Shout! Factory G.I. Joe: Season 2 boxed set reviewed!

Yes, Shout! did release the full series of Sunbow cartoons last year, but for many folks, this will be the first time the full compliment of Season 2 episodes is available, and release day is tomorrow, April 27th!

Released in a twin slip-cover format with plently of awesome retro Sunbow-style art, the full second season of G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero will be available everywhere for the very first time.

Shout! Factory was kind enough to slip me a copy early so I had some time to shove it in my DVD player and review it…just in time for release day.  Check out the review right here.

I’m absolutely not a Sunbow guy, but watching these episodes really brought me back… and yes, the purists will be pleased to know that it made me sad to realize that  Hasbro had left the Anniversary behind.  Yes, even I am capable of wanting a vintage style Low Light, Lifeline, Leatherneck, Sci-Fi, and even Zarana.  Who would have thought I’d ever want a freaking Zarana?

Regardless, these episodes really tripped my nostalgia trigger, and it’s good timing, too, as I head down to JoeCon in just a few days.  Hopefully I can satisfy my need for nostalgia at the dealer tables.  ;)

Your yearly obligatory “What to expect at the Con” article…

Aloha fellow travelers, Gary here again. The countdown has begun…..well, for most of us, we’ve been counting down for months, but now the wait is less than 3 days. For me, this is my 8th con. Wow….I can’t believe I have been to 8 of these. So much fun, but more importantly, so many memories. If you are among the lucky handful of con-goers, you are using these next couple of days to pack, get caught up with work and finalizing travel plans. For the first time con-goers, I am sure you are FULL of questions. It is almost a yearly task to write up an article or post of what and whatnot to expect while you are at the con. This year is no exception…..
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Test Review – 50th Anniversary HEAT Viper

heatviper-01 heatviper-02

Many G.I. Joe fans will tell you that Hasbro reached its apex in action figure production with the Real American Hero line in 1985/1986. Certainly that seems to be where the most timeless and memorable characters made their debut. I would argue, though, that in 1989 Hasbro was still going really strong and ’89 provided a wealth of fantastic characters and Cobra troopers if you could look past their color schemes. Cobra especially got a great boost to their armies that year with the inclusion of Night Viper, Alley Viper, Frag Viper, and HEAT Viper. Three of these characters have gotten mixed reactions over the years, mostly due to color schemes (but also likely due to some weird weapons and trooper classifications). As a fan of bulky, yet poseable figures, I have a lot of love for what we got in 1989. Figures like Annihilator and HEAT Viper were larger sculpted figures, but still very sleek and flexible.

For a long time I established the HEAT (High Explosive Anti Tank) Viper as one of my favorites, and when he was repurposed as the Fast Blast Viper in 2001, I loved it. We had the great sculpt of that classic figure, but in slightly more muted colors (plus the addition of that hokey, but awesome “fear removal” genetic alteration). Hasbro does a pretty great job of taking the best elements of that classic figure and repurposing them for the modern line.

Using mostly tooling from the 30th Anniversary Airtight (with a modified torso and new head sculpt) the figure remains bulky, yet sleek and with great range of motion. The addition of the raised seam down the chest of the torso goes a long way towards identifying this figure as the HEAT Viper, although I’ll say the purple paint trim has some mixed results. There are obvious visible gaps in purple paint where yellow shows through, and the addition of the paint-only “straps” in several places comes across sort of weird. Beyond those paint issues, though, I (surprisingly) found this figure one of the most enjoyable of the 50th Anniversary figures I’ve sampled so far. He poses well and holds his weapon nicely, even if his hands are super-soft plastic.

Now, as for the head sculpt… I know there have been complaints about the head, mostly because the peg for the “Fiber Optic” sight is gone. The inspiration for this head design was obviously the vintage card art, which actually makes it seem like the vintage version was a last minute change. I love the addition of the second metallic plate, and I found a peg on the backpack to plug the cable into, but yeah, I don’t disagree that it would have been cool to get the cable to attach to the head like the older figure did. Strictly from an aesthetic perspective, though, I much prefer the double faceplate rather than the mostly yellow helmet of the vintage version.

