It’s wasn’t until 2019 where I actually purchased my first Techno Viper, the funniest thing about this figure, is it’s the first time I’d ever actually seen one in person. Mike T once said to me “You’ve got an Estrela Flash, but no Techno Vipers?” and right there I realized how ridiculous the whole thing was. I figured I better get myself the only carded army builder from 1987, the year COBRA Commander’s brain broke.
The Techno Viper is probably the first example of COBRA moving away from blue and into the glorious colour of purple, as their main battle togs. It’s something that happened, and might have even been done to color co-ordinate the Hasbro universe into Purple being the colour of evil. It works for the Decepticons, might as well work for COBRA Command, too. The combo of lavender and violet make up a visually appealing figure, even if it’s not what was typical of Cobra soldiers. It’s become such an iconic look I can’t actually imagine the Techno Viper in another colour scheme, that would look half as good.
The Techno Viper is one very nice sculpt, it’s not covered in interesting textures, like most of the 87 COBRAs were, but the details on the figure are quite nice. The hoses and belts are all raised. His head sculpt is what surprised me the most. Since I’d never seen a Techno in person, I’d always thought the silver on his face was a visor, and that his head sculpt just didn’t match up with the card art, so to see there’s beady little black eyes, is quite cool. Turns out, I wasn’t the only person who had that thought process, as there’s some 2 hour podcast with Plastic Battles where at some point we discuss that. I really like the colours on the figure, because they remind me of the Foot Soldiers in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles arcade game. The best video game of all.
The ball neck figures and the swivel neck figures are two distinct camps in my collection. I’ve turned over a new leaf in regards to post 84 figures, as I’ve had the vast majority of the swivel necks in my collection at one point or another, so it was needed to expand. However I don’t daydream about the role the Techno Viper has in my silly little universe, like I would about some neon green COBRA Trooper repaint, there isn’t really a role for the Techno Viper. If I cared about the 87-88 figures more than the “G.I. Joes from a different era” I view them as, the Techno Viper would probably be a figure I’d look at as a basic COBRA Infantry, more than likely armed with Hit & Run’s machine gun. Unfortunately, I don’t care that much! The Techno Viper’s role in my collection is pretty much the same as Sneak Peek’s, a toy that doesn’t really interact with others. I kind of like that, though, as it allows me to appreciate what G.I. Joe became, without fussing too much, or having it detract too much from the true appeal G.I. Joe has to me.