Pictures and Analysis of JoeCon 2011 Day 2

So by now, the images are out there at various sites, but as par for the course this weekend, I figured I’d just do a nightly recap to cover some of the newness once I’ve had time to let it soak in and fully appreciate the great stuff that was shown.

Was it a LOT of stuff?  No.  But quality was insane.  Absolutely insane.  Every single angle of G.I. Joe was represented, from the vintage, to Renegades, with some very cool new school twists.  Below I’m going to break down the various things that were shown, courtesy of some images from Toy News International, who was onsite and taking some SICK pictures.  Kudos to them.  And big thanks to Jay for letting me mirror some of their awesome images here.

You can read the rest of the breakdown after the jump.

Breaking it down by type.

G.I. Joe: Renegades

  • Cobra Commander
  • Cobra Trooper
  • Duke
  • Firefly
  • Law & Order
  • Ripcord
  • Scarlett
  • Snake Eyes
  • Storm Shadow
  • Tunnel Rat

Speaking as a devout G.I. Joe: Renegades fan, when I first heard Hasbro was moving towards realistic sculpting for the Renegades figures, I was dismayed.  I could not fathom why such an awesome stylized look would be shoe-horned into a more realistic style.

Holy crap was I off the mark.  I should really have given the Hasbro designers more credit.  These figures not only perfectly capture the essence of the Renegades designs but are able to so perfectly marry them with a real world aesthetic, that these figures fit in with the other Pursuit of Cobra figures to near perfection.  Detail is often confused with lots of sculpting, but that’s not always the case.  Scarlett is one of the more “basic” figures we’ve seen in a while, and she looks absolutely flawless.  Tunnel Rat perfectly resembles a standard Joe Tunnel Rat, but has that great Renegades look.  Ripcord was an absolute surprise, but a nice one, taking the somewhat odd vest that he wore in the cartoon, and sculpting it into something real world and excellent.

I can’t say enough about the Cobra Trooper.  Worlds better than the standard PoC Viper or Trooper, this guy is my real next generation Cobra operative.  The coolest thing is that since these figures work so well in the PoC line, you can really bring Renegades into the mainstream continuity, at least in toy form.

I’m totally speechless about Storm Shadow, too.  Sure, we saw the “homage” version of the figure at Toy Fair, but the Renegades version is awesome!  I’m thrilled that they found a way to make both camps happy, I may just have to buy two of these.  As ridiculous as Storm Shadow’s mask looks in the cartoon, they managed to capture the essence perfectly. Amazing.

30th Anniversary “Celebration”

  • Airtight
  • Data-Viper
  • Hazard-Viper
  • Kwinn
  • Lifeline
  • Sci Fi
  • Stalker
  • Techno-Viper
  • Zombie-Viper

Now, keep in mind that I’m probably one of the few fans out there who really wasn’t into the whole 25th Anniversary thing.  When it started out, the figures were clunky, they looked too animated, the parts didn’t really fit.  I wasn’t a fan.  Granted, they started winning me over as the line went on, but just as it was clicking, we moved over to The Rise of Cobra.

So, needless to say, I’m not huge on the whole “let’s recreate 25 year old figures in new sculpts” idea.  Well, I wasn’t huge on it.  I’m quickly becoming a convert.  Obviously seeing what Hasbro did with Low Light was impressive, but wow.  Hasbro designers managed to take three figures I really had no affinity for even when they were originally released  (Airtight, Lifeline, and Sci-Fi) and make them three of the most impressive action figures I’ve seen in a VERY long time.  Removable helmets, insanely great sculpted detail…classic homages, but still enough newness to be great new figures.  I am astonished at how cool these three figures look, especially considering how much they pull from the vintage stuff.  The new accessories are mind blowing as well.

Don’t even get me started on stuff like the Zombie-Viper and the Data-Viper.  I don’t even really like the whole zombie craze, but as I look at these figures, I can already see a storyline brewing…  Hazard Vipers experimenting, Airtight coming in to break things up, a zombie breakout.  So cool.  I haven’t felt this creatively energized with the G.I. Joe line since the Sigma 6 days.  Really impressive, and just looking back at the Pursuit of Cobra line, you can really see a whole new universe starting to take shape.  Love it.

Oh, and hey…don’t want to overlook that due wearing khaki shorts.  I hear he’s kind of a big deal.

Seriously.  How can they do it?  How can they take a generic looking guy in a khaki shirt and shorts and make him SO DAMN GOOD?  I have no idea, but I’ll tell you, this figure is 100% awesome, and I’m fired up that he’s finally getting released.  Now for Pythona and Billy!

Skystriker

What else can be said about this one?  Yes, it still looks awesome.  I know, it’s just a one-seater now, but I love the gray body with the black fins, very much an homage to the Sunbow days.  Ace looks pretty damn nice, too.

San Diego ComicCon

Now I’ve nearly given up on getting a Starscream, but I still think Zarana is going to be a lot more accessible than people think.  Without legal issues to hold things up, Hasbro has much more freedom to produce this figure, and let’s face it…it’s not like the SDCC Exclusives are impossible to find on the secondary market.

Remember, the homage Zarana is the primary exclusive, NOT the variant.  Even with Sgt. Slaughter, the primary exclusive has been very affordable.  You can find him on eBay right now for around $30, which is hardly an insurmountable income.

Now for me, I absolutely love both versions.  Once again, I’m floored by the level of detail Joe sculptors are getting into 3 3/4″ figures.  But as cool as the vintage version is, holy crap, the Cold Slither variant is amazing!  The band t-shirt alone is pure gold.

