Another Gradius game is looking less and less likely, now that talk of Gradius VI for the PlayStation 3 has been completely silenced, but shmup fans can at least remember the good old days with this excellent Vic Viper model. Based on the Gradius II design and expected to ship in April, the Atelier Sai distributed ship follows a trio of previous Vic Vipers. Those three were based on Konami's slightly creepy Sky Girls anime, which featured spindly teenage girls in exoskeletons. Targeted at the aircraft fetishists who like women with wings for legs, the Sky Girls Vic Vipers was tainted with off-canon colours, but still looked pretty snazzy.
Fortunately, that's all in the past.
The 7.75" Gradius II Vic Viper model should set you back about $US 42 (or 4500 yen) if you find a retailer who stocks it. Play-Asia carried the previous versions, if you're so inclined. If you want to pick me up a pair—the second for a custom Player Two paintjob—I won't refuse.
Gradius II Vic Viper [HobbyStock]