Kick Ass Custom – Painting details on The Pit!

The self-proclaimed OCD Joefan, “Werecat” of JoeSightings and JoeBattleLines went the extra mile with his Pit Playset, and spent a whopping 14 hours doing detail work with a very small paint brush and a whole lot more patience than I have!  Check out his post on JoeBattleLines here, or check out the gallery below.  Very impressive.

Some Catch Up work – A look at some recent “Alexx Shorts”

JoeBattleLines and JoeSightings member Alexx  always has a really unique look at the Rise of COBRA figures as they hit, and gives us some really neat images to go along with it, and his enthusiasm hasn’t slowed one bit since the line hit!  In fact, he’s been so enthusiastic that I haven’t been able to keep up with his frenetic posting.  He’s a machine.

However, I do feel like I should at least take some time and focus on a few of his more recent entries because they’re so awesome.  His stuff can be found on JoeSightings.com, as well as the Mission Debriefing section of JoeBattleLines.  Anyone who isn’t checking that stuff out is missing out on some really neat perspective and insight.

Enough butt kissing…

General Hawk (Single Pack)

This figure is so freaking cool.  So understated and very underrated, but one of my favorite figures in the line.  It’s perfect in its simplicity, with a great accessory compliment and some very nice, basic design work.  I really, REALLY love this figure.  I love it a lot.

Grand Slam w/ Air Assault Glider

You know, I pretty much wrote off these Target Exclusives, but for some reason it didn’t occur to me that Grand Slam had the new lower legs.  Not only that, but the Ace headsculpt is a very nice difference compared to the Flash one.  Sure, it’s reused, but at least in the Original 13 group shots he’ll still stand out.  I think I have to pick this one up now.  Thanks a lot, Alexx.  :shifty:

The Doctor

I don’t think I need to tell anyone how bad ass this figure is.  I thought the figure was pretty neat as it was, but the awesomely campy performance by Joseph Gordon-Levitt only further cemented the character (and figure) in my mind.  A “must have” for the Rise of COBRA, no doubt.  Even you vintage purists should find a way to work him into the line as a deranged scientist who works alongside Dr. Mindbender.

Paris Pursuit Baroness

From the minute I saw this figure, I knew I’d dig her more than the regular one, and I was right.  Just got mine in the mail today from HasbroToyShop, so haven’t had a chance to do the full blown review, but expect good words.  Very nice figure.  Very nice.

Pit Commando

This figure is currently the bane of my existence.  One of the only Rise of COBRA figures I have yet to hold in my hands.  I have two on the way from HasbroToyShop (finally!) but beyond that I haven’t had the pleasure of messing with this figure yet.  I plan on doing a crazy intensive review once I can.  I know the base figure is just Dusty, but I am just antsy as can be waiting for all that awesome looking gear.  What a fantastic way to do a “Accessory Set” without actually doing one.  Kudos to Hasbro on this guy, I love him and I don’t even have one yet.

Things that Joe fans take for granted… Avatar rants

Lord knows there’s been no shortage of complaining online over the Rise of COBRA film and everything surrounding it, but by and large, folks seem to at least be relatively happy with the toys we’ve gotten.  Sure, there are people who have some issues with the design or the concept of figures, but for pure sculpting talent and design accumin, I just can’t conceive at how anyone could argue that Hasbro’s art team is the best in the business on a 3 3/4″ scale…and man, it’s not even close.

ToyArk.com just posted some loose images of upcoming Avatar toys.  And while the film promises to totally revolutionize the medium, the action figures…well…in my mind, they look terrible.  The vehicles rock pretty hard, but from a sculpting and detail standpoint, those figures just aren’t even in Hasbro’s league.  I mean, let’s look at this…I’ve posted a comparison gallery below.

I mean, is it even a close comparison?  Sculpting detail, scale, design…it’s miles better with the Joe stuff than it is with Mattel’s Avatar line.  It’s a world of difference.  No bulky, ugly hips to conceal wonky articulation points, much fewer blatantly obvious cut-lines for movement, and a much more well-blended articulation and musculature style.

Like I said, though, the vehicles are very nice (even if the Mech and Dropship are direct rip offs of Sigma 6 :shifty: ) but those figures?  Bleeech.

And yeesh, I didn’t even touch on the Terminator: Salvation travesties…those were some butt ugly toys, too.  It just gets more and more obvious to me that aside from rampant collector complaints, Hasbro absolutely rules the boys toys aisle, and it’s not even close.

Comic Pack Training Snake Eyes test shot spotted online

Amongst the glut of cancelled product at the tail end of the Anniversary line, the Snake Eyes from the Snake Eyes vs. Night Creeper Comic Pack has been one of the very few never revealed in figure form.  Well, that’s all changed, thanks to some digging by The Terror Drome.  In fact, a few images have shown up for this Training Snake Eyes, some there and some from HissTank.com.

This figure actually has an interesting history…initially, the Comic Pack was shown with a very striking cover that clearly showed a Resolute themed Snake Eyes facing off against the Night Creeper.  Somewhere along the line, though, the decision was made to instead use more reused tooling, and this Training Snake Eyes was put together using Storm Shadow parts with a new head.  Like Storm Shadow (who has some Dice stuff worked in there), Snake Eyes features some cool gear that could easily be utilized for COBRA Ninja Slice.  Check out the images below.

New product images emerge online

Official retail product images have cropped up for upcoming Combat Heroes sets as well as Target Exclusive vehicles.  Curiously, though, these images show clear international markings…it will be interesting to see where these crop up.  Anyway, galleries are shown below.

