G.I. Joe Collectors Club reveals FSS “Treadmark”

Treadmark?  Trademark?  Skidmark?  What’s in a name…

Honestly, when it comes to characters that require $35 modern updates, I wouldn’t put any of the above three on that list, but the Collectors Club revealed their version of the 1988 Desert Fox driver for FSS 7 regardless.

It’s a fine figure, pretty standard parts (though the sweater sleeves combined with the smooth torso is throwing me just a bit).  Check it out at GIJoeClub.com or the mirrored image below.

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G.I. Joe Collectors Club FSS 7 reveals!

Once again I’ve been a little delinquent on posting reveals for the G.I. Joe Collectors Club FSS 7, but they have just released an image for their fourth figure – Dreadnok KAOS.

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While on the one hand, I’m really  glad they’re dipping into the Concept Case unreleased Pursuit of COBRA items, on the other hand, this was probably my least favorite of those items.  Show me some N.O.M.A.D., Clutch, or Raven’s Wing… or heck, some of those heavy Alley Viper or HISS Drivers, too!

Figure three was revealed a couple of days back, and I gotta be honest, this is one of the coolest figures I’ve seen in a long time.  Yeah, I’m mark for most things General Hawk, but as a kid I LOVED the jet pack version of him (I wish it had been used more in the comic) and I think this is a pretty cool representation.  The colors aren’t quite right, but the build is fantastic and I just love how the figure looks.

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Figure #2…  I’m kind of blah.  For a nearly swan song Figure Subscription Service, the last thing we need is yet another COBRA Commander.  And honestly, the Arctic Version was horribly overrated just because it was a canceled figure.  If it had been released, I can almost guarantee nobody would have cared less.

That being said, I’m glad at least that the Club overhauled the parts with more modern choices so the articulation wasn’t quite so bad.  It’s an okay figure, I guess, I just don’t get the hype.

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If you like what you see, you can sign up for FSS 7 and go crazy!

Figure Subscription Service 7.0 Line Up Revealed

While no figure previews have started yet, the G.I. Joe Collectors Club has announced the line up for Figure Subscription Service 7.0!

Some decent selections this time around, and as stated previews will BEGIN October 31st.

Hey, that’s today! 

Personally I’m almost the most excited about Dreadnok KAOS, one of those unreleased Pursuit of COBRA figures from the concept case five years back.  He wouldn’t have been my first choice of those figures, but perhaps this is an indication that more of those could be on the docket.  I guess we’ll see…

Previews and subscription period will start October 31st, 2017.

G.I. JOE DESERT TROOPER & COYOTE
Code Name: DUSTY & SANDSTORM
(Inspired by the 1991 action figure.)
Includes: removable beret, harness with large knife,
assault rifle, sub machine gun, coyote, knife,
pistol with suppressor, and figure stand.

COBRA SUPREME LEADER
Code Name: COBRA COMMANDER
(Inspired by the unreleased “arctic” action figure.)
Includes: removable helmet, holster with pistol,
advanced combat rifle, cobra staff, and figure stand.

G.I. JOE COMMANDER
Code Name: GENERAL HAWK
(Inspired by the 1991 action figure.)
Includes: removable helmet, harness with holster,
pistol, rifle, glider backpack with pop-out wings,
detachable rockets x 2, and figure stand.

DREADNOK SALVAGE CREW
Code Name: DREADNOK KAOS
(Inspired by the unreleased “concept case” action figure.)
Includes: removable harness, pistol, bolo,
wrist crossbow, machete, and figure stand.

G.I. JOE ASSAULT VEHICLE DRIVER
Code Name: TREADMARK
(Inspired by the 1988 action figure.)
Includes: removable vest, assault rifle, pistol,
combat knife, and figure stand.

EXTENSIVE ENTERPRISES CEO
Code Name: TOMAX
(Inspired by the Sunbow cartoon design.)
Features NEW head sculpt!
Includes: aerial platform with sky hook, auto pistol,
briefcase with warheads x 4, and figure stand.

G.I. JOE TIGER FORCE NINJA
Code Name: KIM “JINX” ARASHIKAGE
(Inspired by the 2003 action figure.)
Features NEW head sculpt!
Includes: masked/unmasked heads, swords x 2,
dual sword sheath backpack, Naginata, and figure stand.

COBRA ARCTIC TRANSPORT OFFICER
Code Name: ICE VIPER OFFICER
(Inspired by the 2007 action figure.)
Includes: removable helmet, goggles, harness,
radio, rifle, sais x 2, boot cleats, and figure stand.

G.I. JOE SAMURAI WARRIOR
Code Name: BUDO
(Inspired by the 1988 action figure.)
Features NEW head sculpt!
Includes: Samurai helmet, removable chest armor,
belt, sais x 2, swords x 2, and figure stand.

