What’s on Joe Mind Special Edition 47 – JoeCon in Loveland!

Seems strangely appropriate that the next G.I. Joe Convention would be in “Loveland” Colorado…and the guys (and girl!) from What’s On Joe Mind have finally recorded some new content to talk about JoeCon’s 2016 location!

A warm welcome to new contributor Joe Colton as well as Colorado native (and kickass artist) Troy McKie who comes on to talk about his home state and what to do in or around Loveland.

Check out the latest special edition at our Podbean site, or embedded below.

Whoa! What happened to Special Edition #46?! Well, we’re still working on it.  In the meantime, we moved on to #47 to react to the GIJCC’s JoeCon site announcement. This year we are finally headed back west as a tiny burg named Loveland will enter our lexicon next to such cities as San Francisco, Dallas, New Orleans…and yes, Indianapolis.  What is there to see and do in the area? As always our intrepid crew tracks down a local to fill us in with the info that only locals know. So sit back, relax and listen to the gang re-assembling to talk about JoeCon 2015 – in Loveland, Colorado…and as always, sharing dirty stories about one Noted Author. You don’t want to miss it!!

Location and Dates for 2016 G.I. Joe Convention Announced!

A pleasantly surprising announcement from the G.I. Joe Collectors’ Club today as we have the dates and location for the 2016 G.I. Joe Convention!

We’re back to summer dates next year with June 16th – 19th and the location is Loveland, Colorado, just north of Denver.  Great news, and the lead up to the annual JoeCon is always one of my favorite times of year.  Check out the email with full details below and keep watching for more information coming about the 2016 G.I. Joe Convention!

The 2016 G.I. Joe Collectors’ convention to be held June 16-19
 in the beautiful city of Loveland, Colorado

Fort Worth, TX – October 6, 2015 – Fun Publications, Inc., licensee for Hasbro’s official G.I. Joe Collectors’ Convention G.I.JoeCon, announced today that next year’s amazing convention will take place at the Embassy Suites Loveland Hotel June 16 through June 19 in Loveland Colorado, just north of Denver. Fans once again will come together from across the world to celebrate another exciting year of all things G.I. Joe at this fantastic event! You can make your hotel reservations now via GIJoeCon.com.

In the coming weeks, G.I. Joe fans will be able to register for G.I.JoeCon 2016 through the GIJoeCon.com online registration system. Fans and collectors who register for G.I.JoeCon as either a Real American Hero or General package holder will receive an exclusive convention box set, admission to the Friday private sales room experience, priority seating at all panels and seminars throughout the weekend and admittance to the Saturday night Casino Night and Awards Party. Finally, American Hero or General package attendees will also receive a special bonus G.I. Joe item to go along with their convention box set. General Admission for non-registered guests will be available on Saturday and Sunday only.

For all the information regarding the G.I.JoeCon show activities, hotel updates and the exclusive figure offerings, stay tuned to GIJoeCon.com

Surprises in store at Roll Out Roll Call 2015?

We are less than a week from the UK’s biggest and best G.I. Joe/Transformers Convention, Roll Out Roll Call, in Southampton!  Attendees have come to expect a fantastic show with lots of great dealers, great insight from special guests and lots more.

Well, this year, things might be getting even MORE interesting.

Fun Publications’ own Pete Sinclair will be in attendance at Roll Out Roll Call this year, and will be hosting panels to talk about what’s coming up for the Transformers AND G.I. Joe Collectors Clubs!  Time will tell if there will be any special news or reveals from the show, but it seems to be they wouldn’t be doing panels if they didn’t have some fun new stuff to talk about.

If you live anywhere near Southampton, UK, this could be a very unique opportunity to come to a show and soak up this fun hobby and enjoy the company of a GREAT crew of diehard G.I. Joe (and Transformers, and Masters of the Universe, etc…) fans.  Everything I hear about the show is good.

Check out all the details at All The Cool Stuff or on Facebook and I’ve mirrored some info below as well.  This should be another great show!

So on top of the amazing exclusives that were available for pre-order atRoll Out Roll Call, The UK Transformers, G.I. Joe & Action Force Show, the Transformers Collectors’ Club (Official) and G.I. Joe Collectors’ Clubhave a few special surprises AND PRODUCT REVEALS in store.

