|Code Name: ALPINE|
Added to the G.I. Joe roster in 1985, Alpine filed the gaping vacancy of official team mountaineer. While ninja-fixated comic writer Harry Llama (also responsible for devising the characters real name, Albert Pine dont groan, thats about as funny as Larry gets) rigidly deployed him in this capacity only, both the Sunbow cartoon writers and the bods behind the British Action Force comic made him a bit more flexible, resulting in a fun but capable character who would become one of the most popular Joes.
Thus it was a bit surprising that the 25th Anniversary version was hidden away in the fifth of the DVD Battles boxed sets. The exclusive figures packed with the discs were generally variants on toys available in other forms (I believe only Dusty and Quick Kick were similarly limited to DVD sets, and they shipped with earlier sets and thus in greater numbers), but it was the only way to get an Alpine. All of which means hes probably the most expensive mass-release 25th Anniversary figure costing about £25-30 loose, or about twice that for the set.
The good news is that Alpines well done. He looks very close to the cartoon animation model, but just a little beefed up and pissed off. Something that always annoyed me about the 1985 toy was that his trousers were exactly the same colour as his face, but thats changed just enough here. The best thing is that, unlike later multi-packs like the 'Cobra Island' or 'Commanding Officer' sets, no expense has been spared here. Alpine uses Snow Jobs arms and legs, both modified, and the rest of him is unique parts which is good, as Alpines unique-looking. So his hard hat, wrist guards, shoulder pads and rope bundle are all present and correct; his PVC jacket can even be removed to reveal a white vest. The basic casting is faultless. As is the accessory pack Alpines backpack, pick-axe and grappling hook are represented, as well as a standard rifle, all of which can be packed neatly away when not in use. Ive even salvaged the grappling gun off the original, and wonderfully that also clips onto the backpack too. Intentional, or unintentional? Who cares, it works.
Alpine has a fault, its the articulation. Most of the customary
25th joints are present and correct, but the ankles are slightly
restricted, and the wrist guards limit what Alpines hands can
hold. Its a shame though maybe also just a sign of high
standards elsewhere; I only seem to notice the articulation of 25th
Anniversary figures when its lacking. Besides this, the big
stumbling block is the price, and in absolute terms its basically
impossible to justify Alpines price its not like
there arent a dozen or more 25th Anniversary figures which
are just as well made which can be found for a fraction of the price.
But if you like Alpine and end up buying him for said exorbitant price,
at least you wont be disappointed. I certainly wasnt.