Friday, September 2, 2011

Behind the Gas Mask: GI Joe's Hazmat Viper Action Figure Review

Have you seen the new GI Joe 30th Anniversary wave of figures? Honestly, you don't need to see them all. Just one. The Hazard Viper. He... is... hhhaaaaaawesome. That is, good enough to be vetted by the 5 Ps. Without further adieu:

Package: 8

I don't really put a lot of weight behind packaging. I can comfortably say I've never been seduced by packaging. I HAVE been angered by packaging, though. I'm sure I'm not the only one who has spilled precious blood opening a Marvel Legends action figure. Those clear plastic clam shells should have came with chain mail gloves. The goal of a package is to catch the attention of your wondering eye among a wall full of colorful competitors. Can it be a catalyst that leads you to a sale? If you're over the age of 4, I hope not.

The new package design looks a little more adult. Gone are the bright colors. They have been replaced by deep reds and metallic touches. For a military toy it makes sense. The character portrait to the left of the blister also looks pretty serious and, dare I say, a bit creepy. With the gas mask on, The Hazmat Trooper looks like the next maniacal killer in some future horror movie. The blister has also been updated. The plastic bubble now has some raised design patterns in the corners. If Hasbro would have asked me, I'd have told them to skip the texturing and keep the price down. Then again, I'm just a consumer.

Paint: 7

Not much to brag about here. The orange colored plastic takes care of most of what would have been numerous paint applications. There is some nice detail on the chest tanks, the cobra emblem, and blue bio-hazard canisters.

Parts: 9

Quite a bit of parts. You get the figure stand, 2 hand guns, one strange looking gun, a suitcase with 3 blue canisters, and another gun with connecting hose and backpack. By squeezing the backpack you can suck up and shoot out water, or whatever. The chest tanks, as well as, the hooded gas mask and connecting hoses are also removable to add to the list of accessory pats. Also, with a little effort, the vest can also be removed. Other than missing holsters for the hand guns, this figure seems to have it all.

Poseability: 6

I'm sad to say there is only very limited movement in the knees. I understand that the outfit doesn't lend itself to any activity above shuffling slowly forward, but being able to have the figure kneel down would have been nice. The bulky vest also takes away from some normal leg, waist, and shoulder movements. Could Hasbro have designed its way around this? I'm not sure you could keep the puffy look and still keep poseablity with that hard plastic.

Planning:  >>>>>ERROR<<<<<

What do you mean? Error?


It has come to the attention of the 5 Ps that the Hazmat Viper, thought to be a unique figure, has been identified as a repaint of the Volcano Viper from the Pursuit of Cobra line of figures. Additionally, the backpack with connecting hose and gun are have also been identified as repainted accessories packaged with the Arctic Destro figure of the same line. For this reason, the Hazmat/Hazard Viper has been rejected by the 5 Ps grading system.

>>>>>END OF LINE<<<<<

I'm about to Hulk Out right now. This figure already existed? When did that happen? Was he in the movie? How dare they hide such a cool figure inside that pile of a movie. Even the curves of the Baroness couldn't make me like the GI Joe movie. She was a nice distraction, but couldn't keep me from my overall feeling of disappointment due to the giant plot holes. Why would you give newly developed robotic super-suits to a couple of new recruits who haven't even read the operational instructions?! I don't mind suspending my logic, but when I'm forced to write off physics too?! What happens when you put ice in a glass of liquid? It floats, right? So why did I see ice sinking and crushing Cobra's underwater Arctic base? My friend and I left the theater laughing. Guilty by association, I steered clear of any Pursuit of Cobra GI Joe toys.

Now, I kinda want the Volcano Viper. I like the original black and gray deco, but enough to endure the storage of the drilling pod? Maybe I can find him loose. The Volcano Viper is also missing that sweet suitcase with the radioactive canisters, though. Hmmm. I guess the Hazmat Trooper is the only way I can appreciate this figure now. I'll get two more Hazmat Vipers, but these figures will be bought under protest and will forever have an asterisk next to their purchase. I can't believe this figure is a repaint. I won't be duped again.

Until next time, I'll see you in the toy aisles,


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