Saturday, Transformers Collectors’ Club Panel at 16:00

Join Pete Sinclair from the Transformers Collectors’ Club as he gives you an insight into the Club, offers up NEW PRODUCT REVEALS and discusses the 2016 official Collectors’ Convention, BotCon.

Sunday, Transformers & G.I. Joe Collectors’ Clubs Q&A Panel at 15:00

Once again join Pete Sinclair from Fun Publications who will field your questions relating to both Collectors’ Clubs, with A SPECIAL FIRST LOOK AT UPCOMING ITEMS for the G.I. Collectors’ Club.


GeneralsJoes Reviews SDCC 50th Anniversary “Desert Duel” Exclusive

Initially offered through San Diego ComicCon, and then available via ToysRUs.com, the “Desert Duel” set has a nice helping of some cool new stuff as well as repaints of existing figures.

I’ve broken the review up into two different parts, the G.I. Joe and the Cobra side.  You can check out the 50th Anniversary Review Page, or click the direct links below.

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ComicCon Exclusive Desert Duel G.I. Joe FOE Striker w/ Chuckles & Night Fox

To see this set in action, check out the Kindle Worlds Novella Welcome to the Wolf Pack!

The first AWE Striker was released in 1985, thirty full years ago, and heaven knows we’ve seen plenty of re-releases since.  Since its first inception back in the hay day of G.I. Joe, it’s been released over half a dozen times under the same AWE Striker banner, not to mention in the Stargate line, the ECO Warriors line (both in the vintage days and as a recent Convention attendee exclusive), as well as for the G.I. Joe: Retaliation movie line.  Fans of the AWE Striker have certainly had their opportunity to appreciate its greatness.

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So, with tooling libraries running low, what options does someone like Hasbro have to continue releasing vehicles, especially one that has been at retail more often than not in the past three decades?

Simple…  add some limited new tooling and give that vehicle some extra mileage.

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At its core, the FOE Striker is essentially just a desert themed AWE Striker, done up in a light gray/tan.  It even has a majority of the same decals as its had throughout the years.  But this time around, Hasbro designers tooled up a few new pieces, including a rear stand, a front cage, gas cans, supports, and also a nice pseudo-fabric tarp.  These few simple added pieces go a great deal towards reinventing the AWE Striker into a terrific new updated vehicle.

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Along with the new parts, the same minigun that was released many times with the VAMP now gets a new articulated arm that plugs into the dune buggy’s roof.  The rear stand adds some footpegs and a way to store the supports, while the front cage gives the driver some nice protection, holds the other side of the supports, and also provides two mounting points for machine guns (Chuckles and Night Fox both come with one, naturally).  These small additions almost completely reinvent this vehicle and convert it from a tired rehash to an exciting new fast attack vehicle.  But Hasbro even went a bit further.  With some nice design nuances, they made the rear platform removable as well as the two supports and designed a tarp to be detached from their mounts and create a terrific little forward observation station.  Just a small little twist to the vehicle, but it makes a world of difference.

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Everything about the AWE Striker becomes exciting and new with these small key additions to the dune buggy, providing a lot more flexibility and a much cooler looking overall vehicle.  The changes aren’t major, but they make a major difference.


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Along with the FOE Striker, we get a somewhat desert themed version of Chuckles.  His floral t-shirt are variations of brown, with a cool shirt pattern very closely matching how the character looked in certain images from the IDW Publishing COBRA comic book series.  According to Mark Weber, G.I. Joe brand manager, Chuckles’ new head sculpt was also designed with the same idea in mind.  As a character who was so crucial to that comic series, this is a pretty neat homage.

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The overall Chuckles build is pretty good, though I would have much preferred the arms from the Night Force Convention version.  These arms have somewhat restricted elbows and a lack of the multi-faceted wrist joints, but aesthetically they still look all right.  Considering Chuckles comes with a great automatic machine gun it would have been nice if he could hold it better, but that’s unfortunately not the case.

He’s got the PoC Snake Eyes legs, which are great and work nicely for a combat oriented Chuckles, especially because it gives him a nice silenced pistol for him to use.  The floral pattern on his shirt is interesting, a somewhat different take on his Hawaiian shirt pattern, in a more desert themed color pallet.

