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.
Join Ninja Force! Everyone's doing it!
Time to weather the Storm, folks! Normally I'd go off on how this is "yet another Storm Shadow" blah blah blah - I mean, I've done it many times before, in the RoC reviews. I felt it was necessary because I was basically buying minor variations (most of the time) on the same guy. They were all variations that I liked, but I knew that reviewing them and saying "Man, this is awesome!" all the time wasn't really all that important to most folks. They were just more Storm Shadows, after all.
This one is yet another Storm Shadow, but I feel like it stands out, in the same way that '91 Snake Eyes does. It was the first Storm Shadow to do something a little different. Granted, by that point Storm Shadow hadn't really stuck to one look, like Snake Eyes:
There was the standard ninja, and then maybe something a little more modern (depending on how you look at it) and WOW...this one was only our third Storm Shadow! Hard to imagine that he wasn't spammed so hard back then, huh? And there was only one more of him before the line died in '94! Crazy.
Here is our homage to '92 Ninja Force Storm Shadow. What a 90's wave of figures! Well, three of them anyway (since the Dollar General Cobra Commander was obviously a homage to his 90's counterpart). I still call three a win, because the 90's are an overlooked part of G.I. Joe at the moment (though I suppose, with these figures in the mix, the early 2000's are now the most ignored timeframe...)
There are two accessories for 'ol Stormy, so he makes out a little better than Snakes.
Once again: this is the first time be broke away from the mostly-white look, and I suppose he accidentally left a pen in the wash. Either that or he just ran forward while someone threw some paint at him. If you had the original figure, you can probably already see some missing details; after all, this is just a homage.
I don't have the original figure, but I've got a repaint of him, at least. The DG version doesn't have the shoulder pads with the weapons on them, nor does he have any other details beyond the new sash/belt they threw in (because he's Storm Shadow, and Storm Shadow needs a belt).
If you look at the original, you can see we're missing a lot of the gold highlights and some white speckles. I don't miss them much, because the paint job on this guy really gets the idea across. There's no mistaking which version this is supposed to be! Still, I would have liked the belt buckle to be gold, at least.
Storm Shadow also sports that distinctive hood-over-the-mask thing (rather than v2's mask just over the mouth and the hood covering the rest), so they recreated that with what I consider to be a great choice of hood.
What you're seeing is not the hood from Resolute Storm Shadow, but the hood from Resolute Zartan! I think this is a wonderful choice. The Reso Storm Shadow hood is too large to get the same look:
It looks good, but doesn't get across the look they were going for. Also I've found that hood has a tendency to fall off,while the hood that comes with DG Storm Shadow is nice and snug, and easy to adjust when you pose him.
Also, since it comes off, you can use that tattered item from Arctic Assault Storm Shadow to make it look like the hood is down:
Now, how about that articulation? Most of you lucky suckers have seen this mold already, but I never found 30th Storm Shadow, so this is my first----wait wait no, my first look at this mold is with the Retaliation Red Ninja. Still, the Red Ninja has some different ankles and shins, so this is a little different.
Anyway, WOW. I mean, it's mostly the standard stuff, but I gotta give credit when it all works so well! It's hard to get a pose that doesn't look good.
And those hands! At least, "those hands" when it comes to posing. This is one of those few that I find myself having more fun without accessories in hand. The right wrist has side-to-side movement, while the left moves up-and-down. It gives you a lot of range, and the unique fingers look ready to pluck out an eye or snap your rips. Good stuff!
I was afraid of one thing in particular, when I saw the 30th Storm Shadow, and that was way the hands would hold things. Thankfully, they hold the sword quite well! The fingers are a little more gummy than I'd like, but they do what they need to do.
Neeeahhhh well, except for that. It took forever to get that one pose! The bow does not fit in his hands well, though I'll admit it wasn't built for his hands. And, of course, I added that arrow for coolness. Still, I'm glad they added it, since it is a trademark Storm Shadow deal, and I can never get enough of that new bow. I'd give it to someone else, because it'll just keep falling out of his hands.
He will hold pretty much anything with a larger handle, so no worries on the whole!
Now, in the accessory department, I tried the same thing I did with DG Snake Eyes and got the closest weapons I could find to his 90's originals:
The sword is actually the exact same mold as his original (dunno who that came with, but it's from one of those old TRU multipacks) and the sickle is just the closest I could find. But heck, he looks good with anything!
And obviously he can hold anything his 30th figure came with (the sai actually came with one of the two Retaliation three packs).
I dunno if it's obvious, but I REALLY liked this guy. I understand if you got what you needed in the 30th figure, because he pretty much came with everything...but that is the ultimate classic style. This is the only Ninja Force version you're gona get (most likely) and you don't have to deal with that annoying action attack! I never liked the original one back in the day, due to the action attack (and indeed, my friend and I played the classic "horrible little boys" role and firecrackered that poor figure) but I never had a problem with the look.
Just like with Snake Eyes; I didn't think Hasbro would touch this look. I'm glad they did, and though he could use a bit more gold, I think it came out very well! The nostalgia angle still counts, and I think that'll be this guy's main selling point, but I urge you to give him a shot even if you never liked this figure's look. The whole style just works for him, and they chose a great set of items to fill him out; especially that hood.
Besides, the Joe team could always use another murder specialist, don't you think?
What can I say? I'm a sucker for the 90's remakes.
Recently I've complained about the constant 80's remakes, but it's not like I'm against remakes all together. I'm a nostalgically driven collector, like any of you. I like seeing my old favorites rehashed. It's just that the 80's have been remade multiple times, now. Snake Eyes' v2 figure has been done at least three times; two being repaints of each other, and the third being a remake of those remakes! And a nice remake, too. Brand new parts and everything. Meanwhile we're sitting on these minor part-reuse repaints that look like the 90's guys, for the most part.
Don't get me wrong! I love this one and the 90's Snake Eyes. Just feel like us 90's kids are kind of ignored. (and I say that as both an 80's AND 90's kid - I was born in 83, though, so much of my real toy memories come from the early to mid 90's). Granted, the G.I. Joe collector's club has been hitting some of the 90's figures, but it's too little too late, for me.
Nah, now I'm past all that and I just want to see G. I. Joe evolve. DO something. Anything. Just start breathing again, at least. There isn't even a dead horse left to beat, just some bones and the ground made fertile from it's decomposed corpse, where someone could grow something new, if they wanted.
OH WAIT, the figure. Yeah, I still like him. Cool version of Storm Shadow, if you don't have enough of him already. I'd track it down.