So about those overseas auctions…

The past few days I’ve had a bit of a crisis of conscience.

Reading the latest round of Hasbro Q & A’s was a bit of a wakeup call as they repeatedly mentioned the overseas sellers, leaking photos early, selling potentially stolen product, and generally making life difficult for the folks in Pawtucket.  I will say, right up front, that I somewhat disagree with Hasbro’s notion that these early leaked photos do some harm.  Sure, in some cases there is misinformation, and of course, lots of things can change in the course of toy production.  However, I think this constant stream of leaked images actually helps keep the Joe brand vibrant and in the minds of us collectors with short term memory loss and attention deficit disorder.

Look at it this way…the last official images Hasbro showed us was during Toy Fair, 2009.  That was in February, now over three months ago.  By all intents and purposes, we won’t see any other official images until San Diego ComicCon, which is in late July.  That would mean from February – July there was NOTHING.  No images, no press releases, no talk, nothing.  How many short-minded Joe fans would have moved on to other things without the realization that there was actually some cool product coming down the pipeline?  How many disillusioned Joe fans would have already gone on to Star Wars, Masters of the Universe, Marvel or whatever, without knowing that there were some great vintage-style figures and vehicles on the way?  Not to mention the folks who like the movie stuff…we would have no idea about the awesome Headquarters for Heroes exclusives, the Wal-Mart 2-Packs, or the cool as hell upcoming Dragonhawkfly (or whichever it is).  I think these leaks are critical to keeping the G.I. Joe line “fresh” in the collector mindset.  Sure, some items may be labelled incorrectly…sure, some weapons might not actually be right, and some paint apps may change.  Or hell, some figures or vehicles might not hit release as planned.  But the important thing is, the fandom is talking about something.  Spring is a notoriously slow time of year, and I think the fact that there are new leaked images to talk about and new things to discuss leading up to the big summer convention season is vitally important.  Without those leaks, where would the fandom be by the time SDCC crawled along?  Would a lot of fans have forgotten and moved on?  I think that’s a big possibility.

But there is a critical line there…and it’s a line I’m afraid to say I have crossed repeatedly over the past couple of weeks.  Thankfully a good friend of mine whose opinion I trust and value confronted me on it over the weekend, and you know what?  He was right.

I think these leaked images are important,  and I think they generate conversation and interest.  However, I think I’ve gone a bit overboard in my “endorsement” of online auctions from overseas sellers.  In reading some past posts I’ve made, it almost seems as if I’m recommending that people buy from these black-market eBay stores, and I really regret coming across that way.  We are in a pretty critical economic climate, and for every $14.99 Alley-Viper that a Joe collector buys from Asia could potentially subtract COBRA Island 7-Packs that are bought legally, which could have disastrous ramifications for Hasbro sales.  Not only could that hurt the Joe line in general, but it could tell Hasbro that we’re not interested in these vintage-themed 7-Packs, which is the exact opposite of what I’m seeing in the fandom.

So from here on, I’m drawing a line…it’s a thin line, but I’m drawing it.  While I will continue to report on and show images from these overseas auctions in the interest of generating interest and conversation in the fandom, I will not endorse, nor report on black market items or auctions for items that we know will appear at mass retail in the coming months.  This “stance” will probably not make a whole lot of difference, but simply from my own philosophical standpoint and to clear my own conscience that is the direction I’m going.

I know that everyone reading this shares my desire to see the G.I. Joe line succeed and move forward, so hopefully  we can all keep that in mind as we search the latest overseas auction to see what we want to buy just to own it a couple of months ahead of time.  I’m eager to hear everyone’s thoughts on this…am I going overboard?  Should I do more?  Leave me a comment and let’s talk it over.

New images of SDCC Destro figures on eBay

Sicdunbine has posted some new images of the upcoming Destro 2-pack available exclusively at the San Diego ComicCon this summer.  These pictures are very nice loose images with accessories.  This two pack looks…  stellar.  Absolutely fantastic.

I really hope that this suited look gets translated to a more accessible figure at some point down the line, as it just looks about as perfect as it can get.  I am absolutely in awe over how this figure came out.  So far, the two versions of Destro we’ve seen have been among my favorite Rise of COBRA figures yet.  Incredible!

Anyway, check out the images below.

Thanks very much to HissCommander from the Terror Drome for the information.

New Rise of COBRA themed novel at bookstores tomorrow

aboveandbeyondThanks to Jeff Bohn for pointing out that RandomHouse.com has a listing for a new novel out tomorrow entitled G.I. Joe: Above and Beyond.  The cover labels it as a Rise of COBRA prequel, and the description is as follows:

IN THE HEAT OF BATTLE, THERE ARE MANY HEROES.

Part of an elite covert military team, Lieutenant Duke Hauser and his buddy Ripcord Weems are dispatched to the small oil-rich South American country of San Sebastiao to help quell a revolution. The multinational peacekeeping force known as G.I. JOE has secretly sent special ops to support Duke’s unit. Their other mission: Find out who’s playing both sides of the conflict by supplying each with the same advanced lethal weaponry. But it turns out the devious culprit has raised the stakes–promising to deliver an army of super soldiers in the near future. If Duke’s squad and the G.I. JOE team can’t stop the revolution, halt the proliferation of weapons, and eliminate the threat of laboratory-produced warriors, a dark plot toward world domination will soon be launched.

Check out the page here.

Mysterious new arctic themed figures on TaoBao

Another uncolored pre-production test shot has appeared on Asian auction site TaoBao, and it’s a weird one.  It would appear to be an arctic figure of some kind, using a lot of Arctic Snake Eyes parts, but with a tall collar, and a new head, both of which end up looking a bit different.  Check out the image mirrored below.

mystery_arctic-01

Thanks to HissCommander from The Terror Drome for the info.

Target Exclusive vehicle packs revealed

HissTank forum member acmilan8540 has revealed a quartet of apparent Target exclusives which contain some repainted vehicles and some of the figures we’ve recently seen debuted on eBay by overseas auctioners.  Some Valor Vs. Venom pieces as well as the Anniversary COBRA CLAW with a nice assortment of vintage homage figures.  The packs include:

  • Grand Slam w/ Air Assault Glider (Spy Troops repaint glider)
  • Snake Eyes w/ Arashikage Cycle (Valor Vs. Venom Ninja Lightning repaint cycle)
  • Air-Viper Commander w/ COBRA CLAW (Anniversary CLAW repaint)
  • COBRA Eel w/ Wave Crusher (Spy Troops Wave Crusher repaint)

Check out the thread here, and check out the images below.

More Sideshow COBRA Commander pictures from JoeBattleLines

Sinchicken has update his JoeBattleLines thread with some more pictures of the Sideshow COBRA Commander.  Check out the thread here, and the images mirrored below.

Rise of COBRA Destro repaint revealed

We’ve all seen (and drooled over) the Rise of COBRA Destro figure that first appeared on eBay a while ago, but now it would appear that a much darker blue and red repaint may be coming out as well.

Check out the image below, courtesy of sicdunbine:

blue_destro

G.I. Joe: Review Podcast Episode 24 is online

Christopher, Chad, Matthew, and Dosser have uploaded the latest episode of their G.I. Joe Review Podcast, focusing on reviewing the Marvel comics and just talking G.I. Joe in general.  You can listen to the latest episode via the integrated MP3 player now:


All of the pertinent info (subscription links, discussion links, etc…) can be found below:

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