2016 Cobra Trooper (Techno Viper Colors) (The Black Major)

2016 Cobra Trooper (Techno Viper colors)

I’m feeling pretty burnt-out on Joe this week, and I think my solution for that going forward is that I’ll just write about one of the many color variations that The Black Major has put out over time. Will it solve my burnout? Probably not, but while I’m in a frump, it gives me a chance just to cover some of these repaints in detail. I can’t make an interesting blog post about the Cobra Trooper or the Night Viper seven or eight times over again, but I think it’s worthwhile to dump some content on these for the sake of posterity.

The 2016 run of TBM Cobra Troopers was really a good lot. His first wave of figures from around ‘09 put a bigger focus on realistic, environmentally themed colors; the 2016 figures instead go for some punchy colors inspired by various facets of the brand. It’s flavored a bit by contemporary trends, but each set of figures did a good job of exploring the various kinds of Cobra Trooper repaints we needed, that Hasbro never gave us. In this figure’s case, his colors are lifted off the ‘87 Techno Viper.

Seeing the original Cobra rendered in the “Cobra Purple” that’s synonymous with the line’s later years seems bizarre yet oddly enjoyable. Mind you, it’s just a tad more pink than the Techno Viper’s purple, but it looks pretty close when they aren’t side by side. You could use him as a Techno Viper in training, or even use him to represent an ordinary trooper from the later years of the organization. Maybe Cobra adopted purple as their color after the end of the Cobra Civil War, to represent a new identity. Or not, my Department of Destruction Cobra Handbook didn’t elaborate on the meaning of purple uniforms.

When this figure came out I thought I’d never get tired of Cobra Trooper repaints. To a mild extent, I have. After this set of Cobras TBM really explored every avenue he could with the sculpt, and while a few useful looking repaints came out later down the line, a lot of the ones he did last year just didn’t resonate with me. They aren’t bad, but at current pricing I’d rather just bolster my existing collection with a few more troops here and there, rather than get another one-off recolor. Of course I get that there’s always demand for more troopers, so I don’t fault the later ones for existing; I just personally got my fill.

Another oddity of the 2016 TBM figures is that most of them include painted weapons. I think this was mostly just because of the mold layouts, but thanks to it you do get some particularly exotic pieces. This figure includes the classic Dargunov and the Officer’s AK-47, as well as a V1 Viper backpack and figure stand all in bright silver, the same tone used for the figure’s face-mask and knee pads. The silver AK is incredibly cool. The details of the sculpt pop with the metallic paint, plus it makes a great compliment for so many other figures. Lampreys, of course Techno Vipers, and Ripper all look pretty natural with it.

You can still get these for somewhere between $20 to $25, which isn’t bad for some obscure bootlegs that are around 7 years old now. Some of the “factory customs” have gotten a little pricey over time, especially when they’re not too weird like this figure. When they were new these repaints sat around for a while at something like $7 a piece, but those days are long gone now, just like the spending power of the dollar.

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4 Responses to 2016 Cobra Trooper (Techno Viper Colors) (The Black Major)

  1. Mike T. says:

    At $7 each, I bought a couple just for the weapons. The silver weapons are a stark visual and work great with some of his chromed head Invasors/Mortals from 2010 or so.

    As for the purple, it was neat at the time. I’m glad I got it. But, at the same, I don’t regret passing on the pastel green or black and yellow troopers. I’m definitely in the camp of only buying Troops that really speak to me. I love that there’s more Soldados available this year. But, I’m not buying any as the ones I have from 2017 are good enough. His desert troopers from this year are nothing short of amazing. But, again, I have a bunch of 2009/2010 era desert figures that are my army. So, I don’t need any more. Though, I did buy some of the Bludd Troopers as those were pretty neat looking.

    I do like that there’s pretty much been some flavors of Troopers available now for several years. It gives newer collectors an entry point, especially as so many of the older variants have gotten hard to find and are cost prohibitive to army building.

    I like the idea of looking at some of the more obscure color variants. A lot of the BM (and even Red Laser) stuff is getting lost to time. Of course, everyone was going to make a super-duper Facebook post with all variants, etc. But, nothing like that exists. I even gave up on my personal archive of all the figures just due to indifference at many of the figs that were coming out.

  2. A-Man says:

    I’d take one if someone gave it to me. Beyond that, I never found this one appealing.

    At least his mask is fully painted. At some point BM stopped painting the lower back side of the bootleg troopers’ masks, which makes recent releases feel cheap. Gee, these are fan customs and they cannot be bothered?

  3. General Liederkranz says:

    The lighting in the first picture is amazing. I also like to use these guys with Flight Pods. To me, they represent early Techno-Vipers, before the growth of Cobra allowed them to have their own special uniforms and equipment. Back then, they just got a different color suit, cut to the same pattern as everybody else’s. They’re rarely the star of a pic, but they add some great color (literally) and depth in the background.

    I’ve tried pairing the silver AK with the fuschia convention Baroness and it looks good.

    Black Major has redone these recently, but without the distinctive darker purple chest. I can’t say I like his latest troopers as much as the older ones; they have better joints but the paint finish doesn’t seem quite as glossy or vintage-like.

  4. cyko9 says:

    I almost never used these Troopers I read somewhere that Cobra Science tends to lean towards purple. Mindbender, Techno Vipers, etc. So these are my support troops for the Science Division. I’m okay with the fabric mask being silver, but the shirt being two tones of purple bugs me. It’s not like a CG uniform where there’s a break, and the suspenders aren’t fooling me.

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