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.
"Get in that fridge!"
Recondo is back! Well, he was back in the recent internet seven pack, but he honestly didn't interest me all that much. In fact, I guess you can say that about the general classic Recondo look. I very much liked his JvC figure, but it didn't really seem like Recondo, either. Good for me, I guess, since the original didn't interest me, but the figure could have easily been someone else all together.
So now Recondo has an update that pulls from his classic look. It's obviously Recondo, but doesn't have the classic look that begged for a monocle. Granted, this one seems to follow TRU Spirit's lead and makes another Predator reference in that Recondo looks alot like Jesse Ventura, but I don't really count that as a bad thing. They got the moustache, and they got the hat. Heck, they even wrapped up his sniper rifle like his original gun! Lots to love here.
...unless someone randomly sculpts him to look down all the time. You may have already heard about this and how disappointed folks were with a figure that looked like it was obviously going to be awesome. The problem is all in the neck.
Compared above is Zartan's neck, which sticks out a bit but goes up. Recondo's neck JUTS OUT. I mean, look at that! They could have saved it by moving the ball back and having it point up, but they just jutted that neck out there and stuck a ball on the end of it. If at any time during this review you see him looking up, then his head is off the ball and resting on it to get the look I wanted. Frustrating!
The only other way to get him to look forward is above: arch his back all the way back. Thankfully it doesn't matter with the vest on. Still, it doesn't fix it completely.
Lets move on, though. That is arguably his most irritating flaw.
Here he is with the vest, and to move on to something happier: it looks awesome! There's lots of little details on the figure, but the coolest are the GPS/phone thing and the darts on his arm.
The figure really does look awesome, even with his flaws. Speaking of flaws...that hat just does NOT stay on. It's very hard plastic and doesn't grab the head at all. If it was a tiny bit smaller and made of a little more rubbery plastic, it would be perfect. Sadly, it's just another thing that made it frustrating to pose this figure.
I'm torn, though, and you'll see that as we get into the accessories.
LOTS of accessories! Great accessories! Most of them can fit on the figure, too. Still, they're a little hit and miss, and sometimes the function gets in the way. First off: the funky mask.
I love it, but I dunno what to do with it. I kinda wish it hung off his backpack. It would add to the idea that his backpack is obviously a bunch of stuff roped together, and a tribal mask hanging off it would make him look so well traveled. I love how it fits, and I could see him stalking baddies in the jungle, making himself look like a monster. I suppose I would like it better if the figure worked better, so I can't fully say that I don't like it or that I don't have any imagination for it. It's just made awkward by an awkward figure.
One thing I love are those axes! However, there always seems to be a down side to each item: they stow on his side, but they get in the way when they're there.
With so much backpack, why not have them stow back there? I don't know why a lot of the items didn't stow on the backpack.
One thing I really wana touch on, though, is a complaint I've heard in a few places about him not being able to hold his weapons realistically.
I don't know what it is, but when people say a figure can't do that, I always tend to find a way for them to do it anyway. Maybe people are just afraid to push the arms further? I'm not saying that it's perfect here, but the arms DO stay in that position. I've have figures where the hands keep popping off of the two handed position, but Recondo worked pretty well. Yet another point that has me torn on the figure.
The final pieces are the most interesting, and possibly most strange. While bear traps are better than a barbed wire for catching folks: man, it's nasty! Also, why the heck does he have one of 'em attached to a cord on his backpack?
I am, of course, not saying that they are a bad addition (I do think it's a good contrast to Dusty. While Dusty comes with just the right amount of useful accessories, I think Recondo comes with just over the amount. Some great stuff, but a little too much). The bear traps even work a little like an action feature, because they stay open until you put a foot in them. There's even a foot peg so they stay on!
Once again: man, that's nasty! Trappin' a dude in one of those. And the teeth are huge! Looks like a super bear trap, but it's just for catching people. G.I. Joe is getting a heads up on Cobra in terms of how many murderers they are employing. You don't pull out the bear traps unless you enjoy it.
So to sum up: I don't think I've ever been more torn on a figure, so I'll pro and con it.
Pros: Holds his weapons realistically, very cool weapons, presentation is an A+, can do a perfect kneeling position
Cons: Always looking down, hat falls off constantly, accessories store in the strangest places, you have to work a bit to get those realistic weapon poses
Not sure what the final result is. If you're a customizer or not afraid to cut some stuff, I've seen people correct the neck problem. That may not be the only problem for you, though. I don't regret buying him, but his frustrations probably mean I won't be picking him up that often. I want to, 'cause he looks awesome and comes with cool stuff, but I want him to look in different directions without having to put work into it, and I want him to move into realistic positions with his weapons without - once again - having to put work into it! One way or another, he is a bit of a disappointment, considering how cool he looks. I'm not going to tell you he's a buy, but I'm not so sure he's a skip, either.
See? Perhaps you'll just have to go by the review and stick to the fact that I don't regret buying him. But man, is he annoying.
Well, maybe not as annoying as him.
I dug this one out again, and he isn't that bad! On the other hand, I believe I cut the ball joint a bit to let him look up, so he seems to be customized in that respect (if my memory is correct). The hat thing is actually more annoying than anything else! If the hat doesn't stay on, then it doesn't go on at all, which sucks, 'cause he looks great with it!
I guess this guy still follows my theme of "Effort", but the sculpted functionality department was a little lacking. And that hat needed to be a tiny bit smaller on the inside. Otherwise, if you were itching for Recondo, I would get this one, unless you got a jones for the old timey elephant hunter look of the original.