PILOT  
  Code Name: STRATO-VIPER  
 

The Strato-Viper came out as the Viper thing really took over Cobra ranks. Tele-Vipers were already providing general multimedia support in 1985, while 1986 saw the standard Viper take over as your basic Cobra blueshirt, while Moto-Vipers were packed with the silly STUN armoured tricycle, and Strato-Vipers with the huge Night Raven plane. They actually did alright in terms of media exposure – a female Strato-Viper shared the lead role of the episode “In the Presence of Mine Enemies” with G.I. Joe pilot Slip-Stream. A male Strato-Viper also took centre-stage in an issue of the Special Missions comic too, where he died due to being a massive dick to his ground crew compared to Joe counterparts Ace and Slip-Stream, who kept buying things for theirs and were actually a little bit creepy.

The type was popular enough to get a 25th Anniversary figure, renamed the Air-Viper. Initially the figure came out in a battle pack with a red CLAW, Outback and a FLAK, which is probably the least attractive package in the whole line. The Air-Viper was then re-released as part of the 'Defence of Cobra Island' boxed set. Around the same time, a slight recolour was included in the Rise of Cobra take on the Night Raven.

The figure is actually pretty neat-looking. I love that helmet design, with the big silver visor and the four ridges on the back of the helmet, while the fleshy neck (the only part not covered by the predominantly black uniform) actually looks rather good. The red front of the jacket looks nice too, though it’s a bit of a shame it slides around so much. The detailing is very nicely done to boot, silver and red added in just the right places.

It works nicely with the red CLAW, and the mould has the flexibility to fit nicely with the simplified, streamlined 25th Anniversary version of the glorified jetpack. It’s a shame the neck can’t crane up a bit more, but it still does the job. The figure’s only other real failing is that the right hand is moulded quite awkwardly, and looks pretty daft holding the included pistol. However, the pros far outweigh the cons, and the Air-Viper is a stylish figure, also quite cheap to find loose.

G.I. Joe Strato-Viper
G.I. Joe Strato-Viper
G.I. Joe Strato-Viper
G.I. Joe Strato-Viper