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Viper vs. Trooper


gojira77
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I've always seen the Cobra Trooper and Viper as equivalents representing different eras of Cobra, and indirectly G.I. Joe. Though they were used side-by-side in the Sunbow cartoon and each have a spot in Python Patrol, the plain Cobra agent was out in favor for a new "back-bone" of the sinister organization (note that only Vipers are mentioned along with CG's and Eels on the '87 CC file card). Aside from the sleek helmet that is both retro and futuristic, the Trooper comes off fairly realistic as a member of an international paramilitary order of criminals. His dark BDU's, mask, and gear all say "Sponsored by a Rogue State". The Viper's a little different, a little more hi-tec and 'out there', maybe. His gear all makes sense for a real-world 'shock trooper' from the body armor to the riot helmet; I think it's just the execution that says "Terrorist of the Future".

 

Then there's the pluses and minuses of the actual figures. Whether or not you liked where the aesthetic was going at that point, nobody can deny that the Viper out-classed that scrawny Trooper in pretty much every way. Even with the improved arms of the '83 version, the Trooper just couldn't compete in terms of articulation, accesories, molded detail or paint application. By '86, the Viper's predecessor clearly looked like he belonged in a museum. The bad guys were lightyears past the early days of Cobra, Cobra Officer, and Cobra Commander. However, the new 25th Anniversary Line had the two basic infantrymen coming out within a year of each other on a much more level playing field. The result? Well, both figures look really cool, and strangely each has some posing issues. The Viper's got better movement in the hips, but what's up with those stupid hands?!

 

Who do you use as the back-bone of your Modern Era Cobra, and what strengths and weeaknesses of the actual figures do you take in account? Which one best represents the face of your Cobra collection?

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Cobra Trooper all the way and not because of the Vipers shortcomings witht he wrists. I have always preferred the look of the trooper to the silver faced Viper. I figure the silver face shield is a Cobra Commander thing. To me, the trooper is just more aesthetically pleasing and more realistic. The irony is lost on me given that this is a ficticious genre, but still... Cobra the Enemy has always been, and still is, my preferred troop builder.

 

Anyone have any 25th silver emblem troopers you're looking to offload?

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from RAH, I loved the Vipers, but I was never much of an army builder.

 

In the 25th line, I don't like the Viper very much. The troopers are better, but I don't like troopers that much. The BATS are the best army builder so far I think

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The thing I hate most about the Vipers is they have the protective face-plate AND goggles. Like... what?! How the Hell can they actually use those goggles without first removaing the face-plate? It's one or the other. Whoever designed them just never thought them through properly.

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The thing I hate most about the Vipers is they have the protective face-plate AND goggles. Like... what?! How the Hell can they actually use those goggles without first removaing the face-plate? It's one or the other. Whoever designed them just never thought them through properly.

 

If the faceplate breaks, on go the goggles as a last resort.

 

It's simple economics, gentlemen - Cobra Troopers were from when Cobra started - they had minimal gear, foreign equipment, and flimsy training. Cobra grew, made money, expanded it's influence, and couldn't depend on a militia when they needed an army. Thus, the Viper. I tend to imagine alot of the Troopers were just absorbed into the Vipers when they came to be.

 

Tom

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For me the Cobra trooper is Cobra. Sure Vipers have there place too. Now with repect to the 25th line, Cobra troopers are better. Youve got officers and plenty of variation. The new viper needs a new hand, some variation and a removable helmet would be welcome.

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I always used them as different forces. The troopers were baseline pawns. Recruit them off the streets, give them some blue pajamas and cheap gear, give them minimal training, and set them loose on the world. Where as Vipers would be composed mainly of mercenaries, disgruntled soldiers from all over the world, and troopers who had proven themselves on the battlefield.

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I don't really think of them as any different. I mean, a Viper wouldn't look all that different without that gear, would he?

