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.
Wow, I didn't expect this one to show up again! This rocket pack has the distinction of being the first vehicle I ever had (along with the round boat thing it came with as a mail-away). I eagerly awaited that jet pack, however, because it was pictured with Battle Armor Cobra Commander piloting it (in the directions). My little mind thought I had been provided with a vehicle that was missing a figure (one that I wanted badly).
Anyway, getting past my old jumping to conclusions: They faithfully reproduced the pack with a tiny bit of updated paint. Otherwise, they still picked red as the primary color...the result is pretty much the same thing, but with a slight difference in color!
They colored in the little mechanics on the top for some added detail, but that's it for the added paint. The rest is new style stickers set up in similar places when compared to the old sticker placement (which I may have put on wrong back in the day; who knows?)
And that's a comparison shot from the side; they are not mating. I repeat: They are NOT mating.
The only other difference is a small one with the missiles:
Yes, completely arbitrary, but I wanted you to know that I noticed it.
As usual, the peg has been changed to the new style to support the current peghole; it's a bit snug and I was afraid it would keep making the figure fall off. However, if you make sure to really press 'em in there, you shouldn't have any problems. Speaking of him; this one comes with another Strato Viper with "Strato" replaced with "Air." This is nearly the same guy you get with the Night Raven:
I say "nearly" because his neck ball is the same one that all the figures using the Ace mold have, while the Night Raven version has a larger ball for greater range of movement.
Yes! You can always count on your friendly neighborhood Alexx to point out completely uninteresting and useless little tidbits about the figures! Anyway, back to the Air-Viper:
I really like the design, though, I've liked the Strato Viper design since I saw it on Yojoe.com, but I never had an original. I was looking forward to the one with the flight pack and FLAK, but I never jumped on the limited net releases. This is the next best thing, however! I like the neck on the Night Raven version better, but this one mostly needs to look up while riding the rocket pack...and he does look up...so there's nothing to complain about! Oh, and speaking of the FLAK: I'm assuming that vehicle two pack was all one mold-order, so they could choose other things from the mold to put with the Strato mold...so we got Outback's gun! If that makes sense.
A neat gun, though kinda chunky for something to sling over your shoulder while riding a rocket pack. I wish the original design had some sorta space to put a weapon, but this works well enough.
So, I'm sure this is on the lower end for some of you (though not as low as the Storm Shadow with motorcycle, I'm sure) but I'd really take a good look at this one in the store, if you find it. I think the pack stands up just as well today as it did when I was little. It's big, unlike most jet packs in the Joe line, and actually looks like it could fly for long distances! Still looks dangerous as heck, but much more formidable than other packs! I mean, that's four barrels on your back, there. That means business!
This one is nostalgic for me, so it was a no-brainer. I still want you folks to consider it for purchase though, because it's a cool, bulky rocket pack. Other smaller packs seem more like reconnaissance, while this pack brings some firepower to the sky in a small package, and comes off as much more dangerous than something like that really should be!
Plus: It's safe!
I still love this clunky thing. I'm glad they brought it back with the new backpack peg, 'cause it's ready for a whole new generation of figures! I can't really say if this is worth hunting down. It's not amazing. You won't find many jetpacks like it, but neither does it just blow you away with cool features. It's not really supposed to, though - that was the way it was, with these old vehicles! They were just vehicles for the sake of being vehicles.
So yeah, it doesn't do much, but it's big and cool and I like it. It reminds me of everything I love about Cobra: Horribly impractical vehicles, dangerous equipment strapped to your back, and a complete and utter lack of care for your employees. There's a reason we still don't have readily available and weaponized jetpacks, and you're looking at it! Nothin' not to love.