Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Rarities - Alternate 2003 Army Builder Pack Viper and Alley Viper

A lot of alternate and unproduced figures came out of Asia in the early 2000's.  For a time, it seemed every single figure Hasbro took to retail had at least one Asian variant.  In time, though, this slowed down.  It might have been tighter factory controls.  Or, it may simply have been a function of Hasbro drastically reducing their product line and the diminished volume allowed for stronger quality control at the source.

First up is the Alley Viper.  Ostensibly, this figure isn't much different from the production figure. The blue is a little brighter.  Unaccessorized, the figures are rather bland.  But, it's not hard to find Alley Viper gear from this era (there were a lot of them released) so if you can track down the figures, they aren't hard to get up to speed in terms of gear.

2003 Unproduced Viper, Alley Viper, Prototypes, Midnight Chinese

The Viper figure, though, has some significant changes.  While the base colors are slightly brighter than the production figure, it is the black face mask that is the most striking difference.  Hasbro never released a Viper with a black faceplate and it is a powerful look for the figure.  In the right context, it could have been a very strong Viper repaint.

2003 Unproduced Viper, Alley Viper, Prototypes, Midnight Chinese

2003 Unproduced Viper, Alley Viper, Prototypes, Midnight Chinese

The Viper figures were fairly popular for a while and tended to fetch decent prices.  The Alley Vipers, though, did not fare as well.  Today, you still see the Vipers for sale, often for significant amounts.  But, the Alley Viper variant remains relatively obscure.

1 comment:

  1. I forgot about the reverse colors Viper.

    Not sure I knew about the Alley-Viper. Might be better without the retail's black camo. Hard to say. That Alley-Viper was a bit cheap with his unpainted gloves. It was hard to ruin the Alley-Viper, though, the had to come up with a new sculpt to do so.

    Some of the actual retail packs from that wave strangely wound up at Advance Auto Parts (made no sense at the time and still doesn't). I found a 4 packs in their display holder and bought them all with the holder.