Today we bring you a guest review of Hasbro's new G.I. Joe Zombie Viper figure by John Harmon from Mint Condition Customs
. You can check out hi-res images for the figure below in our GALLERY!
G.I. Joe is a toy line that is constantly proving to be the best 3 3/4 inch figures on the market. With each new line Hasbro produces, be it Pursuit of Cobra or the current 30th Anniversary, theyíre always upping the ante and going far and beyond to prove how much they care about G.I. Joe. Ever since Hasbro started making G.I. Joe figures, they have set the bar for detail, articulation, and accessories. Does the Zombie Viper hold true to tradition?
G.I. Joeís packaging hasnít changed much since the days of A Real American Hero in the 80′s. There were slight variations in the 90′s when G.I. Joe went under the dreaded Ninja Force phase, but itís pretty much stayed consistent. You have the figure in the lower right in its blister, with the artwork on the left, the logo at the top, and the file card on the back.
The 30th Anniversary line follows suit, but somehow takes it to a whole new level. The artwork on the G.I. Joe packages continues to improve and Iím always amazed at how good it is. The Zombie Viper looks fantastic, and I love the logo for the 30th Anniversary line. The figure looks great in the blister, with all the accessories visible.
The file card on the back gives an interesting description of the Zombie Viper. Apparently Cobra manufactured a chemical known as Compound Z that they pump into their troopers to turn them into zombies. Itís also what allows them to morph their arms into those giant tentacle things you see in the package. The packaging is very attractive and it gets the point across, and the file cars always add an extra bonus for collectors.
PACKAGING SCORE: 5 / 5
The sculpt on Zombie Viper is fantastic. When dealing with zombie characters, there has to be a lot of detail, and the Zombie Viper doesnít disappoint. There are several layers to the sculpt, and you can see muscle tissue where the skin is tearing back, and there lots of wrinkles and veins. His hands are curled perfectly for that classic ďzombie lurchingĒ look, like he could grab you at any moment. His feet look a little mangled and like he canít quite position them right to walk properly which is PERFECT. It adds just a little bit of character to the figure.
His clothes are nice and ripped up and have all sorts of fabric fold and pockets; very appropriately detailed. Heís got bits of shirt sleeve just hanging on his forearm not connected to the rest of his shirt, and even has one of his pant cuffs just dangling on his ankle. I love that extra bit of detail. Iím a sucker for it. His face is very unmistakably a zombie. You can see the lack of muscle tissue in the face and the skin has sunken in around his cheeks and his eye sockets. His mouth is a very appropriate grimace with missing teeth and decayed flesh. Yep, this is definitely a zombie.
SCULPT SCORE: 5 / 5
Again, this is another area where Iím amazed at the level of detail in such a small scaled figure. His web gear has the perfect amount of dry brushing to age them, and his clothes are covered in washes and dry brushes to make them look incredibly dirty, which is great for the figure, and of course he has that giant Cobra logo right on his chest.
His skin, again, has the appropriate washes to help bring out the sculpt and help make him look like a decaying hunk of flesh. He has bright blue lines painted over him, tracking his veins and showing the Compound Z pumping through them.
If I had one nitpick, and believe me itís a minor one, it would be in the head. For some reason, the head doesnít seem quite as detailed with paint as the rest of the figure. Itís got the blue lines, and he has yellow eyes, but the skin on the head doesnít seem to have the same wash as the arms and legs. Also, his teeth are unpainted, and so is his hair. Theyíre both the exact same color as his skin, because they were left unpainted for whatever reason. Again, Iím definitely picking nits here, but to leave so much detail unpainted from the head is unfortunately the only thing keeping the paint from a perfect score.
PAINT SCORE: 4.5 / 5
If youíre familiar with G.I. Joe then you pretty much know the articulation by now. Heís got a ball jointed neck, ball jointed shoulders, the famous Hasbro swivel-hinged elbows, swivel-hinged wrists, mid-torso swivel, ball jointed hips, double knees, and swivel-hinged ankles.
Hasbro seems to be including wrist hinges more and more which is definitely a good thing. Iíve never quite been a fan of the swivel-hinge elbow, but it works for this scale. All of the articulation does its job and allows for a number of very zombie appropriate poses.
His web gear doesnít hinder the torso articulation, but I do wish it was made better. The mid-torso joint Hasbro uses is very effective for turning the figure, but itís very limited at actually being any kind of ab crunch. I really wish Hasbro would make the range of motion in that joint larger to allow for greater posing.
ARTICULATION SCORE: 4 / 5
Zombie Viper includes some rather interesting accessories, to say the least. In addition to the standard G.I. Joe figure stand, he also includes an alternate pair of stretched out tentacle arms, a helmet, and a container of Compound Z with a tube connected to it.
Zombie Viperís forearms are removable (and those pieces of shirt sleeve are separate pieces), so they just pop right off a peg, and then you just place the tentacle arms on the same peg and you have an even creepier zombie than before. The tentacle arms are a very nice, albeit strange touch. Theyíre sculpted fantastically, and the paint is great as well. You can see how each tentacle corresponds with where his fingers would be. The ends of some of the tentacles even resemble octopus tentacles, which is also very weird, so I guess job well done for Hasbro. The container of Compound Z is supposed to plug into one of the holes on the back of the Zombieís web gear. Then, you plug the blue tube into one of the holes on his helmet. I think this is supposed to be how the zombie is fed the chemical. I really like these accessories, since they add to the character. The blue connector tube is translucent, which I always prefer to being painted instead. It just adds an extra bit of detail that is always nice to see.
Now, I will make a slight complaint, not about the accessories themselves, but about the lack of accessories. When we were first shown the prototype
for the Zombie Viper, he had 4 of the Compound Z containers that connected to the back of his web gear and likewise connected to the helmet he wears. For some reason, Hasbro nixed 3 of them and only gave us one. I suppose it wasnít cost effective, but it certainly would have been awesome to include all four containers, just because he looks incomplete with only one.
ACCESSORIES SCORE: 4 / 5
Iím not gonna lie, this is a FUN figure. Even non G.I. Joe fans would have fun playing with this figure. Itís not just because heís a zombie (though zombies are undeniably cool), itís the level of detail put into the figure.
The accessories are excellent, especially considering a zombie doesnít necessarily need them. The traditional zombie doesnít need helmets, and canít turn their arms into giant tentacles.
Itís just something Hasbro does that takes their figures to the next level. You can tell Hasbro cares deeply for G.I. Joe, and for G.I. Joe fans. The Zombie Viper was certainly out of left field, since heís a brand new character. Itís not a figure that ďneededĒ to be made, per se. Itís just one that Hasbro thought the fans would appreciate, and they were right. Nobody expected it, but itís now one of my favorite G.I. Joe figures ever made.
FUN SCORE: 5 / 5