TBM Red Shadows Night Viper

TBM Red Shadows Night Viper

I’ve talked a lot (actually too much) about how much of a stereotypical Night Viper fan I am. Partly because The Black Major produced an ample amount of Night Viper customs for me to gnaw on, but I’ve also had plenty of opportunities to talk about official offerings from Hasbro and Funskool. While most of TBM’s repaints are cool, there’s not much to say about them that you can’t say about any other variation, though, the Red Shadows version is in particular, a favorite, so here’s a few unique things about it.

Despite how popular the Red Shadows are as a theme, truth is, I’ve gotten pretty tired of them. I’m not tired of Palitoy’s excellent vintage figures, but more so the contemporary trend of taking any Cobra, coloring him bright red, a calling it a Red Shadow, like with this Night Viper. It’s always popular and much of the time, the colors are quite striking, but it also dilutes the Red Shadows into just being Cobra with a singular, monotonous color scheme. It’s the same problem the Collector’s Club had with Iron Grenadiers, where they made “new” characters like the Iron Anvil, but only using the original Iron Grenadier’s color scheme, which was repetitive.

I say all that, but I have a glowing opinion of this Red Shadows Night Viper. I don’t know why, but I absolutely love the way the Night Viper looks in fluorescent red, which was something I realized a few years prior when Hasbro made the incredibly odd 50th Anniversary Night Viper. When TBM announced he was making Night Viper customs, the thing I wanted most was some approximation of that figure from the o-ring mold, and this release was pretty much that.

Of course, finding a way to justify a bright red night fighter is virtually impossible, so this figure can be a Red Shadow and bypass my normal grievances with that, just because. Truth is, a bright red Night Viper is pretty asinine at face value. For me, I like the mold, and the bright color makes a few of the details stand out, in addition to just giving me something different to fiddle around with. It’s all I could want from a novel bootleg, so I don’t care if it’s unrealistic.

Parts are the same thing you get with every TBM Night Viper: Visor, scope, gun and backpack. TBM’s experimented with odd part inclusions on more recent releases, which has often been a good thing, though, there’s nothing wrong with a figure like this, which stays loyal to the original’s loadout. I think the Night Viper’s gear is cool and does everything it needs too, although once you get these parts enough times they do get pretty old.

Because these don’t show up for sale too often, it’s hard to say what people are paying for them. Most of the other custom Night Vipers trend between $20 to $30, so it’s probably fair to assume that’s what this figure’s worth. Still, there’s a lot of interest in the Red Shadows, so that alone might put this one on the slightly higher end. They nicely compliment an Action Force collection, so I think they’re worth seeking out if you can find one under $30.

red laser the black major factory custom night viper hasbro palitoy

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4 Responses to TBM Red Shadows Night Viper

  1. JoeRizzo2025 says:

    I had to look and see if I had this figure, which I do. It is a striking figure, however, I reached Red Shadows burnout also. Army builders in multi colors is alright I guess, except ironically at 30 bucks a pop, not too feasible for most people.

  2. A-Man says:

    Never gave the figure much thought, but he looks good with the Laser Exterminator.
    Yeah, at $30 these become novelty figures to cherry picker, not army builders. But I’m almost alienated from the hobby with what people are willingly paying for new product and what customizers and companies are asking.

  3. bradley barnes says:

    i really feel the same way about these red shadows troop. i have always loved the originals so i got a bunch of these customs but soon realized that they really ended up just diluting my collection. same kinda thing happened with the cobra trooper and crimson guard. i just don’t see the originals the same anymore so i sold off most of my customs. guess its the familiarity breeding contempt thing.

  4. Mike T. says:

    I ended up with one of these, but don’t really recall buying it. It’s neat. But, to me, Red Shadows are the domain of pre-1985 molds. So, this figure really feels out of place.

    When figs like this were $8, you could army build them. When they were $12, I army built only the ones I really liked. Now, unless the figure absolutely blows me away, I’m not touching it. I find it hard to pay for the same for new Joes that I’m used to paying for popular and sought after vintage figures. I’m just old, I guess.

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