Overall, there hasn’t been a ton of stuff shown at JoeCon this year.  But what has been shown has been totally incredible.  Out of this world incredible.  Sculpting, accessories, design aesthetic.  Once again, Hasbro designers find a way to raise the bar after they’d already raised the bar about as far as you thought they could.  We are getting some fantastic toys these days, I hope Joe fans realize that and can appreciate what a “golden age” for figure construction we’re in right now.  This is real good stuff.  Enjoy it.

  • LowJacked

    My first Joe Con ecause I stay only an hour away, ut it was everything I hoped. I nearly lost itwhen they rought out Lifeline, Kwinn, Zombie Viper and and Data-Viper!

  • If Pythona and Billy see a release before a 25th-style Footloose, I will drive to Verhampshire and smack you. On a Tuesday, if necessary.

    Meanwhile, back to the task at hand… I agree with everything else you said (and not because I’m supposedly on the staff). I am FIRED UP for this stuff.

  • So, do I just give Hasbro the PIN to my checking account, or what? Maybe I should just give them a lien on my paycheck.

  • Hawkwinter

    It’s being said over and over again. Not much shown. Not too many new things to see.

    I say if this is what we get when they scale back and give us less, BRING IT ON!

    They are actually making me VERY happy that so many 1986 figures weren’t released back during the 25th run. 1986 was probably my favorite year : BAT, Viper, Lifeline, Sci-Fi, Iceberg, Wet Suit, General Hawk, Leatherneck, etc, etc. Removable helmets is a BIG deal for me. Commitment to detail and excellence.

    This stuff is above and beyond.

    I’m always the one nit picking. Well, I’m unable to complain about anything here really. It’ll be interestng to see how the general Joe online fan community reacts to these.

    And these awesome Renegades toys has me watching the cartoon now too. I’m truely impressed Hasbro.

    At least two of each figure shown and I Will be army building again.

    My appreciation will be shown by my wallet.

  • -Nas

    Hey…is anyone else thinking C.O.P.S. when looking at Law and Order? Where’s my Miss Demeanor?

  • alvarobm

    I´m stunned after see TNI pics. Outstanding figures, not only Renegades, but regular line too.

    My only complain is about Tunnel Rat´s backpack: seems a reedition of Firefly´s…I really like to see something with flashilights, or, would be more amazing, a miniature of Sigma 6 one.

    For all the rest, WOW! See Lifeline´s accessories…totally insane!!!

  • BlackRocknRoll

    Unless Hasbro sees fit to actually distribute this stuff in decent quantities, I see many availability issues. Bright side is, going off of recent history, we’ll all be able to find it a year later at closeout stores throughout the country. Good news, that. Meanwhile, I foresee angry geeks kevetching for the next two years over how badly “HTS” botched the sale of Zarannas, an outsized dearth of Renegades Scarletts because it’ll become the new sweetheart female bod of the toy-ruiners (ie. “kustomizers”) and the obligatory run on every Cobra troop type because army-builders are compulsive and goofy. Yep, this certainly is a “fun” hobby.

  • Geek-Viper

    I think I’ll just have to echo everybody’s thoughts and opinions. Sadly, I fear BlackR&R is probably right. Hopefully Hasbro is working on distribution numbers like they mentioned in a Q&A. Its weird. I can go right now and with in two stores have every Stormtrooper in army quantities. But God help me to find a Cobra Shock Trooper or Alley Viper. Hell, even now I can get an army of Neo-Vipers at $2.50/ea. So somewhere in the middle would be nice.

    One super-geek note. I noticed that the new Cobra Trooper has the standard Cobra logo and not the new Renegades one. Not gonna stop me from getting a couple. Just one of those things that will make me go “Weell, this guys not TOTALLY accurate”. Unless of course they fix that between now and then. I know its a prototype and they probably don’t want to make a screen for a logo that might not get used. Still…

  • Charles Emanuele

    Really liked what I saw coming out of Joe Con. I’m not disappointed by the small number of new figures because quite frankly, it gives me some breathing room.

  • jason m.

    i just need a crapload of those techno and zombie vipers one of those black zaranas and one of those new scarletts and i’ll be happy.

  • Pat

    I was pretty upset to hear about Renegades going on hiatus, but seeing the figures makes it even worse. They look awesome. Plus, Sci-Fi, Airtight, Lifeline, Techno-Viper, Kwinn. Wow, just fantastic stuff. Really impressive.

  • Stalker

    To me, the two must-have’s out of Renegades are Scarlett and the Cobra Trooper. They should make a bazillion of each of these. The other Renegades figures are great, don’t get me wrong, but I will sleep at night if I cannot find them.

    I will army-build all that 30th stuff if I can, though, so I hope they crank those cases out like mad, along with the SDCC exclusives.

    Also, I’m pretty sure shock vipers / alley vipers can still be had at several on-line retailers for reasonable prices. I think with the upcoming waves (3&4) of army-builders, the Viper and Trooper will be the hardest to find, and these new waves oughtta lessen some of the demand for those. I’m already near ready to trade in my shock troopers and Resolute troopers for Renegade trooper upgrades.

  • gyre-viper

    You have to realize that with the 2 surprise waves that were revealed at Toy Fair and the 30th stuff we saw VERY recently at Toy Fair… they still had to show that stuff off. I mean yes TECHNICALLY they didn’t “show” us a lot but they eluded to a lot more to come. The design team was very clear on several occasions that the other stuff they’re working on like the 7 packs (or considering giving a second chance: i.e. canceled SB and IG 5 packs) are being either finished, tweaked, perfected, or simply held back for future reveal.
    I think they showed us more by showing us less.

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  • BSF

    Where is RoadBlock, is he even coming out?