Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Alexx Shorts: RoC Surveillance Port with MARS Trooper and Tele-Viper (1/1/10)

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.

Hangin' out at the Surveillance Port with Cobra and the gang.


Alright, here's the final one of the Wal-Mart exclusives: The Cobra Surveillance Port!

As you can see, the surveillance port is strictly for surveying and shooting stuff. In fact, given the walls and the guns, I'd say this is more of a defense port, but, there is a big 'ol radar up there, so it does serve the purpose. Regardless, I can't help but figure that, if they want to survey things, they might not wana write it all big on the front:

Then again, it doesn't say anything about being undercover surveillance. Just seems like extraneous information. 

On with the show! To start, as usual, here's the accessories:

Not a whole lot this time. Rifle for the Trooper and pistol and laptop for the Tele-Viper. A Cobra laptop, no less! Not sure why they skimped on the accessories this time, but it's good enough. Too bad the rifle is basically useless, but I don't mind so long as the figures are cool:

Here's our M.A.R.S. trooper, obviously styled after the Iron Grenadiers and, as a result, looks pretty cool as backup for them!

Far from being a replacement, these guys compliment the IGs pretty dang nicely, and makes for some great troops to have around the 'ol Castle Destro without wasting fully armored and battle ready IGs. 

Next, we have a finally different Tele-Viper:

I think he looks pretty cool! However, while I enjoy a Tele-Viper that looks a little different from the dorky original, I STILL miss the Spytroops awesome bodyguard version. They really need to bring that update back again, since the original head with that old headset is kinda out of place.

So, with those two decked out in IG colors, I also did a head-swap to see what it looked like:

Came out kinda cool, but it's not a permanent thing. Anyway, lets take a look at that port, shall we? First off, you get yet another background:

This one sports MORE explosions, but this time in some sorta Cobra facility, further putting the "surveillance" port in more of a defensive position. But hey, with all my lack of military knowledge, I'm sure I'm just making a joke outa something that's perfectly normal. 

On to the port:

So there's your basic surveillance port, complete with surveillance equipment, and GUNS!

The guns are perfectly set up to be fired by the vintage shorties, so these new guys have to duck a bit to man them, but not too much:

My favorite part is always the random computer screen stickers that we get. They look great, and I have no idea what they do!

In the end, in terms of action, there isn't a whole lot to do with this one other than set up figures in and around it. Is it the same for all these sets? Almost. However, with the Outpost you get a ton of awesome accessories and the best Roadblock around, and with the LAW you get a cool laser setup that looks great on the Pit or anywhere. The Heetseek missile system is more of a giant accessory, so that one is different, but the rest have something to make it one whole set. This one is just as awesome as the LAW, but it loses a bit 'cause I'm in love with big 'ol gun stations. Once again, this one is awesome, but the accessories don't add anything, and though the figures are ones that I don't have, many of you probably already have the MARS Trooper in some way. So I guess I'm sorta torn; I like having it for what it is, but I wish they had done at least one other thing to make this one flat out awesome, like the others.

Then again, that's all subjective! Many of these weren't amazing to some, so I guess, in my own words, I'd say this one is cool based on the fact that it's a little playset, but it doesn't get much help from the figures packaged with it.

Regardless, here's some final pics to help it along:

Final verdict: It's cool, but since I don't have any large Cobra bases it leaves me wishing I had something to put it by. It's supposed to survey, but it seems kinda awkward surveying out in the open. The LAW I can put on any 'ol piece of furniture and I think "Awesome, it's protecting something!" I put the surveillance port up and I think "What are you guys trying to do? Who are you surveying, and why are you so obvious about it?" It's a really dumb reason to not like this as much as the others, but I can't deny that I didn't get as many ideas for this as I did with the others. I'll leave you with that.


Wow, Past Alexx, you kinda shoved this off to the side, eh?  I dunno, I LOVE this thing!  Maybe it  was just because I was comparing them all, and the Outpost was a more complete package.  This does have fewer weapons, I guess.  I dunno; I think this one stands out more than Past Alexx thought. 

Also, Past Alexx: surveillance doesn't HAVE to be in secret.  You can just put out a surveillance port to keep watch on the perimeters.  I think Past Alexx was thinking of two cops on a stakeout, like they're watching for something and don't want anyone to know about it.  This thing isn't for stakeouts.  But it does make for a good joke about using it for stakeouts. 

Anyway, this thing is still really cool.  I'd get it, if it isn't running high on ebay (and apparently some of these are, so maybe these aren't good for the old "eventually" list and better for the "hopefully a friend is getting rid of this" list).  If you ever get ahold of a ton of these, you can stick them all over the house and make people think the toys are keeping tabs on you with old 80's electronics. 


  1. That's actually all sound software on the computer screens. The armored panels and machine guns are there to ward off those who would steal Cobra's cutting-edge dance floor tech!

    Also whoever designed the hands for the 25th Viper Mold needs to be sternly questioned.

    1. Ah man I wish I would have known that! So many dance jokes! I'll bet the Techno-Vipers set that up.

      And OH GOD, yeah, those freakin' 25th Viper hands. There were some MAJORLY confusing things in the 25th line: Major Bludd's non-articulated arm being one big one, and another being THOSE AWFUL HANDS. And that was after already molding so many hands before that! Suddenly someone had the bright idea to say:

      "Hey, they're grunts, they're just gona be holding a gun, right? Let's mold the hands to specifically hold the gun one way and NOTHING ELSE, and then when the hands make it to the molding process, let's make sure we don't even check the final product to see if they can even hold the gun the way we specifically sculpted them to."

      Sternly questioned is exactly right. I gotta know, man. I just gotta know. Who thought this up, who okayed it, and who didn't check to see if the idea even worked in the end?

      *sigh* But hey, sometimes you gotta try new things, I guess. Just maybe check to see if it makes any sense first.

  2. This one I completely whiffed on back in the day because I don't remember seeing them in Canada (that, or my cheap-assed self recoiled in horror at the massive markup Zellers' slapped on Joe stuff). Too bad, too, because I still don't have a "regular" Tele-Viper (I have like four of the winter versions pictured above, tho.)

    One thing confuses me to this day: the MARS trooper has grenades on his webgear. The Televiper has the same webgear... but no grenades. Tha heck?

    1. I've got a regular Tele-Viper, but I still find myself bored by the classic ones! I'm still missing the awesome boduguard versions from Spytroops.

      And Tele-Vipers have a pretty confused look on thier faces, so maybe Cobra was worried they'd mistake the grenades for phones?

  3. Makes me wish for the Concept Case Tele-Viper(me banana).

    I had the original Surveillance port as a kid, so even though it gave me a slight case of fond memories... I didn't really have a desire to track this new one down.

    1. The one in the case was certainly an improvement, but I still would have liked a new-sculpt head. Ya know, wearing a helmet with current tech or something. I just want the Tele-Vipers updated!