2004 Viper (Python Patrol), Valor VS. Venom

2004 Viper (Python Patrol), Valor VS. Venom

Filler week! I have some good memories of Valor vs. Venom, but not so many that it’s really worth talking about the VvV Viper sculpt again after I already wrote about the red one, and this guy’s pack-mate, the Tele-Viper (Python Patrol) on another occasion. Yet, here I am, because I ran out of time this week, and I have a couple of old photos of this guy anyways.

I completely ignored GI Joe in 2004. Spy Troops garnered my interest for a bit thanks to it’s fun designs and cool gimmicks, but this was lost with Valor vs. Venom. I had a lot of toys I wanted that year, between getting every last Gundam product I could find at retail and trying to save some out from Transformers Energon, GI Joe didn’t have much of a chance, especially for toys I considered a somewhat pitiful showing. The Valor vs. Venom story line of DNA altered Cobras, plus many of the goofy characters like Coil Crusher and Venomous Maximus, drove me away primarily, but the drab and often boring Joes did nothing to help.

Years later though, I was thirsty for anything GI Joe I could get, and most of the ‘03 through ‘06 figures started to look more appealing, especially once people started dumping off their collections for change. Many of the aforementioned elements of VvV still didn’t appeal to me, but browsing YoJoe! for some hours revealed a number of toys I felt would be more at home in my collection. It also helped that the then current 25th Anniversary Viper was a pretty lackluster figure, so this older sculpt gained a stronger appeal for having normal wrists, and the ability to sit properly.

This Viper is a fun toy, and a good representation of the sculpt. For a guy wearing a helmet, his head is a little small, but the proportions are much more solid overall than what you typically see on releases from this era. He can’t get super-authentic tacti-cool real-military poses, but the feel of the figure is pretty similar to a classic o-ring from ARAH. Right now, I’d love it if they could just go back to selling figures like this at retail, as while GI Joe has put out some great collectibles since ‘08 or so, the New-Sculpt construction was the last time GI Joe was a good toy.

Like many New-Sculpt figures, this guy seems to suffer badly from the cracking-chest phenomena. All of mine have a small crack at the neck now, which I know is common to figures from this era. So far though, a lot of my Comic-Pack guys are still perfectly fine, and many of my other new-sculpts are fine too, so if I had to guess I’d say these are a little worse than average. Between figures commonly yellowing and the neck-cracks showing up, it’s really not fun to collect these any more, which is sad.

For accessories, you get possibly the three most generic parts that were in-use between 2003 to ‘06, that being an AK-47 (with bayonet), a G36 rifle, and a knife. What’s funny about these parts is that they were used so much, I can barely guess which figure first included them, but honestly, with so many uses, they were probably never intended as someone’s special gun to begin with. Why does a Viper include two rifles? An SMG or an explosive-launcher of some type would have been nicer than two guns that fill the same role.

No one does auctions anymore, so finding a few of these guys at a price they’re worth isn’t too easy. Still, even the dealers that only list BiN’s rarely bother asking for more than $8 for one of these guys. You’ll find them in lots and with the Python Tele-Viper often enough for around $20, too. There’s a lot I miss about figures like this one, but sadly it’s really not something worth paying that much money for. Mainly, that’s because there’s a good chance this figure will continue to age poorly and degrade, which they’ve proven to be doing at a much faster rate than the 80‘s figures that are twice their age.

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2004 Viper (Version 13) Links:

Half the Battle


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One Response to 2004 Viper (Python Patrol), Valor VS. Venom

  1. A-Man says:

    Viper and Tele-Viper was a nice army builder pack…on paper, anyway. (They aren’t officially Python Patrol because Hasbro is laaaazy).
    Packing it with the Tele-Viper, the Viper is punier looking. Oh, and their head size comparison tells us all we need to know about the consistency of this era.
    “It’s a form fitting helmet” some said…yeah, they cut their noses off when they became Vipers, too.
    Like a lot of NuSculpts, this viper can hold guns at waist level, aiming them from the shoulder with two handed grip….not really possible.

    The neck cracks, once again I wonder, is the crack starting there? Or is the exit from the plastic stress coming up from I guess the pull on the inner chest post from the o-ring? On some figures, like t-crotch Storm Shadow and Night Creeper, they have thin plastic at the torso neck line and tight neck joints, so they chip and crack there.

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