JoeCon 2010 Recap – Saturday (2011 Product Reveal)

Saturday is when the fun really began!  As cool as the initial releases for G.I. Joe: The Pursuit of Cobra were, they simply could NOT compare to the boundless wonder of 4″ plastic that would be unveiled on Saturday.

It still astounds me that this  level of detail, articulation, and design can be so well implemented in such a small scale.  Mattel and Playmates need to start taking notes.  They’re not even in the same league as Hasbro in this scale.

The first excitement of the day was the Hasbro Seminar where they revealed the 2011 lineup for G.I. Joe: The Pursuit of Cobra!  Images and my personal thoughts are below, after clicking the “Read the rest of this entry” link.

G.I. Joe: Pursuit of Cobra 2011 Figures

These figures are just plain mind-blowing.  Someone in Hasbro design must read my mind because I am astounded at just how…  perfect these figures are.  The sculpting, the paint apps, the accessories…even just the overall style.  These figures carry the same crazy semi-futuristic Sigma 6 “feel” but in the right scale, and a more realistic sculpt.  Who could ask for more?

Well…we could ask for more.  We could ask that these amazing figures be characters other than Destro, Duke, Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow…  but on the 25th style stuff, head swaps are so easy, it’s tough to even complain about that.  This is kind of my opinion, based on what I saw:

Destro – Absolute sickness.  Sure, Destro is supposed to be a suave business man who does most of his damage in board rooms and business meetings, but hot damn, I can picture him as a weapons smith who gets his hands dirty, too.  I can’t think of many people who would imagine Destro in red and black camouflage, but it works perfectly here.  G.I. Joe has done the whole minigun thing several times in the past, but I don’t remember it being quite so effective.  Incredible.  And he’s got an Aliens-inspired stedi-cam weapon laying at his feet as well.

Skydive – This is a clear example of what fans complain about and a good way to fix it.  Too many Ripcords?  Slap a masked head on ‘im and make him someone different!  That’s exactly what Hasbro did here, and the results are awesome.  Everyone was dying for this Desert Battle Ripcord figure, and we’re getting him, only with some new colors and a new name.  Believe me, all of the praise this figure gets is well-deserved.  I’m thrilled he’s going to be widely accessible.

Shadow Tracker – HELL YES.  Many fans (myself included) thought perhaps this figure would end up in another one of those “DeCommisioned” panels by John Warden a few years down the line, but alas, they managed to get him in the release schedule.  It looks like they tweaked his facemask a bit to draw back the resemblance to the Neo-Vipers, but honestly the new mask kicks just as much ass.  In fact this entire figure does nothing but kick ass.  Gorgeous.

Low Light – I mentioned way back in my Toy Fair report how G.I. Joe marketing manager Jeff Labovitz had a certain look in his eye when talking about Low Light…and it looks like I was right.  Not only did they give us a Pursuit of Cobra Low Light, but they gave us one that calls back very nicely to the 25th Anniversary, and is just plain amazing.  From the head sculpt to the trademark red shoulder pad, to the improved wrist articulation, carrying case and the sniper rifle itself…this figure has it ALL.  Fantastic.  I don’t know what else to say about it.

Duke – Many folks will immediately discard this figure because it’s Duke, and I can’t blame them.  But at least it’s a nice Duke.  At least it’s a classic homage Duke with his familiar tan shirt and green pants.  The slanted body armor on his chest gives him a somewhat futuristic look, but for the most part he’s a very familiar looking Duke, which might bug some people, but it does seem like a nice throwback.  The helmet is great, too, and he comes with a Colonial Marine pulse rifle!

Snake Eyes – Wow.  Wow, wow, wow.  THIS is Snake Eyes.  This is one amazing looking 3 3/4″ figure.  Even with the running change variant head (one will be his ninja visored head, the other the commando head) this figure will be loved by many.  Improved wrist articulation, amazingly well-detailed commando sweater.  Silenced Uzi, twin sword scabbards on his back.  Holy shit.

Cobra Shock Trooper – Based on an actual “breacher” this is a Cobra blueshirt that I could just fall in love with.  Awesome Cobra blue/gray uniform.  Great flak vest and full body shield.  Awesome detail throughout the figure, great new wrist articulation, and awesome gear.  Very, very cool.  It remains to be seen if this is meant to be a backbone Cobra Trooper again, but whatever it is, it’s awesomeness.

