GeneralsJoes, RealAmericanHero.com, and Terror Drome team for “Best of” 2011

Frustration from the glut of merchandise clogging retail pegs and blocking the release of subsequent waves of highly-anticipated figures seemed to be the theme of 2011. When new G.I. Joe figures finally made their way into our collections, the countless accessories, innovations in articulation, and intricately-detailed sculpts made the class of 2011 among the best we’ve ever seen in the 25th Anniversary-style era. Hasbro surprised with the release of the Sky Striker as part of the 30th Anniversary line, disappointed with the cancellation of the G.I. Joe: Renegades animated series, and energized with the trailer for the live-action movie sequel, G.I. Joe: Retaliation. Not to be outdone, licensees such as IDW Publishing and Sideshow Collectibles continued to impress with their offerings of G.I. Joe merchandise, an indication of the strength of the G.I. Joe brand. In retrospect of 2011, A Real American Hero, Generals Joes and The Terror Drome team up to bring you the best of G.I. Joe 2011.

Click the Read the Rest of this Story link below for the full details.

BEST 3-3/4 INCH G.I. JOE FIGURES OF 2011


Edwin “Lifeline” Steen“Hasbro took a character I didn’t really care about,  loaded him with great accessories and sculpted detail, and he became an instant favorite.”- Justin, Generals Joes
Low-Light“Hasbro took accessories to a new level in the 25th-style era with Low-Light. It’s what you
would have expected from Hasbro in the 1986 A Real American Hero line,
had the technology been there. The single bullet is just unreal
.”- Rich, A Real American Hero
Shadow Tracker“When this figure first debuted at the 2009 JoeCon, I was in awe at how cool he looked. I couldn’t wait for it. But then the line was shuffled around and delayed a few months and I was honestly worried we wouldn’t see this figure released. But Hasbro finally did get it in our hands with an updated head sculpt that makes the figure even better looking. Also coupled with the fact it is a new character, this figure is full of win.”- Jason, The Terror Drome
Storm Shadow (G.I. Joe: Renegades) – “Already having created the ‘ultimate Snake Eyes’ in the Pursuit of Cobra line, Hasbro turns their attention to his sword brother Storm
Shadow and manages to not only make an ‘ultimate Storm Shadow’ but also make an
incredible Renegades version of the character as well.  The fact that he
can hold all of his knives and throwing stars is an amazing bonus.”
- Justin, Generals Joes
Zombie-Viper“A new and innovative character that latches onto a pop-culture trend (something vital to keep the license relevant) and at the same time feels as though it fits right into the G.I. Joe cannon.”- Rich, A Real American Hero

BEST 3-3/4 INCH G.I. JOE VEHICLES OF 2011


Black Dragon VTOL (G.I. Joe: Renegades)“Though it fell a little short not being able to hold more than a pilot (in the G.I. Joe: Renegades cartoon it was a troop transport), it still manages to be at the top of my list. Some actually view this as an update to the vintage FANG II helicopter with some great gimmicks that give the VTOL  play value, too. It doesn’t hurt that we also get one great looking pilot too, the Air-Viper. Even though the body is mostly existing tooling, the new head sculpt and paint apps help it shine as one the coolest pilots/drivers for Cobra so far.” - Jason, The Terror Drome
Sky Striker XP-21F“Something I didn’t think we would be seeing any time soon, but turned
out to be a great update/re-release. Loved the Skystriker as a kid and
this update is just as fun. Also the updated Ace is an added bonus.”
- Jason, The Terror Drome
V.A.M.P. MK-II“Great design from the Pursuit of Cobra version with better colors and an awesome driver.”- Justin, Generals Joes

BEST LIMITED EDITION / EXCLUSIVE G.I. JOE ITEM OF 2011


Zarana (San Diego Comic-Con Exclusive)“It’s unfortunate that this figure was released as a convention exclusive, since Zarana plays a relatively significant role in the G.I. Joe universe–at times–and a lot of collectors have been asking for a figure of this character since the 25th Anniversary line. Hasbro did a fantastic job with crisp, clean paint lines especially on the makeup–from the eyeshadow to the lipstick–as well as transitioning the pink tights showing beneath the torn jeans.“- Rich, A Real American Hero

BEST COLLECTOR-GRADE G.I. JOE ITEM OF 2011


Cobra Viper Sixth-Scale Figure -  “Sideshow Collectibles has done some amazing things with the G.I. Joe license and their sixth-scale figures have intricate detail the like of which we’ve yet to see in a 12-inch G.I. Joe format. The Cobra Viper is a prime example of how Sideshow has been able to interweave a futuristic military feel with the classic G.I. Joe look to produce a figure that is both true to its iconic form and believable enough to be part of a modern military unit.“- Rich, A Real American Hero

