The G.I.Joe Retaliation toys from Hasbro made a brief appearance at retail this summer even if the movie did not. One of those toys is the new Cobra Fangboat with Swamp-Viper figure. I use the term new loosely here since the Fangboat is really just a repainted version of the classic Cobra Water Moccasin toy from the 80’s. We take a look at this toy to see if it lives up to its predecessor. Check out hi-res images of this product in our GALLERY
The toy is packaged in a standard size box with no windows, not even for the figure like old G.I. Joe toy packaging used to have. The colors are the same as all Retaliation toys. Yellow and black. I suppose the bright yellow helps the toy stand out on the shelves, but it’s not very aesthetically appealing. The front shows the toy with the standard Retaliation logo in the upper left corner and images of Roadblock and Snake-Eyes on the bottom left corner. Roadblock and Snake-Eyes are featured on the packaging of every Retaliation toy. The back of the box once again features an image of the toy and accompanying figure with some brief descriptions of the toy’s features and what G.I. Joe is. Some images on one of the sides show additional G.I.Joe Retaliation toys you can purchase, and is a brief character bio for the Swamp-Viper is on the end flap. Sadly this is just written up with basic text instead of the classic G.I. Joe filecards, likely to help reduce production costs.
- As I mentioned before, the vehicle is essentially a repainted version of the classic Water Moccasin toy. The vehicle holds one figure in the cockpit and has a gun turret in the back that holds an additional figure. There are some foot panels on the back of the vehicle with pegs to stand two additional figures. You can remove the engine panel to see the engine. There isn’t a lot of detail here but enough to know what you’re supposed to be looking at. If you are at all familiar with the old Water Moccasin then you know essentially what to expect here. Other than the colors and the addition of a rocket firing gun on the left side which has a gatling gun under the rocket, not much has changed. It even still has the little ski sled on the bottom that comes out although no mention of that feature is on the toy’s packaging.
The figure though looks pretty cool although the initial glance is somewhat disappointing due to its lack of articulation (more later in the review). The basic sculpt and overall look of the figure is a cool one. He has a similar look to the original Swamp Viper especially with the helmet but is much more detailed looking in the vest and padding areas. If it wasn’t for the lack of articulation, this would be a really great figure.
- The paint job on the vehicle and figure are both solid. I actually prefer the color scheme used on this version of the toy. The Water Moccasin has been released multiple times over the years in many different color schemes, but I think this scheme is one of my favorites. The color scheme uses dark blues, grey, black and some red while the figure is done in red, black and grey. I didn’t notice any paint errors on the figure or vehicle.
- The vehicle obviously has no articulation to speak of so we will go straight to the figure. As I alluded to, this figure is really lacking in the articulation department and essentially ruins an otherwise cool looking figure. Hasbro decided to cut costs with its vehicle figure pack-ins for the Retaliation line in order to keep costs down. This is very disappointing in my opinion, especially when you consider that well articulated figures are something you might need with a vehicle, a driver who is likely to be put in a number of seated or squatting positions. The figure has only five basic points of articulation, no elbow or knee joints at all and a horrid T-crotch. He does manage to sit in the vehicle’s cockpit and can stand in the turret but because he has no elbow joints, he can’t really hold the turrets handles. One of the signature things about G.I. Joe vehicles has always been the cool figures they come with. I’ve on occasion bought a vehicle just to get the figure, so I am very disappointed with Hasbro’s decision to go cheap with these vehicle pack-in figures. I can only hope that at some point Hasbro will re-release this figure on a single card with the articulation we are all accustomed to from G.I. Joe.
- The vehicle comes with a removable engine cover as well as removable storage compartment covers which are located on either side of the engine. It has the removable ski sled that slides into a compartment on the bottom of the toy and a rocket launcher that can be removed on the left side of the toy. The cockpit also has a removable canopy and a gun turret that is supposed to rotate. I say supposed to because mine is very tight and does not turn very well. The gun on the turret also pivots but not very high. On the back, a propeller spins using a little plastic wheel located between the gun turret and the engine.
There is a decal sheet which requires some assembly. Some people like this throwback to old toys, but I personally hate having to apply these things. If you put a sticker on the wrong place, be careful trying to remove them because the decals seem to disintegrate pretty easily.
The figure comes with no accessories. He has hands that appear to allow him to hold weapons, but he comes with none. As I mentioned before, no character filecard is included on the packaging or inside it.
- The difficulty rotating the gun turret is annoying but otherwise I have always found this to be a fun toy to play with. It’s not super small but not so big that it’s hard to hold, and it holds a fair number of figures for it’s size. There is very little new innovation here, but it is considered a classic toy by many and for good reason.
The figure is a total letdown. The lack of possibility really hurts any chance of having any kind of fun with it. Sticking it in the cockpit and having it sit there is about as much as you can hope for from this one.
- The only quality control issue I’ve had with this toy is with the gun turret. For whatever reason, it just doesn’t want to rotate. You can pull it out and adjust it to a different side of the vehicle but to get it to actually rotate requires using quit a bit of strength.
- As a fan of the classic Water Moccasin, I like this toy and it’s new color scheme. Unfortunately, the figure really detracts from the overall fun of the toy.
Vehicle Final Score: 4 out of 5
Figure Final Score: 1 out of 5