WHAT IS THIS?! Have the deep mayjiks of Halloween brought Alexx Shorts back from the dead?!
...well, maybe for a day. For now.
I was lookin 'around for sumthin' SPOOPY and remembered that I never reviewed (among a million other things) the Zombie Vipers, from the 30th anniversary line of G.I. Joe! How 'bout some zombies, maybe?
The "Pursuit of Cobra" and subsequent 30th Anniversary lines for G.I. Joe were some PINNACLE times for Joes. They were fixing problems with the 25th style, the movie stuff was kinda pushed to the side, and new ideas were getting mixed with old ones to create some really cool figures! In fact, I think I can safely say that some of the BEST Joes in recent times came from that area. Present company very much included!
Hasbro had been building up to this idea, but it felt like it was meant to be...more. Perhaps some sort of media to go with it? As I said: They were making some GREAT stuff, but it never felt like the range of interest went past collectors. The whole "Compound Z" thing started with the Hazard Viper (a personal fave), since he was packed with a briefcase full of containers holding a blue substance (and came with a backpack that...also had blue canisters in it, so he could spray the stuff?). This lead in to the eventual Zombie Viper, which is what happens to people who come in contact with Compound Z.
What I love about these guys is that they're chemical zombies - the blue stuff on them is from the stuff that MAKES them a zombie. The whole "mutant" thing is usually more interesting to me than traditional zombies. Whats more, as the filecard says: These guys retain some combat skill! So these things are mindless fighting machines that are probably enhanced by Compound Z, rather than shambling about with decaying muscles. Needless to say: I love it.
...and HAVE loved it, since the first incarnation! Before the Zombie Viper, all we had was the Toxo-Zombie, from Eco Warriors (if you didn't guess that was from the 90's, then you weren't there). This one was a Toxo-Viper who had been blasted with chemicals (probably on accident) and was a walking burn-victim. My brain is always doing a background story for Joes, so I like to think that the accident that created the Toxo-Zombies was eventually refined into Compound Z.
Further pushing these guys into the "mutant" realm is a pair of interchangeable TENTACLE ARMS! If you look close, you can see that it's just the arms, but SUPER stretched out (you can even follow each tentacle back to a finger). Another neat detail is that one "finger" on each tentacle hand ends in a squid-like sucker thing. YEESH! These guys are freakin' creepy!
OKAY OKAY anyway, there are other accessories, too!
Each zombie comes with a helmet and a tube attached to a Compound Z canister.
The helmet really hits home on the idea of these being solider zombies! Looks freakin' fantastic.
The canister and tube are used on the back: The back has holes along his spine, and the back of the helmet has three holes.
Each zombie can at least do this, but if you've got multiples...
...you can get up to three on there (at least three that can attach to the helmet) and pump that son of a bitch up with so much Compound Z that it'll be comin' out of his eye sockets! I assume this one is the "super solider" of the bunch.
Now we're talkin'! You best be runnin' when Mr. Fingers comes shamblin' into town.
When you're walkin' around shooting zombies in a lab, THIS is the one that is still in the tube and breaks out to scare the crap out of you.
The Zombie Viper is an absolute MUST. It is a well sculpted and well painted toy, the articulation is no-holds-barred, and he comes with so much stuff that you can get a nice range of zombies if you buy at least four. You'll want more, though. I'd even suggest at least one for people that aren't even zombie fans - it's that good of a figure. And if you're just a general admirer of toys? Well you can't help but be impressed when you get this thing in your hands.
Now, what kind of Octobersbest would it be if I just left it at a standard review? Time for some ZOMBIE TALES!
The Tale of the Cornered Soldiers
Spoopy! But how would Snake Eyes fare in a fight with the chemically undead??
The Tale of the Ninja Murder Machine
...well, what did you expect? I mean, the title kinda spoiled the tale, I guess.
The Tale of the Techno-Vipers Leave
Yeah, short story, but would you stick around? I'm sure they'll just pull some subwoofers out of something else.
The Tale of Off-Time
Alright, that's all folks. In terms of the figure: FANTASTIC. One of the best from the 30th. In terms of the jokes: I am most proud of the "free radicals" one. I may even pat myself on the back.
I realize that zombies are getting past cliché and into the "rebound hate" area, but these stand out to me because of the mutant aspect, and the fact that they're still soldiers and you can't just push them back. Plus: I'll add anything to the Joe scale! Anything. Once you get a one scale with various possibilities, the jokes are endless.
I love these, you love these, if you don't, you should love these, and I have no idea what they go for on the after-market. If I have struck your soul with the desire to own these: Good luck! I have no doubt that people army-built the CRAP outta these, back when they were in stores.