Frostbite (Figure Subscription Service)

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Here we go again… figure #13.  A figure that’s been frought with frustration and controversy since the first FSS.  Personally, I still think Blackout was almost the perfect example of a Figure Subscription Service 13th figure.  He’s enough of a draw (I think) to please folks, but he’s not such a desirable figure that it frustrates would-be subscribers.  Grand Slam was too far into the “not desirable” side, and Frostbite, I think, surges the other direction into “must needed” territory.  Personally, I’m fine with that, I’m subbing anyway, obviously, but I can see where a couple folks might be frustrated.

It’s a weird feeling to see the 1985 roster now complete (well, except for Listen & Fun Tripwire, I guess) even though it took quite a while to get here.

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What amazes me, too, is that a character that wasn’t deemed important enough to receive a modern update until the last spot in the roster may possibly be one of the best overall ‘85 redo’s in the line.

Frostbite’s build is exceptionally well done, choosing parts from several different sources and giving us a figure with a nice arctic aesthetic and great range of motion.  He’s not over-detailed, but not under either, blending perfectly between part selections which all fit together amazingly well.  The new head sculpt is spectacular, with layered fur sculpting on the hat and bearded face.  Removable goggles approximate the classic look, but also can slide over his eyes as well for added realism.

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Doing the new sculpting as well as the build, Boss Fight Studio did a great job assisting the Club with getting this formula just right.

The deco is obviously built upon the classic version with lots of white and hints of off white fur, and black trim.  It looks the part perfectly.  This is one heck of an update to a 1985 character that rarely got any screen or page time, even in G.I. Joe’s hay day.

Accessories

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Along with the new head sculpt, we have newly sculpted fur collar that goes over his shoulders, with a pistol holster built in.  This is a terrific piece of new gear that adds a perfect element to Frostbite, allowing some flexibility for the torso underneath, but also matching the vintage look well.

Two pistols can be removed from his two holsters, both on the chest, and with the 25th Anniversary Zap’s belt, another great addition to the figure.  He also comes with a wrench to fix the Snowcat, the removable goggles mentioned before, and a nice sniper rifle. I’ll say the original Frostbite’s rifle is one of my all time favorite guns in the line, and this is a decent version of it.  All of the accessories make perfect sense and compliment the figure well.

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How suitable is this figure for the mystery 13th?  I’m a bit conflicted.  I think advertising this figure as part of the subscription might have driven more people to subscribe.  But at the same time it feels like a fantastic incentive for folks to subscribe next time.  On the flip side, if the NEXT 13th figure doesn’t rise to this level, we’ll just see disappointment all over again, so the Club is constantly waging this battle with the fandom.  This figure is fantastic.  I love it.  It’s made me care about Frostbite when the original ‘85 version failed, and I’m quite excited to have it in my collection, even though I just got the Tiger Force version six short weeks ago.

Night Creeper Leader (Figure Subscription Service)

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It seems like just yesterday that the Collectors Club’s decision to go with the yellow and purple Night Creeper Leader was met with frustration and anger, and now that the figure has been shipped, the reaction has been much the same, but this time focused on the head and blindfold. Early images of the Night Creeper Leader showed him without his black skullcap, and to the Club’s credit they gave him one. The only problem is the paint doesn’t go down far enough to meet the slim blindfold and the result is… well, it’s
not aesthetically pleasant.

Thankfully, I’m sure there are casters right now working on a potential stopgap solution to that.

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So after seeing all the online reactions, I was mentally preparing myself to be really disappointed with the Night Creeper Leader, but once he arrived, I feel quite the opposite. If you can get past the look of the head and blindfold, this figure is fantastic. Yes, fantastic.

Using Rise of Cobra Arctic Storm Shadow’s bare torso, Renegades Storm Shadow arms, and the Retaliation-themed Ninja figures (with rocker ankles), the build for this figure allows for terrific range of motion, great updated sculpting, and the ability to hold his included throwing stars and knives. The wrist joints give him some great flexibility in martial arts poses…this is a really, really fun figure.

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While many folks aren’t a big fan of this Night Creeper Leader paint scheme, I actually really love it. I find the yellow and purple more pleasing to the eye than the orange camouflage, and as an added bonus, it matches the Club Black Dragons perfectly! That may be meaningless to most of you, but in my Dio-Story, I had created an allegiance between the Black Dragons and Night Creepers, so I really love that there is an update to
that cool looking Night Creeper Leader.

ACCESSORIES

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Night Creeper Leader comes with a ton of gear. The focal point is the terrific double-strapped webgear which was a really great choice for a number of reasons. It looks great, holds tight, and allows for him to hold the twin Mac-10 submachine guns. One might ask why Night Creepers need machine guns, but it’s been pretty clearly established that they’re not JUST ninjas, so using machine guns makes sense, and I believe in an old
Marvel Comic, they actually used some Mac-10’s. I want to say it was an issue with art by Lee Weeks, but I may be misremembering it…

Along with this, the figure comes with two throwing stars and throwing knives, which works really nicely, considering the webgear has those exact weapons attached to it. An automatic crossbow, two swords and the blindfold round out the accessory compliments, and while it’s a little frustrating to have all this gear that the figure can’t hold, I think it
all makes sense for him.

