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.
Cobra finally shells out some dough for new uniforms.
Read that filecard over. You may find it familiar. You also may find it a bit out of place, since there are so many positions in Cobra for specific roles. If these guys are so highly skilled in so many areas, what the heck is the point of the other hundred or so specialties? You really need someone who is just AWESOME at using a flamethrower when one of these "highly skilled" guys can do it just the same?
The answer of course, is that these guys were from a different time. A time when G.I. Joe fought "Cobra: The Enemy." It wasn't a cartoony bunch of colorful crazies and their specialties; they were just skilled terrorists. No names among The Enemy back then! 'Course it was short lived, as names popped up pretty quick - and I'll be honest with you - my main Joe buying days were in the 90's, so I don't really have any nostalgia for the earliest days of G.I. Joe. Still, it's interesting to look back on it. These were THE BAD GUYS. Not only were they skilled in all the trades that they eventually hired others to do (or specialize in) but they wanted to "conquer the world for their own evil purposes!" No wonder Cobra Commander got rid of these bunch of savages! They were only out for themselves!
Okay okay, lets fast forward to now. These guys have pretty much been ignored since the advent of the Viper, and Troopers are being released right alongside them! Almost makes you wana choose sides, but I say NAY! Nay, and I'll tell you why; but it isn't what you usually think. No, it's not "Troopers on the bottom and Vipers on the top." It may seem that way, but READ THAT FILECARD. These are the worst of the worst. Vipers work for Cobra - Troopers are paid by Cobra and wear the logo, but they work for themselves. I propose to bring them back in their original lineup as The Enemy. Nameless, faceless, ruthless jacks of all trades that are recruited as the "bottom rung" but feared more than the Viper because of their chaotic nature.
BUT HEY, I thought I was talking about a toy?
Forgive my musings in the opening. I'm really starting to feel these guys in thier new form. The previous Troopers were such terrible figures that I pretty much regulated them to Red Mist Duty; as in getting-turned-into. It's not hard to love these guys, since they use the Shock Trooper torso and Snake Eyes legs (from the recent 30th SE, where his legs are makin' rounds). With those parts, you're already guaranteed these things:
- Excellent weapon gripping and posing
- Unmatched kneeling ability
- Realistic stances with little fidgeting
- Chillin' out maxin' relaxin' all cool
Basically, they made some fantastic parts recently, and they're using them. You know, rather than making horrible parts and using those (like Duke arms and half the 25th sculpts, now that I look back). There are, of course, some drawbacks to these parts:
- The holster continues to be useless for the gun they provide. Falls right out. I can't fault it completely, because the holster holds just about any other pistol you put in there except the one it comes with! All they needed to do was make those pistols a bit bigger and it woulda been cool.
- The helmets fall off constantly...sorta. It's hard to pin down. If you put in on there and leave it...it sorta sticks somehow, but not perfectly. Other times I lift the toy and it falls right off! One way or another the helmets needed some little tabs inside to get 'em to stay tighter.
- The 25th Trooper harness is showing it's age, and I'm tired of the peg that keeps it on being on the INSIDE. That pushes into the body of the figure and makes it so that it pops open often; I'll go into that deeper with another figure.
But seriously, none of those problems really got in the way of me having fun with these guys!
I mean look at 'em! I barely had to work for these poses. Another great part is the accessory choices; the rifle and rocket launcher alone gives you all you need for some unique troops. The pistols add fuel to the fire 'cause, though they can't stay in the holster for crap, they do look COOL! Kudos (yeah i'm not bringing that back...ew) to 'em for putting in two pistols as well. Other than that, you got a serviceable knife (that they're throwing around a lot with this line, which is good) and you're set!
Oh, and barb wire. Yeah, it's something.
Anyway, beyond the complaints above, I really am loving these guys. I feel so bad for my Past Self and how many 25th Troopers he stocked up on. And then subsequently so bad for my Current Self because of all the 25th Troopers my Past Self stocked up on.
I mean, they're so horrible. The hands are useless, you have to work hard to get the elbows into a 90's degree angle (and even then, it's hard to get a two-handed rifle position), and they just do NOT pose well. Only one part is any good, and it actually creates a dilemma:
I dunno if you agree with me by just seeing it, but the old heads look fantastic on the new bodies. I really never had a problem with the heads. Even better: when they're on the new bodies, they get FULL range of motion! They can look up, down, and all around! The new heads have standard motion; not bad, but not great. The old heads (specifically on the new body, 'cause they can't do this stuff on the old body) just open up a whole new figure, almost. So...in a way, the old figures wouldn't be complete fodder if you decided to buy a ton of these new ones!
Just steal the good parts from the old ones and add 'em to the new ones! AHHHHH!! Why did I have to find this out?! It's terrible, and it fits so well with every simple swap you make.
So there's really no way to go wrong with these damn things. They're cool as-is, and get cooler when you mix them.
Oh CRAP, I wrote a whole bunch, but didn't make any comics!
Just kidding. I made TONS.
I hope it's obvious when I'm having a blast with a toy. I think the only thing that could get in the way is the helmets falling off, and that's just with kids. It honestly doesn't fall off as much as say, Recondo's hat, so I can't even remember being annoyed by it! Granted, I didn't even bother putting thier pistols in the holsters, but I don't think that's terribly important when you can just put any 'ol pistol in there and it'll stay. It's sad, since these are cool pistols, but I just find that I don't care. Strange, I know! Especially when I think I've complained about it before (or with my little fit with Low Light).
As for the comparison between the Troopers: my ire for the 25th guys isn't really new. It's not like they're suddenly crap when compared to these guys - I never really liked them, but they were all we had, at the time. I just thought it wasn't gona get any better. Well, those two panels above pretty much sum up my feelings. THEY'RE USELESS. Save for the heads (if I decided to get more new Troopers).
And the other thing about these new Troopers is the filecard, bringing us full circle. They've been using that filecard throughout the 25th line, but my ire for the figures overshadowed any interest. Now the figure is AWESOME...and I find myself examining the filecard rather than just flipping it behind him with a comment on how dated it is.
Don't get me wrong: I LOVE my brightly colored 90's Cobras with a million different specialties. That's always gona stick with me. I just don't see a reason why I can't MELD everything together! So Cobra has a lot of specialists - cool! Well, they also have the absolute scum of the earth: The Troopers. Recruited from everywhere; Cobra taking in the most skilled in the area. These guys aren't the best at any one thing, but you never know what they'll pull out! Vipers can be counted on to be tough and trained - hard to take down. The Troopers are the scummy little S.O.B.s that are so vile that they'll stoop to whatever low that gets them the win. That's why I think you don't see them as much now; it's not prudent to make a whole army of the unpredictable. ...but they're still there.
So watch your back.
These guys are still pretty good! The helmets falling off still bothers me, but as Past Alexx said: The 25th Trooper heads actually work better on this body! The range of movement is better and they look great! So that's always an option, if you still have 25th Troopers around, collecting dust, being terrible in every way. I'm pretty sure these guys are in the current 50th Anniversary line as well, so you should have no trouble accessing them.
On the other hand, you could always go Marauder....I swear I'm not trying to be a salesman for Marauder, but they have an obvious Cobra blue body; all you'd need is a decal or paint a Cobra symbol on there. Just sayin'. I'm not sure which is cheaper, at this point.