ACCESSORIES

Admittedly, I grew pretty tired of the HEAT Viper rocket launcher after it was used countless times during the new sculpt era, but at least including it here makes sense. This figure also comes with a nicely retooled backpack with the modern peg, and the fiber optic cable is present as well, though has to be somewhat rigged to plug somewhere else.

A really pleasant surprise was that the figure came complete with the straps around his legs (which are added pieces not part of the sculpt unlike the vintage version) and the six rockets. This was a pretty big identifying aspect of the vintage figure, and I love that they’re present here, too. I’ll say for folks who don’t like it, the straps are probably removable, I just didn’t want to force the issue for the review. As one might expect, especially with the softer plastic, the rockets don’t stay on especially well, but for display purposes, they work okay. Completing the accessory compliment is a shoulder holster with pistol that both pays homage to the gray shoulder straps of the vintage figure, but also gives him a secondary sidearm in case close quarters combat is necessary.

This figure is great. A lot of fun. It helps that I’m a big fan of the HEAT Viper anyway, but I think Hasbro did this guy proud. He has some of the soft plastic issues of the other figures, and yes the paint gaps make him look even more “discount store” than some of his compatriots, but he’s a very fun figure, and as the last necessary entry into the Class of ’89 Viper Corps, I’m thrilled to get him into my collection.

G.I. Joe: Resolute 7-Packs up for Pre-Order from BigBadToyStore!

In what seems to have been a forever-long wait, Big Bad Toy Store has finally posted pre-orders for the upcoming G.I. Joe: Resolute 7-Packs!  Woop!  Check out the links below and  grab ’em before they’re gone.

Hot Damn!  Big thanks to Mysterious Stranger for the heads up!

Official Press Release for G.I. Joe: The Movie on Blu-Ray

G.I. JOE: A REAL AMERICAN HERO- THE MOVIE

SPECIAL COLLECTORS EDITION

2-DISC BLU-RAY™ + DVD COMBO PACK

and SINGLE DISC SPECIAL COLLECTORS EDITION DVD

featuring new transfers from hi-def masters, extensive bonus content, the special collectors edition fills the final placeholder inside the g.i. joe: a real american hero – the complete series deluxe footlocker case 

IN STORES NATIONWIDE JULY 27, 2010

FROM SHOUT! FACTORY

After countless defeats at the hands of the G.I. JOE team, the ruthless COBRA organization has taken a drastic leap towards global domination by joining the ranks of the ancient race of COBRA-LA. When DUKE falls in the line of duty, it’s up to SGT. SLAUGHTER, LT. FALCON, SNAKE EYES and the rest of the G.I. JOE team to prevent SERPENTOR, DESTRO and COBRA-LA’s GOLOBULUS from releasing a deadly spore into the Earth’s atmosphere and devolving the human race.

On July 27, 2010, the original animated G.I. JOE: A Real American Hero – THE MOVIE that has been long out of print will finally debut for the first time in a 2-Disc Blu-ray + DVD combo pack as a Special Collectors Edition from Shout! Factory, in collaboration with Hasbro, Inc.  Featuring the voice talent of Don Johnson, Burgess Meredith, SGT. SLAUGHTER and fan favorites Bill Ratner, Michael Bell and Chris Latta, G.I. JOE: A Real American Hero – THE MOVIE Special Collectors Edition 2-Disc Blu-ray + DVD combo pack contains exciting bonus content including fan-favorite PSAs, printable screenplay with the original movie ending, and audio commentary. The Blu-ray + DVD combo pack edition also offers viewers an exclusive option of viewing the animated movie presentation in widescreen.  G.I. JOE: A Real American Hero – THE MOVIE Special Collectors Edition is the final installment to complete last year’s G.I. JOE: A Real American Hero – The Complete Series DVD box set. The Special Collectors Edition

Blu-ray + DVD combo pack is priced to own at $26.97 and the single disc Special Collectors Edition DVD is available at $16.97 SRP.