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If I have any complaints about the paint work, it’s an issue that has become somewhat familiar in the 50th Anniversary line.  Chuckles’ eyes really have some paint issues, with pupils that are a too tiny and look a bit squirrely.  It’s a problem that has plagued some of the other 50th Anniversary figures, and unfortunately it looks to still be an issue.


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As mentioned, Chuckles comes with the familiar pistol with silencer and ankle combat knife.  He also has a machine gun, shoulder hoster, and heavy machine gun, which can also plug into one of the mounts on the FOE Striker.  He’s got a pretty great assortment of gear that allows him to go full on combat mode, or take things about quicker and quieter.

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Ever since the COBRA series from IDW Publishing, Chuckles has gotten a big spotlight inside and outside the G.I. Joe community.  Paying homage to how he appeared in that series makes a lot of sense, and Hasbro pulled it off fairly well.  I would have loved some better arms and a bit more care to the paint work on the eyes, but beyond that, it’s a good figure.


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As the driver of the Pursuit of Cobra AWE Striker, it makes sense for the least well-known G.I. Joe Navy SEAL to make a re-appearance here in the 50th Anniversary line.  Night Fox was one of my favorite new characters in the Pursuit of Cobra era, and I’ll be honest, I’m not really sure how important an update is, but I can see why they did it.

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This version of Night Fox appears to use a similar build from the waist up, with what looks to be the Rise of Cobra Duke’s arms and a Beachhead head sculpt.  Where Hasbro deviates here, though, is using the Wave 1 G.I. Joe: Retaliation Roadblock legs, which interestingly makes Night Fox a lot taller than his previous iteration.  While it was mostly due to the parts combination, and not necessarily intrinsic to his character, Night Fox’s height nonetheless was an aspect of the original character and it seems weird to now see him so much taller.  I suspect Hasbro made a conscious decision to try and avoid the short stature of the first figure, but I think I actually prefer the look of the PoC original.

Along with the height discrepency, Roadblock’s legs also have some articulation issues.  These particular legs don’t have double jointed knees or ankle joints, which is kind of a shame.

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Instead of going full on desert, Night Fox uses mostly selections of gray, with a base gray uniform and lighter tiger stripe camouflage throughout the upper body.  The lighter camouflage stripes are pretty reminiscent of the FOE Striker colors, but overall he definitely looks a lot more gray than tan.  Aside from the camouflage the gray color is somewhat monochromatic and bland.

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Night Fox is unique in the fact that he’s only available in this ComicCon version of the Desert Duel set, but the overall execution doesn’t seem as high end as a ComicCon exclusive figure might seem to be.  I love the character, but overall think I prefer the Pursuit of Cobra version.


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Night Fox comes with a wide array of cool accessories, from his automatic grenade launcher to the great web gear that originally came with Retaliation Snake Eyes.  The same neck scarf that he came with originally, as well as the helmet and flip-down night vision goggles.  He also has the large square ammo pack, Ma Deuce with ammo belt.  Like Chuckles’ heavy machine gun, the Ma Deuce fits into the front mount on the FOE Strike and compliments the other heavy machine gun well.

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Night Fox is a neat character and a serviceable update.  Hasbro can put themselves in a Catch 22 because they want to provide an air of exclusivity when it comes to ComicCon exclusives, but if they do anything too critical, it can result in fandom backlash.  I think Night Fox was a good addition with his connections to the AWE/FOE Striker, but the figure itself is a bit one-colored.  I would have really enjoyed seeing some additional color applications here and there and the end result be less gray.

In spite of some of my issues with Night Fox and Chuckles, I find myself really loving the G.I. Joe side of this set.  Heck, I enjoy the Cobra side of this set as well.

Far and away the most impressive aspect of the Desert Duel set is the FOE Striker, which takes the essence of G.I. Joe’s venerable dune buggy and adds a wealth of fantastic new elements to the vehicle really providing some additional mileage to the old classic.  I love all of the additional tooling and ramped up capabilities, providing a nice amount of flexibility to the G.I. Joe vehicle underneath.  Add to that the IDW accurate Chuckles, a ton of great gear, and you have a “Battle in a Box” that is exceptionally entertaining and fun.

ComicCon Exclusive Desert Duel Cobra Basilisk w/ Elite Horseman & Air Trooper

To see this set in action, check out the Kindle Worlds Novella Welcome to the Wolf Pack!

