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.
Don't ever let the Techno-Vipers build anything
Haven't done much with those guys recently, so this is gona be a bit picture heavy! I went a little nuts with this one.
The Whirlwind! One of the couple of Target "exclusives" that never went to Target but, instead, to these places called Ross! No idea what those are, but my buddy Grey Fox did, so he picked me up a couple of these bad boys (as well as a couple other items) so I could have and review them! I've owed him a review of this thing for awhile now, so it's only fitting that I fill this one with Techno-Vipers.
Anyway, all you rad 80's kids should remember this from the old days when vehicles and vehicle accessories were simple, and an "action feature" involved turning the barrels of the guns and going "EHTEHTEHTHETHET!" while knocking over another vehicle to display it's defeat (and then someone's all like "NO YOU CAN'T DO THAT I HAD SHIELDS" and you're like "NUH-UH I SHOT THROUGH THEM" and all that). This time, though: it's in Cobra's hands! All in all I'm pretty dang excited to get this, 'cause my main Joe buying days (meaning: when my mom bought them for me) was in the mid-90's with all the launchers and neon 'n stuff, so I missed out on all the original, simple gun stations and things like that.
First, though, what friggin' awesome figure did they decide to package with this set?
YEAH! Range Vipers! I've always loved these guys, based on the design alone, and my interest in them only increased when I learned about them. Still...one thing always confused me: while I love that they're out on the range and all that...it just didn't seem to make any sense. They're trained to live off the land 'n all that, so they take what they need and nothing else, so it makes sense that the originals were armed to the TEETH. When they run out, they just steal whatever else they need. But in the end...what the heck is up with the design? I mean, they got a pipe coming from the back of thier head into an air tank on thier gigantic backpack, the skull look is awesome but really strange and has nothing to do with the wilderness (especially the whole brain design on top) and finally: what's with the blue? None of these things are bad, of course, but needless to say, I was surprised when I finally read thier filecard for the first time and found out they were wilderness troopers.
BUT...perhaps that's just what I gleened from the filecard. It never really says wilderness, but it just makes the most sense given the description. Really, I suppose you could say the originals are completely enclosed kinda like the Sand Vipers, so the suit recycles body fluids 'n stuff like that. Still, over all that, I think they should have been green all along. And here, finally we have it! Does the skull make any more sense than it used to? NO. Does it matter? OF COURSE NOT! It's awesome! And anyway, I can just imagine that skull helmet slowly rising out of the swamp or something...
Beyond the figure commentation: We have the body and (thank GOD) arms of the Resolute Trooper (as well as the thighs), the belt from the 25th Range Viper, and finally the lower legs of the Alley Viper. The helmet, of course, originates with the DTC Range Viper:
Oh and there's a sort of comparison to the original...almost forgot about him, and I had to dig out his parts and find a quick crotch peice to keep him together.
Anyway, I think the green looks a lot better overall, and it's a wonder these guys were never painted this color before. That, and I totally agree with the helmet redesign. I like the old brains look, but I think this streamlines things and has it make, at least, a tiny bit more sense (I mean, wilderness guys should be the tough-as-nails dudes, so why not give them skull faces?) They're also much more simple, removing the fully enclosed part of the helmet (making them just normal helmets) and in turn making them not attach to some huge backpack. Just some freaky skull faced guys out in the wild!
These freaky skull faced guys are also packin', naturally:
One pistol for thier little Tunnel Rat bullet belts, and one (also from Tunnel Rat) machine gun. No where near the amount of explosive damage as they originally had, but also much more in line with the fact that they've always had a bullet belt but, originally, no gun to use it on! The side of the machine gun can also take one of the bullet belts you've gotten from Roadblock or many others, but I don't like to use it, personally. And, of course, you can always pack them with any of your various extra weapons to make them a little more like the originals:
I am so glad I got two of these guys, as they finally bring the Range Viper to a spot that makes sense. It's all the awesomeness of the original (in the helmet, really) with a new color scheme that just rocks. 'Course, I guess considering the new recruit of Shadow Tracker, that these guys might not be the top in terms of freaky anymore:
At the very least, they're still one under Shadow Tracker. That's still saying something! They may not gargle meat, but they certainly are the guys you don't want to meet out on the range. They've probably been there awhile, and that means any ground you walk on is thier turf!
Alright, so I suppose we should get to the Whirlwind. That means we'll have to see if those lazy suckers have even done anything yet...
Ah, stickers! A bane for some, a boon for others. Personally, I like putting stickers on so long as they don't ask me to put them over bolts 'n stuff. 'Course then I just find another place for them, but it's still annoying when the designers don't take into consideration the bumpy locations that wouldn't be good for stickers! Anyway...
UGH, cripes, lets just move on.
The Whirlwind is sturdy, simple, and fun! I love putting together these old sets, 'cause I've always liked putting together models. Mostly Gundam models, but in the end, the Gundam models can be posed not really played with. These are like models that are full toys afterward!
Toys, of course, that work with your other toys. This was another thing I liked about the older sets: this is like a vehicle accessory! Accessories upon accessories back then, I tell ya. Accessory packs, and even accessories for your vehicles!
The guns move up and down, the base twists, and the wheels turn down to stabilize the unit for attack. Finally, the barrels twist and have the standard little things underneath for you to push with your fingers so the barrels look like they're shooting on thier own!
*toy does not actually fire* You know the drill, in the tiny letters at the bottom of the screen, from old commercials. Later on they WOULD actually fire, and many missiles would be found behind dressers and in couch cushions for years to come!
This is yet another little window to the past, from a simplier time. A great, FANTASTIC, set. If you have any ability to get this, I wouldn't pass it up. The Whirlwind is a fine little gun station, and the Range Viper is not to be missed. Had these actually gone to Target, I imagine that everyone would have been stocking up on these!
*sigh* I guess I better find out what happened when those guys finished, though...
And with that, I do believe the Techno-Vipers have offically jumped the shark! GOODNIGHT EVERYBODY!
This pack is spectacular, but it's hard to endorse, since:
A) It was supposed to go to Target, and didn't
B) It instead got shipped to different stores that not every state has
and C) Who knows how many of these even got into collector's hands.
Now I could be wrong; maybe these things are abundant! If so, you gotta find one! If not...well, it's not really worth premium price, but I rarely think anything is. I get that there are high aftermarket prices for rare stuff, but few things are worth that "rare" price when it's just something like this.
Anyway, I still love this set, and if like Range Vipers, it's still a pretty dynamite set to get.