Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Alexx Shorts: PoC Skydive (4/18/11)

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.

Wait, no skydiving!  Just fly, dude, you have a jetpack!


It's Skydive! No seriously, he's got the same name as the Sky Patrol guy. 'Course, I wouldn't have known without General Hawk pointing it out, 'cause I don't remember Sky Patrol at all. Nonetheless, it's a cool nod that'll stay just a nod, since the filecard only has the name in common. This one is yet another that tells you what he is, that he's good at it, and gives a little story about what's going on. This time, Skydive has to fly to the jungle where Shadow Tracker can taste his fear! 

Of course, to get to the jungle, Skydive has to use some pretty heavy stuff:

Heavy stuff, and only heavy stuff!

The guy is loaded down with basically his only feature: the gear and the jetpack with the pop-out wings.  The gear is really detailed with all those fancy pockets (and it makes his legs just about useless), then there's those canisters on his back for...um...air? Best I can make of it. I don't know what else those could be, 'cause they can't fit any other way. That, and I dunno how the heck this thing flys...seems more like a glider pack. But hey, this guy is gona land in the jungle at one point, so he's gotta be able to take that all off, right?

No, I mean, all of it; he can't go walkin' around with that junk on.

There we go! Pretty sweet, actually. With nothing in the way, the articulation works perfectly, and he can hold pretty much anything with those perfect hands!

Like, uh...

His one pistol. Okay, I know - I can't complain that much. He's got so much stuff that you can't expect him to come with a full load of weapons. Still, I can't help but think that it's not more than what many of the other figures are coming with. They could have squeezed one more small rifle in there, like this:

I do find myself kinda at odds with the idea that they need to shove as much stuff in the package as they can, but in this case, they could have gone the extra mile and put in a bigger gun and mold a spot on the gear or pack for it to be stowed. This guy is on a mission to a Cobra base in the jungle; he could use something other than a pistol! Of course...being who I am, I DO have a ton of options to give him, but it makes sense to judge these on a case by case basis. Ya know, the complete package. 

But hey, that's a lot of complaining! Do I like this guy? Yeah! He's cool! I suppose I was a little bored, at first, but that is always fixed with a little childish run around the room making plane noises. I'm a sucker for a jetpack, but I can't help but wonder how long they'll last in the more serious days of G.I. Joe.

Like I mentioned in the Shadow Tracker review, it seems like everyone means business these days! No more lasers 'n bright colors. No, jetpacks get treated more like this when you consider what he's got to go against with the jungle figures they've made so far:

You've got crazy snipers that blend in to the trees, and when they pick you off like you were in Duck Hunt, you've only got THAT on the ground waiting for you. 'Course he does have two bombs to drop...maybe he'll hit Shadow Tracker, if he's lucky. 

Okay, I know what you're thinking: "Alexx, you're rambling. What's the deal here?" Well...i'm kinda torn. I don't think this one is a buy-on-sight, but he's not bad, either. He gets done what he's tryin' to get done. He's a guy with a jetpack, and jetpacks are always cool. Somehow, though...it's just missing something. I remember General Hawk (the toy) with his awesome jetpack, and I loved the heck out of 'em. It was a fun toy (and my first G.I. Joe ever). This one, though, brings the jetpack idea into a more realistic look, and...well, I just don't think jetpacks need to be realistic. When he's in his gear, he just flies, whereas G. Hawk was fully poseable and able to do ridiculous things that someone with a jetpack shouldn't be able to do. I just think that jetpacks don't NEED to be realistic, ya know? He's a big chunk, and I did have a good time flying him around, but when you take the gear off, he's just a dude with a pistol! One way or another, he's missing something. He's needs something else, and he needs a bit more poseablity while in the awesome gear. 

So, with that said, I think this guy is a solid "Neat." Cool, certainly looks awesome, but also seems to be missing some of that action figure goodness that I've come to love with a majority of the recent releases. He's really freakin' cool without the gear, but he'll need stuff! I'd get 'em for parts, mostly.


Time has been kinder to this dude, I feel.  At the time, I was obsessed with the right accessories and proper articulation.  Nowadays I find myself buying simpler toys, and I feel like I didn't give this dude enough credit, because I couldn't move him around as much.  Who cares, really?  Was flying him around fun? Yes?  Then you're golden!

And anyway, there's a lot to love with this figure.  Just look at him!  He still holds up, even if he can't move much with the gear.  I know I would have loved him anyway, back in the day. 

I suppose I'm slipping backwards, in terms of my toy interests.  I'd still check this guy out.  He's worth it.


  1. Yeah, good figure. Kinda want to track down the cancelled version that was gonna be movie Ripcord.

    1. It's funny, I tend to see that one more than Skydive! Never got it myself.

  2. I remember loving this figure in principle but feeling miffed with the execution. I haven't been able to have it in hand in years due to my storage situation so I wonder if I'd still feel the same.

    1. Yeah I was surprised by my difference of opinion. My slow move to liking simpler figures again seems to have softened my view of him.

  3. As a kid I actually had the original Skydive and the Sky SHARC, which was the chromed Sky Patrol version of the SHARC that they made alongside some other chromed versions of older Joe vehicles in 1990. More importantly, the SHARC came with the foldout catalog for 1990, which showed all sorts of things I could never find in stores. Guys like Captain Grid-Iron, Salvo, and Backblast were big wants, but the Cobra lineup was even stronger with Rock, Range, Frag, Alley, SAW, Night, and HEAT Viper. And what the hell was Undertow? Why does he have a fish on his back? Some of those I did manage to scrounge up at yard sales but very few actually had their parts.

    Since most of the Joes I could find as a kid were the 1992-1993 Battle Corps stuff, the '90 catalog was a window into that just-dead land of Joe figures where they were still pouring creative energy into the accessories and vehicles without relying too much on xtreme 90s nonsense. The mid-90s stuff has its place too, but I feel like I learned a bit about what I wanted in toys from those two conflicting eras.

    1. Same thing happened to me with the HISS II. I found that in the 90's somewhere, collecting dust on the shelf of this little mom-and-pop store in my Grandma's town. The HISS II was LONG off the shelves by that point, and somehow I knew it, so I begged my Grandma for it. Thankfully, since it had been collecting dust, it was cheap, so she got it for me. Came with possibly the same catalogue you had (was there a space shuttle on the front?) and I looking longingly at that thing ALL the time. Still have it, too! I remember even taking a magnifying glass to it to try and figure out what certain accessories were.