According to legend, the Basilisk is a legendary reptile reputed to be king of serpents and said to have the power to cause death with a single glance.  While I’m not sure I see weaponry on this Cobra vehicle that could potentially cause immediate death, I find myself loving the mythological connotations and the name is definitely a great choice for a Cobra vehicle.

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I’ve never really been a big fan of the Snowcat, mostly because as an arctic vehicle, it was somewhat pigeon holed into a certain specialty.  Even living in New England most of my life, I preferred my G.I. Joe adventures to be in the jungles or other land-based environments, aside from specific environmental concerns.  For that reason, even though I loved Frostbite, I never gravitated towards the Snowcat a whole lot.  Since its original release, the vehicle has been re-released many times, as a Tiger Force vehicle, as a Street Fighter vehicle, as updated arctic vehicles, and even as a refreshed G.I. Joe HAVOC, but this is the first time it’s been repurposed on the other side of the conflict.  I find myself surprised to say it really works.

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The shape and sculpt of the Snowcat certainly looks as if it could be a semi futuristic Cobra themed vehicle, with the halftrack build and ski-based torpedos.  Unlike the vintage Snowcat, this newly tooled version (which on its own has been re-released a few times in the past several years) has a contained spring-loaded rocket launcher rather than the rockets sliding in and barely being held in by a narrow slot.  I actually found the spring-loaded functionality to be a huge improvement and a ton of fun.  Sliding the switch along the rocket launcher, you can either selectively launch one or two rockets, or blast all four of them out in a vicious barrage.  Pretty neat idea.

One thing I really enjoy about this vehicle is the color scheme.  The shade of blue is nice and rich, calling back to Cobra’s origins, but still being really vibrant, and offset nicely by the equally vibrant red and silver.  I’m not sure what the key to good pantone color choices is, but whatever Hasbro designers used, it worked in this case as the colors balance really nicely and look bright and striking.  I’m a bit unsure about the canopy and its lack of transparency (except where the windshield wiper sweeps, which is a bit more see-through than the rest).  With the original Snowcat the “frosted glass” look worked really well, but in this case, the red is almost too opaque and one wonders how the driver can even really see his surroundings.

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Curiously, some Basilisks made it out of China in a pre-production format, and it looked like at least some of those had some deco based wear or desert sand on the vehicle armor.  I thought it was a great look, and unfortunately it doesn’t look like that technique was passed along to the final vehicle.  Of course, it’s possible the retail release will have that wear and tear, I’m not sure.  This interesting look appeared in press photos as well, and I was a bit surprised to not see it on the final product.

I would consider the Snowcat a pretty definitive G.I. Joe vehicle, yet this Basilisk repaint works remarkably well, and adds quite a bit of fun to the Cobra armory.  I enjoy the rocket-launching functionality, and for some reason the vehicle appeals more to me as a basic Infantry support vehicle than it did in its arctic capacity.


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I’ve been buying into the G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero universe for over three decades now, and as such, I always welcome new ideas and new concepts.  That was one thing I really enjoyed about the Pursuit of Cobra.  They managed to produce some great updates to the vintage characters, but also brought some new characters to the table as well.  One of those new characters was the Cobra Crimson Horseman.  The design was really appealing to me back in the day, and the thought of a tank driver also being a highly trained foot soldier was pretty cool.

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I never would have considered the fact that Hasbro would deem the Crimson Horsemen worthy of revisiting, but they did as a driver for the Basilisk, and he works nicely.  The choice of blue as the color of an “Elite” branch is interesting, because in every other Cobra rank structure, the red colors are the “elite”.  That being said, the blue on the Elite Horseman is the same vibrant, appealing shade of the Basilisk itself, which ties the figure in nicely and just manages to look really great.  The blue is complimented nicely by black and silver throughout the figure (I’ll admit at least some hints of red would have really made the figure pop) and the overall structure of the figure is good.  Using the Pursuit of Cobra Firefly figure as a base with the Arctic Snake Eyes vest gives us a slim base figure with good articulation, though the range of motion isn’t perfect.  I do wish he could hold his weapon a bit better two-handed, but the somewhat restricted elbows and bulky armored vest both limit that ability.

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Along with his base paint scheme, like the regular Crimson Horseman, the Elite version has painted “wear and tear” on the armor.  The results are… well, a bit mixed.  For whatever reason the effect on the Crimson Horseman looks pretty effective and subtle.  This blue repaint ends up looking like some sort of strange tribal markings more than armor scuffs and scrapes, but that’s a minor complaint.