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Yes, the head looks pretty bad with the mispainted skull cap that doesn’t come far enough down his head. I will not argue that at all. But from the neck down, I really like this figure a lot, and find myself thoroughly enjoying messing with it. An exceptionally pleasant surprise.

Crimson Guard Immortal (Figure Subscription Service)

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Like Big Ben, the genesis of Crimson Guard Immortal comes from the 1991 line of G.I. Joe figures, a run of toys that totally thrilled me as a child.  I was infatuated with nearly every figure in the 1991 line, but especially loved the updated looks for the familiar characters.  By far my favorite Cobra entry in the 1991 line was the Crimson Guard Immortal, which is probably why I was initially so critical of the look of the concept case version.

While a lot of folks seemed excited for the concept case Crimson Guard Immortal, I wasn’t really feeling it.  There are certain elements of the CGI that are critical parts of the figure’s design success, and the chest panels were some of those unique elements.  I just didn’t feel like the Pursuit of Cobra Firefly vest worked in that same way.

Not only that, but the somewhat clugey gauntlets from the G.I. Joe: Retaliation Cobra Trooper didn’t fit my perceived aesthetic either.  I didn’t consider it a great update.

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So when the Club announced they were revisiting the idea in the FSS, I crossed my fingers that they might tweak the design somewhat and bring something a bit different to the table.

Well, a couple of interesting things happened.  First of all, they did follow the formula pretty much exactly, down to the Retaliation Snake Eyes legs.  Second of all, even though I fought against it all the way until cracking open the card, I find myself liking the end result a lot more than I thought.  Aesthetically, I still don’t like those flashy gauntlets.  I understand Hasbro and the Club were going for “ceremonial” but they just don’t look all that great to me.  From a functionality perspective, though, they’re pretty darn nice.  The somewhat longer arms have great range of motion and enable the Immortal to hold his weapon extremely well, and as folks who read these reviews should know by now, I often use that as a big measuring stick towards a figure’s success.  I still don’t love the look, but the feel is downright awesome.

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The Club used Hasbro’s new head sculpt, which is great, but also added some nice deco to the PoC Firefly vest, putting some black in with the silver to add some nice contrast.  I still don’t love the different shades of silver in the gauntlets and the vest, though, and that does detract somewhat from the cohesiveness of the figure.  The base red matches the existing Crimson Guard figures from the Retaliation line very well, and I love this new and updated Crimson Guard corps I’m now able to put together.  Although I’ll admit I really wish the Immortal was easier (cheaper)  to army build…the whole idea of putting troop builders in the FSS argument has been done to death, so I won’t regurgitate that here.  It doesn’t bug me a whole lot (I’d rather just get the figure in the first place than not) but in some cases, like this one, it’s a bit frustrating.

Accessories

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The Club also added some nice flair to the accessories for the Crimson Guard Immortal as well.  I totally hated the rocket launchers the vintage figure came with, and while the Club does include that, along with three rockets, they also give him a fantastic machine gun and a great Crimson Guard themed flag that are awesome additions.

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Conceptually I really wasn’t a fan of the look of the Crimson Guard Immortal in the concept case, and my feelings didn’t change a whole lot with the FSS rendition, but I’m happy to say in execution, I find myself enjoying it a lot more than I thought I might.  There are still some changes I would have loved to have seen made to make it perfect, though.

The Finest: A G.I. Joe Costume Club teams with the USO for new Calendar!

Last year, the fine folks from The Finest produced a “Girls of the Finest” costume calendar to support Wounded Warrior.  This year, they’ve joined forces with the USO themselves to create the next installment in the Girls of the Finest calendar!  This is huge news for this great group of costumers, and hopefully we can all come out and support them along the way.

Check out the full press release below.

The Finest Announces Partnership for Upcoming Charity Calendar

The costume club’s annual charity calendar returns for 2016, with all proceeds to benefit its charity of choice

May 28, 2015

The Finest: A GI Joe Costume Club (the Finest) is pleased to announce a new partnership with the United Service Organizations (USO) and the return of the Girls of the Finest charity calendar for 2016. The Finest will donate 100% of the calendar net proceeds to the USO, a nonprofit organization that has supported America’s troops and their families for nearly 75 years, providing critical programs and services through more than 160 locations around the world.

“We are humbled and honored to partner with the USO on this project,” said Scarlett Conn, the Finest’s project lead for the charity calendar. “A significant portion of our club’s membership is made up of active duty troops, veterans, and their families. Many of our own members and their families have directly benefited from the USO over the years, so being able to work with this historic organization and give something back is incredibly important to all of us.”

Established in 2007, the Finest is an international volunteer group of costume enthusiasts who portray G.I. Joe characters at comic and pop-culture conventions worldwide. Members of the Finest also support local communities and participate in military- and veteran-themed charity projects, including the annual Girls of the Finest calendar.

