G.I. Joe Q & A Answers coming in…

We’ve just received our answers from the latest round of the G.I. Joe Q & A Session!  Here are the questions and answers from GeneralsJoes:

1) Comparing what we saw at Toy Fair in February with what was shown at GIJoeCon last year, it’s evident that some figures are not currently being released as planned.  What went into the decision on which figures to cut from assortments?  Figures like Desert Battle Ripcord seemed to have a ton of fan love and looked like a terrific addition, not to mention lots of money invested in the additional tooling.  Why would a figure like that get dropped from current release plans?

1) The majority of figures are being released as planned.  If a figure is dropped, it could be because it was not fully tooled and it is no longer relevant to the theme or storyline.

2) What is the current status of the third wave of Target Exclusive vehicles, the RAM w/ Sandstorm, Whirlwind w/ Range-Viper, Trubble Bubble w/ Elite-Viper, and Glider w/ Ace?  Are they still getting released?

2) Unfortunately there are currently no plans for their release.

Let me just say…

NOOOOOO!!!  Man.  I was really looking forward to those Target exclusive vehicles, but it sounds like they’re not being released as planned?  THAT is a major bummer.

  • http://grapedrank.blogspot.com Strider

    You gotta be kidding….That wave of Target Exclusives was looking great AND they were POC themed! Ugh…

  • m6d

    guess I can cross off two whirlwinds from my checklist :(

  • http://myspace.com/samsallspark tkprime

    Thank God I got my set from the overseas seller, (I cannot understand why Hasbro would not have Target release these).

  • http://www.theterrordrome.com WildWeasel

    “Thank God I got my set from the overseas seller, (I cannot understand why Hasbro would not have Target release these).”

    Honestly, I think that answer is pretty obvious. IMO, I think Target did horrible with the Rise of Cobra product. It clogged their shelves for months and months with Collections 1 & 2; while others like Walmart and Toys R Us continued to rotate product and get new stuff on a regular basis. Target decided early they were to be the “headquarters” for G.I. Joe and completely failed with their high prices.

    It does suck we are not going to see that wave of figures and vehicles, because again like the Wave 3 Alpha vehicles that got cancelled, they were a much better offering of product than what preceded it.

  • Alpine

    The majority of figures are being released as planned.

    This means that those we saw at Toyfair are slated to be released. The ones we didn’t see are no longer relevant to the theme like, particularly the Ripcord that Justin asked about. Weem’s Ripcord is no longer needed.
    There better be something good at JoeCon and the line better make it until fall or 2010 will be the year that Joe goes under again. Thanks Sommers!

  • Rouge Tele-Viper

    No wave 3 alphas or Target, no DB ripcord, but hey…we get those killer mech suits…..

  • http://www.one-18th.com THE Jay

    OH WHAT THE CRAP. Man. BOO.

    I wanted some Jungle Viper goodness, but NoooOOOooo… Heaven forbid. I’m a bit pissy on that news. :(

  • http://www.one-18th.com THE Jay

    OH WHAT THE CRAP. Man. BOO.

    I wanted some Range Viper goodness, but NoooOOOooo… Heaven forbid. I’m a bit pissy on that news. :(

  • MekkZ

    The news about the cancellation of the Target exclusives royally sucks. But on the other hand maybe it’ll mean Hasbro will release the ME sculpt Range-Viper on single card (and hopefully not in green).

  • http://robinsartist.deviantart.com/ Dragonfly

    Shoot. I was hoping for that black Trouble Bubble to go with the Serpent Armor and CLAW from the earlier waves. But it’s ture–there’s still a ton of the older exclusives on the shelves.

  • Harlan Rosen

    NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO………. :(

    I was so excited for that Range Viper/Whirlwind pack. :( :( :(

  • Alexx

    I’ll add to the “NOOOOOOOOOO” pile! I was SO looking forward to the Range Viper pack! I mean, how perfect if a friggin’ gattling gun station with a GREEN Range Viper? That would have been the first time a Range Viper would be the color of his element!

