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.
Another home run!
Duke is back! Not back as in "Oh man, there's Duke! Haven't seen him in awhile." More like back as in "Hey the Duke, Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow figures are in. Wait-a-minute, how can there be dust on them already?"
Jokes aside: I keep buying into SS and SE, but Duke hasn't impressed me that much over the years. I liked this one from '92 quite a bit back in the day, and the battle corps one looked kinda cool (though his existence totally skipped by me until recently) but mostly the figures have been...well...Duke. SE and SS - even if we get them often - at least manage some interesting costume changes over the years. Duke is a soldier most of the time. Just a soldier dude. I liked the 92 one 'cause he had some color and seemed to stand out, but the rest just seemed so boring. The JvC figure hit the peak of boring, and he only started to get interesting (a little) with the Spytroops figure. Problem there was his big cartoony square head (Eventually swapped it out with Blowtorch's head and had something respectable for awhile). The big dumb head carried over into VvV, but at least (after the action attack) the last one looked kinda cool.
Then we moved on to the 25th anniversary, where Duke suddenly came out in droves, and sported only one look, based on his sorta-ready-for-battle-or-maybe-a-brewski-and-a-ballgame original design. And his terrible arms. Needless to say: Duke has failed to impress me time and again.
That has changed considerably with this figure. Though the parts are extremely useful, I still have no problem actually using this guy as Duke. A Duke who is ready to kick some butt, for once!
Let's start with something I noticed about the card, for the first time: they are cautiously walking through the jungle, but I just realized they're about to get attacked! They've got a Jungle Viper hiding in plain sight there! A testament to the design of the techno guillie suit.
Moving on to the figure:
Without mentioning the awesome accessories, I am amazed to say that this figure is spectacular. Look at the face, for one! Determined, stern, and watchful. There are so many faces that I can make fun of over the years because they just have this "duh" quality to them. Neutral, but in a way that makes it seem like they had a stroke. This one has some freakin' FEELING. It looks awesome, and I'm just amazed that they actually managed it with Duke, no less. The scar even looks realistic for once (which seems to be carried over from the movie figures...?)
The rest of the figure just doesn't stop: there's the RoC body armor (which I love), the dirty streaks on it, and the dirt and camo on the arms. Then you cover all that with the web gear! There's clips, pockets, the sheath for the machete...MAN it looks awesome! It's one of those rare figures that looks cool just standing there. Thankfully he looks even better when posed - and BOY can he hold a great pose - but I wana hit those accessories first:
As stated on the filecard, Duke is ready for the jungle. Thankfully, he went into the jungle carrying weapons and gear (I was afraid I'd have to call his mom and have her drop that stuff off again)! The filecard is useless once again, but at least we know that his backpack has a needlessly long name to indicate that it HOLDS THINGS. Cool thing about it, is that it really does hold things! I'll get to that, though. Here's the gear, first:
I've mentioned before that I like a lot of accessories, but there is one thing better than that: just the right accessories. Duke comes with options, but not too many, and most of them can be carried on his person. In fact, I think the only thing he can't get on there is the pistol (which is kinda lame considering all the space they had to put a holster, but I can't bring myself to care, considering how great the figure is). He's got an awesome machete, I believe an M-16 (of some sort), a machine gun, and a flashlight that fits in his backpack. Not only that, but the backpack also has a strap for either of his guns!
The stretchy strap was a really nice touch, and it goes a long way to make this figure even greater. It's not just a molded place for a certain weapon, but an all purpose strap for any weapon you want (and if Joe toys should be about anything, it should be versatility). Duke holds all of the accessories very VERY well, and that's because of some of the best hands they've sculpted yet (mixed with weapon handles that work very well with said hands).
This guy was a blast to pose. He sets himself up, just about. His weapons slip right into his hands like they actually planned it out (for once) and no matter how you pose him, he's ready to take anything that comes his way. The head sculpt just ROCKS so much that he cannot look boring. Duke has never looked this cool, in my opinion.
I'll sum it up by gushing: he looks cool, comes with great accessories, each of those accessories fit in his hands perfectly, he poses like a dream and can get into actual firing positions, and most of his stuff could be removed or swapped, so it's a perfect figure to get multiples of. I suppose if these facts somehow bore you and he actually doesn't look awesome to you, then I guess you could skip him. I dunno what else to show you if that's your stance. The facts are above in the pics. It's just an awesome figure and toy. Fun to play with, great to look at. I wouldn't skip 'em if I were you, and if you like swapping parts to make new figures, then you should have a bunch of these missing pieces all over the place (I wish I could swap his hands with half the 25th figures, honestly).
Go buy Duke.
On a final note: I know this and TRU Spirit are pretty heavy homages to Predator. I gotta say, though...I saw something else right away with this figure, and if I could paint I'd totally make customs of this:
Awwwww yeah. This and Spirit are the first Joes I've ever bought that seem perfect for Contra figures. I love it.
I'd be surprised if any of you Joe fans out there didn't have this figure. Or multiples of it. I'm not sure how I resisted buying multiples (though they reused his harness a few times, so thankfully I didn't have to). Not only is it an awesome figure to this day, but he's also a wonderful base for Contra and Solid Snake customs (and I'm sure he's already been a part of many).
If you somehow missed this guy, then go buy him now. He's still way worth it.