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.
Destined to be in two-packs together until the end of time:
Alexx's list of awesome things:
- Glow-In-The-Dark things
The list is larger, of course, but that's the top stuff. Hopefully that'll show you why I keep buying these two. Regardless of being more repainted SS and SEs, this pack is unique in it's color schemes and sheer amount of melee weapons. Am I expecting people to be wowed by this? Naw, of course not! Nonetheless, when the inspiration to take some pics hits you, well....you go take some pics. I'll point out what I love about this without my usual "go buy this now" theme. I know what this is, and yet, they still managed to pull off more SS and SE repaints in such a cool way. So, without further ado, here's everyone's favorite sword swingers doing what they do best: ninja battling.
Wal-Mart exclusives are really knocking 'em outta the part in terms of presentation! The background on this one sets up perfectly with the set to make a complete battle ground.
I honestly wasn't expecting to use the background on this one like the other exclusives so far, but it works great! Otherwise, you may remember this setup from the previous Ninja Battles during Valor vs Venom. If not, refresh your memory here, with the good General. As you can see, you get the same setup with the halberds in some slightly different colors. The original set came with five figures, that setup, and a DVD for only fifteen bucks....but I guess that's just a sign of the times! Given today's prices, this is a pretty good set for twenty bucks. Let me start with all the cool stuff you get:
First off, you get a full set of accessories for both figures from their original single pack releases:
Storm Shadow's gear
Snake Eyes' gear.
Then they add in some cool extras from Hard Master's gear in the comic pack not long ago:
Regarding those: I found out that the candle and incense holder can be removed.
Also, the training gear is a slightly darker color:
Next, you get Storm Shadow's VvV gear sans his backpack (which is kinda remedied by Snake Eyes's backpack; you'll see).
Finally, you get those awesome halberds from the original set:
That's a lot of stuff! Right off the bat you've got yourself a bevy of ninja gear for any ninjas that you've got lying around. Seriously though (and I was surprised as well): the figures are very, very cool. Storm Shadow has the most detail he's had since VvV, and Snake Eyes is actually an interesting scheme that, honestly, could have been a tiny bit better, but is still pretty cool. Let's start with him:
They went with a grey color scheme which, surprisingly, works MUCH better (in my eyes) for this mold than the straight black did. I went with the Paris Pursuit version and then made some customs and left it at that. I even pulled apart the first version and used him elsewhere 'cause I didn't like the visible mouth (and the straight black was just one of many SEs that looked like that). This one, however, actually stands out. The light blue visor helps a lot in this respect, and the brown pants didn't make him seem like a desert version like I thought it would; he really looks like he's out for training! So, basically, I'm impressed because he ended up being cooler than I thought (I still think they could have taken this chance to add some purple and pay homage to his Spytroops version).
I didn't like Kamakura's complete ninja focus (though he's an awesome figure) and I thankfully found that his sash fits perfectly on this SE and looks great! It really completes the "training" look.
Personally, I'm gona be keeping him like that and giving Kamakura a commando harness.
Alright, on to Storm Shadow! They've managed to get some good life outa this mold so far, in the form of the Target exclusive (with the cycle) and the Arctic version. This time, the full trenchcoat makes a return for the first time since the first version! Personally, I love that look, even if you have to cut the coat to get it to move right. Thankfully, with this SS, they took a really interesting route with design!
Isn't that awesome? The little designs are really cool, but the dragon brings it home! MUCH better than the sorta VvV homage we got in the Cobra Legions set awhile back. This one actually has a dragon painted on, as opposed to a blot that sorta looks like one. On top of that, you can sorta recreate the VvV version using SE's backpack!
I didn't actually think of this myself; the directions tell ya to do it. It was a smart move! Beyond that, it's just Storm Shadow again, but with AWESOME colors, and sorta business-looking. The gray pants with the black shoes make it look like he's going to a Cobra meeting. Otherwise, as I stated in my review of the first version: if you cut the coat, you get the leg articulation back, so no worries there.
The final thing to point out, of course, is the breakaway wooden pillars that hold up the archway. In package, they come held together by twisty wires, so I kept them in there for extra support (since they are just supposed to blast apart when you smash someone into it).
So that's about it! Here's some final fight pics; because I care:
You've probably already decided on whether or not to buy, but I'll lay it out for you. If you are:
- A ninja fan
- A melee fan
- One of those people who can't get enough SE and SS
- Looking for a good ninja background with some decent extras
Then I'd say this is for you. 20 bucks isn't a steal, but with this market it certainly isn't bad, and you could do worse *cough*molepod*cough*. Even for you folks who are sick to death of these two...they are pretty slick looking. I'd also recommend this for people who skipped the v1 movie SE, 'cause the mold is solid and has THE best range of motion for the arms of any G.I. Joe to date, so this would be a great way to get that mold without having yet another all-black SE. And Storm Shadow...man, you just can't go wrong with that look. It's awesome.
So there you go! Decide for yourself. They have been putting together some great exclusives recently, and while this isn't as cool as the rereleased mini-playsets, it certainly is the coolest you could get when regarding the spam SE and SS figures. And heck; that's a lot of great weapons! So, in the end, if you're a fan, get 'em. If you don't have these molds at all, then I'd grab this for sure.
Geeze, these two just need to make out already! They've been at each other's throats for years, there's clearly some unresolved sexual tension that any fan fiction writer can see.
BUT YEAH, what is there to say about this set that Past Alexx didn't say? It was a good deal for the time, you get some nice figures and you get a ton of weapons. Nothing worth hunting down nowadays. Well, except maybe that Storm Shadow. I mean that is a real slick Storm Shadow! Plus, it was probably the last time you'll ever see them homage Valor vs Venom or anything from the early to mid 2000's. All the cool new ideas from that time are pretty much dead.
They are MORE SS and SE figures, though. I could be mistaken, but that might have given us the highest number - the Rise of Cobra time to the Pursuit of Cobra. So many Snakes! So many Shadows!
...all....*sigh* nearly all of them actually kinda cool. I'm sorry. I've got a weakness for these two. Perhaps I am the one who should make out with them? I'll have to see if they're up for it. You never know.