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The Elite Horseman doesn’t come with much for gear, unless you count the Basilisk itself.  He has what looks to be a laser gun along with his vest, and the same backpack that came with Firefly, complete with four remote mines.  It’s a fine assortment, though nothing particularly identifiable with the Elite Horseman’s specialty.

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I had a pretty good idea that I’d like this figure considering how much I’d enjoyed Firefly and the Crimson Horsemen.  The updated blue paint scheme is very nice and compliments the Basilisk well.  Elite, indeed.


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The G.I. Joe “Desert Duel” set is an interesting one, as technically this version I’m reviewing is exclusive to San Diego ComicCon, though the majority of the set will be released to traditional retail via Toys “R” Us likely in the next few weeks.  What separates this set with the retail version is the great deco box, the slipcase, as well as the addition of the Cobra Air Trooper, which doesn’t come in the retail release.

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From a character choice perspective, I couldn’t be happier with the choice of an Air Trooper.  As a huge fan of the G.I. Joe: Renegades, any time I get a figure even loosely affiliated with that terrific animated series, I get very happy.  In my opinion, the more Hasbro revisits G.I. Joe: Renegades the better (how’s about a Roadblock, guys?!?!  C’mon here!), although, I have to admit the execution for the Air Trooper leaves a lot to be desired.

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All of the issues with this Air Trooper are carried forward from the previous version, and they mostly lie in the legs.  This figure uses the 25th Anniversary Ace legs, but with the larger rectangular knee pads of the Cobra Para-Viper.  Unfortunately, the top and bottom halves of the legs don’t fit real well together with the rectangular kneepads and not only can the Air Trooper not really straighten his legs, but he can barely stand.  This is a pretty major issue to me, and a disappointment because the figure is pretty good beyond this drastic misstep.  Hasbro went to great lengths to try and improve the overall look of the Air Trooper, coloring him in a lighter gray with some great hints of red and blue trim.  The blue and red colors are good matches for the Basilisk, and manage to make the figure look more animated, as well, which is great for us Renegades fanatics.

Overall, this figure is better than the original, due to a much improved and more dynamic paint scheme, but the clunky leg construction is disappointing to say the least.


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Air Trooper doesn’t come with much, just a machine gun, pistol, and his removable flight vest.  They’re fine, but nothing special.

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I’m not entirely sure why the Air Trooper was chosen as a ComicCon exclusive figure for a set that includes no air vehicles.  He’s a nice looking figure aesthetically, but has the same construction issues as the original, which detracts from the improved paint scheme.

Looking at the Cobra side of this boxed set as a whole, I find myself surprised with how much I can embrace and enjoy the Snowcat repurposed as a Cobra Basilisk.  The colors are very nice, and I like the Elite Horseman quite a bit.  While the Air Trooper does impact the set negatively, I think there’s still a lot to enjoy here.

Happy Hasbro Toy Shop Day!

But really, is anything about this day happy?

Today marks the day that Hasbro ComicCon exclusives go on sale on HasbroToyShop.com, and it’s a day that lives in infamy.

Typically these items go on sale around 9:30 – 10:30am Eastern Time, but only the gods of HasbroToyShop themselves can know for sure.

I know in years’ past, folks typically put a search string in for “SDCC” or “ComicCon” and kept hitting refresh to get a head start on when those categories might have product.  I have no idea if this will work, but if you want to give it a shot;

Again, no promises that any of those search algorithms will help…  but it’s wortha  shot.

Just as a reminder – the Desert Duel ComicCon Exclusive set was a joint Toys “R” Us/ComicCon exclusive and will NOT be available on HasbroToyShop. If you’re preparing your F5 fingers today it’ll be for the Crimson Strike set or the Slaughter Marauder/Iron Grenadier Kre-O set.

Gentlemen, start your refreshing!


Hasbro G.I. Joe Q & A at ComicCon

During the chaos of San Diego ComicCon, friend of GeneralsJoes Chris Polansky took some time to stop by the  Hasbro booth and spoke with Mark Weber, Derryl DePriest, and John Violette about their roles in the latest iteration of G.I. Joe.  They talk 50th Anniversary, IDW Comics, Kre-O, and all sorts of other topics.  It was a great conversation, which I’ve transcribed below.  Big thanks to Chris for taking the time out of his trip to help out. Enjoy!