    Agh…what a thing to cancel…

  • http://grapedrank.blogspot.com Strider

    I echo all sadness about the Range Viper /Whirlwind….that was a great looking color for a very cool mold. And I was actually really excited for that red Elite Viper w/ Trubble Bubble.

  • Alpine

    Don’t worry guys. I’m sure the Whirlwind will show up in the next reimagining of the toys next year..and then it will be canceled again!

  • Steamblade

    Anybody else get the idea that the JOE brand management’s meetings are somewhat akin to pin the tail on the donkey, complete with blindfolds?

  • Alpine

    “Anybody else get the idea that the JOE brand management’s meetings are somewhat akin to pin the tail on the donkey, complete with blindfolds?”

    I think what you seem to be forgetting is that this is not Hasbro’s fault. At all. Nothing to do with marketing and research and the free information they have at their disposal on the forums that they say they read. This is umm..Target’s fault, yeah Target’s! And the umm..economy! Don’t forget the economy! I know that Star Wars, Hotwheels, Marvel, DC, Transformers and He-Man are selling good, but still it’s the economy. Nothing to do with Hasbro or ROC being a stinkbomb of a movie and a toyline or the fact that Hasbro lost it’s collectors when they stopped doing the classics and tried to get us to forget about Resolute.

    Which brings me to my next point. This is really the collectors fault. A bunch of winy, ARAH nerds living in the past who can’t seem to move one and accept that ROC is now what is relevant and that the second movie will in fact hook the next generation of kids. Wait and see.

    Hasbro, please don’t listen to the fans. They have no idea what they are talking about. They are not privy to your stockholders meetings or your inner-workings. And they are not but a small segment of your supporters. ROC did very good in sales, it’s only because of the economy that things aren doing so well right now. But we have the upmost faith in you and want to say thank you for everything you do for us. You continue to amaze us with each and everything you do, POC looks incredible, (who am I kidding you could paint a stick and call it “Snake Eyes” and I’d still buy it!)

    Looking forward to Mech Joe, More Duke and Snake Eyes and hopefully we can see some more Sigma 6. Thank you HASBRO!!!!

  • Alpine

    Oh and before anyone accuses me of being an apologist, stop it. I am a realist who simply has no emotional baggage or can’t let go of the past.

    I understand that 50 versions of Duke and Snake eyes, cancelations and a hiatus are all relevant to Joe today and that Hasbro really knows what it’s doing. Don’t worry, they have this one, I believe in them and you should too!!

    “When all else fails,..we don’t”–Gen. Hawk

  • Rouge Tele-Viper

    If it means anything, my local Targets have long sold out of prior exclusives.

    But the pegs have nothing but $5 Scarlet and Baroness. The same crappy figures for months. And since the pegs are full of crappy figs, new figs never get stocked.

    I blame the problem with sales on Target, not collectors. The cool stuff sold, the garbage did not.

    I expect Hasbro thinks the Mech suits will be a big hit with kids etc… But I can see them becoming shelf warmers, thus resulting in cool stuff being canceled.

    Stuff sitting on the shelf has nothing to do with ARAH fanboys..it means the stuff sat on shelves because it sucks and should have never been released in the first place….Like rip attack vehicles..etc…

  • Alpine

    Rouge, I was being sarcastic. I’m just playing the card that the apologists constantly play in the hopes that it shows them how ridiculous they look. I’m in complete agreement.

    Hasbro is persistent and I admire that. But it’s obvious no many how many times they reinvent Joe and how many Duke’s and Snake Eyes’ they make to warm the pegs, the kids simply don’t care. If they did, it would have caught on from ROC or even Sigma 6.

    It’s a collector’s line. Slowly, Hasbro seems to be catching on to that. In the meantime, the big retailers are losing patience and by the time Hasbro realizes it’s collectors or bust, the retailers will have enough of full pegs of Joes going on clearance. Of course Hasbro could decide if there’s no kids they don’t care. But while hundereds of thousands of dollars in profit a year are millions, it’s better than zilch.

