Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Alexx Shorts: RoC Lava Pod with Volcano Viper (10/4/11)

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.

Yeah, drill through a volcano, why not.


Yeah, I've got the rest of the 30th figures, but I wanted to get this guy out of the way before I got to the Hazard Viper. I knew it was gona be a quick one, because hey: what the heck is there to say about this, really?

The Lava Pod! As you can see from the writeup on the back: this is for digging in volcanos and making them active, because you can't really call yourself a megalomaniacal evil organization without digging into some volcanos and either using them as bases or just blowing them up for the hell of it. 

We'll get to that, though. First, we'll cover the part that may or may not convince you to try and pick one of these up:

The Volcano Viper! Basically a guy in a heat suit with all the fixins. You've got the silver color, the cool gasmask helmet (sealed around the neck), and those airtanks with all the pipes! They may be something else, but I dunno how these things work. All I know is that it looks like stuff I've seen before, so it's friggin' cool! Also, if you've got a magnifying glass, you can almost read those words on the tanks...I just was killing my eyes trying, so I gave up. Something about safety...you know.  Probably not important.


He comes with the same gun that the Ice Viper comes with, since he's got the same basic body as the Ice Viper (legs and torso). That means that it's wrapped up in...I don't know, electrical tape? Whatever. Not like this guy is gona be doing much shooting.

I suppose you're wondering why he won't be doing much shooting:

It's because of this deathtrap! You'll remember it from the previous deathtrap:

You'll find much of the same stuff here: push it and the drill will spin, and push the button on top and the front of the drill will inexplicably fire off, leaving the driver stranded above ground or (god help them) underground! It's still as unexciting as it was, though they did add a minor but interesting sticker this time around:

Yay! It has a sticker for the computer this time! The last one just left it blank, which was another complaint I had about the poor thing. I suppose I'm not saying that this isn't a fun vehicle...I just thought it could have been MORE fun than it is. I mean, there could have been some sort of place to stow a gun on the inside (there's space on the sides or the back) and I think they could have found SOME other action feature other than "the front shoots off." I mean, I'm not against ridiculous stuff, but why not make it ridiculous and fun? You know, like you press a button and the front of the drill opens up to reveal some sort of spinning energy tip for going through the armor of the Pit or something. Just as ridiculous, but way cooler, I think. 

Oh well, you already made your opinions about this thing. You either love it or you hate it. There's just one more MAJOR difference between the original release and this one...and I'll cover that with Techno-Vipers:

He doesn't fit.  He doesn't fit in the vehicle.  The way you see him in the pics is as far down as I could get 'em. No amount of shoving will get the door to close. He just doesn't fit. At all. For once, I can see why this one never made it in to the mainstream stores. I mean...come on.  Somebody try it out first! Just once! Anyone! The mail room guy! Bring him in here and say "Hey Larry, try to shove this guy in this drillcar real quick, will you?" That's all it takes! 

Bah...it's not like you people were rushing out to get this one though, right? Here's the deal: you want a Volcano Viper? He is pretty cool! I wouldn't blame you if you wanted 'em and didn't mind the drillcar. At the price of 8.99, it's not terrible. Just...don't expect this to be a complete package. Find someone else to drive this thing, I guess. In the end, though: we've got the Hazard Viper, which uses the same mold with better arms and a way cooler job (depending on how you look at it). Since this guy is hard to get ahold of, I'd say skip 'em. You're not missing much that you won't get from the Hazard Viper, and the Volcano Viper is pretty much only good for background stuff in a dio anyway (not that the Hazard Viper would be performing more...but he does have a lot of cool accessories to give him things to do). So I guess the last word is:


Anyone bother to find a Volcano Viper on ebay?  I doubt any of you bought this whole thing, but who knows!  It wasn't bad at the discount price.  The vehicle is still kind of "meh", though I will admit that it has grown on me a bit since then.  It's still goofy in a slightly endearing way, even if I still stand by the fact that "shoots a missile" is the most boring thing they could have come up with for a freakin' drill car.  I mean the drill spins when you push it, so that's cool, but make the drill do literally anything else.  Even if it opened up and shot goo across the room and spouted lines from the hit movie "Volcano", where a man slowly sinks into lava as if it were quick sand - hell, throw in that guy's screams while we're at it.

The figure is still cool, at least.  If you run into it at a good, cheap price, I'd still get it.  Especially since they haven't done any other troopers in extreme heat gear (incidentally, Extreme Heat Gear is coming to theaters this summer, and will star Chris Pratt as a man with heat resistant samurai armor who fights off lava with a katana). 


  1. I was hoping the temperature this thing can withstand was either comically low or high, but it turns out volcano lava generally get up to about 2,000 F, so it's in a safe margin...I guess? Now I have to wonder if it's possible to activate a volcano by just drilling into it. Cobra would find a way.

    1. I imagine Cobra does it on a regular basis, or hollows them out for a base or two, every now and then. Maybe just drills through them for fun.