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.
I fought the L.A.W. and the L.A.W. is a goddamned laser, RUN!!
Alright, back in action! Feels like I haven't done one of these in a bit (what with Christmas and all) so I guess I better get back to it. Here's the next Wal-Mart exclusive, the L.A.W., or Laser Artillery Weapon, along with it's operator Grand Slam and the targeter General Hawk (with his trusty binoculars).
Once again, we get a cool pic on the side of the package, showing you how to work the laser: Hawk points, Grand Slam shoots. Simple! Along with those directions, we get yet another really cool background in the package:
This time around it's a beach with some waves crashing on the rocks and, of course, some explosions in the trees behind them.
Lets get to those figures! Here's what they come with:
Grand Slam gets his standard old timey laser with his protective visored helmet, and Hawk comes with the same stuff his single pack comes with sans the case and jetpack, and plus a pair of binoculars that we saw with Duke in his comic pack with Red Star (or John Wayne, since they didn't even try to make him look like Red Star). Cool stuff, and you'll notice that Grand Slam's pack has some paint applications now! The backpack has some silver, and the power cable (still just plastic) is painted black.
So, starting with Quaid, er, Hawk:
Same 'ol! Not a bad thing in the slightest, though. In fact, I'd say it's an improvement! If the single pack didn't come with that awesome jetpack I'd almost suggest skipping it and making this your main. However, since the Hawk body is very plain and, as such, very useful, I'd just make this one your General Hawk and use the single pack body for something else. The green here just looks great!
Grand Slam, though, is where things get a tiny bit annoying.
See a problem? Well take a look at the other Grand Slam and Flash thrown in:
When you're using the same head to protray two people, there is one thing that is gona tell them apart: The hair color. This is not Grand Slam, it's Flash! It's the exact same hair color as Flash! I'd say there was a big mistake here, since the filecard is the same one that came with the blue armored Grand Slam on the left (who actually got to have a different head, even if it's Ace's).
Regardless, I gotta say, this is a good looking figure! I didn't think I would like it, but the increased silver applications are lookin' slick! Since Grand Slam originally wore the red first and then the silver, I don't see why Flash can't do the same. So why not just call this Flash in silver, or swap the head out? I don't see a reason to throw a nice looking figure into the fodder bin, however, since you may have a good selection of this mold already, I can see how this may end up just being another laser technician in the background of your setups.
Time for the main event! The L.A.W., because lasers were the height of military science back in the 80's!
True to form, the Wal-Mart remakes add a bit more detail than the original. Just some silver here and there to bring out the individual stuff they molded on there. Looks nice! Most of all, though, I just love the heck out this thing. I used to make my own background weapons when I was little because they just didn't make this stuff in the 90's. So, obviously, I'm gona be biased toward it. I just love the idea of little playsets, even if they don't do anything but look cool. I mean, this is from the days when the box pointed out that the gun moves around, and heck, that's still enough for me! It's a big laser gun! Come on!
Best thing about it, though, is Hawk depicted on the side showing Grand Slam where to shoot. Perhaps there's some military realism here, but I don't know about it, so it just strikes me as funny.
Thanks for the binocular help, General!
Now, I saw some folks talking about this one being skippable, but I just don't see how. Perhaps Grand Slam isn't very interesting, but he's easy to make into a standard soldier, and Hawk is just very cool looking and instantly a good figure if you want to do a head swap (and he comes with a great gun!). Most of all, though, I just don't see how a big 'ol laser gun station wouldn't be appealing. You can set it anywhere and you have air defense! However, if you gotta have to work with something else, here it is in a nice little spot:
If it isn't obvious, it looks GREAT on top of the Pit! Granted, it's on top of a helipad, but what helicopter is actually small enough to fit on that? The recent Dragonfly certainly doesn't, so I'ma just put a LASER there instead. Great for protecting against invading Cobra jokes:
So, for me, this is another total winner. It may not have a great figure selection, but they are perfect for me (even if they screwed up GS a bit, which is fine since I have two of him already and only one Flash). On top of that, if I haven't said it enough: It's a big laser! That's how you spell fun!
Man I would have LOVED this kinda stuff, when I was a kid! I mean, I loved what large playsets I had (Ghostbuster house and Castle Grayskull), but the little things like this would have been so useful. My major "playsets" were the furniture - bookcases, tables, chairs, tv stand, (the tv itself), the stairs to the basement, and so on and so forth. You can't really fit a huge playset on these things, but this little gun station and the like would have been perfect! Think of a couple of these on top of the arms of the big comfy chair or the couch: BAM, instant fortress!
I still love this thing for that fact, even if I don't use it for things like that anymore (or anything at all, since all my Joe vehicles are stowed away). They had some brilliant ideas for the vintage Joe stuff, and it revolved around these little sets. They had much more than this, too! Lookout points, small boats with a crate of guns, and other things you've already seen reviewed. I love that idea, and once again (as I believe I've stated): I don't understand why this idea hasn't been done more often, especially in today's market of very few large playsets. You get a bunch of little stuff like this and you sort of build your own playset with your surroundings! Seems like it makes sense to me.
This, and the vintage one, are still cool and you should totally pick them up for all your anti-air needs around your house. You'll never have a problem with flies again (though you will have to dodge any oncoming laser fire, so.....ya know. You've been warned.