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GeneralsJoes Reviews the ComicCon Crimson Strike Boxed Set

Last week I posted a review for the ComicCon Kre-O Slaughter Marauders boxed set, and this week I’m following up an exciting SDCC with a review of the exclusive Crimson Strike boxed set with the Cobra Scythe w/ AVAC & Alley-Viper Officer vs. the G.I. Joe CHIMERA w/ Steeler & Grunt.  They’re two pretty fun pieces of a cool looking set that you’ll only find at San Diego ComicCon and HasbroToyShop.

Check out the 50th Anniversary Review Page, or the direct links below.


ComicCon Exclusive Crimson Strike G.I. Joe CHIMERA w/ Steeler & Grunt

As  I mentioned in my review for the Cobra Scythe, there isn’t necessarily anything new or revolutionary about certain vehicles changing sides, but the way Hasbro has explored it with this year’s extension of the 50th Anniversary line is certainly different than they’ve approached it before.

Hasbro designers and story tellers have apparently built this year’s theme around capturing vehicles, and with the CHIMERA, G.I. Joe may have had their largest coup yet as they take control of Cobra’s trademark HISS Tank, repurposing it as the CHIMERA.  According to the Hasbro presentation at JoeCon, CHIMERA stands for C.aptured H.ISS I.ntegrated M.obile E.nergy R.ail Gun A.dvanced.  I like that they’re working towards anagrams again, that’s pretty neat.

As I mentioned in the Crimson Scythe review, we start off with some spectacular box art, which really helps showcase both toys as well as bring a striking new look to the way these toys are marketed.  It’s very collector oriented and exceptionally well done, and really starts this set off on the right foot.


Looking at the CHIMERA, I will admit it’s tough to get excited about a lot of the vehicle, simply because we’ve had the HISS and variations of that vehicle around for 30 years.  That being said, Hasbro went through the trouble of tooling up new twin cannons for it (the aforementioned Rail Guns) and the results are pretty cool.  Hasbro has experimented with other turrets for the HISS Tank in the past, using quad rocket launchers, four-barrel laser guns, and a single large tank barrel, but they’ve only had very mixed success.  The CHIMERA actually does a great job of updating the twin cannon look for the HISS, bringing something new to the table, while still referencing the classic look and succeeding quite nicely.

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Like the HISS we all know and love, the CHIMERA has sloped armor and a sleek design, preferring speed and maneuverability over sheer firepower.  Remember, the HISS has always been the HIGH SPEED SENTRY, meaning a vehicle that’s designed for quickness and not to necessarily be the armored backbone of the Cobra (or G.I. Joe) fleet.  The green color of the HISS is a nice color shade, somewhat generic, but in fitting with the two figures that come with it, not to mention many of the other early G.I. Joe releases.

Where this vehicle shines, however, is the new Rail Guns.  Rather than two somewhat narrow round barrels, the guns here are larger and rectangular with lots of great intricate detail work, and small extending barrels.  They give off a sense of power and manage to take the existing HISS double cannon platform and make it functional with more modern technology.  It’s a great look.

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I will say I had some trouble getting the canopy to stay latched, even without a figure inside, but that could be a one off issue with my CHIMERA, and not something that’s consistent across other releases.

Overall, the CHIMERA is nice.  It’s an appealing looking vehicle with the green colors and the upgraded cannons, even if, at its core, its the same thing we’ve seen a dozen times before.



When G.I. Joe captures a tank, it makes sense for them to have a tank driver, right?  Steeler fits the bill nicely.

Offsetting the great color scheme of the CHIMERA, Hasbro elects to go back to the early days to bring Steeler and Grunt back to the G.I. Joe fold.  Steeler is a modern retelling of the classic figure, feeling somewhat Pursuit of Cobra/Resolute like.  He has the same head sculpt he’s had since the 25th Anniversary and the Ultimate Firefly torso, which I’m always a fan of.  In fact, his parts are all relatively modern, even up to and including the Retaliation Roadblock legs.  These legs give Steeler a taller stature, which is good, because he’s supposed to be one of the largest and strongest Joe characters, especially from those early days.  Unfortunately those Roadblock legs do not have ankle swivels or double knees, so there’s some articulation limitation there.