  • Steamblade

    First of all, thank you for the sermon Reverend Alpine. I think you know what you can do with your holier-than-thou-attitude. Despite your omnipotence, I wasn’t referring to this single incident. Hasbro has repeatedly made some strange choices since this line has been re-introduced. You are so observant to tell Hasbro to not listen to its customers. Nothing guarantees higher profits like alienating your base.

    I’m glad Stephen Sommers is your personal savior, but alot of us realize ROC was pablum that, mercifully, created some mostly decent toys. It must be so disheartening to have to speak with us folk who actually care about the direction and quality of this line. You rock.

  • Steamblade

    Knee-jerk reaction, inserting foot in mouth now.

  • Ben

    Alpine, how is becoming a collector’s line going to help anything? All I see happening in that case is Hasbro regurgitating figures of the same few characters over and over again. I can just see you complaining later about how Hasbro just keeps selling you the same thing all the time.

    I think the best response to all of this is this old Shortpacked! strip: http://www.shortpacked.com/d/20090311.html

  • Silent Master

    Well, I’m slightly bummed about the Whirlwind getting the axe, as well as that awesome looking Marlon Wayans “Ripclod”, I mean “Ripcord” firgure with all the awesome gear. No, it isn’t because I was excited to get another crappy Wayans release, as I still refuse to acknowledge that character as Ripcord, but instead, it was because I saw in that figure the awesome potential for a wicked customization to create an updated and utterly cool new TARGAT for Destro’s Iron Grenadiers. Oh well. (Seem to be saying that a lot lately with Hasbro’s “genius” decision making…probably because they don’t really know the fans as well as they should or think they do, nor do they “feel” the market as closely as they believe themselves to.)

    The 25th line pretty much proved that GI Joe IS predominantly a Collector’s line and not so much something that should really be constantly retooled to try and drag in a handful of short term “GI Joe Groupies”, whom usually disappear as soon as their “retooled concept version” of Joe gets cancelled. The Movie will be more of the same, in time, no matter how “successful” some want to claim it is. If you like it fine, that’s up to you, but to me it was a slap in the face, and so I’ve chosen not to support it.

    Now, let me back up and reiterate that I said GI Joe is “predominantly” a Collector’s line, I did not say exclusively. I just want to be perfectly clear with my statement there, before someone tries to crucify me on that point, lol.

    So, Ben, to address your question/statements about Joe becoming a collector line and how it would help anything, for one thing, it has already been proven as having a very solid fanbase built almost exclusively around those of us whom have been collecting the 3 3/4″ figure line since it began. This was reinforced with the demand for the 25th line, before Hasbro went Hollywood and allowed such a drastic departure from that Classic line and subsequently forced the Movie line on the fans/collectors by cancelling the 25th stuff AND postponing (if not outright cancelling) the Resolute line, in favor of the movie junk which has sat on the shelves around here for MONTHS now, due to a major lack of expected support from the moviegoers and fans alike. (Sure it made money, but failed dismally compared to estimated revenue intake versus actual intake.) A continuation along the 25th line would be likely to sustain interest in the GI Joe franchise for many years to come, unlike so many of their failed deviations, such as Extreme and S6. (Do you actually pay attention to this stuff, Ben, or do you just try to “wing it” and hope no one notices the lack of substance and critical thinking, by attempting to disguise it with a big word or two, like “regurgitating” or “willfully obtuse” sprinkled in here and there? Just curious [rhetorically speaking], as this seems to happen a lot in your posts, from what I can tell.)

    So, with that being said, I simply do not see how your comment about, “Hasbro regurgitating figures of the same few characters over and over again”, has any bearing or relevence to your question. While I have no idea just how long, or in which areas of GI Joe you may collect, or if in fact you actually DO collect GI Joe, and it doesn’t even matter whether I do or not, because the short and simple of it is, no matter WHAT new take, Classic 25th stuff or otherwise, those silly mooks at Hasbro will ALWAYS find a way to “regurgitate” versions of the same few characters “over and over again”, as you put it. Or haven’t you yet noticed the 40+ versions of Duke, Snake Eyes, Cobra Commander and Storm Shadow, along with the 20 some odd versions of Destro, Baroness, Scarlett, Flint, Zartan, Stalker, etc., being turned out in every incarnation (including the Movie, S6 and Resolute) of the franchise?!