Storm Shadow – This one I’m pretty blah on.  While I welcome new  versions of existing characters if they’re really cool, I’m just not feeling Storm Shadow.  What does he bring to the table that others haven’t before him?  Anything?  Not really.  He’s got an ornate facemask which is kind of neat.  He’s got a plethora of ninja weaponry that we’ve seen before.  White uniform with red camouflage pants?  Eh.  This is probably the only figure in the bunch that I’m not overly wild about.

Quick Kick – For those fans of Quick Kick who could never quite get over the bare feet, here’s an update, and a pretty nifty one.  It simultaneously pays homage to Bruce Lee (he’s got a scarred chest!), the old school 12″ crowd, and Karate Kid!  That’s right, boys and girls, he’s wearing an official Cobra Kai Gi!  Thanks to Jeff Bohn for pointing out that awesome bit of trivia.

Spirit – Rounding off the Aliens/Predator trifecta for the Pursuit of Cobra is Spirit, who the designers said was based strongly off of “Billy” from the original Predator movie.  Using mostly borrowed parts (with a new head sculpt) Spirit will be a Toys “R” Us exclusive like Quick Kick, and is one hell of an awesome looking military version of G.I. Joe’s most prominent Native American.

I know this was a long read, but the figures are just so crazy cool that I had to gush a little bit.  Yes, it would be even better if these figures represented some under-used characters rather than the overexposed Duke, Destro, Snake Eyes, and Storm Shadow, but the figures themselves are so beyond cool that I can overlook it.

Of course, along with the new product reveal for the Pursuit of Cobra, we also heard some nice tidbits about G.I. Joe: Renegades.  I’ve already collected those “Quick Hits” in a post right here.

  • Ron

    Great recap! I definitely agree with most of your comments regarding the new figures.

    Quick question though, you mentioned Snake Eyes will have a running change with regards to his head sculpt. I thought both heads would be included?

  • I never even thought of using the Cobra Shock Trooper as a Cobra Trooper, but that’s a perfect idea. I shall do that, yes.

  • Ben

    This is the first I’ve heard of Snake Eyes having a running change variation. I’ve been under the impression it comes with both heads. Having to buy the same figure twice just for a head would certainly take a bit of the bloom off the rose for me.

  • Jay

    Man, it really disappoints me to no end that Snake-Eyes’s different head will be a variant and not a headswap gimmick. I love the figure and all… but having to buy it twice (and possibly the variant on the internet since Canada never gets them) is a big downer.

    The Cobra Shock Trooper… So much based on a real life SWAT Breacher, I can’t help but feel it’d be better served as Shockwave than a Cobra army builder. Different strokes, I suppose, and it’s nothing some sigil removal can’t fix. ;)

    Quick Kick has blown me away. All the big concerns are addressed (shoes, shirt, gun), the outfit kicks ass AND it managed to put the training gloves that apparently-cancelled POC Training Duke was to include. Now, if only Hasbro could find a use for the separate Reactive Armor chestplate and the padded helmet.

    Spirit, in all his Billy influences, actually reminds me more of DART than Spirit.
    Since I had a Spirit custom in the works already, I guess it works out well in my favor. :p

    The new Mech drivers are underwhelming. Individually, the parts used for the Desert Scorpion do ressemble the original’s… but put together, they just don’t mesh well together. And the added chest gear is just an iffy fit. Hopefully they’ll retweak him before release. As for Alpine, it’s a good use of the cancelled Arctic Duke, but the blue coat and red cap just ruin it.

    Destro’s got an awesome body and an awesome new head, but I can’t really buy Destro looking like that. A quick headswap and it can make a pretty awesome SAW-Viper though. That Aliens-inspired machine gun is totally going to ROC Repeater, too.

  • Napoleon

    That spirit may be “Billy” but he looks more like “Rambo” thats ok I’m not complaining. Cool Cobra Kai Gi on Quick Kick but the red sash has got to go!!

  • jason m.

    what’s with the clear face on the shadow tracker is that the final version?

  • Phil B

    I picked up the Quick Kick and Spirit figures just last week. They are really awesome. My wife and kids think so too. too bad they won’t get to touch them though.lol