TBM Nocturnal Alley Viper (Night Viper colors)

TBM Nocturnal Alley Viper

I’ve wrote about a lot of Alley Vipers here, so I was hesitant to keep making post about more of them. However, I’ve noticed how much the majority of my traffic tends to favor factory custom posts. So, despite the repetitive nature of staying on one single topic, it’s justified for the sake of increasing the amount of written information and documentation of these.

One problem that factory customs have run into, is that most GI Joe molds have a pretty finite life-span of straight repaints you can make before a figure gets boring. It’s a bigger problem for some figures more than others, as while I’ll likely purchase a Cobra Trooper in any color scheme conceivable, my interest in things like BATs and Alley Vipers is somewhat more fickle. After the first couple of recolors, I usually can’t justify more.

This particular Alley Viper avoids such a problem in part, because it disregards the standard Alley Viper paint applications, and has it’s own, truly unique deco. It does a surprising amount to highlight the detail of the Alley Viper mold in a way that other releases have yet to do. The contrasting black painted across the pouches on the Alley Viper’s chest really breaks up the look of the figure. The zipper that’s highlighted here is another nice detail that’s easier to miss on the V1 Alley Viper.

Another thing factory customs have been notoriously bad about, is matching the colors of new releases to vintage figures. In the case of TBM, both the Python Cobra Troopers and Python Night Vipers end up not matching so well with the colors on the vintage Python Patrol. This Nocturnal Alley Viper, however, does not suffer from such an ill fate. In fact, the green color of the figure is remarkably close to the V1 Night Viper, which really adds some appeal to this release for that reason. Of course, if you happen to own a Funskool Night Viper, the plastic is a slightly better match to that release.

The parts are the standard set you’d expect for the Alley Viper, including the original gun, backpack, and shield. The shield is a fairly interesting piece, as once again the deco has been creatively changed a bit. Replacing the standard camo is a large Cobra logo, which is distinct and adds something to the figure. My only problem is that the face of the Cobra doesn’t perfectly fit over the shield, but other than that, it looks pretty good.

This Alley Viper trends around $20, like many of the custom Alley Vipers that are still available. Given how much standard vintage Alley Vipers have always gone for, I don’t think this is too much to pay. It’s also appealing that you can integrate this figure with an existing squad of Night Vipers, which makes me feel better about only having one.

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4 Responses to TBM Nocturnal Alley Viper (Night Viper colors)

  1. Mike T. says:

    I liked the look of this coloring. But, like you, I see diminishing returns on many of the repaints. And, for figures like this, I find the value only in army building: meaning I need a few of them and won’t even bother with 1 if I’m not going to get 3 or 4. So, I passed.

    But, of all the molds that have been done, the Alley Viper has delivered the best and most useful repaints of all the figures save the original Cobra Trooper. BM really stepped up his creative game with the Alley Vipers. But, as I think they’re his personal favorite figure, that makes sense.

  2. A-Man says:

    It’s like some alternate universe where characters from the same year swap color schemes, as there’s a Alley-Viper colored Nigth Viper, too, isn’t there?

  3. SpideyAZ says:

    Some of the best paint schemes from TBM and RLA are those that swap colors. I was never crazy about alley viper’s original orange/blue urban camo but a simple change of the colors makes this figure more interesting. Also, the large cobra sigil is well placed. My army builder of choice is the viper and RLA’s color variants but I could see a place for some of the alley viper variants in my collection.

  4. R.T.G. says:

    I really like this variant, in fact this review makes me regret on passing it over for the Python Patrol version instead!

    The Alley Viper mold is solid, and these later TBM repaints are a lot nicer, as they don’t just replicate the haphazard Hasbro camo scheme, and actually paint a lot of the sculpt’s detailing. It’s a shame that the ’89 Viper corps are all so specialized, that it makes the need to army build these figures kind of fruitless. Though I think doing this one that matches up with the Night Viper to be pretty cool, and a better example than some of the other repaints.

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