but not the capability to aim it well.

    Sharing some gear with a Swamp Viper might make some sense.

    The ammo belts block his back hole, which is annoying. The ammo belt visually connects the 2005 Range viper to the original, but it maintains the oddity of carrying heavy machine gun belts and the figure not having such a weapon.

    I think I just have one. Guess I wasn’t that interested.

  2. R.T.G. says:

    The design on this one, I think is a little better than the 1990 Range Viper. The Swamp Rat was one of the better new sculpts, I found, and the knife holsters were kinda cool. The helmet and bandoliers were a pretty good way to keep costs down, yet provide the memorable aspects of the Range Viper.

    You really nailed how odd it was for them to devote a cartoon and such to a dud like Sigma Six, yet provide such minimal support for a line that was doing pretty well, until the wheel comes off.

    • Jester says:

      “You really nailed how odd it was for them to devote a cartoon and such to a dud like Sigma Six, yet provide such minimal support for a line that was doing pretty well, until the wheel comes off.”

      I think the cartoon may have hurt Sigma 6 more than it helped, because those were some of the best toys ever brought into being by the hands of men.

  3. Past Nastification says:

    As one of the few who actually do miss the NS period, seeing this 14 year old figure makes me appreciate the era even more.

    The proportions were often perplexingly bad. Half of the figures looked like the section of the torso from the belly button to the beltline had been surgically removed and what was left just dropped down. This created some figures having “monkey arms”. Others had baby feet or stubby arms.

    But the NS toys felt like… toys. That’s something that many of the 25A/Modern Era figures lack. The NS toys were also rugged and could hold their weapons, whereas it’s a fight just to pose many of the 25A/ME figures with their gear.

    The designers weren’t locked into just repeating old designs either. This Range Viper immediately registers as being a Range Viper, but it’s not an imitation of the original ARAH version. They pulled the major elements, and then had some fun.

    I also liked that the NS figures used the same backpacks as the ARAH figures. It maintained some continuity of design.

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