1993 GI Joe Cyber-Viper (Mega Marines) Review

Today on The Dragon Fortress, we’re looking at an odd figure I have neither nostalgia for nor childhood attachment to. It’s the 1993 GI Joe Cyber-Viper, who is one of the strangest figures in the ARAH toy line with an outlandish color scheme.

Those qualifications fit my mission statement perfectly, but my opinion on Cyber-Viper may surprise you. Or maybe not. You could just be really good at reading people, or be reading my thoughts through a 5G tower. Usually I only let the government read my mind but ,since you’re doing it for a good cause (a late 30-something’s opinion on an ancient GI Joe toy), we’ll let it slide this time.

This review also includes a cameo from one of my good friends and all-time favorite internet toy enthusiasts. But that’s a surprise for later.

Anyway, let’s talk about monsters and cyborgs. 

Prelude to 1993 GI Joe Cyber-Viper

1993 GI Joe Cyber Viper (Mega Marines)

I never had a 1993 Cyber-Viper as a kid. None of my friends did, either. I saw him in stores a few times and advertised on TV and on other figures’ cardbacks, but I was never too interested in the figure itself. It seemed like a weird hodgepodge of a design. In fact, it still does. 

Cyber-Viper was part of the Mega Marines sub-line. These figures came with “moldable bio-armor” (Play-Doh) and little armor molds, so they were more expensive than a standard GI Joe figure. I never had any of the regular figures in the sub-line.

I did, however, own the 1993 Monstro-Viper. It was a Christmas present in 1993 and I got a ton of use out of it– though not the use you might expect. The figure has an odd (and creative) action feature. Its abdomen hinges open, you shove some Play-Doh in, close the abdomen up, and open the abdomen again to remove a now-molded “gut bomb.” You can then place the gut bomb in the figure’s right hand, raise the arm, and a spring-loaded feature “hurls” the gut bomb at an adversary. I used this feature maybe twice. 

1993 GI Joe Cyber Viper (Mega Marines)

I didn’t care for the action feature and I mostly didn’t use the Monstro-Viper with my GI Joe figures. I’ve always seen GI Joe as a science fiction thing, but the Monstro-Viper didn’t really make for a compelling GI Joe enemy. Once the Joe team defeated the monster a couple of times, there just wasn’t much left to do with it.

Because the sculpting, colors, and overall look of Monstro-Viper are so good, though, I found uses for it beyond GI Joe. It’s a very well-done action figure, even if it doesn’t fit in well with our favorite 3.75” army dolls. Instead, Monstro-Viper spent loads of time fighting my Toy Biz Marvel Superhero figures, Playmates Star Trek away teams, Exosquad troops, and even some of my Transformers. Monstro-Viper made for a great generic cyborg beast for any other toy to struggle against. 

1993 GI Joe Cyber Viper (Mega Marines)

But, beyond that one toy, I had no real connection to the Mega Marines. My friend across the street had MM Gung Ho and Mirage. He loves that Gung Ho figure and I really liked Mirage, so we used them pretty often when we were playing at his house. But that’s about as far as my experience with Mega Marines went as a kid. I was much more into Star Brigade and Ninja Force at the time. 

My mind has changed since I was a kid. Now I adore the entire Mega Marines range, despite (or because of) its absurdity, and have managed to pick up the entire range within the last 5 years or so. 

1993 GI Joe Cyber Viper (Mega Marines)

I only got the 1993 GI Joe Cyber-Viper because it was a Mega Marines figure and I was completing the subset. I paid about $16 for my first Cyber-Viper, which struck me as way too expensive for a single GI Joe figure at the time in 2018 or so. I found my second Cyber-Viper at a weird little antiques mall by my old office for $5. The figure had no accessories, but neither did my $16 version. So I was happy to have two Cyber-Vipers to accompany my sole Mega Viper.

This is a figure I just randomly decided to review– it just struck my fancy this week. So let’s get into the review.

1993 GI Joe Cyber-Viper (Mega Marines) Review

As previously mentioned, Cyber-Viper was released in GI Joe’s Mega Marines sub-line in 1993. Not previously mentioned is that he was made from all-new parts and none of his parts were ever reused for other figures. That’s a bit strange, as almost all of the other Mega Marines figures were used to make either repaint-era toys or convention/club-exclusives. Only Clutch and Cyber-Viper were never reused. 

1993 GI Joe Cyber Viper (Mega Marines)

As you can plainly see, the 1993 GI Joe Cyber-Viper figure is very interesting to look at. The sculpt is intricate and there’s a lot going on here– you can tell the people who designed and sculpted the figure had a ton of fun. I can appreciate that.