G.I. JOE: A Real American Hero – THE MOVIE Special Collector’s Edition

Synopsis

A 40,000-year-old race of snake people resurface, and with help of SERPENTOR, DESTRO, BARONESS and DR. MINDBENDER, they plan to eliminate all of mankind and rebuild COBRA-LA. Once rulers of Earth, the Snake people were driven underground by ice-age temperatures. While in exile, they developed a plant whose spores turn ordinary men into mindless, weak animals. The key to their plan is the G.I. JOE team’s secret project – the Broadcast Energy Transmitter. Only this device generates enough heat so that the spores can mature. Humankind’s very existence depends on the G.I. JOE team, but are they strong and smart enough to fight a warrior race with 40,000 years of experience?

BONUS FEATURES AVAILABLE SPECIAL COLLECTORS EDITION:

  • Audio commentary with story consultant Buzz Dixon
  • The final 8 “Knowing Is Half The Battle” PSAs that were not on the G.I. JOE: A Real American Hero – The Complete Series DVD box set.
  • Original Printable Screenplay –this script was written prior to DUKE’s miraculous recovery and, thus, DUKE is dead.  The script was not altered from this version on paper, but the audio session had an added line where Duke was going to survive the attack.
  • Art gallery
  • Blu-ray + DVD Combo Pack Exclusive: Optional 16×9 Widescreen and 4×3 Full Frame Presentations

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About HASBRO

Hasbro, Inc. (NYSE:HAS) is a worldwide leader in children’s and family leisure time products and services with a rich portfolio of brands and entertainment properties that provides some of the highest quality and most recognizable play and recreational experiences in the world. As a brand-driven, consumer-focused global company, Hasbro brings to market a range of toys, games and licensed products, from traditional to high-tech and digital, under such powerful brand names as G.I. JOE, PLAYSKOOL, TONKA, MILTON BRADLEY, PARKER BROTHERS, CRANIUM and WIZARDS OF THE COAST. Come see how we inspire play through our brands at http://www.hasbro.com.  © 2010 Hasbro, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

About Shout! Factory

Shout! Factory is a diversified entertainment company devoted to producing, uncovering and revitalizing the very best of pop culture. Founders Richard Foos, Bob Emmer and Garson Foos have spent their careers sharing their music, television and film faves with discerning consumers the world over. Shout! Factory’s DVD offerings serve up classic, contemporary and cult TV series, riveting sports programs, live music, animation and documentaries in lavish packages crammed with extras. The company’s audio catalogue boasts GRAMMY®-nominated boxed sets, new releases from storied artists, lovingly assembled album reissues and indispensable “best of” compilations. These riches are the result of a creative acquisitions mandate that has established the company as a hotbed of cultural preservation and commercial reinvention. Shout! Factory is based in Santa Monica, California. For more on Shout! Factory, visit www.shoutfactory.com.

More proof that G.I. Joe: Renegades is the next animated series

Diligent HissTank forum member BCYOJOE reports in this thread that an official trademark has been submitted by Hasbro under the G.I. Joe: Renegades name.  This trademark can be found right here and mentions the following:

“On Wednesday, April 07, 2010, a U.S. federal trademark registration was filed for G.I. JOE RENEGADES. This trademark is owned by Hasbro, Inc., 1027 Newport Avenue, Pawtucket, RI 02862.

The attorney or correspondent listed for G.I. JOE RENEGADES is PAUL N. VANASSE of HASBRO, INC., 1027 NEWPORT AVE, PAWTUCKET, RI 02861-2500 . The G.I. JOE RENEGADES trademark is filed in the category of Toys and Sporting Goods ProductsEducation and Entertainment Services . The description provided to the USPTO for G.I. JOE RENEGADES is toy action figures; toy vehicles; board games; parlor games.”

So it sounds like the all out blitz may be beginning…  get ready for G.I. Joe: Renegades.  For better or worse, that sounds like a term we’ll be hearing a lot more of in the future!  I only hope that if this is the new animated series, it doesn’t depart TOO much from the awesome Pursuit of Cobra aesthetic, and doesn’t steel retail support away from a more realistic military line.  Time will tell.  Hopefully we find out more at JoeCon later this week.