BEST G.I. JOE COMIC / ANIMATED / FILM SERIES OF 2011


Cobra (IDW Publishing)“Hands down the best G.I. Joe media property in 2011. I honestly look forward to this series each, and every month. I love what writer Mike Costa is doing each time a new Cobra character shows up–I’m eager to see what approach he’s going to take with them. Like what he’s done with Tomax & Xamot, Croc Master, Crystal Ball, Serpentor and Big Boa is great, a lot of fun to read. He is writing THE G.I. Joe title/series that I have been waiting a long time for.”- Jason, The Terror Drome
G.I. Joe: Renegades“Hasbro has often tried to shy away a bit from the
military angle of G.I. Joe in their animated series, but with Renegades they
found just the right formula for success.  It certainly wasn’t perfect, but
it had started telling a great story and truly reinventing the G.I. Joe
mythology before Hasbro and The Hub unsummarily pulled the plug.  The
entire atmosphere for G.I. Joe: Renegades was one of the highlights of my G.I.
Joe collecting life in recent years, and its absence will be sorely missed, no
matter how successful Retaliation is in my eyes.”
- Justin, Generals Joes
IN RETROSPECT


Some may have thought that putting this list together was easy, but it wasn’t. There were a lot of great G.I. Joe items in 2011, including some amazing figures from the end of the Pursuit of Cobra line through to the 30th Anniversary line. Even though we narrowed our list down to a few select items, I’m sure we can say–in consensus–that based on what we got in 2011 (well aside from a few repaints, looking at you Croc Master and Blowtorch) it was a great year for G.I. Joe. We hope you enjoyed reading our retrospective; it was a lot of fun for the three of us to put together and maybe we changed your perspective on a figure or comic enough to check it out. We’ll see you again next year with a list of our favorite stuff from 2012, which is sure to be a huge year with G.I. Joe: Retaliation only a few months away.

 

  • Anonymous

    I would scrape gaudy Lifeline (if you’re going to blind me with bright red, at least wear knee pads that match that shade) and incomplete Zombie Viper (only comes with 1/4 of his canisters)off that list and replace both slots with POCW3 SE. That Snake Eyes is the GODFATHER of the PoC/30th line who lent his mold to countless figures and informed the design of the latest, greatest Storm Shadow.

  • Gyre-Viper

    The vtol is super under appreciated. It is so reminiscent of ARAH. %$&@!!$!-ing love that thing.

  • http://twitter.com/geoffdes78 Geoff DeSouza

    If we’re going that route, the Cobra Shock Trooper deserves the same amount of recognition.

    Heck, I’d be interested to see which set of parts has been re-used more over the past year. I’d actually bank on the Shock Trooper having the clubhouse lead, as it were.

    And Lifeline’s great. If every character was dressed in black, it’d be a dull toyline.

  • http://twitter.com/geoffdes78 Geoff DeSouza

    Interesting list, but I’d have added a “best accessory” category. Also, “best Frankensteining” for figures like General Hawk.

    If only because Skydive’s backpack needs to be praised SOMEWHERE.

  • Joe

    4 of your 5 Best 3 3/4 I have N*E*V*E*R seen at retail. and I only found LowLight at a CVS for $11.99

  • Anonymous

    The things that hold back the Shock Trooper are that he’s pretty generic and he can’t really store his gear. Though, I probably would rate him above Lifeline. The maroon knee pads really bum me out. And they blocked the last letters of “Rescue”. I could live with the throwback design if it were executed a bit better.

  • Greg

    POCW3 SE came out in 2010.

  • Patrick Stewart

    i agree with the whole paragraph but not so much the specific choices. How did ZV end up on the list but not Sci-Fi or Airtight. Both are better executed than Low-Light with the bulky vest and forearms. It seems to me that while Low Light was great at the time, Hasbro upped the bar in just a few months. I also took a second look at Sideshow Viper since he made the list. I’m sorry but I think they have done better. I really was expecting that figure to make a lot of Joe collectors stop looking to Sideshow.

  • Michaelpru

    My son & I are only now watching Renegade (just got to Prodigal) and it’s a crime that Hasbro cancelled this series. Yah it’s GIJoe does A-Team but it is an excellent show.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1363281337 Gary Godsoe

    YoJoe said 2011…I am going off that. :-P

  • Dak the Knomadd

    PoC wave 3 was 2011 wave 1. Although I think it might have been late November/early December when that wave was actually released, but I’m not 100% on that.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/John-McGregor/1116626365 John McGregor

    I think that Storm Shadow is one of the best figures of 2011, hands down…

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/John-McGregor/1116626365 John McGregor

    I have found all but Lifeline on pegs at my local comic store and Toysrus – live in VT. Picked up Storm Shadow before Christmas for $10 retail.

  • Greg

    Looked at my records I received Wave 4 on January 6th of last year. Wave 3 was probably Nov/Dec, yeah, but I’ll let it slide on a technicality :D