1987 Techno Viper

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.







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5 Responses to 1987 Techno Viper

  1. mwnekoman says:

    When I began completing my vintage collection, this guy, V1 Major Bludd, a Stinger Driver and a Lamprey were the first figures I acquired. It was a pretty random haul, but it makes me more sentimental about these figures just for how excited they made me then.

    Still, the Techno Viper is an objectively good figure and probably my favorite figure from ’87. His sculpt, colors and parts are simply fantastic, and he has tons of play value. Like in that last photo, look how much those silver details pop even when he’s in the shade, it looks great.

    “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.” This is really true. The last time I looked at mine, I was wondering why I don’t use them more often despite how much I love the figure. The truth is, it’s kind of hard to put him in too many scenarios or setting’s where it doesn’t feel forced.

    Also, this figure makes me glad I’m not someone who cares too much about cracked elbows, as it’s almost impossible to find one without them!

    • Cracked Elbows are one of those things that are almost unavoidable, unless you NEVER bend the figure’s elbow, ever. So pretty much impossible!

      Also I swore I had a paragraph in this review (or maybe a different one) where I mentioned something about reading a guy talk about how his neighbour was involved with the company sourced for producing the elbow joints (Which were standard on almost all traditional construction G.I. Joes except for Straight Arms and Destro)

  2. A-Man says:

    I had a few back when. I don’t have any in my active collection. Techno was neglected in “NuSculpt” era but they remembered him for…”Modern” (if the style of figures changes in 2020, then that term will become as silly as “modernism”). And they went closer to card art, making his helmet look more like a Decepticon.

    It’s interesting they made a support personnel viper before all the environment/weapons spec vipers (Snow Serpent was technically an EEL offshoot).

    Oh, purple is a common baddie color. Look at comic books, there’s a lot of super villains wearing some amount of purple: Joker, Lex Luthor, Kang, Green Goblin. I guess green goes well with purple.

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