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.
This guy, man. This guy.
A word of warning: I love this figure. I'll let you know the downsides, like usual, but I see no flaws in this as a toy. You might not like this look for Cobra Commander, but DANG is this a cool looking toy.
*ahem* So let's review, shall we?
Cobra Commander! He's come a long way, but hasn't taken too many changes. Most of them time you're lookin' at the hooded version, or the visored version. Sometimes he takes a pit stop and changes it a bit for the battle armor or the crazy 90's one. Otherwise, he keeps coming back to his old standards.
Until the movie! Now, he's scarred, burnt, and needs a breathing unit. But hey, there's nothing telling you to use that idea, right? Of course, I'll talk about that near the end. I know a review isn't much of a place for your own personal ideas, but I'll keep it short.
Anyway, this version of Cobra Commander was supposed to be a mail away figure. Now he's been regulated to a chase figure, and I'm not sure how hard he'll be to find. I've only seen one so far, and it had to be right after they were put out on the shelves, 'cause the whole wave was right there. So, perhaps this might not be easy to find.
As a chase figure (rather than the planned mail-away), Cobra Commander seems to lose only one item: a little HISS tank drone. If memory serves, that should be all he is missing, but it's still a minor blow. That thing was cool looking, and I hope we see it somewhere down the line. Beyond that; we still get what was promised with the chase, and you can see it above: his own card! It's a Cobra card, no less! I almost wish the Cobra guys got this card and the Joes got the normal one, just for looks. It is cool, though, for MSIB collectors. For me, of course, it's just trash, but I am considering keeping the card back around.
Here's some cool items about the card:
The back has a hilarious memo from the Cobra Office of Propaganda. Apparently, this "Cobra" group wants to control all the wealth and power in the world! Fancy that! Anyway, we are very welcome to join them in their quest. Oh, and by the way, some people will not accept the whole "take over the world" thing, but it's cool, 'cause WE WILL PREVAIL! This comes directly from Cobra Commander himself in a perfect office memo style to "The Forces of Domination." Dunno who they are, but I'm sure they'll get a kick outa this. Hey all you Forces of Domination! Cobra Commander has something to say!
The HISS tank is a new thing now, in terms of this story. That makes the "v5" on the HISS box even more hilarious. The rest of the card doesn't give much info beyond the fact that his mask is a solar panel that powers his "cybernetic armor" which is great! It takes away the problem of it being a brittle unit needed for breathing, and makes it some powerful cybernetic armor! Of course, I was already using the previous figure like that, so it's cool that they brought that in.
Cobra Commander is a bit sparse on the accessories, but what's there works:
A fancy stick, a pistol, and a dust buster thingy that I assume is the M.I.A.W. (Multi-Function Individual Assault Weapon). I love weapons that have multiple functions!
To the figure, now:
Here we have Cobra Commander in his natural state of lookin' cool. He's all shinny now, with a shinny mask and a shiny red torso. On the back he's got a big Cobra symbol, which might indicate that he's the head honcho if it wasn't for the awesome "CC1" on his chest. It's hilarious, but I love it! Makes me wonder if there's a CC2 walkin' around.
The torso is the same from last time, just jazzed up with chrome red. The head is all new, though! The mask does not come off, but that's okay, 'cause it looks wicked! Evil! Scary! Needless to say: I love it. I did like the previous version, but there's no doubt that this is much, much better.
As usual, I must also show you some swaps for figures that I know you may not like. If you actually don't like that awesome mask, there's the two last options. The first one is just to show you what the head looks like on the previous body:
So now, what does CC do with those accessories? Well, mostly hold them.
The staff is very cool, but I wish it didn't have the tassels on it. They're hard plastic, so having him hold it any way but straight up will look kinda silly. I miss the crazy staff that Sigma 6 CC had, 'cause it could do stuff. I may work with this a bit to make it useful in battle.
Next, there's the standard movie pistol that plugs into one of the two thigh holes. I wish he still came with his classic pistol that they remade for the previous figure, but it's not like I can't swap 'em around. This pistol works well enough, and I'm glad they chose a pegged one so that his leg holes don't go to waste.
Finally, there's the M.I.A.W., and if you aren't already thinking it:
With a name like M.I.A.W., I have to make jokes about it being a cat related weapon, so here goes: Multi-Feline Incendiary Assault Weapon. In other words, it shoots flaming cats.
Okay, jokes aside, I do like this weapon, and I love that it's got some mysterious multiple functions. As a weapons designer (seems like they really want to shove this one on CC nowadays) it makes sense for him to come with something experimental. It also works with my ideas for this figure, and like I said, I'll make it short:
He's my Overkill. Last I remember, the only thing left of him is his head, and who knows where he went after VvV and Sigma 6. I imagine he's been blown to bits, and the flesh that's left is all uglified like on the previous movie CC. I've already been using him as Overkill, but this new figure, with the CC1 on his chest, makes me think of the "imposter CC" idea that happened with the Battle Armor version. Since I like the Battle Armor one actually being CC, I am moving the "imposter" idea further in the story, and having some explosion make everyone think CC is dead (he isn't; it's more fun that way). So Overkill takes the chance to rebuild himself and come back claiming he's CC with some major mechanics all over him to keep himself alive.
I'll leave it there. As you can see with the pics above: I think the faces carry over well, and the big M.I.A.W. looks a bit like a smaller, streamlined version of Overkill's previous arm cannon.
Enough! As you can see, I’ve made this figure someone else, and for that purpose, I love 'em. That doesn't mean that I think he doesn't make a good Cobra Commander. It all depends on how you've seen him over the years. This is certainly an eviler look for the guy, and if that doesn't fly with you, then I understand. Hopefully, though, you can appreciate a good design. It's malevolent and creepy, and the colors work far better on this figure than the colors on the last.
As I said, I still like the previous figure, but this one brings it all home with that stunningly evil mask. The whole head moves better too, and can tilt down at that perfect angle for a dead, creepy blank stare. On top of that, the range of movement in the head is worlds better than the last one. Overall, I just can't think of a reason to skip this one unless you simply don't like it. Otherwise, if the design is cool to you; ignore the fact that he's Cobra Commander. This is one cool looking toy! I hope you won't let previous ideas of Cobra Commander get in the way of you and this great looking figure.
Now, forgive me as I bring back the Techno-Vipers to perform what I swear is not a reference to anything. I just...I don't know.
And there you have it. MAN he's creepy looking! I love it! Hopefully you'll find a place in your heart for this guy.
Oh yeah, I'm gona recommend this one still. I love it to this day. It's just a repaint of the RoC one with a new head, but it makes all the difference. If you get a chance at him, I'd take it. Like Past Alexx said: If it's not your kind of Cobra Commander, then it has to be your kind of something! You can't tell me that ain't an awesome design.
Plus: Awesome packaging, right? I don't usually keep things in package, but I ended up finding a second one of these back then, and he's still in the package as I type. I had bought him as custom fodder, but I couldn't bare to release him from that cool packaging.
...I might actually still take him out sometime, but we'll see.
Anyway, go get one.