I know, I know…the mere mention of “Movie Toys” at this point sends most Joe fans into a spiralling depression and near-psychotic rage. We all love our Anniversary stuff, but like it or not, as of summer, 2009, we’ll be moving on to the inevitable onslaught of movie toys. Trust me when I say there will be no complaints about distribution once those bad boys hit. Oye ve!
I’m one of those eternal optimists that drives so many people crazy, and I’m kind of looking forward to what we’re going to see with the toys related to the film, if only for the potential of cool vehicles. In fact, it’s the vehicles I’m going to talk about here, which is unusual, because I’m not usually much of a “vehicle guy”. But let’s be honest here, Hasbro’s recent track record with new vehicles has been pretty stellar, in my opinion.
Right off the bat I’m discounting anything from the Anniversary line. Those are all homages to vehicles originally conceived of 25 years ago, and are not at all indicative of the creative minds behind vehicle design at Hasbro over the past five years. Going beyond that if you look at recent offerings from Hasbro from purely a design and execution standpoint, they have been hitting home run after home run in the vehicle category.
For my first example, I’m going to invoke the devil… a few years ago, this was about the most hated term in G.I. Joe online lexicon… Sigma 6 Mission Scale. The 2.5″ toys.
I stand by my firm position that had these vehicles been in a true 3 3/4″ scale, the Joe fandom would have embraced them whole heartedly and they would have a pretty treasured place in the history of the line, but as it stands, the 2.5″ line is regarded as a failure (which from a retail sales perspective, it was) and a lot of the fans totally disregard them, which I think is a shame, because some of the designs were absolutely inspired. Just a few examples here:
The flagship of the 2.5″ Mission Scale line, this was a behemoth vehicle with some incredible design aesthetics and amazing playability. The twin turbines, the sound effects and magnetic grab action are all amazing attributes that really made this a fun toy. But of course as a adult collectors we’re primarily concerned with the look, and this has the look down solid. Sloped armor, oversized, powerhouse turbines, and an almost falcon-like appearance, this was one impressive looking vehicle, and had it fit 3 3/4″ figures straight out of the box without modification, it would be tops on a lot of favorite lists.
One look at this behemoth and all you can say is “S.N.A.K.E. what?!”. This is what a robot/mech suit should be. It runs circles around the Defense Mech and Pulverizor for the 3 3/4″ line and is a complete and total offensive juggernaut. With the splayed robotic toes and the swappable armaments, this is one impressive hunk of machinery with some terrific design elements.
This is another example of the type of COBRA air firepower that fans have been asking for over the past 10 years but that we’ve never really gotten in our approved scale. Like the Dragonhawk, if this had been scaled up and designed to fit 3 3/4″ figures, it would have been an absolute fan favorite, no doubt in my mind. As it is, it’s an incredible looking plane that no one really has in their collection because it only barely fits their figures if they modify it.
Of course I could go on and on about the 2.5″ Mission Scale stuff, but I think most of my readers are 3 3/4″ fans, so I should at least talk about those too. And with vehicles such as the RHINO, ROCC, DTC HISS, and the Night Ops HUMVEE, I think we can pretty fairly say that in the larger scale, Hasbro was knocking the ball out of the park before they shrunk things down and ramped things up.
So rest assured, toy lovers. Even as the Anniversary fades away (but I don’t suspect it’s dying for good) we’ll still have a LOT of cool new toys to look forward to. We can still celebrate our 25 year old classics, but we can always look forward to new vehicles that might be considered classics twenty-five years from now, and going by past history, I think our chances of getting some kick ass vehicles out of this movie line are pretty damn good.