So what exactly is the future of G.I. Joe?
Short answer – I don’t think anyone except Hasbro really knows. Heck, I’m not even sure Hasbro themselves know.
Some confusion has emerged over the past 24 hours based on a post by HISSTank which states that Hasbro confirmed at Toy Fair that there would be no 50th Anniversary type line sold at Toys “R” Us this year.
I don’t consider this news very surprising.
Hasbro did go on to confirm that there would be a ComicCon exclusive, and that they were committed to getting the Fan Vote winner Stiletto out to collectors as well. Beyond that, pretty much nada.
Many Joe fans lept to the attack citing a Tweet from Entertainment News International that seemed to say there would be a G.I. Joe presence at retail this year, but in fact, that Tweet merely said a “few reveals” would be at JoeCon. I consider an SDCC set (or two) and the Stiletto release a few reveals, to be sure.
At this point, as it has been several times in recent years, the future of G.I. Joe as a retail brand remains murky. The one main difference now is that while G.I. Joe at retail was sketchy, we at least at the Collectors Club to fall back on, which was generally good for 30 – 40 releases per year, a nice healthy number. Now as we push forward towards 2016 and 2017 not only is retail looking unhealthy, but rumors persist that the Collectors Club is off the brand as well.
So what the heck is going on here? It makes no real sense to jettison Fub Publications if you’re also jettison a retail presence unless there’s some kind of fallback plan, which at this point there doesn’t appear to be. All Hasbro will really tell us right now is “wait for a movie”, but that does us no good in the short term. Over the past few years, the G.I. Joe collectors community has been dwindling with no real catalyst to bring us together, aside from the Kindle Worlds fan vote, which was a fantastic experience, but ultimately came and went.
As we look towards 2017, we have no clear vision of a retail brand, and simply no clue on any product from any sort of Collectors Club, and hell, we may not even have an annual G.I. Joe Convention to look forward to.
I’m not sure exactly what’s going on, but I hope that we can get some kind of information from Hasbro at some point, just so we don’t continue to be left adrift, wondering. I’m one of those few who actually enjoys some healthy speculation, but speculating on something vs. nothing doesn’t do much for me.
Hopefully we can find out what’s next and get some kind of answers beyond just waiting for the next movie.