Cyber-Viper, according to his file card, is supposed to be a Cyborg. So you need to keep that in mind when you’re looking at him, even if it doesn’t help very much when you’re trying to comprehend his overall appearance. I do really like the mask/helmet, as it reminds me of a Cyborg version of Ninja Force Dice, even if the strap/wire/cord going right down the middle of the figure’s mouth seems very uncomfortable. And impractical. It certainly gets the imagination going, though, and is a unique look to say the least. 

The front of the figure’s torso is a bit more conventional, with some straps, grenades, and pouches. Pretty standard stuff. I do like the sculpt for the toy’s body armor and boots, though, even if the paint deco makes them look a bit understated. 

1993 GI Joe Cyber Viper (Mega Marines)

On the figure’s left side, you’ll notice some more mechanical details, though the paint choices mean they don’t necessarily look cybernetic. According to the file card, Cyber-Viper’s left arm and leg are “biomechanical” appendages, so these are more cyborg parts. The sculpting here is pretty interesting at least and it really amps up the figure’s asymmetrical design. 

I like that you can still see some human flesh among the cyberware on his left arm. 


1993 GI Joe Cyber Viper (Mega Marines)

The figure’s right side is a bit more subdued, with only some kind of high-tech wrist device decorating his right arm. This device could be the “biomechanical, atmospheric sensing arm tubes” the file card mentions but doesn’t label. I’m not really sure what that means, anyway, as the best way to “sense the atmosphere” for most people is to use their eyes, nose, and mouth. I don’t condone animal cruelty, but canaries can also be used for that purpose. Maybe Dr. Mindbender spliced canary DNA into the little bangle on Cyber-Viper’s arm?

1993 GI Joe Cyber Viper (Mega Marines)

The back of the figure is fully painted, if a little bit plain. But you’ll notice one wild detail here in particular, even if you can see it from every other angle, too. Cyber-Viper has big ol’ fins coming off of his shoulders. I love these, as they don’t seem to serve any purpose other than adding to the science fiction fun of it all. As I said, the folks at Hasbro were clearly having a ball with this one. 

Before we get into accessories, I need to address the figure’s color scheme– because I don’t like it at all. “But Dustin,” you say, “It’s neon and that’s your whole reason for existing. YOU HYPOCRITE.”

1993 GI Joe Cyber Viper (Mega Marines)

You’re right that I like brightly colored toys and this toy has some bright colors. The neon yellow, bright green, and grey all work very well together. I just think red was a bad choice for the rest of the figure, as it both clashes with the green and yellow and muddies up its overall appearance. This figure represents a cyborg, who is supposed to be a mishmash of human meat and state-of-the-art steel, but the coloration just makes it look like it was dreamed up by a kid who grabs random crayons and colors outside the lines (I was that kid. I am also not a good designer). 

I think if you replaced the red areas with black or Cobra Purple, it would look much more cohesive and visually appealing. It would look more like a true cyborg instead of just a hodgepodge of random parts. I do like the sculpting on this figure, but this is one time where I think a 90s paint scheme did a disservice to a toy’s overall design. 

Anyway, here are the accessories:

1993 GI Joe Cyber Viper (Mega Marines)

The screenshot is from YoJoe.com, as I’ve never owned a full set of Cyber-Viper gear. I may have one or two of the guns, but I didn’t immediately find them. Thankfully, Cyber-Viper comes with the same gear as 1993 Cobra Commander, but in slightly different colors, so I can show you what a couple of the guns look like with the figure, at least.

1993 GI Joe Cyber Viper (Mega Marines)

Let’s take a brief aside to discuss the “moldable bio-armor” (Play Doh). I’ll go into it in more detail with a future Mega Marines review, but understand that my friend and I never used it more than a few times. Basically, you wrap some Play Doh around the figure, compress the plastic armor piece around it, and remove the armor piece. Then you have a figure armored in pure Doh, which you can battle damage to your heart’s content. It’s a neat idea, but it wasn’t very practical and seemed like more trouble than it was worth, most of the time.

As for the weapons tree accessories, they were cast in dark grey and are honestly a decent little bit of gear for a figure who leaned heavily into the science fiction aspect of GI Joe.

1993 GI Joe Cyber Viper (Mega Marines)

In 1993, Voltar’s SMG basically seemed like a standard-issue Cobra weapon, and I think it looks good with the figure. I like this gun more than most fans seem to, though. 

The large rifle, which is a recolor of the 1990 Rock Viper’s weapon, also works fairly well. It is based on a real world sniper rifle, but I didn’t know that as a kid. I’d never seen a drum magazine before (other than a Tommy Gun), so I saw the mag as some sort of battery or energy cell, and the gun looked like a high-powered laser rifle to me. I still see it that way in this context, and a Cyber-Viper with a big’ ol laser gun just makes sense to me.

