Alpine is one of those characters that fans always seem to want to see when new iterations of the Real American Hero figures are produced. The 25th Anniversary version is a prime example, as fans clamor for the toy. That may be have been due in part to his elusiveness at retail, but nostalgic memories of the 1985 version surely contributed. This revamped Valor vs. Venom take however isn’t generally looked on so favorably. I’d venture to guess that many collectors have either forgotten about it, or blocked it from their minds.
Despite its colors and funky proportions, I have a soft spot for this re-do of Mr. Pine. There’s a civilian mountaineer and Adventure Team vibe that I really like. Since the 80s, There just haven’t been enough Joes in shorts. The 60s and 70s fellas were fine with letting their gams show from time to time, but once the Real American Hero line hit the scene, long pants were the rule of the day.
Accessory choices during the small Joe relaunch years often were a mixed bag of the rehashed and the pointless. Thankfully, Alpine was given some gear to befit his MOS. The grapple is useful, although a backpack with an attachment point would have been nice. The removable molded chest rope is a great piece of secondary detail that foreshadows things that were to come in the 25th Anniversary.
Being a new sculpt era Joe, we can’t get away without one or two odd little elements. For a guy who was portrayed as quite the happy go lucky hero in the Sunbow ‘toon, Alpine looks quite dour in this incarnation. Of course, his color scheme can’t be ignored. This has to be one of the boldest choices of color on a Joe figure since the 90s. A bright yellow shirt and purple shorts shouldn’t work, but in this case, I like it. Why? He’s just such a departure from the norm that I think the bold colors speak to his uncommon specialty. If you’d like him in something a little more subdued, there are two other choices, including a discount store variant (sans rope) and a Tiger Force version.