    Boring? Yeah, it is quite often boring when we see the same tired old characters being churned out in every new wave, BUT they keep pumping those guys out because fans keep buying them each time a new version is released, and they do this because guess what? Yep, people seem to really LIKE those classic characters, even if they aren’t technically in their “classic” forms, OR they want a complete collection of all character variants, etc,. The thing is, Ben, you seem to be completely oblivious (willfully obtuse, I think you’ve said elsewhere) to the possibility and concept, just as Hasbro seems to be oblivious in recent years (until we saw Agent Helix released out with the RoC line), to the idea of actually being able to introduce brand new characters to the franchise, just like they used to do back in the 80′s before they got completely goofy with some things and caused fans to become disinterested. Things such as getting lazy and smothering us with constant repaints, under the banner of “brand new concepts” for existing characters/molds, like Slaughter’s Marauders and then “ninja action” features found in the bright neon colored Ninja Force product line, among many other similar ARAH lines.

    Sure, I understand the economics of Hasbro wanting and maybe needing to get some mileage out of as many of their molds as possible, and that’s acceptable…up to a certain point…when rehashing the same guys over and over, like Duke and CC for example. We REALLY don’t need those same core group characters in EVERY line they release, but we get them quite often anyway, no matter what incarnation of Joe that we get (With the obvious exceptions of GI Joe Extreme and Sgt. Savage). Still we get them regardless, so really, continuing the 25th line, and calling GI Joe a “collector’s line” wouldn’t change anything in that regard and kids, or just whoever else, were interested in GI Joe could still easily buy what they liked, and a regular cartoon would further ensure this possibility, moreso than a movie or three ever would.

    Yet, something that would make the constant re-use of molds more viable and at the sametime maybe irritate the fans and collectors a bit less, would be if they did a little more creative rearranging of parts and gear to develop brand new versions of old school characters (such as the use of Battle Armor CC’s body to create Destro’s Iron Grenadiers and a few other characters in the 25th lines, and also changing some gear around, new paint apps, and only making a few new head sculpts).

    Hasbro could very easily introduce new original characters into the franchise by using the same process and methods. This would enable them to give us the original characters with some new life, even with repeats here and there, but it would also enable them to create all-new characters we’ve never seen as toys before, characters we’ve seen in the comics and cartoons, such as “Shooter”, “Soft Master”, “Candy & CG Professor Appel”, Zartan’s daughter “Zanya”, “Heartwrencher”, “Battle Armor Serpentor II”, “SAW Viper Over Kill”, as well as Oktober Guardsman “Wang” and “Cadet Deming”, both from the cartoons, and so many more. Plus, they could even introduce the Red Shadows characters into the mainstream, like they did with Destro’s Iron Grenadiers. In addition to these ideas, Hasbro would be wise to do more Troop builder sets, concept sets such as the “Attack/Defense of Cobra Island” 7-packs, and last but not least, release Battle Packs full of assorted gear, which would serve a dual purpose by offering a way to replace weapons and gear that might go missing or get broken, as well as being user friendly to those guys out there who enjoy creating custom figures.

    By doing things like this, the line isn’t as likely to stagnate, at least not very quickly, providing that they actually pay attention to the voice of the fans and make intelligent choices and decisions on how to proceed with the flavor of the line, and it also affords Hasbro the option to generate their profits while offering the fans completely new products and concepts within the classic themed direction of the franchise, and hey, everybody wins this way.

    As to Alpine, or myself, or anyone else’s complaining about Hasbro selling us the same thing all the time, that happens almost daily already, so nothing would change there either, JUST in case you haven’t bothered to notice that either. Yes, it’s true, we fans complain about a good many of the boneheaded moves that Hasbro makes, and we most likely always will, because while Hasbro likes us to THINK they listen to what we want (with their numerous Q&A’s and occassional “fan demanded” releases), Hasbro either doesn’t care or they really are just that out of touch with their target group…or BOTH, when it comes right down to the line, well, for the most part anyway.