1993 GI Joe Cyber Viper (Mega Marines)

He also comes with the Toxo-Viper thingy, which could be used as a scanner, a stun-gun to keep the Mega Monsters under control, or some sort of sonic weapon. It works pretty well in this case, even though it’s usually a useless accessory. The Incinerator flamethrower could be used as a flamethrower (again, maybe good for corralling Mega Monsters), but also looks high-tech enough to be some kind of energy weapon.

The missile launcher is also just fine.

Again, not a bad set of gear. 

1993 GI Joe Cyber Viper (Mega Marines)

The 1993 GI Joe Cyber-Viper’s file card describes him as both a fierce front line fighter and as someone who both works in Dr. Mindbender’s lab and keeps the Mega Monsters under control. As my friend Eric once said, he’s like a Neon Cybernetic Rancor Keeper. I don’t think most Joe fans of any age see the Mega Monsters as an important (or even viable) part of their GI Joe universe, though, so it makes sense to come up with a different use for the Cyber-Viper.

Sure, he can be a cyborg super soldier. And that’s fine. I personally don’t think he looks tough enough to pull that off, but it’s a reasonable use for the figure.

1993 GI Joe Cyber Viper (Mega Marines)

For me, though, Cyber-Vipers are Cobra’s computer experts. Techno Vipers deal with repair and design and Tele-Vipers strictly deal with communications. So Cyber-Vipers deal with computer security, hacking, and computer interfaces on Cobra’s various vehicles and equipment. They are cyborgs as described, but their cybernetic parts interface wirelessly with computer systems and networks. They use conventional computers as well, but their cyborg brains allow them to jack into systems that they can’t otherwise touch, and also allow them to take on some tremendously daunting cyber-multitasking. 

They might be crippling a GI Joe firewall using just their cyborg brains and helmets while simultaneously crashing the stock market on the traditional computer sitting in front of them. To me, they are ruthless cyber terrorists who are as effective on offense as they are at keeping Cobra networks secure. 

1993 GI Joe Cyber Viper (Mega Marines)

I like Cyber-Vipers pretty well and I like the role I’ve invented for them, but I’m not enthusiastic about the figure. I think it’s the weakest of the standard Mega Marines sub-line, and I think the overabundance of red really hurts the figure’s appearance. It’s a neat concept and a good sculpt, but I understand why it’s not a popular figure.

Cyber-Viper is well liked within my like-minded circle of nerd friends, but has absolutely no popularity outside of that. It’s also an expensive figure that’s probably not worth the price it commands. You can probably take one look at this toy and decide if you’re interested in it or not. I’m glad I have a couple of them, but wouldn’t pay today’s market rate for one.

1993 GI Joe Cyber Viper (Mega Marines)

Verdict: The 1993 GI Joe Cyber-Viper has a great sculpt with some cool details. It’s utterly unique and the mold was never reused, which means it really stands out in a GI Joe collection. Unfortunately, the color combination doesn’t really work and it ends up looking like a jumbled mishmash of parts, but not in a cool cyborg way. But it’s still a fun piece that a lot of work and effort went into. The accessories are decent, as well. If you can find a Cyber-Viper for a price you like, then it’s Mildly Recommended

Additional Resources:

Presenting: Toys and Tomfoolery

Thanks for gracing us with an appearance by everyone’s favorite Techno Viper, Eric! You can find Toys and Tomfoolery on Instagram and on his blog, which will be updated any day now for sure. 

Closing Thoughts on 1993 GI Joe Cyber Viper

1993 GI Joe Cyber Viper (Mega Marines)

I’m posting this a day early since I’ll be headed out of town tomorrow to clean up my mom’s house and make funeral preparations. Hopefully you don’t mind too much.

Anyway, I just thought it would be fun to review a Cobra figure, which I haven’t done in quite some time. Cyber-Viper was just calling my name for some reason.

Thanks again to Eric!

What do you think of Cyber-Viper? What’s your favorite figure from the Mega Marines subset? Which Play Doh flavor tastes the best? Let me know in the comments!

7 thoughts on “1993 GI Joe Cyber-Viper (Mega Marines) Review

  1. It's that guy that wrote the comic at the end

    Absolutely boggles my mind that this never had a repaint anywhere! Some sort of “realistic” paint scheme with silver and black would have had everyone slobbering over this guy. As it is, like you said, some black or purple in place of the red would have done WONDERS. The purple especially! These guys would have looked amazing next to Mindbender with some purple! Just imagine if they had matched him perfectly with purple, yellow, and black.