The 60-day funding period for the limited edition calendar is scheduled to launch in late May and run through the end of July. Finest members will appear at various comic and pop-culture conventions nationwide throughout the summer to promote the calendar and accept donations. Online donations may be made here:

http://igg.me/at/girlsofthefinest2016calendar

For more information about the Finest and the Girls of the Finest Charity Calendar please visit www.thefinestcc.com or join the conversation on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/girlsofthefinest?fref=ts or Twitter using @TheFinestCC

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About The Finest

Established in 2007, the Finest is the premier G.I. Joe costuming group in the world. With hundreds of members across the U.S., Canada, South America, Europe, Asia and Australia, we portray characters from the G.I. Joe universe at various comic and pop-culture conventions around the world, and participate in parades, children’s events, and charity projects that typically support military and veteran organizations. To help us support this important project, and to learn more about the Finest, please visit www.thefinestcc.com and like us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/TheFinestCC?fref=ts .

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G.I. Joe Collectors Club shows off two more FSS IV figures

Another reveal today from the G.I. Joe Collectors Club for the next installment of the FSS!  Today we get a look at Photoshop mock ups for Inferno B.A.T. and Nunchuck.

Inferno B.A.T. is a curious collection of homages.  Obviously the main inspiration is the Mail Order exclusive Inferno B.A.T. from the early 00’s, which was based on the ’91 version of the Battle Android Trooper.  The legs, however, look more derived from the Valor Vs. Venom version (along with the sword).

According to the Club, the final figure will look pretty different:

this is only a reference mock-up and the plan is to re-tool the sword hand attachment and make the figure parts translucent.

So the final version should be translucent, and I would expect formatted similar to the Nano B.A.T. from the first Figure Subscription Service.

Nunchuk uses a mixture of the recently used Ninja figure parts and 30th Anniversary Airtight legs for a more military mixture.  The paint scheme is obviously heavily Photoshopped, but the end result is decent enough.

Keep watching GIJoeClub.com for the latest info and if you like what you see, subscribe to FSS IV.

Final FSS 3 Shipments arriving now

Depending on where you are in the country, the final installments of the third Figure Subscription Service are now arriving in mailboxes! Already on Facebook, folks have posted about the latest shipment and revealed the mystery 13th figure!

I am NOT going to reveal the Collectors’ Club’s exciting choice here, but if you poke around, you’ll find it.

I think folks will be quite happy with it.

Watch those mailboxes, and I should be getting caught up on my own FSS reviews very shortly, now that the Con set is out of the way!

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FSS IV Law & Order Revealed!

It’s been a couple of days since the last FSS IV reveal, and the Club breaks the silence today with their version of Law & Order straight from 1987!

Using a healthy portion of the G.I. Joe: Renegades version from 2012, they added a Wild Bill vest and tweaked some colors, and I’ll be darned if that doesn’t look pretty sharp.

Another member of the Rawhides officially produced! I think that just leaves Big Lob in the modern format. Get to it, Collectors Club!

Keep watching GIJoeClub.com for the latest reveals and sign up for FSS IV right here. The Law & Order image is mirrored below.

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3D Joes new Kickstarter celebrates the birth of A Real American Hero with art collection

Carson from 3DJoes made quite the splash in the G.I. Joe community pretty quickly a few years ago, when he used the landmark technology within Arqspin to launch a fantastic G.I. Joe fansite celebrating the look and feel of the 80’s marketing masterpiece.

In order to help fund the site, he’s spun that off into posters and other items, and now he’s getting into the book business.

He’s already discussed a non-profit endeavor to bring a hardbound book of all the exciting artwork from 1982 – 1983 to collector hands, but at a cost of around $200, that can be a tough pill for Joe fans to swallow.

Enter Kickstarter.

Knowing that the hardbound book would be a difficult enticement, even when no profit is involved, Carson has enlisted the help of Kickstarter to launch a soft cover version of the book at a greatly reduced price. Containing the great content of the hardcover, but at a more palatable price range, the Kickstarter launched this morning, and has already gathered in over half of the required funds to launch.

Get on board this train early, it’s only rolling for two weeks.

Check out the Kickstarter right here, and as always, check out 3DJoes.com to see your favorite figures from all angles.

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GeneralsJoes Reviews G.I. Joe Convention “Peril in Paradise” Convention Set

It’s taken a long time, but finally, the reviews are complete for the 2015 G.I. Joe Convention set “Peril in Paradise”.  Featuring Tiger Force versus the Iron Grenadiers, this combined review features a look at over 20 different items with in depth break downs of each.

The format is a bit different this time around, falling more in line with some of my recent Masters of the Universe Classics and Transformers reviews, so hopefully you like the new layout.  Same number of images, same star rating system, same in depth look, just with some new wallpaper.

Check out my G.I. Joe Collectors Club review section, or click the link directly below:

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Memorial Day Wishes from GeneralsJoes

As G.I. Joe fans, I’d like to think we’re all too aware of the sacrifices that the men and women of our fine country make every day to ensure our freedom.  Some of those men and women make the ultimate sacrifice, and between events today, please take some time to think about those fallen heroes.

It’s because of people like them that we can live the life we all live every day.

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