Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Alexx Shorts: PoC Storm Shadow - Desert Battle (8/3/10)


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.


A new take on Storm Shadow!

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Oh NOES! It's Storm Shadow again! Perhaps a better way to put it would be: It's Storm Shadow again and again and again and again and again-----------

OH-HO-HO, you get the idea. Still, I'm drawn to the bright white ninja you can’t miss. I have yet to get a figure of his that I wasn't happy with (save for the repaint based on the Ninja Force one with the pointless pegs that keep his waist from moving). Oh sure, there have been Storm Shadows that were just okay, but most of them have tried to do something new and interesting with him. He has always gone back and forth between traditional ninja garb and now-a-days web gear 'n such. It's rare when they break the pattern, which is why I was such a fan of the trench coat wearing movie version. Though this certainly falls under "traditional ninja gear" (at least in a generalized fashion), it still breaks the pattern by giving it an Arabian flair and putting him in the desert. One reason I like that a lot, is that he doesn't have "desert colors", so you could use this in any hot place. I mean, it's not like Storm Shadow tries to blend in with the environment, so there's nothing to stop you from putting this one in the jungle or anywhere else that's gona be warm.

Now lets mosey on down the trail and begin this ninja bomb:


For starters, you'll see that Alexx is a very happy toy fan, because LOOK'IT ALL THAT STUFF! Man that's cool! Here's something that's always gona get me to buy a figure: swords. If there's a brand new line of toys that interests me, I'll always find the figure with the sword and buy him or her first. So not only is Storm Shadow a usual buy (when they bothered to make him new weapons) but this one comes with four swords and two short swords! And claws! And a real metal chain with bladed clubs! And, hey, ninja stars! Good lord, this ninja is PACKING. He doesn't even have to grab his swords outa the bodies right away; he's got some to spare! Not only that, but they're versatile.  We'll get to that, though. First, I wana show you the figure:


He's got the usual white duds (though a tuft of hair is sticking out the back of his mask, which is a nice touch) save for the red, ornate sash around him. He's mostly using the Arctic Assault body, legs, and arms, with a new head and gear. Along with the gear, there's also a cloth skirt under the sash. None of this comes off, and is very secure. However, don't worry about the articulation!


It covers the legs, but moves out of the way, allowing for all his favorite ninja tricks and kicks. It's very cool that we get to have all this stuff hanging off, but still have the uninhibited articulation! I mean, look at this thing:


Lots of detail and places to hold stuff. He's got the little pegs for the ninja stars and, though there's nothing on the package to say so, I have to imagine the holes in the back are for the short swords:


I don't actually like them back there like that, 'cause they may bend, but I can't think of any other reason for the holes there (especially since they fit the swords so well). Anyway, you can safely say that, without this sash, this figure would be quite a bit more boring. As it is, he's always got the fact that he's "another Storm Shadow" working against him, though I honestly don't care. If they keep remaking the "vomit" characters like this, then I'm happy. 

As a final little detail, they added one of his favorite moving tattoos:


I imagine it's temporary. No ninja clan symbol, but that's supposed to be on his forearm anyway, so we can just assume it's under the wrapping. So then, what can we do with Mr. Ninjaman?

Well, the weapons are quite versatile! Two swords have pegs, two have peg holes, and each knife follows suit with one "pegs" knife and one "holes" knife.


As such, you can perform these options! Double swords or swords with smaller blades on the bottom. On top of that, you've also got holes in the chained club things!


This guy has all sorts of dangerous and hard to use combinations! I wouldn't know the first thing about using something like that, though I'm sure I would be a danger to myself and others. Mostly myself. Like one of those stupid videos of someone using nunchakus in a place with a low ceiling so they end up clonking themselves in the noggin, except I'd be dead.

As for the weapons that do not attach to each other, we've got ninja stars (shurikens, whatever):


And claws!


One downside to the figure is the standard crap they pull by putting the weapons in their hands in the package. This stretched out a perfectly good pair of hands (because they're the same ones that are on all the Storm Shadows in RoC, and they rock). He can hold his swords perfectly, since the handles are large, but the claws fall out all the time. It's a shame, 'cause they look awesome! It's okay, though, 'cause if you count those holes in the back for the knives, then the claws are the only weapon other than the chain that he can't store on his person.

