It's been 11 years, but hey, better late than never.
Quick-strike attack drone who can take a pounding and keep flying.
Viper is a new Transformers character - he's based on the Genrations Combiner Wars version of Powerglide, but he doesn't represent a character from a different continuity or anything. The name has never even been used before! Calling him an "attack drone" makes him sound like a mindless, remote-controlled robot, but the idea is more that he's a generic: sentient, but with a standardized body. It happens sometimes. The idea is that army-builders will be able to buy a whole horde of hims. Stock up, toy nerds!
Since this is a repaint of Powerglide, and
because Generations is about updating G1 characters, there are a lot of features from that old toy that are referenced on this one. For instance, the fact that he's got vertical wings between his shoulders and his torso, or the way the arms are super chunky. The legs seem to take an influence from the movie version - yes, Powerglide's always had jet boosters on his legs, but look at those little triangular feet!
The drone's face is designed to look like Wild Weasel's flight mask. It's got the black visor, and the red face has a pointed bulge over the mouth that ends in a trapezoid. If not for the blue "helmet" area, the parallel would be perfect. The only drawback is that in remolding the head, he lost the tiny gun Powerglide has.
Viper has a swivel head, balljointed shoulders, hinged elbows, balljointed hips, and hinged ankles, plus more joints that are just used for transformation. His body is mostly a dark blue with grey limbs, and the big red panel on his chest is tampographed with a logo that puts the Decepticon symbol in the middle of the Cobra Air Force insignia.
Viper's altmode is an A-10 Warthog, or at least
as close Hasbro can get without being sued about it. It's a small toy, 4½" long with an equal wingspan. The dark blue color makes this an homage to Cobra's famous Rattler plane, which had the same model. Okay, the real Rattler had its engines on its wings, not back by the tail, and there was a gunner's seat on the top, but you get the idea. We even get the combo "Cobracepticon" logo on one wing and the Rattler's Z06 on the other.
The robot's legs form the back of the plane, but they don't really plug together very securely. Granted, it's better on Viper than it was on Powerglide - he could barely stay together at all, while Viper will be fine if you're careful.
Since this is a Legends Class figure released under the "Combiner Wars" banner, Viper has a third mode: a weapon meant to be used
by one of the big gestalts. Technically the side of the package says he should be paired with Galvatronus, but Powerglide went with the Aerialbots, and it's funny to imagine Superion just grabbing Viper out of the sky as he flies by, and physically twisting him into a gun shape. The front landing gear becomes the handle, while the engines become gun barrels and a bunch of rockets (under the arms) point out from the sides.
The last time we got a functional Transformer who turned into a GI Joe vehicle was during the Energon line, when Cyclonus became Snow Cat. It's really a no-brainer (which is why the SDCC exclusives were so popular), so hopefully we won't have to wait another decade before Hasbro decides to release more crossovers.