    Ultimately, no matter what we as fans want or demand of them, Hasbro is going to do what HASBRO WANTS to do, and it is OUR choice to send them our own message of what we are or aren’t WILLING to buy or have shoved down our throats, out of some retarded “fear” that if we don’t buy every single product line and support them fully, that they will suddenly stop making GI Joe toys. Well, they won’t. Not for long anyway, as they have proven over and over again in the last 3 decades or 4 (if you include the original 12″ GI Joes).

    Eventually, they will always look back at what DID sell before they started forcing things and, by default killing off their own sales, and that is what they will most likely go back to, AFTER they foolishly cancel and relaunch under yet another new name Joe concept, like they did with Sigma 6 after VvV sales fell off. That, plus they didn’t want a slightly diminished, but still successful, toyline to compete against and kill the sales of their brand new “genius” S6 concept. Sounds A LOT like what recently happened with the 25th and Resolute lines being major competition for the movie stuff. Hasbro knew that those other two lines would have KILLED the movie figure sales and they’d have been stuck with even more of it than they were already, or rather the stores would be stuck with tons of useless product, which would hurt Hasbro’s chances of getting them to agree to carry upcoming product, by creating an even greater vote of “No confidence” in both Hasbro and the GI Joe brand.

    On a personal note, I was able to fully understand the thinly veiled sarcasm of Alpine’s posts, and was thoroughly amused by the truths of what he was channeling there. Also, Stephen Sommers can bite me where the sun doesn’t shine, for his role in that dismal trainwreck of a GI Joe movie. Sorry, if you liked it and that statement offends anyone, but that’s where I stand on it still, so please don’t lose it on me for being honest and having an independent opinion, and for not worshipping Hama and Sommers as some type of GI Joe “gods”. They aren’t, not to me anyway. No matter how much I may have enjoyed the Marvel comics run, Hama is by no means the so-called “god” or “godfather” of GI Joe, so I couldn’t care less how much he loved the movie or how much he hated the cartoons, and Sommers can go back to making Mummy movies…Those I actually enjoy somewhat. :) Alpine DOES rock… ;)

  • Ben

    Actually, I agree with at least some of what you said. What I was trying to say was that I could easily see the line becoming nothing more than yearly repaints of the exact same molds and characters every single time. This is unfortunately based on my observation of what was happening near the end of the 25th line (although that could have been due to the fact the designers were getting lazy because they knew it would all be canceled).

    I was, and still am, excited by the 25th line. My problem was I started getting interested in collecting Joes again right when the VvV line died. I wasn’t interested in a lot of those figures, and the ones I did like were rather expensive. The 25th line offered me an opportunity to army build and get a lot of excellent figures without having to pay higher prices on the secondary market. Oh, and they are some really nice looking figures.

    I think what turned me off is that too many times the only real criticism offered was basically “it’s new so it sucks”. Yes, the movie line so far has been mostly lackluster. However, I kept seeing figures that were really well designed and looked great being shot down simply for not being more of the 25th line. What would be ideal is if these new figures and vehicles (hopefully) coming in the fall could be mixed in with figures that follow the 25th and Resolute lines. Just don’t shoot everything down because that’s not happening.

    I also agree that an animated series would do better than a movie series. Most of what everyone seems to remember about GI Joe came from the comic series, and I think that kind of storyline would be better suited to a TV series. I don’t think making the series in the style of Resolute would quite work out, but it is a step in the right direction. It was pretty inevitable that the movie was going to be made, though. After the success of the first Transformer movie, it was certain that they would try it again with their other big action figure line from the same time. I don’t think it was horrible, but I see why a lot of fans hated it. I was expecting something as bad as Micheal Bay’s Transformer series, so I was pleasantly surprised to find it didn’t come out that bad, save for what they did to the Baroness.

