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.
Snake Eyes #52, aaaand ACTION:
Well, here's our other half to the equation: Add one or the other and you'll eventually get both. I reviewed Storm Shadow, and now it's time for Snake Eyes! There's one complaint I usually have about him (and it's not the normal complaint about there being too much of 'em): My usual complaint is that he ends up being the best figure out of a wave SO often! I'm glad to say that isn't the case this time around (I'd say Duke is the best this time, which is a real shocker, but we'll talk about that later). This is still a cool looking figure, but just not as fun as other Snake Eyes figures have been in the past.
Let’s take a look!
First off, you'll notice that this is a Desert Battle version. When I saw pictures of him, I automatically assumed this was going to be for the City Battle. I dunno what he is doing in that heavy coat out in the desert. Best I can figure is that he's only working at night (isn't it supposed to be really cold at night, in the desert?) Beyond that; the accessories are simple enough. Uzis, the RoC rifle, and his RoC sword. While the filecards have been helping to explain the weaponry (in cases like Firefly, it's cool to know what the bombs are) this one instead takes recognizable weapons and totally makes some stuff up for them. The rifle is now a railgun, and the uzis are...ah, "personal defense variant weapons" (PDV-2). Okay then. I thought that sounded pretty made-up and random, but silly me: it looks like that's a normal name. Dunno if it counts for these particular uzis (and dunno what the "variant" means), but what the heck? It's a fancy name for two normal looking guns, so it makes 'em more exciting. The final thing on the card is that his visor is "solar modulating", which I assume is just a fancy way of saying it acts like better sunglasses.
So, as usual, Snake Eyes is armed with guns, and Storm Shadow is armed with blades. On top of that, Snake Eyes is dressed for night, and Storm Shadow is dressed for day. Perhaps we won't have a ninja fight in the desert!
Now, you'll also notice that Snake Eyes once again comes with his faithful companion Timber! This time, the poor wolf is forced into a desert climate.
I also found out another feature: his head doesn't turn, but it does come off!
Okay, so that's not a feature. But it does allow for Snake Eyes’ super special secret attack.
Alright, enough! Here's Snake Eyes:
Our man is basically the Paris Pursuit version with new knees, arms, and no belt.
Add in the new coat and leg harness (with carabiners) and he's ready to go! I gotta say: I love the look. Very cool, though I still think he looks ready to storm the city blocks. He doesn't sport as many pockets as some, but it looks to have the extra clip pockets. Otherwise, it looks as though most of the details are armor plating of sorts. It is a very heavy looking jacket! That, of course, is only made heavier by some hanging PDVs:
I loved this idea when I saw it, but it doesn't work as well as I'd hoped. The guns don't hang right all the time 'cause the leg harness gets in the way. Plus, if he's running, these suckers will just be banging into his thighs the whole time. It doesn't look bad when he's all geared up:
But if I were a kid, I'd probably just take them off so I could play with him unhindered. Also (as you'll notice in the pic of him holding the guns): he can't hold them straight out. He always holds them angled down, so he'll have to fire them in the way I showed above.
Hey, they painted his eyes, for once! If you messed with any of the RoC SE figures, you would have noticed that he had sculpting under the visor that was never painted. This time around, he's got that great "Hey, what's that up there?" look. The visor also pushes up much easier than it did on the other figures, though it does NOT come off. Also, when you push it up, it is only being bent upward, and is NOT moving on a hinge on the side. I haven't noticed any problems with the plastic, but you can assume that continued pushing-up of the visor may have bad repercussions over time. Emphasis on "may", though. It looks fine to me, for now.
Other than that "feature" you'll notice that the visor is a cool metallic light blue with black lines across it. I'm SO glad it's not just black again. This goes a long way toward making this Snake Eyes stand out a bit.
Finally, of course, there's the sword:
Nothing new there. He holds it well, and it looks better than the guns, since angling a sword like that looks better than angling the guns.
So, in the end, this one doesn't blow me away like other SE figures have. Design wise, I think it is a favorite. Toy wise, he's middle of the road. It's a given that he'll come with a sword, but I think I would have preferred a back mounted knife like Beachhead, and perhaps a shorter blade like the Resolute version. This one seems more commando than ninja (the guns help a lot, with that feeling).
I think something special, other than just his looks, would have thrust this one higher on my list. While I don't recommend skipping Storm Shadow due to all the really cool new stuff and awesome design, I can only sorta recommend Snake Eyes because he looks cool and the uzi thing is kinda neat. However, if you were gona skip one of the mainstays, this could be it. By all means, though, if you don't have many Snake Eyes figures, then this would be a good choice. It's one of those situations where waiting on SE figures pays off. It's up to you if you want one like this that does something a little different, or one like the 2011 figure that does it standard, but awesome.
Oh, and I suppose a few folks might have been expecting this:
Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow share a special place in time, where current releases are kinda "eh", but once some time has passed, they're considered among the group. At the time this figure came out, there was an absolute glut of Snake Eyes. You just got a few in RoC, so by the time this one hits shelves, and he does pretty much nothing new: You get a review like this. He's good. Not great. There are others before him to consider. The best you can say is "He's good if you have no other Snake Eyes."
So, now that time has passed: He's not bad! He's not going to be your go-to Snake Eyes, but since I like to have a couple here or there decked out for specific missions, I'd say this one looks different enough. Not for a desert battle, mind you, but anything requiring the heavy coat that looks ready for some climbing.
Most Snake Eyes figures are ready for Snake Eyes things, so you have your pick of the litter in terms of Standard Snake Eyes. With this, though? You only have a few choices in terms of mission-specific Snake Eyes figures, and I can say that this one is higher than most of them. Heck, your only other choices are a couple cold-weather versions! So if you want a Snake Eyes with a basic heavy jacket with some room to clip things on (or places to store rope) then this is your guy. I find myself going back to him a lot more than I thought I would, anyway. Especially considering my original luke-warm review. He's still worth a look.