COBRA SAVAGE FIGHTER
Code Name: KANGOR
(Inspired by the Brazilian exclusive action figure.)
Includes: removable harness, boxing gloves/hands,
dumbbell weights x 2, kangaroo, and figure stand.

G.I. JOE TUNDRA RANGER
Code Name: SGT. STALKER
(Inspired by the 1989 action figure.)
Includes: removable tactical vest, NEW hat, rifle,
knife, kayak with stabilizer, machine gun mount,
double-ended paddle, and figure stand.

COBRA HYPNOTIST
Code Name: CRYSTAL BALL
(Inspired by the 1987 action figure.)
Features NEW head sculpt!
Includes: removable vest, pistol, knife,
shield, and figure stand.

NOTE: These modern era club exclusive action figures will not be exact replicas of their vintage counterparts. All images are Photoshop mock-up representations, final product, accessories and/or colors will vary!

FSS-7-Logo

GeneralsJoes wraps up 2017 Convention Reviews

And that’s a wrap.  It always feels like the annual convention reviews are a sprint, with coordinating all of the images, the Photoshopping, the organizing and the page layouts, and then by the time the whirlwind week is over, there’s a feeling of some sort of satisfaction.

I have to be honest, though, I didn’t feel a whole lot of satisfaction with this one.  Ultimately, most of the figures and vehicles felt underserved and overpriced, which is unfortunate.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s great that the Collectors Club is able to put together these figures for a fanbase that has no other outlet currently, but in looking back even to just 2015 the blatant and obvious degradation of quality is a shame.  There were some highlights last year with Sky Patrol, several of them in fact, but this year everything felt pretty run-of-the-mill with very few exciting surprises.  I felt there was a handful of serviceable figures that did the source material right, but there really was nothing that surprised, impressed, or blew me away.  Perhaps I’m asking too much given the limited tooling supplies and resources available, but when the Club is asking nearly $1,000 for a set of exclusives, I gotta say, I expect more.

Anyway…  the last three reviews can be viewed below:

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G.I. Joe Convention 2017 BattleForce: 2000 Conquest X36

AvalancheBlasterBlockerDodgerKnockdown
MaverickB.A.T. Squad LeaderCobra B.A.T.BackstopDee Jay
COBRA CorrosionLaser ViperSky Serpent w/ Laser Viper OfficerMarauder SnowmobilesBAT Rocket Packs
Conquest X36Con Set Recap

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In 1987 Maverick piloted the Vector, a brand new, pseudo-futuristic jet as an addition to the G.I. Joe air arsenal which was even featured a few times in the G.I. Joe comics.  Fast forward several years and even though he’s dead, he gets an upgrade to a new variation of the Conquest, this time marked the X-36 instead of the typical X-30 moniker.

Fans got pretty excited when they saw the artwork for this potential upgraded plane in the convention comic with the wing format looking remarkably like the COBRA Hurricane.  But alas, when the actual physical items were revealed, it was a Conquest repaint, a new deco for the newly molded 25th Anniversary Conquest.

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The new version of the Conquest originally released several years ago was a marketable improvement over the ’86 original.  The fins stayed in far better as well as the missiles, though beyond those structural improvements, the plane looked much the same.  This one does as well.  The swept wing design of the Conquest looks nicely futuristic, although the shape of the plane is so iconic for G.I. Joe that it’s tough to see it as anything other than a Conquest with a different paint scheme.

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That being said they did a decent job mirroring the paint scheme of the Vector, and it matches Maverick pretty well, too.  I like the fact that the decal work is all applied with paint apps rather than actual stickers.  The vehicle is a pretty fun addition to the growing convention air force and makes for a neat foil for the Sky Serpent.  I’m not sure it’s worth the cost that it requires to acquire one, but on its own merits it works.


G.I. Joe Convention 2017 COBRA B.A.T. Rocket Packs

AvalancheBlasterBlockerDodgerKnockdown
MaverickB.A.T. Squad LeaderCobra B.A.T.BackstopDee Jay
COBRA CorrosionLaser ViperSky Serpent w/ Laser Viper OfficerMarauder SnowmobilesBAT Rocket Packs
Conquest X36Con Set Recap

gijcc-joecon2017-rocketpack-01

The Collectors Club seems to have a thing for jet packs, huh?  Last year they released two 5-Packs of JUMP repaints, and then this year, the B.A.T.s have their own “rocket packs” they can use to launch airborne salvos at their BattleForce: 2000 enemies.