    So to wrap it up, I agree with you that Hasbro could make GI Joe work as a Collector’s line, while still introducing new characters. I still feel that you could give at least some of the new figures a chance, without dismissing them out of hand.

  • Silent Master

    - So to wrap it up, I agree with you that Hasbro could make GI Joe work as a Collector’s line, while still introducing new characters. I still feel that you could give at least some of the new figures a chance, without dismissing them out of hand.

    Well, unlike a lot of people who immediately dismiss “new” as “crap” automatically, I do bother to have a look at the new stuff, even the movie product, which for the most part was junk, IMO, unless you happen to customize a lot. Granted, there were a few good figures tucked in between everything that was actually Movie oriented, but none of them were actually even characters in the movie, like Sgt. Stone and Agent Helix. While I really did not care for Helix’s crap yellow color scheme, poorly sculpted face (she looked waaay too much like Tasha Yar on Star Trek:TNG), and badly painted hair, I applaud Hasbro for at LEAST injecting a brand new character and a new 3 3/4″ version of a character who never was part of the 3 3/4″ series before.

    Aside from those two, we also got the Exclusive 2-pack figures, which gave us a handful of the Classics as Resolute figures that I understand were to be part of one or both of those lines before they got the shaft for the Movie line. We also got characters like Thunder(blast) and Rampage, among others who look like they were planned for the 25th line, and new versions of (non-movie) characters like Shipwreck and Scrap-Iron (a version of him which has a good look to fit in more with the Iron Grenadier scheme, since he works for Destro) among others, who while colored overly dark in the same or similar scheme to the movie line characters, offered us alternate looks for them. Plus we got some re-release vehicles from back in the day, such as the Ferret ATV (albeit under a new but bad name, and a crappy paint scheme), and a blue/black repaint of the Ninja Cycle that could be used with the VvV Jinx figure, as she was the only ninja in that line who didn’t get packaged with her own bike. Some were better than others, and not all of them were great, but for the most part, the movie series of characters were very poor, and as you said, Ben, lackluster.

    My biggest complaint about the non-movie stuff, from figures to vehicles, (aside from crap paint schemes and those giant missile launchy things), is that it was ALL under the banner of the Movie line tag “Rise of Cobra” on the packaging.

    Pfffft. That wasn’t even Cobra, nor were the Joes GI Joe, they were just standard movie-fare looking “para-military commando soldiers” and commonplace “bigger than life terrorist villains” that we’ve seen in movies like X-Men…(oh sorry, the solid black outfits threw me there for a second…), I meant The Matrix…(Ooops, did it again), well, you get my point. They all looked like cheap knockoff character designs for a bad videogame, or maybe a badly cast/directed GOOD video game, like Metal Gear: Snake or something similar, only they used existing character names from the GI Joe comics and cartoons to trick people into thinking it was a GI Joe movie of some sort, ah well, some people just don’t care enough to see past a flashy logo.

    At any rate, your post was pretty well reasoned out and quite agreeable to my own views as well as many other Joe collectors who have been somewhat disenchanted with a great deal of the recent product being force fed to us by Hasbro, in their efforts to show us how they are right and what we WANT from them is wrong. I don’t think I should have to apologize to other fans or collectors for having my own views on what I like or don’t, or for what I want, and in general, I think that most collectors and fans want what I want, even if we don’t always agree on what we like.

    Which is to say, we WANT Hasbro to offer us GOOD and SOLID GI Joe merchandise, stuff that we actually WANT to buy, not feel “obligated” to buy out of fear that Hasbro will cease production, or just to buy it because there is a Joe logo splashed across it somehow to complete a massive collection. I like to collect myself, but I draw the line at a certain point and if something doesn’t appeal to me when I see it, I simply don’t buy it. Same with Star Wars, Transformers (which I have boycotted the entire movie lines, aside from an occasional one that has nothing to do with the movie, like the new Bludgeon), comics and really anything that I might collect. I just won’t buy a piece of crap for the sake of “completion”.

