Over on Toy News International, Pixel Dan interviewed Derryl DePriest from Hasbro and spoke about 2014 and what potential plans are for G.I. Joe throughout next year. Mr. DePriest was quick to temper too much talk about the future, preferring to focus on G.I. Joe: Retaliation and their present assortments, which does make sense considering the DVD releases are hitting in a scant couple of weeks.
However, Derryl did open up just a bit on some possible happenings in 2014, and confirmed that Kre-O would be continuing through Toys “R” Us into next year. Along with that, he also mentioned that there might be some G.I. Joe related “surprises” at Toy Fair 2014, which indicates there is some sort of product plan for the coming year. Check out the video interview below.
Now, what’s interesting to me was that Derryl specifically mentioned Toy Fair 2014 as a possible source of “surprises”, which clearly says that product is planned for next year, but probably not until later in the year. If these items aren’t even being revealed until February, seems to me that chances are good we won’t see that product until summer at the earliest. That’s kind of a double-edged sword. On the positive side, it does show that Hasbro is still actively making plans for the G.I. Joe brand, even without a movie to support it. On the negative side that does seem to support some ideas that G.I. Joe at mass retail is on… well… I think we all know what the “h word” means by now, right?
I’m not trying to instigate some kind of “doom and gloom” scenario, though. Truth is, over the next 4 – 6 weeks we should be getting quite a few cool new figures, and the FSS 2.0 should be striking near the end of the year as well, so there will be G.I. Joe product to buy and seek out. Let’s face it, too, it’s not like we haven’t been through this before. Heck, there was the big brouhaha over the Rise of Cobra transition to the Pursuit of Cobra, and the figures that came out of that transition were some of the best toys we’ve seen in decades.
Regardless of the final outcome, it will be an interesting few months, but as G.I. Joe fans, I think we’re used to that by now. But I think we also know that G.I. Joe is a resilient brand. Not many other brands would have survived the constant re-inventions that we have over the past several years and the fact that as a brand G.I. Joe remains on the radar and viable is a testament to its core concepts and to the devotion of the design teams involved in its production. Hopefully that level of skill and enthusiasm is still behind the line and we can look forward to more great product still to come.