Well, this is it: I've finally decided to start reposting my old "Alexx Shorts" G.I. Joe reviews. They're the reviews that lead to what eventually became this blog! I'll be posting them in straight copy-and-paste format, separating them with bold dotted lines so you know where they begin and end, and then I'll post some final thoughts on what I think of the figure currently.
For those unfamiliar: I used to take random pictures here and there, but by the time the Rise of Cobra toys came out, I was getting annoying with how much people had been bashing the figures which were clearly better than the previous 25th Anniversary offerings. I set out to show people how awesome they were, and things went from there, forming into "Alexx Shorts", named so because I thought I was going to keep to a short format with a few pictures. I did not do that.
Kamakura comin' to ya never chew ya just go through yaaaaaaaa....*COUGH*
Hey, I'm back! I've finally cleaned up the 'ol toy room and made a great little space to review things (the lighting is much better) so these pics should be the clearest yet!
Anyway, this here's Kamakura, Snake Eye's apprentice for...forever, it seems. Poor guy can't catch a break! We keep getting reboots, so he has to keep learning from Snake Eyes. When can he go off on his own? Honestly, when I look at this figure, it feels like the perfect representation for just that! It's a look that finally says: I've graduated from ninja school! Though, maybe a little too much ninja....
So lets take a look. First off, he comes with a nice set of ninja gear:
And some sort of jet powered blue fire shooting monster:
That is my favorite missile launcher, even if barely anyone can use it.
So, since Kamakura is obviously a mix of parts: his gear harkens from comic pack Storm Shadow, who set the bar for ninja gear ever since. This is the same gear that also came with the Ninja Viper, so while these dragon pommeled swords were unique originally, now they seem like these guys are buying them from the local "Dragons, Incense, Wax Wizards & and Swords" store. Personally, I cut the dragons off of the Ninja Viper's swords and it turns them into some nice normal swords, but that's just because I'm neurotic and I want folks to have their own unique weapons.
Anyway, at least the backpack is welcome, since it sports a teeny tiny uzi and gives him some of that old commando stuff that Snake Eyes started with. Along with that, he's got the claw (a favorite) and the crazy kamas attached by a rope. Also, for some reason, the knife they gave him is the old standard Cobra Trooper knife...one of the more plain designs and something I now associate with Cobra, so I'ma give him something else.
But hey, what about the figure? I know there was one in the package somewhere!
Frankenstein glory! This is the kind of parts usage I like to see. First: these are all great parts (very happy they used the new Storm Shadow arms) and Second: the body armor helps to keep Kamakura from being overly ninjafied. Of course, there's also Quick Kick's sash...which is the only thing I don't like.
Here's where most of his parts come from:
As you can see, he's using Storm Shadow's head, arms, and lower legs. Great thing about using that head over and over is that they keep painting the eyes differently (just by default, since a factory can rarely do the same paint job twice). So when you look at Kamakura and Storm Shadow, they look like different people just from the emotion in the eyes (assuming you didn't get some of those funky eye paint jobs. I don't know if there's a problem since this is the only Kamakura I've seen).
Next, here's Kamakura through the ages:
As I said, I really feel that this is the "graduated" Kamakura. Just looks right, when you compare him to his previous dojo looks. The first one was a personal favorite (even if he didn't have a neck) but this new one, even for just a frankensteined figure, has worked it's way high on my list in a short amount of time. Granted, I made a few changes, but we'll get to that...
In terms of handling his accessories: you can (once again) throw the launcher somewhere, since there's no way it could ever look useful:
It sucks, 'cause I really do like the design. There's just no way it can be used for a Joe sized figure! (Well, maybe the accelerator suits, but it'll need some modification...) The rest of the accessories stay in his hands well, since they gave him the new Storm Shadow arms:
Of course, when you put those swords in the sheaths, the blades bend. A great way around that is the use a hobby knife and lightly shave the inside of the top and bottom clips that hold in the swords. Once you widen the space, the swords slide in and out perfectly, without bending them.
The swords themselves have very thick handles, but he holds them well. The uzi is kind of an awkward design, though. It's so small that the trigger guard takes up most of the gun's handle.
Oh yeah, and regarding the accessories, I made an attempt to use the roped kamas. I always wondered how a kid was supposed to effectively play with those things. I guess either hold them both, or just hold one and whip it around?
Enough! While I believe that this figure rocks and, should you find it, I think you'll agree; it still kinda irks me that they went the ninja route so heavily. Granted, his older figures were totally ninja! Heck, he got a bit of leeway in Sigma 6, but then the second figure went right back to NINJA again (not that I'm complaining. I mean, you can't get more badass than weapons that are on fire...save for maybe the flaming chainsaw that came with Firefly.) Now, though, with the body armor: I feel it's time for Kamakura to not only graduate ninja school, but also take some of Snake Eye's military roots to heart.
All I did was give him some different stuff and lose the sash for the standard 25th web gear. Makes a BIG difference! He was cool already, but this is how my Kamakura is staying!
My own personal feelings aside, this is a great figure! As I had said, it's frankensteining at its best. It's a simple reuse of parts, but well thought out and thankfully well chosen (since sometimes they like to reuse the worst parts over and over *cough*dukearms*cough*) . Though I like my modifications, this guy is fantastic as he comes and a great way to finally let him grow a little, in terms of character. The figure really looks like Kamakura "Now", rather than Kamakura "Back Again, Because We Like Having a Student for Snake Eyes". If you can find the little bugger, I highly suggest getting him!
AWWW, it's my first review in my toy room back at my old apartment! I miss the lighting in there - it was perfect! I still haven't been able to match the lighting that I used to have in that room. Look at how crisp these photos are, even on an older camera! *Sigh* I miss you, apartment toy room.
Anyway, Kamakura is still a favorite, and he's still set up like I have him at the end of this review. The changes I made ramped this guy up to a ten, and he has stayed there.
...mostly because they've gone back to ignoring Kamakura. Or have they? I mean, we haven't really gotten a full toyline again, save for the random stuff at TRU. Maybe they'll give the poor guy some love before that line dies off.
Doesn't matter! If this isn't too expensive on the aftermarket, I'd get him. If he doesn't do it for ya, there's always the last movie's version which is right back to full-ninja mode. Either one'll scratch the Kamakura itch (though, if that's a problem, I'd get a doctor to check that out first).