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This rocket pack is the retooled version that we got as part of the Rise of COBRA line as a Target exclusive several years back, and I have to admit I don’t truly understand the idea behind this particular vehicle.  G.I. Joe released small form factor “jet packs” in 1982 in the form of the JUMP, so I’m a bit curious why five years later in 1987 the jet pack was somehow larger and more cumbersome than it was in ’82.  Heck the ’87 jet pack even looked more clumsy than the Claw which was mostly the same exact thing a few years earlier.

I’ve never been a big fan of the design of this particular rocket pack, it’s basically a large square thing with teeny wings and four top-mounted cannons which isn’t all that streamlined or aerodynamic.

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In the capacity of this convention set, though, it’s actually not too bad.  I could see COBRA strapping B.A.T.s to this massive, fuel-loaded rocket pack and just basically throwing them headlong into G.I. Joe enemies with no concern for their well-being.

The color scheme works as well, being mostly black with the right hints of orange and green to match the aesthetic of the B.A.T.s within this convention set.  I do like the colors, and I get the idea, but this doesn’t feel like an item that’s a critical piece of the set.


G.I. Joe Convention 2017 BattleForce: 2000 Marauder Snowmobiles

AvalancheBlasterBlockerDodgerKnockdown
MaverickB.A.T. Squad LeaderCobra B.A.T.BackstopDee Jay
COBRA CorrosionLaser ViperSky Serpent w/ Laser Viper OfficerMarauder SnowmobilesBAT Rocket Packs
Conquest X36Con Set Recap

gijcc-marauder-snowmobile-01

Back in 1987 the BattleForce: 2000 subline wasn’t just about figures, but was also about vehicles.  The whole “Future Fortress” concept has never been a big focus of fan attention (and honestly, it probably doesn’t deserve to be) but BattleForce: 2000 was very much about their vehicles as well as the characters themselves.

For that reason it was pretty critical that vehicles play a role in the convention set, and the Club accomplished that by releasing a 2-pack of Polar Battle Bear snowmobiles repainted in the old Marauder colors and calling them “Marauder Snowmobiles”.

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Not sure how I feel about this whole thing.

First and foremost, there really is nothing about the Polar Battle Bear that looks “futuristic”.  It was first released in 1983 and although this version is the updated modern era retooling, it still maintains the same dated look and feel.  The Marauder was originally Dodger’s vehicle, and was actually a pretty neat two-part motorcycle/tank with some interesting playability.  None of that playability really exists in this modern interpretation.  The color scheme is nicely applied and does look reminiscent of the older Marauder vehicle but the base vehicle here is very vanilla and doesn’t at all bring up a feeling of state-of-the-art future warfare.

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I’m also not entirely sure why the Club felt it necessary to package two of them together at a steep price.  Ultimately I see very little redeeming qualities with this particular choice of vehicles, much less two of them and it kind of feels like they were tossed in there because we’re swiftly running out of ideas and tooling to work with.


GeneralsJoes Reviews 2017 Convention Laser Viper and Sky Serpent

Two more 2017 convention reviews under my belt today as we cover the Laser-Viper three pack as well as the COBRA Sky Serpent w/ Laser Viper Officer.

Peeled from the Concept Case, the Laser Viper has been a highly desirable figure from the fandom for a while… how does the final version measure up?

Check out the reviews below!

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G.I. Joe Convention 2017 Sky Serpent with Laser Viper Officer

AvalancheBlasterBlockerDodgerKnockdown
MaverickB.A.T. Squad LeaderCobra B.A.T.BackstopDee Jay
COBRA CorrosionLaser ViperSky Serpent w/ Laser Viper OfficerMarauder SnowmobilesBAT Rocket Packs
Conquest X36Con Set Recap

Sky Serpent

gijcc-joecon2017-skyserpent-01

Now this was a very pleasant surprise.  As one of the biggest G.I. Joe: Renegades fans on the planet, I long for more opportunities for Renegades toys of any kind and the Black Dragon helicopter was one of my favorite vehicles in recent years.  Yes, compared to how it was utilized on the show it was far too small, but it was sleek, had an awesome design, and some pretty fun play features at that.

gijcc-joecon2017-skyserpent-11

This version of the Black Dragon is colored in a lighter COBRA blue and red and named the Sky Serpent.  It’s not often we get truly new concepts as convention vehicles, and I’m glad to see this one, it’s a great looking aircraft and it looks pretty awesome in blue.

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Like the original, the Sky Serpent has great swing-back wings with rotating VTOL rotors, an opening canopy and a button mechanism that opens bomb bays on the bottom and drops bombs.  The play features aren’t super advanced, but they are fun.  While many folks complain about the size of the vehicle as well, I actually enjoy it as it makes it easier to handle and fly around one-handed.  It’s a solidly built vehicle with a fantastic design aesthetic and great looking paint applications.  I really like it, and I like that the Club has at least somewhat developed a battle foil for the Conquest.  I can see the Conquest and the Sky Serpent in a pitched dogfight (although the lack of air-to-air missiles might hurt the Sky Serpent’s chances a little).