Though, even the chain can be worked around him to have a fully decked out Storm Shadow:


And I couldn't help but imagine Storm Shadow riding in on the HISS:


Finally, if you were wondering what to do with all the swords and didn't care about the feature, then they fit perfectly in the sheathes from previous Storm Shadows, and fit in those hands much better than the sword they came with:


These are just all around great swords.

We've come to the end the review, so, as per ancient ninja bylaws, I must depict a fight with Snake Eyes:










So yes, there are A LOT of Storm Shadows, and strangely enough, most of them are recent (at least in my collection). Many of you are going to skip this figure, and I don't blame you. Maybe you've got your definitive Storm Shadow already, or maybe you hate it when he's overly ninjaed. I'm here to tell you that this is a fantastic toy. It looks good, holds it's weapons well (for the most part), and is a heck of a lot of fun. If ninjas aren't a big part of your Joeverse, then so be it. However, if you have a love in your heart for swords 'n stuff, then this is a done deal. Maybe he's been done to death in G.I. Joe, but at the very least, Hasbro has the brains to remake him and give him some fantastic accessories once in awhile. Out of all Storm Shadows, this one is a stand-out figure.

Most of you will probably not listen to me, but go out and get yourself another Storm Shadow.

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*SLOW CLAP* Yes, my friends.  If you're a Joe fan, I hope you own this figure.  One awesome example of the greatness of Pursuit of Cobra - and it's just Storm Shadow again. 

But what a Storm Shadow!  This is all I ask, you know?  Just put some freakin' effort into remaking your classic characters.  I'm as guilty as the next collector, of wanting remakes of classics, but DAMNIT, I'm tired of it!  Pursuit of Cobra brought us new versions of old favorites (or old favorites decked out for specific environments) and they were brilliant!  This could have easily been an existing Storm Shadow with new paint, but they went the extra mile (or miles) and added all that new awesome sculpting, weapons, the modular function between the weapons, and just AAHHH, everything! 

Y'all at Hasbro want to know how to bring G.I. Joe back?  Put in this kind of effort again.  You don't even have to make the same kind of figures - just put in this much effort.  That's all I'm sayin'.

9 comments:

  1. (Looks at PoC release list)

    Oh, this one may be awesome (like, he has about tweleve different possible looks AND can hold a bunch of his gear), but the NEXT Storm Shadow... he shamed his forefathers. Looking forward to that one being posted, it's my favourite review of yours.

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    1. HA! Ah man, I always felt like that was a throw-away review, so I'm glad you remember it fondly. It's funny that out of all my reviews, only two were negative - that Storm Shadow, and Lowlight. Storm Shadow, because I had at least expected to use his parts, and he was useless as a figure AND as parts, and Lowlight, because they went a little TOO far with the teeny tiny accessories and the collapsible rifle that collapsed every time you tried to get him to hold it.

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    2. If I'm thinking of the same one, I'm pretty sure I read that one on JBL and it stuck in my head too.

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  2. They way that wrap sits over his eyes adds so much menace.

    I'll bet Storm Shadow paid way more than a fiver.

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    1. Yeah the headsculpt really brings it home!

      Nah, Storm Shadow paid the big bucks for Simon's premium stuff, and got a free flower arrangement with the purchase.

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  3. One of my favorite Stormys. Wish I knew where mine currently was.

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  4. Man that real-ass chain and all the different ways it can connect to his weapons - so cool. Later they made that "mr. perfect" Storm Shadow that came with absolutely everything, but I still kind of like this one better for its creative take on the character and the fun accessories. You're absolutely right on the idea of "effort," too. I kinda halfheartedly keep up with the Joe Club reveals and whatever TRU exclusives are straggling their way out of Hasbro, and it's always something like a tired recolor of an older, better, figure, or just a straight redo of an 80s character. At this point I'd rather just buy the 80s figure!

    If Joe is ever going to become relevant again, it really does need a good solid dose of EFFORT. Maybe injected by one of those weapons-grade syringes that came with Hazard Viper.

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    1. Yeah, and the newest Storm Shadows all have those odd "ninja hands" which are nice, but aren't always perfect. The hands on this one were awesome, and hold anything, so he's always gona be held higher in my book. And I couldn't say it any differently, about current joes: "Kinda halfheartedly keeping up." There's nothing new, nothing different, no ideas being tried out or any indication of moving forward.

      That weapons-grade syringe best be full of pure adrenaline, too.

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