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.
You're never safe!
Alright, it's time for the Jungle Viper! OH MAN I have been waiting for this. It was love at first sight when they showed it for the previously canned version of PoC (before they took out all the movie related stuff) and now it's finally here! Sure I got some gripes, but it was too be expected. I'm not gona get my hopes up THAT much and expect everything to be roses and corduroy (...wait, what?).
Anyway, let’s get on with this! I'll start with the stuffs:
Technically, he comes with a ton of stuff. I say "technically" 'cause it's mostly his ghillie suit! It's pretty simple to put together, but you could pull it apart whenever you want and put the pieces on different places, if you like. You can see that his weapon layout is one huge honkin' rifle, and two little pistols. From a few different posts here and at Joesightings, I found out that this rifle is a Lahti L-39, which is an awesome name, and a WWII relic. The wiki says it was used for anti-tank business (duh) and then regulated to anti-air as well (when tank armor became tougher). Does it matter that it's an ancient gun? NOPE. It looks awesome, and that's all that counts for me! If someone hadn't pointed it out, I would have thought it was just made for the figure in particular.
As you can see in the pic above: the barrel separates from the gun, and has a big 'ol peg on the side. I haven't been able to figure out what that's for. It's not a second handle, 'cause he can't reach it, and although it fits in the backpack hole, the ghillie suit takes up that space most of the time and makes that useless. Obviously this is either lost on me, or it's a leftover feature from something that's been taken out (or changed). The gun also has some skis for a bipod, so it can go skiing if need be.
But hey, isn't there a figure here?
There most certainly is a figure here, and it is badass. One small gripe I've got is with the harness - it only wraps around his waist. That means the whole back part just sit up there on its own, and the belt keeps riding up. As I said, though, it's a small gripe. The figure's articulation works perfectly, and the harness doesn't get in the way. Speaking of articulation: NEW WRISTS. The right wrist moves up and down, and the left one moves side to side! Very awesome, and quite useful for all manners of weapon holding.
On to the suit!
The Jungle Viper continues to look friggin' awesome. The "wings" are on ball joints and can be positioned in many ways to provide excellent cover for this bad mutha. My favorite feature, of course, is his crazy-freaky stalker visor with the super long scopes. This (as well as the whole dang figure) is a homage to the most awesome Night Viper of yore. Both sport ridiculously long eye scopes, but the Jungle Viper ramps it up a notch with MORE scopes. It's got a great look to it, and it provides endless "OMG" moments, like staring at a suspicious bush and - OH GEEZE - noticing a strange assortment of close-together red eyes looking at you! Either you crap your pants, or play it cool like that hunter in Jurassic Park: "Clever girl..." then your face gets mauled.
Gripe time, number two: The backpack falls off with little to no prompting. I'll go as far as to say that the backpack may not stay on AT ALL. It was frustrating as heck to pose this guy when the backpack just falls off with no intention of staying on. H-O-W-E-V-E-R...I stuck a rubber band in the back hole and put the peg in on top of it and fixed the problem! Should I have had to do that? No, of course not. I rarely have had problems with backpacks staying on, and it is mildly infuriating that the most awesome guy ever, made so in part by his awesome backpack, has a pack that barely stays on. But great googly moogly - I can't help but get slapped and come back for more! With that simple fix I was having a freakin' BLAST. The backpack didn't fall off again, and I could pose to my heart’s content (to the point where I had to pick only a few out of a ton of pics).
I will say, of course, that a thing like this should really knock this guy down farther. I mean, this is his feature, pretty much. This is his feature, and it falls off. Ya know what, though? I'm not stupid. It's a simple fix, and I may have even gotten a dud; who knows? I just can't bring myself to fault this slick S.O.B. even when it's something major like this.
So let's move on. You've probably already noticed another thing that I was thinking was going to be a gripe:
The man has no pupils. In fact, the sucker has no face, according to my camera. I tried my usual close up shot and the camera would not focus.
Look at that soulless horror! I took a bunch of those before I backed up and settled for a farther shot. Are missing pupils that bad for a camera?
Anyway, like I was saying: this was gona be a gripe but, once I got 'em in hand, I realized that I like it! Quite a bit! I mean, this guy is a favorite because of how freaky he looks, and somehow the lack of pupils just adds more FREAK to this guy. I love it!
So I dunno if that's a mistake at the factory or not...but I don't care.
Alright! So we spoke about the suit, the eyes, the awesome rifle...how about the side arms?
Our man is armed with one on his right ankle and one at his left hip. Cool! I sorta expected him to just come with the rifle originally, so this is kinda a surprise and a cool way to get him out of close situations. That, and the pistols fit very well in those holsters! Good stuff here. You can leave 'em in there and don't have to worry about them falling out and getting lost.
So those are the features. As it is stated in his very name: this guy is built for the jungles. The ghillie suit is proof of that, since it looks so much like jungle leaves. Come on though...are you gona regulate this total badass to just the jungle? No. No way.
First off: Night Viper. Totally.
No reason not to be! Remove the ghillie suit and it's a freakin' update to the Night Viper! That alone makes this guy worthy of way too many buys. Buy 'em as Jungle Vipers, buy 'em as Night Vipers. However, I honestly didn't even think of the jungle when I first saw the ghillie suit. The card says the "blades" are opti-camo (active camo, basically) so they'll look however the Viper wants 'em to look! Obviously, It'll look just as good in city situations at night.
With or without, though: you've got yourself a multipurpose sniper and multi environment night soldier.
On top of that, if you use your imagination: that ghillie suit just takes so many forms. For one, it's active camo (though it says that on the card). For two, it could be bulletproof against small arms fire, so it's a nice shield. No sword wielding ninjas are going to be taking this guys out easily. For three? GLIDER. Yeah, farfetched, I know.
...but I love it. Jungle or city - I can see this guy gliding down to lower areas using the suit. He won't be flying, of course, but it's perfect for gliding.
What else can I say here? I told you the drawbacks; you can make the decision yourself on whether or not those faults are a killer. The backpack can be fixed easily in multiple ways, and when you do that...aw man, is it awesome. There isn't much else to say beyond that. He looks awesome, he plays awesome, he holds all sorts of weapons (including rifles, which is a rare thing for joes). Buy them in bulk; seriously. Cobra doesn't have many snipers, and they certainly don't have many demonic blade-armored vulture-looking horror shows like this. The Jungle Viper promised a lot when I first saw 'em, and he hasn't disappointed me.
I do believe we are done here.
*Slow clap* You own one of these, right? I mean, if you are a Joe fan. You just have to own one. I don't even know what someone who doesn't like this figure would look like. Is it an angry person? And angry person who hates fun?
Seriously though, like the review states: There are faults. The backpack thing, for instance. It's an easy fix, but come on! There are no backpacks that fall off the figures - through the whole PoC series. Even in the 25th and 30th. But this one does. The ONE backpack that is integral to the whole look!
Just like Past Alexx said, though: Who cares? Fix it! It's easy! Once you fix it the figure is awesome. He's still awesome. I set up two of them in my tree every Christmas since I got them. They exemplify the "effort" thing I was talking about at the end of the Desert Storm Shadow review. New, innovative ideas that look striking and push G.I. Joe into current or "one step into the future" kind of warfare. Granted, when I speak about "effort" I kind of mean rebuilding G.I. Joe from the ground up, figure wise, but these at least displayed maximum effort for that particular style of Joe.
If these some how got by you...pick one up. Even if you're not a Joe fan; just get one to sit up high on a shelf. He'll make you smile every time you look at him. That's the effect of effort.