Laser Viper Officer

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This one was another surprise from the Convention.  Not based on any real pre-existing character (though the color scheme seems somewhat Shadow-Viper like from the 2002 Real American Hero Collection) the Laser Viper Officer was released as a pseudo pilot for the Sky Serpent, and honestly he is an amazing looking figure.

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The great Laser Viper parts build combined with this really cool dark blue and red paint scheme gives us an excellent addition to the COBRA roster, and a nice new commander for the Laser Viper corps.  I’m a bit conflicted as I would have loved to have seen some inspiration from the 2001 Laser Viper (based on the 1991 Sci-Fi) though taking some of the aesthetics from the Shadow Viper makes a certain amount of sense as well, I suppose, even if the Shadow Viper was an Astro Viper, not a Laser Viper.

How many times can I type the word “Viper” in this review?

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At any rate, while this figure isn’t one I would have expected, I find myself really enjoying the build and colors.  His crazy laser gun (from the Rise of COBRA Sgt. Flash figure, I believe) is neat as well.

Accessories

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As mentioned, this figure comes with a removable helmet and huge laser gun, as well as technically coming with the Sky Serpent as well.  Not a ton of accessories, but pretty good ones nonetheless.

gijcc-joecon2017-laser-viper-officer-04

I’m leery about buying vehicles these days, mostly because I don’t really have the space for them, but the Sky Serpent is a pretty awesome little COBRA aircraft, and the Laser Viper Officer is one heck of a cool looking pilot to boot.  Greatly overshadowed by most of the  BattleForce: 2000 elements, this little cadre of Laser Vipers has been a real pleasure to check out in hand and I think will end up commanding some serious interest down the road.


G.I. Joe Convention 2017 Laser Viper

AvalancheBlasterBlockerDodgerKnockdown
MaverickB.A.T. Squad LeaderCobra B.A.T.BackstopDee Jay
COBRA CorrosionLaser ViperSky Serpent w/ Laser Viper OfficerMarauder SnowmobilesBAT Rocket Packs
Conquest X36Con Set Recap

gijcc-joecon2017-laserviper-01 gijcc-joecon2017-laserviper-02

It seems like forever ago that we got our first glimpse of the now infamous Concept Case at JoeCon in 2012.  A showcase of canceled figures had G.I. Joe fans drooling and pressing their desperate faces to the glass all weekend long while dreaming of an alternate universe where these  toys might have actually existed.

Well, somewhere over the past five years, many of those figures have ended up seeing release.  One of the main holdouts from a fan-voted Top 10 list was Laser-Viper, and for the first time ever, at JoeCon 2017, fans everywhere (or at least fans in the greater Orlando, Florida area) got their chance to own them.

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The Collectors Club didn’t just release a Laser Viper either, they released a full blown trio of Laser Vipers, mostly mimicking the build from the concept case from so many years ago.

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G.I. Joe: Resolute Duke provides the torso, with 30th Anniversary Sci-Fi arms and what almost look to be Rise of COBRA legs.  The combination works really well, approximates the vintage (and concept case) look nicely and gives us a great update to the 1990 COBRA roster.  The parts are pretty next generation so the sculpting is great and the articulation works nicely.  Colors here are a bit more muted than they were for the concept case version, but they still work really well.  A combination of gray, blue and silver gives us just what we’re looking for in these updates to the COBRA laser specialists.

Accessories

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One thing we didn’t get that many fans wanted, though were the iconic Laser-Viper backpacks.  I can understand it to a degree, after all that’s quite a bit of new tooling that would likely be required to provide them to us, but it still would have been nice.  As it stands, they come with Sci-Fi’s laser rifle and backpack, a removable helmet, and plenty of awesomeness.

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Little by little we’re working our way through the most wanted concept case figures…at least the vintage rehashes.  Personally I would have loved to have seen some of the Pursuit of COBRA new concept ideas get moved forward, but I understand the fandom is much more adamant about the vintage updates, so that’s what the Club has been focusing on.  This Laser Viper does a great job as an update to the 1990 figure, and actually fleshes out some of the core troop builders for that year pretty effectively.  Thanks to the already released Range-Vipers, Night Creepers, Rock-Vipers, SAW-Vipers, we are now officially all caught up with 1990 COBRA Troopers.  Well, besides a standard color Undertow, I suppose.

Anyway, Laser Viper is a great figure and is one of the shining examples of this year’s selection of JoeCon exclusives.  Great stuff even without his laser backpack.