    It’s really too bad the details on this guy were never properly shown off. Looking at him closely really brings out the cool sculpt under the randomly-colored crayon drawing.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. We may not be able to be friends anymore if you don’t like the Cyber Viper. I’m…I’m just in shock! 🙂

    For some reason, this figure speaks to me. I didn’t get him until I was a collector. But, he showed up in a lot I got very early in my collection buying days. I remembered him from the comic where he was just weird. And, for some reason, I always associated him with the Detonator. So, to this day, my Cyber Vipers are a Detonator crew.

    He’s never been easy to find. But, ~$80 or more for a mint and complete one is just dumb. So, I’m probably not going to get any more of him. But, the bizarre nature, weird color combos and cool sculpt will bring me back when the market crashes.

    I advocated for a Cyber Viper repaint that would be a new Tele Viper back in the early 2000’s. But, no one listened to my cries into the void. It’s a travesty that he’s the only MM that wasn’t used in any capacity. But, the anti-neon crowd was so strong in the early 2000’s that people hated on even solid repaints of the molds that proved their great sculpts. Early 2000’s collectors really sucked at times.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Dracula

    I totally get what you mean about the color scheme. As a fellow noticer of neon nonsense, this one ends up somewhere in the middle between G2 Ramjet (sublime) and Action Master Thundercracker (awful wrapping back around to sublime), feeling both gaudy and incoherent in the way I assume most people feel when they look at all the good stuff 90s Joes had to offer.

    I never owned this figure, nor any Mega Marines member, but I did own all of his weapon tree weapons via various Battle Corps figures. I also assumed the drum-fed sniper rifle fired lasers, but this could be tallied up to how I assumed every single GI Joe weapon fired a laser. This was because (1) bullets were not tolerated in my fantasy play and (2) my only accessible GI Joe fiction was the cartoon, where lasers were the ammunition of choice.

    I know you’ve said the Play-Doh armor thing is kind of a bum gimmick, but I’m honestly excited for you to cover it in a future Mega Marines review. Give the people what they want (moldable bio-armor)!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sam Smith

      Cyber-Viper is what you get if the Borg captured Jean Luc Picard and dropped him in a vat of Ace Chemicals.

      (P.S. Love to see Alexx Shorts back in action w that Techno Viper)

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I love Mega Marines!

    I didn’t have this guy, but my neighbor/family friend trio of brothers did, in fact between us we had the whole line; They had the monsters, Cyber Viper, Clutch, Mirage, and the APC (amazing) and I had Gung-Ho, Blast-Off and Mega Viper.

    Clutch and Mirage made their way into my hands years later when they did their adult mandated toy purge, but the rest didn’t. So, the only memories I have of Cyber Viper are a couple battles at their house. The stronger of the two distinct memories I have where he was a featured character was pretty much the most we ever used the bio armor. They had a desk with a little pullout extension that slid straight out. For whatever reason, they had merged all the balls of megamarine playdoh into one multi colored sheet that they were flattening down onto that extension and sliding it out back and forth. The desk was setup as a whole Cobra research lab and I can’t remember anymore why the playdoh had to be flattened like that but I’m sure we invented very compelling lore as to why. Either way, assorted Joes had to fight their up the lab to defeat Mindbender and the monsters and since we were actually using the molds and playdoh then, the only way to kill Monstro Viper was with the playdoh tipped missiles. It was a bunch of a fun and aside from generally being a goon, the Cyber Viper tackled Mirage onto the bio doh desk partition where they rolled around and fought until the cv was finally thrown off to his doom.

    After that, we rarely used the molds to make bio armor, and my friends got in trouble for gunking up their desk with playdoh. I probably only used them once on my own, and after that we just put the molds directly on the figures and pretended the vertical parts at the bottom for covering the missiles were like jet packs, and anyone that wore them did big moon jumps. We frequently just kinda mixed Mega Marines and Star Brigade together because we were cool kids that had seen Aliens and we were wise to their Colonial Marines inspiration going on there. They’d battle Kenner Aliens and Predators too, which we freely mixed in because it was alright for them to be larger scale.

    I kept the little barrels the playdoh came in though! They remained set dressing for a very long time whenever I just needed some chemical sludge waste containers.

    Since that Cyber Viper never made it to me, I can only assume he was lost, given away or thrown out. Two of the brothers shared a room which was the more designated indoor play zone and usually, if they missed a deadline to clean their room their mom would go up when they weren’t there and collect everything into a garbage back to either donate or throw away. It was kind of wild now that I think about it, and I definitely rescued Hall of Fame Ace from their trash once.

    Anyway, that ended up being more of a Mega-Marines story than a Cyber Viper story. The only other memory I have of him is around the time we started giving characters special moves, we just decided his lime green cyber muscled leg was realllly strong, and we made him talk with a bad Arnold voice.

    It IS crazy he never was repainted by the club though. I feel like had they put him in B.A.T. colors or something he could’ve won people over as an Overkill precursor.

    Liked by 1 person

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