 

I think of Vipers as regular infantry, backed up by the file card, basically calling them the lowest of the low. Blueshirts are basically Vipers without all the heavy armour. It's interesting that people tend to think of the Blueshirts as somehow less elite than Vipers, when it's plain to anyone from the filecard that Vipers are not in the least bit elite. However the original Cobra Trooper comes with a Dragunov sniper rifle and garrote wire! Not to mention the less equipment means they'd be able to move quicker...

 

Figure-wise, for RAH I like the Viper better, but for the 25th line the Trooper is the better figure. The Viper would have taken it if the goggles weren't so loose, and of course if the hands were better positioned.

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To me the Vipers were the basic infantry guys, taking over for what Cobras used to be! Now Cobra troops are regulated to Cobra Island and Springfield. While the Vipers are the front line of Cobra, the ones with the armor and training to fight front line!! That's how I see em!! Of course both can equally fight GI JOE when needed!!

 

Of course when the going gets rough and a retreat is in order, send in the BATS, they can just wear down the opponent!! Giving the troops a time to withdraw!!

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I have always viewed the COBRA Trooper as the entry level within Cobra. They did not need to be untrained or lack any military training. The Viper was the next level up but still infantry however from there it opened the door to specialty forces such as the Eels, Heat Vipers etc.

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Being 'old-school', I like the regular troopers more. They should be the bottom-feeders of the COBRA organization, with Vipers being something more of an elite. Figure the troopers handle the menial tasks that don't require much in the way of skill (like an initiate in a fraternity) and the Vipers are the ones who go into combat with the expecation to kick butt. Hence the upgraded equipment.

 

As for the figures, I had a good bit of troopers (and officers) before they released the Viper fig. I hate the fact that I have to fight with the Vipers to get them to hold their rifles, but I have a similar problem with the troopers. The Vipers all hold their rifles ready to fire (barely) but the troopers can only seem to hold theirs at 'inspection-arms' - right hand on the butt, left on the upper guard. Looks good in formation, but not so much for battle poseability. I'm considering buying a host of AKs from Marauder to replace them with.

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I thought these might help the discussion, courtesy of yojoe.com.

cobra.jpg

viper.jpg

The Trooper has more varied expertise, but then again, he debuted in a year where there was only one kind of "Cobra" uniform for anyone working in the organization. Their primary MOS is infantry, but their secondary is sabotage, and each one is proficient in martial arts and qualified as snipers. They are Cobra as depicted in the first 10 issues of the comic book, a faceless blue mass of criminals, a more realistic and terrifying version of Marvel's Hydra. They are Tele-vipers, Eels, and Night Creepers behind one common mask and ideology. The Viper epitomizes a new era of specialization and beyond-the-cutting-edge technology.

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My personal cannon is that the vipers are a step between the Blue shirt and the Seigie.

 

Or if you were to relate it to a real wolrd situation:

 

Blue Shirt = Basic Army infantry

Viper = Army Ranger

Siegie = Green Berrett

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Well I think it could be easy to see that the Vipers were intended to REPLACE the blueshirts. Kind of the same way that Footloose, for example, was intended to replace Grunt.

 

You mean the way Footloose DID replace what's-his-face? @smilepunch@

 

Tom

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The way I always looked at is was The trooper was the base line infantry (with enlisted and officers ranks), more like the Army, and the Viper was infantry as well (but only enlisted), but was better trained and in more specific functions, (as all the file card from like the Eels or Heat vipers say they all came from the Viper ranks) more like the Marines. And the Crimson Guards or Sieges were the officer core (as they obviously had college education needed to be an officer in the regular military) of the Vipers. That's my 2 cents...

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Well I think it could be easy to see that the Vipers were intended to REPLACE the blueshirts. Kind of the same way that Footloose, for example, was intended to replace Grunt.

 

You mean the way Footloose DID replace what's-his-face? @smilepunch@

 

Tom

 

Well I think that was the intent. Yet they didn't factor in the fact that kids would actually OWN both characters.

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