    If more of us did this, it would send Hasbro a message that they need to hear. Instead, we send the message: “It’s crap, and they may complain a bit, but they’ll bend over and buy it anyway if we put the Joe logo on it, so since we’re Hasbro, we don’t have to listen to what they REALLY want.”

    In my earlier post, I named off a good chunk of potential money making options for Hasbro to earn scads of moolah from hungry Joe fans consistently, based on EXISTING stuff that we’ve never seen, or not often anyway, in 25th form, and an inexpensive way for them to create all-new stuff to re-inject some new characters into the mix. Obviously, they should NOT try to replace the existing characters/vehicles with the new ideas, if they were to pursue such an option, but they should use those new characters instead to support an inspire the existing stuff.

    An example of what they shouldn’t do can be seen if you go back and look at the 80′s cartoons (they did it to Transformers too…). Once Hasbro turned the cartoon production over to DiC from Sunbow, all of the Classic characters that everyone loved to see, suddenly got pushed aside and replaced by some seriously substandard new versions of old characters or completely new ones. I mean CC’s “top officers” were no longer Baroness, Destro, Zartan, etc., no, they had been replaced by a goofy Anti-armor guy (Metal-Head) and Zarana and another Dreadnok. WTF?! Two Nok oriented characters and a mentally deficient missile guy with a mommy complex are going to run Cobra alongside Cobra Commander? Somehow I don’t think so.

    Then the Joes got Battle Corps(?) suit Hawk, (now an older guy) and a bunch of wonky concept groups like Sky Patrol and the DEA/ECO stuff to battle Cobra. It just didn’t work, and after way too many episodes (about 44-49, counting 5-part Operation: Dragonfire, I think) Joe got cancelled. The Sunbow run, while hokey in its own right at times, (but still fun), managed around 100 episodes or so, plus the Big Screen cartoon movie, (which a lot of people booed because of Cobra-La) before DiC blew it by trying to push Hasbro’s agenda for kids to buy the new toylines, which weren’t nearly as good as they had been in previous years. I know because I was buying as much as I could up until a certain point and then I just decided I didn’t want the junk Hasbro was trying to push on me anymore, except for the occasional item of interest.

    Like you, Ben, I started picking things back up again with the VvV line, after I quit buying in the later days of the initial line (late 80′s, maybe ’88-’89?). Except for the occasional purchase of stuff I’d find in TRU, etc., on occassion, and then the late ’90′s repaint and release stuff, I didn’t see anything that appealed to me in stores, as it was difficult to come by on shelves around my area (otherwise, I might have been able to get JvsC and Spy Troops items). The VvV stuff wasn’t what I was looking for, but it had a lot of new characters and concepts, and was interesting enough for me to start collecting again. Then we got S6, so I was able to save my money again until the 25th line came out. Now here we are again, and I’m able to save my money once more by not purchasing the movie line items, except for those odds and ends which catch my eye and interest.

    While most of the movie line isn’t very appealing, to dismiss every single figure wouldn’t be fair, I agree. Maybe one of these days Hasbro will pull their collective heads from their bums and understand that they don’t need to continually “reinvent” the franchise as something it isn’t, just to try and sell product to a new HANDFUL of people who will vanish when the new concept inevitably fails, due to lack of established Collector support and then go right back to, what they apparently keep finding out, is what sells best and keeps the classic franchise so popular… the LONG TERM FANS & COLLECTORS. The new “draw fans” to the shelves always seem to be very short lived, especially when they have to choose between some unfamiliar GI Joe variation or the newest Star Wars or Bakugan/pokemon craze toys right next to it.

    Oh well. Good assessment overall. Unfortunately, Hasbro isn’t prone to adhering to common sense or much of anything else when it comes to doing what is “right” for the benefit of themselves, for the fans and not even for the GI Joe franchise itself. Transformers is an unfortunate victim of this policy, as well. I’m glad that you, like myself and many, many others got to enjoy the 25th line while it lasted though. Maybe we’ll see something close to it again in the future.