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.
Still one of my favorites:
Beachhead is back, folks! This time around he's sporting a much more realistic look. On top of that, he's an urban specialist now! I don't recall that on any of the other filecards, but it seems that whatever mission they thrust on a character, that mission's environment is now their specialty. Doesn't matter much, 'cause Beachhead is certainly prepared for it!
First off, I'll admit I didn't have much interest in Beachhead when I came to figures. I like his original, but I never had it. My first Beachhead figures were in the JvC line, and those were...okay. The next one was VvV, and for some reason he looked like he had a girl's head under the mask. The first interesting ones came with the 25th line, but his first figure was majorly restricted by the vest he wore (MAN those were some big pockets!) His only saving grace finally came with a comic pack version that pulled directly from his original figure. Still, I like him character-wise, and the filecards over the years have fleshed him out as a hardheaded guy who likes to wait for his prey so he's got the perfect time to pounce. The VvV card even extended the usual stuff and added that he was "gregarious and sociable", which I thought was a cool thing to add. Sadly, the new card adds nothing, true to today's fashion of not really saying anything about the dang character. The only thing you know about him, for a kid who is new to the toyline, is that Beachhead is yet another member of G.I. Joe who's an urban specialist. Oh, and his accessories will come in handy for whatever the mission is. Thanks.
Let’s get to that figure, though, starting with accessories:
For some reason, he comes with a full set of weapons that came with Paris Pursuit Baroness. Dunno why, but they're all very cool weapons, so who's complaining?
Then there's his personal gear. New gun, knife, gasmask, and flippers (pistol is standard carried over from RoC). All great stuff and, right off the bat, you've got an arsenal at your disposal. You buy a couple Beachheads and you've got a brute squad of masked "Evil Empire" soldiers!
Now, Beachhead himself without the web gear:
The base figure is very cool! I love the look of that armor he's got going. I really hope we see this mold again without any gear, 'cause it looks fantastic. I wouldn't mind using the figure like that, 'cause the gear, as usual, gets in the way a little.
As you can see, the vest is just PACKED with stuff. There's a total of six clips hanging offa him in various places, two canister grenades of some sort (possibly gas) and so many pockets that a "you dropped your pocket" joke might actually work on him. All that and more details:
A pair of binoculars that are not removable; you could pull 'em off, but I wouldn't know how to get 'em back on again (though I'm still considering it).
Two peg holes in the back to put the flippers.
And then down bellow, we have a...thing. I dunno what. Someone suggested that it could be a little computer to override computerized locks 'n such (like John Conner on T2) but I dunno why the cord would be plugged into his ankle as a default. It's something, but someone is gona have to enlighten us. Either way, it's cool!
Back to the vest, though, for an important note: you'll notice he's got a knife sheath on his shoulder, and, he's also got one on his back.
You'll also notice in the accessories that he's only got one knife! I have to assume this was a mistake, though, it's universal, 'cause there have already been a few cases of this. I'm not terribly upset, because if you keep the knife in the shoulder sheath, then it just gets in the way.
I do like the knife sheath in the realistic place like that. It's cool, and it looks ready to go...but it's just not fun in terms of toys. I prefer to keep it in the back sheath, and I am considering just removing the shoulder one (even though it doesn't get in the way without the knife there).
Now, the vest doesn't restrict his arms too much (though there's a noticeable difference when it's off). The real problem comes in with his hands:
He's got a monkey paw thing happening, and you have to clip his weapons into his hands, rather than sliding them in so they're secure. He'll be dropping his weapons all the time while you're handling him. Heating them up and closing them doesn't even help, because it's not really a C-grip. Overall it's not terrible, but given so many of the other figures recently, it's annoying to see this overlooked.
Lets move on to good stuff, though. For one: LOOK at that gasmask!
If I were a little kid, that gasmask would be the item that would make me want this figure. I was always about the accessories, and this one rocks! Look how horrifying that is! Can you imagine that slowly rising out of the water? Of course, I dunno if it can submerge, but he [i]does[/i] have flippers, and my imagination immediately kicks in and uses that mask as a breathing unit not only for gas situations, but also for under water (of course, since he's in an urban situation, you can imagine that he's probably in the sewer...)
Speaking of the flippers:
This raises the same conundrum that the Para-Viper had: are you just supposed to imagine that he switches to scuba gear, or is his suit really ready to be submerged at a moment’s notice? I mean, if it couldn't, then why carry flippers around with you where ever you go?
Still, even with that question, I can't help but be drawn to how cool that is. I mean, you usually have under water guys, or land guys. Beachhead and the Para-Viper are prepared for both! And, of course, the overall look of Beachhead is just amazing.
I will admit that I wasn't all that fond of him when I first got him. His weapons fell out of his hands, the knife got in the way, and it felt like the vest was too restricting. However, after only a few days, he's grown on me considerably. I've figured out how to get him to hold his weapons well enough (though I doubt he'll be all that fun for real play) and the vest isn't as bad as I had thought. Also, using the back knife sheath solves any problems up front. After that and taking some action shots, I've really come to love the figure!
I gotta wonder, though: If you're looking for a ski masked urban expert, why not choose Shockwave? I don't know what Rangers do, really, so perhaps Beachhead is good for the urban situation, but if you added a hat and a slightly different color scheme, this could have easily been Shockwave. I mean, he's not even all that green to begin with; looking at the card art, he almost looks a little blue. Don't get me wrong, I have NO problem seeing this as Beachhead, in fact, I'm happy to have a Beachhead that is really amazing rather than just "okay." Nonetheless, this would have just as easily been an amazing Shockwave, and who would have expected that? Beachhead, sure, he's come back at least once throughout each line. But Shockwave? I think this would have been a cool opportunity to give that guy some much needed love.
So, here are some final action shots and a final verdict:
I am amazed by the figure, but I'm not blown away by him. He looks fantastic and comes with a great bunch of stuff, but he's just not that fun to play with, ya know? He's gona be fantastic for dios and pics, but I always praise a toy even higher for also being a great toy. Toys are originally meant to be played with, and Beachhead is not going to be ground pounding with the rest of 'em without dropping everything on him.
Is that gona stop you, though? No, of course not. Look at that figure! Even with my comments, that's not gona stop you, and I wana tell ya that those are just warnings. This is a great figure, and there's really no reason to miss it. On top of that, if you're happy with other Beachheads that you have, this is also a great army builder for an urban trooper. Any ski masked character is, really, and the gasmask only helps that cause. There are many reasons to get this figure, and I highly doubt that there are many of you that would let my little qualms get in the way.
Go buy Beachhead!
Wow, I don't remember much of this! I had this guy firmly held in my mind as awesome, but I can see what Past Alexx is saying.
THOSE HANDS, THOUGH! I mentioned - at length - in the Marauder review, that I freakin' HATE those hands. They popped up from time to time back then, only to be replaced by the hand in question in the Marauder review - the one with the bump in the palm of the hand that doesn't allow for good accessory gripping. These monkey-paw ones weren't as bad, but it doesn't change the fact that Beachhead (and anyone using these hands) doesn't actually grip weapons; you just press them into his hand and it's held by friction. It's super annoying when you move him around and constantly reposition the weapon in his hand.
I still gotta pull the same line from Past Alexx though: He's not a terrible figure, and the hands aren't as bad as some others. If you want 'em, go ahead, but in the time we live in (meaning: In the time of Marauder figures) there's no reason to put up with hands that can't hold things. You can make nearly the same Beachhead out of Marauder parts, sans a couple accessories. There's a lot of absolute winners in PoC though, so keep your eyes peeled for those rather than the basic Beachhead.