2002 Alley Viper (Version 5)

2002 Alley Viper (Version 5)

At one point in time, this Alley Viper was one of my absolute favorite Cobras. If I ever had to trim my collection down to a hand full of figures (never gonna happen), this would be a Cobra I’d never want to get rid of. And then they fell victim to the yellowing so many 2000‘s Joes have become prone to, effectively robbing me of one of my favorite figures. To this day, I’ve still not really figured out what to do with them.

I wasn’t collecting in 2002, so I don’t have any thoughts or memories about this figure in regards to when he was released. I got mine sometime around ‘11 if I recall; I was stuck at home and was playing around with a hookey survey site to earn more toy money. They gave you more money in the form of Amazon gift cards, which wasn’t bad since a lot of 2000‘s items like this still saturated Amazon back then, often for reasonable prices. My circumstances were odd, and it was a really bad time, so now I find myself very sentimental to these as one of the few things I got genuinely excited for from back then.

The colors are really fantastic on this release. For some, they definitely might be too bland, but for me, this was a nice scheme that combines a shade of blue (not Cobra blue, but it still works) with urban camouflage. The camo is created from grey and white marbled plastic with the black spots painted on, so it’s not only complex, but also slightly unique from figure to figure. At a time, I really couldn’t stand the fluorescent colors of the ‘93 Alley Viper, so having a version of the sculpt rendered in nice, muted colors was all I really wanted. The grey matched up decently with the Cobra Night Watch troopers too, so that was something.

Now however, all of those grays and whites have turned unfortunate shades of yellow. I do nothing with these figures now as I’ve been unable to decide whether I should repaint them to match their original look, or just live with them as they are until they crumble. Having figures I do not use seems like a real waste, but painting them would make them feel like customs. Interestingly, the red repaint of this guy shows no signs of discoloring, which makes that one not only a better alternative, but also sheds some light on how inconsistently these figures are degrading.

Also, I suppose it’s worth noting that this figure features all of the mold changes made from the ‘97 release. So now he features the obnoxious neck-tab for making him a fake swivel-neck. Likewise, the legs were swapped out for V1 Duke’s, since the original sculpt was lost. There’s about a decade between when Duke’s legs were sculpted and when the upper body of this Alley Viper was sculpted, so to say they don’t quite match up might be an understatement. I don’t think it looks bad though, as Duke’s skinnier legs don’t throw off the proportions too badly.

Besides the mask, the only original Alley Viper V2 accessory to show back up with this guy is his shield. On one hand, that’s all he really needs, but the Tomax/Xamot gun really doesn’t work here at all. The Big Bear backpack looks pretty decent, it’s generic compared to the classic Alley Viper backpack, but it’s still a decent piece of gear that does it’s job. There’s also a little figure stand in there too, which never hurts.

Seemingly regardless of the yellowing, this Alley Viper will still fetch a solid $10 to $15 when otherwise mint and complete. Gotta admit, the yellowing really kills this figure for me, and I find paying that much for a grungy, niche repaint a little perplexing. I guess some people just don’t really care so much about discoloration any more, which is reasonable, given that it’s almost inevitable for figures like this one.

gi joe vs cobra 2002 hasbro alley viper baroness

2002 Alley Viper (Version 5) Links:

Forgotten Figures

Half the Battle

Joe A Day

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3 Responses to 2002 Alley Viper (Version 5)

  1. A-Man says:

    I used to really like them, too. I bought so many from Family Dollars…most on clearance. They are one of the better looking Alley-Viper, they seem to be largely ignored now in favor of Modern era and by o-ring diehards who pay a lot for however many dozen factory custom versions there are now.

    Yeah, most of mine have yellowed. I guess you can hydrogen peroxide the figures. I’ve never tried that.

    These and the Viper from the same wave are knee lock-up sufferers. I’ve only manage to break one of the Alley Vipers’ knees, trying to get it unstuck…and they were all fine at one point. Now I don’t look at them.

    I forget the Cobra Rage reissue with the funky new wheels exists since it was never in stores here.

  2. Mike T. says:

    I bought way too many of these back in 2002. This wave was massively overproduced as Hasbro hadn’t yet figured out that the loudest online collector voices actually had really tiny wallets. I was still buying them on clearance at Family Dollar into 2004.

    The yellowing ruins them for me, too. I really do think that many new collectors don’t realize how bad the discoloring of the 2000’s figures is because there are not really any mint samples left. I don’t believe there are any 2005 Scrap irons left in the proper color. This Alley Viper is right behind them.

    But, Hasbro’s plastic from that era is notorious crap. Star Wars figures are seeing the same yellowing, especially on clones. You see collectors in the Star Wars community opening up tubs of hundreds of Clones from that time, only to find them all massively yellowed and useless. But, the soft plastic doesn’t seem to hold up too well.

  3. Josh Z says:

    I just checked mine. I’m pretty sure it’s never been outside or seen sunlight. It’s been standing on top of a shelf in a windowless room for years. Nevertheless, yeah, seems to be a little yellowed. Not horribly so, but it’s definitely no longer the white or off-white or gray or whatever it was originally. Bummer.

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