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 fickle Commander and his constant costume changes.
I've already spoken about Cobra Commander's choice of black and blue as his main colors...something about enjoying the usual beatings he gets from G.I. Joe. Maybe he's just honest with himself. Still, regardless of his thought process behind the choice, I can't say that I disagree! I mean, how often does a figure not look good when repainted in black?
As for this particular black repaint - this is a homage to the Commander's very first black repaint! Battle Corps brought in some fantastic redesigns of classic figures with some cool paint jobs, and Cobra Commander was no exception. The figures were kinda boring back then, because every few figures came with the same dang tree of weapons, but sometimes the figures were just too cool for me to care about boring weapon choices...and of course this Cobra Commander was one of my top favorites. And I never even had 'em! Only reason I played with him often was because I was always Cobra when my friend and I played Joes, and he had that Commander, sooo...
Anyway, as you can see, this isn't a totally faithful recreation. Obviously this is due to his dollar store status, but I really don't find myself caring. They've added at least a little detail:
The silver on the cuff is cool, though hard to see, and he's got his standard Cobra symbol. It was originally on his chest, but I like it on the hood; makes it stand out a bit, while the harness takes care of breaking up the black on the chest.
And speaking of the harness...as much as I like him having a sword, I really wish this had been in two pieces! I fixed the other two I had, and made a post about it back in 2009 (it involved cutting off the sheath and reattaching it via some pegs I cut from a Cobra Officer harness). I'd like to do it to this one, but I don't have another spare harness to butcher.
Anyway, we've seen this harness twice before!
It's a great harness (save for the sword sheath enjoying itself too much) and the use of the Crimson Guard torso is as good a choice as it was when they originally made the swap. However...they didn't use the rest of the Crimson Guard parts, and chose to use new arms and legs from this guy:
It's a little awkward, because his arms are sort of gangly, and his legs look too short. Also, his hands are terrible for holding guns! They naturally hold any gun to the side, so you've got to fanagle it a bit to get him to point it forward. Holds the sword nicely, though!
Funny thing about this is that playing with the figure has erased all my irritations with parts choice! I didn't even think I'd like him that much when I saw pictures, but he just poses so well and he's so fun to mess with! I'm honestly surprised I like him so much - almost better than the other two, because the Crimson Guard arms are a tiny bit limiting. Maybe it's the joints in the wrist matched with the sword?
He holds it so well and he has so many poses open to him! Only thing is that the Commander has never been much of a fighter, to my knowledge.
Of course, your mileage may vary. Maybe your Cobra Commander is a fighter? Well, this one really looks the part! I dunno what it is about those arms; they looked terrible, but they really add to his action shots. The length is mostly off, but then perfect when he's "in motion", so to speak.
Anyway, he always works out for night missions 'n such, or however you used your black CC repaints.
...well maybe you didn't use them like that, but you know what I mean.
But speaking of black repaints...meeeeaaahhhh a little swappage, perhaps?
You may have seen me use that blue CC around in my reviews, so I figured I might as well take the black one and do the same.
Next...well you didn't think I would skip this, did you?
If you bought both the Retaliation CC colors and were starting to wonder why, and what you could do with the second...well there you go. This head is perfect. And I mean that. Most heads on this Crimson Guard body will look primarily downward, and you gotta mess with it to get them to work right, but the Retaliation head works like it was made for the mold! It looks good, works good, and well...you can see the pics. Highly suggested swap, if I do say so myself (and I do. Say so. Myself.).
Finally, if you happened to get a DG Trooper just for parts and didn't know what to do with the head...there's that. An official guy, I guess.
This is a pretty great figure! I honestly thought I would be less enthusiastic and would be writing a short review with only a few pics. He doesn't seem like a winner, but move him around a bit and you'll see what I mean! If you can manage to snag 'em, then I don't think you'll be disappointed. Somehow he manages to stand out amidst the sea of Cobra Commander figures.
This Cobra Commander seems so cheap, when I look at the old pictures, but then I go pick him up again and I still have to agree with Past Alexx. It's a nice figure! The arms certainly are gangly, but any pose beyond a vanilla standing pose will fix that right up. I still want to run some silver paint over those metals on his chest, but otherwise, he works pretty well to this day. I have no idea how hard it is to run across the Dollar General guys nowadays, but they're still pretty solid, for bare-bones dollar store figures.