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.
The Joe from D-Town
Stalker. You know it as a name you can trust when it comes to awesome. Stalker was the only guy in camo, originally, and if that ain't bad, then it wasn't the 80's. Next, the guy comes back with a whole kayak, so he showed that he could stalk in the heat and the cold! Seemed like he had a following then, 'cause next he was chosen for the highly selective Talking Battle Commander Group with such famous sayings as: "SAY WHAT AGAIN! I DARE YOU, I DOUBLE DARE YOU-----" Oh wait, that's 'ol Sam Jackson. My mistake. They're both so badass. And maybe Jackson should totally play Stalker sometime.
Well anyway, from there on out it kept getting lower and lower profile. Where was Stalker? He has a good number of figures, but a small number of unique ones (though sometimes the man does love the bits of yellow, which I guess is unique...) Seemed like he still had a following, but no one was really ready to acknowledge it without more than a: "Oh yeah, here's Stalker." Heck, I didn't even bother with him until the Venom vs Valor figures!
It was the 25th figure that brought me back. I had looked back at his history and saw his awesome original figure, and I KNEW the 25th one would be badass: and I feel that I was right. He only got better with the one from the Target Battle Pack. I think Stalker shines the most in simple, down-and-dirty camo. I dunno what it is, but the guy just looks like the most hardcore dude on the team. I mean, his name is Stalker! What more do you need for stalkin' than camo (or maybe some black duds like Snake Eyes).
So here we are again with Stalker: All growed up!
Okay, well, he looks older to me, which is one of the reasons I was excited for this figure. One for the 80's and one for the...well this guy would be WAY older now, but you know. Past and present; we'll just leave it at that.
Stalker is back in the old camo, and once again he's sharing a body with Snake Eyes, though, back in the day, he was sharing a body with everyone else. Heck, if they were smart they'd toss this body around too, but SE seems to get the good stuff while others suffer.
Thankfully, that's not the case with Stalker! Someone suddenly realized that Staker is The Man, and went ahead and had him share that awesome sculpt with Snake Eyes. Granted, I do have one little problem (with multiple pics to illustrate), so I'll just get that out of the way now:
The right hand. It's similar with Snake Eyes, though slightly better. The problem is that it is molded to hold things at an angle, as you'll see with him holding the pistol in the first comparison. When you fit it snug into the hand, it naturally holds it to the side like that. If you want it to point straight, you have to do what I did in the second pic in the comparison: basically it's hovering between the tips of his fingers and the oversized back of his hand...which is the main problem. The palm area is too thick; I'll show you by comparing 25th Stalker:
There is a large pit in the palm of his hand where the butt of the gun sits. This makes it face forward. The new Stalker's hand is thick and bulging in that same area, forcing the butt of the gun to the side, and forcing MANY other guns right out of his hand. Bascially, if you're a kid...Stalker can't really hold anything while you play. It'll just fall out. It annoys me...enough to try to fix it:
I cut my own pit into his hand, making him able to hold other things, but sadly it also increases the size of his already big hands, so his tiny pistol...well it holds just about as well as before.
OKAY: Lets get away from that. It's my only gripe, and I guess it's a big one, but MAN it's really easy to ignore when you're messing with the figure.
Stalker comes with a fine assortment of dangerous things, though I would have liked the rifle to be a bit more updated. It's cute that it's his original rifle, but that stopped being cute during the 25th figures. Pretty much all the figures from PoC now have updated, mostly current weapons (to my eye, anyway). This one just looks really dated in this up-to-date guy's hands. Personally, I went with the gun that came with Recondo, since I like him well enough with his sniper rifle:
Minor gripes still occur, however, since the machette's handle is too small for either hand to hold...but oh well. You can still rig it in there by squeezing his hand shut (and even with that, I didn't have anywhere near as many problems with weapons falling out of his hand as I did while trying to get Low Light to snipe...).
Only other things I can mention about the accessories are:
The silencer is the tiniest thing ever, but I love it! And:
OMG, Stalker took Shadow Tracker's knife! I think we have Stalker's new nemesis. Personally I think the knife doesn't fit, but it's amazing what a simple mention on a filecard can do: if you'll look back at the card, you'll see an explaination for most of the weapons, and it covers the knife and machette. The one that makes the most sense for this knife, is the anti-armor knife! I dunno why, but the thing just got ten times cooler. Still no good place for it, save for his backpack hole, which is covered by his armor and hair...but I suppose it's still a place if you don't mind bending the back of the armor a bit. I do wish they had left it a bit more open, 'cause it would be cool to have the knife stored back there regularly.
So, as far as little details go, you've already seen the cool holster with the silencer loop (and the pistol fits way better here than it does on Snake Eyes), but you'll also notice another tiny thing:
The toes of the shoes are slightly turned up so you can do some crouched poses with a bit more realism...though heck, it's not like you can see the difference most of the time! Still, it's a neat little thing they threw in (though it does topple him over a bit more than others, because of it).
And finally, in terms of details, you'll probably want to see this:
...just for kicks. Looks just as awesome, I think! I do like the 25th version though, so I won't be buying another to make a body swap. Still, the 25th head swaps on perfectly for anyone that wants to do so!
The main event, though, is when you get him together with his buddy Snake Eyes...
What's great about Snake Eyes being in all black, is that when you use his body for another figure, all you gotta do is not paint it black, and it looks like another guy! So you get badass from these guys no matter what, 'cause you're using a tried-and-true body type.
So I guess it sounds a little silly to highly suggest a guy who has trouble holding his accessories (and can't really hold his machette at all). Those things annoy the HECK outa me...but geeze this guy is awesome. I mean, if I couldn't do anything with him at all, then you would have seen a totally different review, so I guess the proof is there for you to see! He has problems, but he's way too cool for you to care about them much. This is the brand new Stalker for today's Joes, and I think it's obvious that this figure is not to be missed.
Hey, I just wanted to add those extra tidbits that I missed about Stalker:
First off, curiously enough, as ARROW from Joebattlelines pointed out: his kneepads come off! No idea why! Seems like a rather useless addition, 'cause 1.) why go without kneepads? And 2.) if you want to go without them, then you've got holes in his knees. Still if you want an all-black Snake Eyes, here's your deal:
You can swap kneepads! Personally though, I like a little color in my Snake Eyes, so I won't be making the switch.
Finally, I can't remember where I saw this mentioned, but someone said that the silencer fits on the old gun:
And it does! So there's that, for whatever it's worth. I mean, I won't be using that gun for 'em, so I guess if you feel obligated to use whatever accessories he comes with, then you've got another neat option!
Alright, that's it! Move along.
And here we are: The Stalker I used as an example for why Marauder figures have better hands. I'm not really sure what happened with Stalker and Snake Eyes. They had made plenty of great hand sculpts, but then something got messed up for this mold. I'm surprised I wasn't as annoyed, back then, 'cause it drives me insane now. Stalker is still fantastic, and I guess I can't fully disagree with Past Alexx, because I still have to suggest him as a buy.
...but those damn hands. Was it the sculpting? Was it the molding process? Who knows. All I know is that you wouldn't be wrong to swap those hands out and then have a great figure. Or throw that badass headsculpt on a Marauder body. Either way.