God Bless you Aire, you're such a valuable asset to the GIJOE community and I am so thankful for your expertise!!
I recently dug this thread back up because I had recently found an eBay auction that I was highly interested in. But the condition of the figure looked too good to be true, especially since this particular seller was passing it off as an authentic '83 VIPER PILOT!
Anyway, if anyone was watching this eBay listing or know of people that were watching this - PLEASE BE FOREWARNED. Warn anyone/everyone around you about this because I'd really hate for someone to spend so much money on something that wasn't real. I know I would be upset or extremely disappointed, especially if I had dropped a lot of money down for one expecting it to be authentic and real...
I did not see this thread before I bought this guy TODAY!
However, the seller was honest enough to tell me that he'd been told it was possible fake BEFORE I paid for it.
I did some research here and on the HISS Tank as well as looking at photos online to compare.
Luckily, I now know this one is indeed a fake and will be thanking the seller for his honesty and passing on the figure.