Combat Heroes

Target Exclusives/International Packs

The more I see those exclusives the more I’m loving the SNAKE Armor set.  Though why the heck is the Neo-Viper now being called the Viper Commando?  He’s named that in the recently released Toys “R” Us SRO 3-pack as well.  Weird.

Hasbro Flash-based animated game based on Rise of Cobra

Okay, how can something so utterly cheesy be so cool at the same time?  I dunno, but this is.  The voice work is horrid, the flash-based animation is choppy and no-budget, but the character designs rock, and I loved every minute of it!  Still not sure how it’s possible.

Hasbro’s MonkeyBarTV has posted a neat little flash-based animated game, mixed in with a short new story/cartoon following a COBRA attempt and putting a spy in the midst of the Joe team.  Like I said, the story is thin, but the character models are freaking cool.  A lot of them look pretty much the same as the RoC film, but in a smoother, more animated style, however many of them are clearly Resolute inspired!  Destro, Ripcord, the Baroness, and Snake Eyes especially all have some great Resolute “feeling” to them, and it’s a pretty cool marriage between the two styles.

Does this mean an actual cartoon using these designs is in the works?  No idea, but you’d have no complaints out of if it is.  I’m amazed at how nicely the two styles merge into each other.  They seemed to dramatically contrast one another at first, but whoever designed the characters for this little game did a good job making them work together.

As part of a “reward” for completing certain aspects of the game, you can also download character filecards!  I snagged them all, and put them in a gallery below.  Pretty bad ass.

Box Office Update for G.I. Joe: The Rise of COBRA

As thought, last weekend, District 9 took a chunk of G.I. Joe’s audience domestically, but the film is still rolling along fairly strong worldwide.  It hit at least $2 million every day throughout the week, and jumped to $3.6 million Friday night.  At this point, according to Deadline Hollywood Daily, the film is estimated to bring in $12.5 million domestically this weekend which would bring it to $120.5 million domestically since release three weeks ago.

But the real story here is the worldwide appeal.  G.I. Joe: The Rise of COBRA has quietly kept it’s #1 ranking worldwide for 2 solid weeks, and still brings in some serious dollars in other countries.  Box Office Mojo is reporting that overseas box office returns stand right now at about $102 million (though often those numbers are somewhat out of date).  That means by Monday, The Rise of COBRA could have $225 – $240 million worldwide.   Lorenzo Di Bonaventura initially said he wanted $350 million to guarantee a sequel, but recent comments from Paramount have put their goal at a more mangeable $300 million.  That number certainly seems pretty achievable at this point.

Not bad numbers at all, and certainly not the “bust” that many armchair quarterbacks were predicting and even hoping for.

Packaged shots for Wal-Mart Battle Stations online

The Terror Drome has dug up some nice packaged shots of the upcoming Wal-Mart Exclusive Battle Stations which come with familiar mini playsets and a pair of Rise of COBRA themed action figures.  They should retail for $17.99 and be available at Wal-Mart.  The sets include:

  • Heatseeker Missile Launcher w/ Scrap Iron and Neo-Viper
  • Laser Artillary Weapon w/ Hawk and Grand Slam
  • COBRA Surveillance Port w/ Tele-Viper and MARS Trooper
  • Outpost Defender w/ Roadblock and Tripwire

I’m sort of on the fence with these.  I love the Surveillance Port, and really dig that RoC Tele-Viper, but I’m not wild about another MARS Trooper.  The green camouflage Hawk kicks ass, but I don’t really need another Grand Slam, and I’m not crazy about the LAW either.  I am a bit tempted on the Outpost Defender, simply for the Resolute styled Roadblock, but I’ve got a pre-production version, and I really don’t care for Tripwire.  The Heatseek Missile is probably my favorite of the actual mini playsets, but I don’t really like either figure.  It’ll help Scrap Iron if he’s got the newer construction from the unreleased Wave 15 version, but beyond that…I dunno.  Nothing with these sets is knocking my socks off.  Check out the images for yourself.

HasbroToyShop has new vehicles in stock and ready to go

Thanks to JoeBattleLines for pointing out that HasbroToyShop.com has the following vehicles in stock and ready to ship:

Don’t forget that “GIJoe10” saves 10% off your order!

Wave 5 High Res Images up at TNI

Toy News International has posted some very nice high res images of the upcoming 5th wave of Rise of COBRA single packs.  These figures look to be kicking off the “Pursuit of COBRA” theme, as they are broken up into Arctic Threat, City Strike, Desert Assault, and Jungle Battle sub teams.  A lot of these figures are using existing parts, and honestly, I was pretty “meh” about this wave when I first saw it…but man, it’s growing on me.  Duke, Snake Eyes, and Ripcord are especially kick ass.  Storm Shadow did nothing for me at first, but closer looks makes him a bit more interesting…he’s more than just a Paris Pursuit Snake Eyes repaint, and I find myself more curious to check him out than I thought I might be originally.  The line up is as follows:

  • Storm Shadow (Arctic Threat)
  • Duke (City Strike)
  • Snake Eyes (City Strike)
  • Desert-Viper (Desert Battle)
  • Ripcord (Jungle Assault)

The Resolute Snake Eyes is, of course, the star of the show, by far.  I really love Ripcord, too, though, and he works great as a desert version of him who fights alongside Duke at the beginning.  A pretty cool line up, especially after my feelings were so mixed initially.