Love the movie? What? To anyone on G.I. Joe message boards over the past six months those words almost seem blasphemous, as the outlook for the upcoming motion picture is bleak, to say the least.
To many fans it’s because the arrival of the movie means the “death” of the Anniversary homages, and in many people’s minds those figures will never come back. To others, they fear the worst from the film standpoint, and can only imagine it suffering an immense and utter failure in plot and execution, thus “ruining” their memories and spitting on their childhood.
I could begin to rant and rave about how ridiculous those comments are, but I will try to stay positive and only talk the “good talk” here in regards to the arrival of the feature film next year.
There are definitely several reasons why I’m quite hesitant to annoint G.I. Joe as the next Transformers from a commercial perspective, but I think there are other elements to look at here when you consider just what the G.I. Joe movie could mean to you, as a G.I. Joe fan. I think if folks are willing to let go of their twenty-five year old perceptions and understand that the G.I. Joe brand has existed for over FORTY years in several different incarnations, and must re-invent itself to continue to do this for the next forty years, I think folks can appreciate what the movie is trying to do and potentially learn to enjoy the process and the end result a bit more than maybe they are now.
In my world, it’s always about the toys. Throughout the G.I. Joe mythos we’ve gotten numerous comics, cartoons, “themes”, and events, but in my opinion, any particular realm of G.I. Joe is only as successful as the toyline. For Sigma 6, the cartoon was bland and immature, the comic was no great shakes, but the amazing quality of the toyline made that one of the defining moments of the G.I. Joe mythos, in my opinion.
The same could be said in the opposite for G.I. Joe: Extreme. I really enjoyed the comic, the cartoon was pretty impressive, but the toys were lackluster, so deemed a “failure”. From my perspective, Resolute could be the first time that we get the “perfect storm” of great toys alongside a great media event. It could be huge for us Joefans. I’m not necessarily convinced of its relevance outside the core group of adult G.I. Joe collectors, but I think it could really be the first time since the heyday of the comics that we get fantastic media with an awesome toyline to go along with it.
I don’t think anyone is convinced that the G.I. Joe film is going to be an oscar-worthy masterpiece. That’s simply not how it’s been marketed, written, or cast. It’s being pushed forward as a mindless, fun, popcorn movie. A cartoon mini-series done in live action, and I think that’s great. It’s important not to get too bogged down in the “real world” aspects of G.I. Joe, because let’s face it, from day one, G.I. Joe has been science fiction. That’s the way it’s been since we first got a “Laser Rifle Trooper” in 1982 alongside jetpacks and remote controlled robots. Why should that change for the movie? It shouldn’t.
The most important aspect to me, though, are the toys as always. If you just stand back and look at the figures that were sculpted for the first 5-Packs, and then stand back and just look at the quality of the sculpting for the Resolute figures or Blowtorch, there is absolutely ZERO comparison. None. From detailing, to the webgear design, and overall figure appearance, I personally think that the figures designed now are worlds better than what we saw in 2007, and I think that bodes very well for figures we’ll end up getting for the film. Hasbro will be pulling out all the stops for the movie designs, and will be using their top shelf talent, and that makes me very, very excited to see what’s coming. We’ve seen a trio of figures at ToyArk, and if anything, that’s made me even more excited.
In spite of recent vehicle cancellations, and in spite of opinions of fans of Anniversary vs. Movie stuff, I think we’re in for a very, very fun late year next year, if folks can overlook their attachment to the past and open their minds to something new.