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.
Always causing hazards, never cleaning them.
Happy week before Halloween, folks! Just about the scariest thing I can bring you before the Zombie Viper comes out, is the Hazard Viper.
The Hazard Viper is yet another in a short line of Sucks-To-Be-You Vipers that includes the Toxo-Viper (and his 90's counterpart) and the subdivision of Toxo-Vipers known as Heavy Water troopers (they take care of the nuclear waste). This time around, Cobra has decided that big bulky (and leaky) armor is just as good as a regular hazmat suit!
Someone around the Hasbro office made the BRILLIANT decision to reformat the Volcano Viper by painting him orange. I dunno who did this, but if you're reading my review by some awesome twist of fate: I salute you.
Now, whether or not you're interested: A comparison!
There's a tank missing on his back, which is due to the new hole in his back, which makes way for the squirt-gun backpack. You can still take off a tank from the front and stick it on the peg on the back if you like...but then the front is kinda lacking, and I'd much rather have the visual up front. Sadly, you can't take tanks from the Volcano Viper without risking damage to the helmet, because the pipes are glued into the mask. If you wana do some customizing, though, that's pretty much your only speedbump! The only other difference here are the arms. The Volcano Viper uses the standard RoC Neo Viper arms, while 'ol Hazzy here uses Skydive's arms (another brilliant move).
Now, what sort of accessories does the Hazard Viper use to stop or create hazards?
For one, he has the heavy case that came with The Doctor, from RoC. This time, however, the case holds not Nanomachines, but COMPOUND Z!! Because, you know, if Nanomachines weren't considered a smart move, then a crazy chemical that makes zombies is CERTAIN to gain funding from a collection of world leaders!
For two, he comes with the same freezy backpack water-squirter that Arctic Destro came with - this time it shoots CHEMICALS! OoOoOoOoOo!! And here I thought this thing might be a water sprayer to clean chemicals. How silly of me!
He also has the little flame thrower that came with...oh heck, I can't remember now. I know Arctic Doc had one, and I believe Arctic Destro did as well. I think it's a great addition here, 'cause everyone knows that fire is a great sterilizer! With the two items, he's ready for chemicalizin' and sterilizin'!
...well, for the most part. I mean, this IS Cobra we're talkin' about here! Things can't stay normal for that long without some sort of monstrosity or naked, cloned Dr. Mindbender.
Speaking of normal: his final accessories are two pistols! I totally don't mind two pistols...I just...take notice. I mean, why two pistols? One would suffice. Good to have a sidearm, you know? I would have liked it better if there were some place to put them, but I'm used to having accessories floating around. Still, two pistols seems kinda....actiony, you know?
Whatever! Good to have some protection, I guess.
So now we come to the section where I ask questions about things that aren't meant to be taken seriously, and then use that to segway into a comic that otherwise wouldn't have much to do with the review. So *ahem*: What's with the hazardous chemicals division of Cobra? They just do not care about it as much as they should. I mean, first they get these bulky, useless, leaky suits for Toxo-Vipers and tell 'em to blast sludge all over (more so during Eco-Warriors) and as time goes on...they backtrack to a hazmat suit? Where did those leaky suits go?
I mean, in the long run I don't care----wait, what? Wait....oh, we have more. We have more? I thought we usually end this on a Techno-Viper joke?
Okay, there's more comic, sorry, One sec.
PPPFFFT yeah, that coulda ended with the Techno-Viper gag.
Anyway, in the long run, I don't really care what happened to the Toxo-Vipers because this is such a brilliant idea! It looks fantastic, and really, it's not just a hazmat suit: it's a COBRA hazmat suit! I mean, that probably means it's worse! That makes it even cooler! In a way? Well you know what I mean. On top of that, though, you could easily fit these guys in with the Toxo-Vipers as lab guys, or - rather than have these guys spray MORE chemicals - you could use these guys as cleaners while the Toxo-Vipers continue their usual toxic crap spraying duties (or doodies, if you prefer the horrible pun). That'll make it so Cobra is pretty much...I dunno...making jobs? Having guys spray crap and having other guys clean it. One way or another, it sounds like Cobra to me!
So, to wrap this up: buy a couple Hazard Vipers. They're way too cool and unique to pass up. I guess it's kinda crazy saying that "unique" means "these guys look like real-life hazmat guys and THAT'S unique for Cobra!" but that is the way it is. I think it's a novelty to have these real lookin' guys like the Shock Troopers and these hazmat guys! On one hand, I think it's just Cobra going with the times. On the other hand, it's also a cool way to reboot your Joe universe, if you like.
...On the other other hand, I mean...it's obvious that Cobra had a ton of cash back in the 80's and mid 90's. How else could they afford all those different uniforms? It only makes sense that nowadays they're friggin' BROKE and they have to use stuff that already exists instead of spending money on crazy brightly painted armor. 'Course I'll still find a nostalgic air about that brightly painted armor...but maybe Cobra will raise enough money to start that business again someday.
Alright, come back next time when---
---wait, there's another comic. GEEZE, what the heck have I been doing?!
ABADEABADEABADE THAT'S ALL FOLKS!
Holy crap, go buy Hazard Vipers! They're good for so many things, Joe or not!
With that out of the way: This is another one of my favorite reviews. There's not much more to add, really. Such an awesome figure.