In spite of the parts coming from somewhat different body types, the figure stands and moves well, though the plastic continues to feel somewhat light and cheap in comparison to past releases.  At this point it’s likely something we just need to get accustomed to, and as long as it does not impact the functionality and play value of the figure, I’m okay with it.  In Steeler’s case, he appears to stand and move just fine, though his hips are a tad on the loose side.

Honestly, I’m a little surprised at how much I enjoy this figure.  His mix of green and gray colors is balanced really nicely, and even without any webgear, his tall stature and new build does wonders to separate him a bit as a character.  The more I fool with Steeler, the more I start appreciating how simple, straight forward, but fun the figure is.



The G.I. Joe tank driver comes with his familiar helmet and visor as well as the G.I. Joe: Resolute Beachhead vest, which is a neat touch.  I’m always a fan of that vest, and it does call back a bit to the Pursuit of Cobra, which featured some very similar looks.  Many of those PoC driver figures were released in somewhat monotone green uniforms with new webgear, and I like that look for some reason.   Steeler fits in with characters like Kickstart and Double Clutch pretty well, and any way I can find to fill in my Pursuit of Cobra display, I’ll jump at the chance,


Along with the helmet and webgear, he comes with some firearms as well, including a pistol and basic machine gun.  I like both weapons quite a bit, he holds them both well, and even when not surrounded by the CHIMERA, I find Steeler to be a really enjoyable new take on the old school character.



I’m afraid this figure review may end up sounding an awful lot like Steelers, because I feel much the same way about Grunt as I do his tank driver partner.

One thing Hasbro really put a focus on at the JoeCon presentation was that they wanted to address the issues with the HISS (and thus the CHIMERA) that they always came with a driver, but no gunner.  Well, Hasbro has resolved that here by including Grunt as the CHIMERA gunner, which actually makes a lot of sense.  In the 80s mythology, Grunt was an electrical engineer as well as G.I. Joe’s top Infantry specialist, so when you’re talking about next generation technology like a Rail Gun, it makes some sense to get an engineer behind the controls.


Like Steeler, Grunt is made up from existing parts, all relatively later generation.  He has the always huge Resolute Duke legs, which helps bring him into the Pursuit of  Cobra roster like I mentioned before.  I’m not a huge fan of the legs as time has gone on, and the softer plastic means Grunt’s hips are actually really loose.  Seriously, my Grunt even has some issues just maintaining a normal standing pose.

Beyond the legs, though, the torso and arms are pretty standard choices but work nicely.  Like Steeler, I really love the green and gray base colors throughout the figure, I find the hue really appealing, and they are offset nicely by the black webgear.  Without any of his gear, Grunt is actually a great basic figure, just like Steeler, a fact that truly surprised me once I got him in hand.



Grunt has a great helmet with flip-down night vision goggles, perfect for an Infantry specialist, as well as an excellent machine gun and pistol.  He comes with the MARS Trooper’s webgear, which is unfortunate, as it’s some of my least favorite webgear since 2009.  The way the straps space out and the funky pouches on one side just doesn’t look good, and this great basic figure deserves better.  Thankfully, I have plenty of alternate pieces of black webgear I can try out until I find one I like.


Grunt uses a similar formula as Steeler, but is a bit less successful, mostly due to those too wide, somewhat bland G.I. Joe: Resolute legs that don’t jive real well with the rest of this figure, or other figures as a whole.  The loose hips don’t help a whole lot either.  Beyond that, though, Grunt is a pretty fun update with some interesting, if somewhat formulaic traits.

Okay, consider me surprised.

I’m not afraid to say I was a bit underwhelmed with the product showing from Hasbro, but my first in hand experience has been a good one.  The CHIMERA is a small, but very fun little vehicle, and the two G.I. Joe figures have impressed me in spite of their somewhat soft plastic and generic paint deco’s.  As a package, when you consider the excellent painted mural packaging, this is a really nice combined set.  I’m not sure I’ll end up liking it as much as the other set, but it’s still provided some real fun during this review.  I’m sure some of that is due to the fact that it’s the first retail Joe product I’ve gotten my hands on in 2015, and also because there are actually some new concepts in here rather than vintage rehashes.  Whatever the reason, I was expecting ho hum, and I ended up pretty darn happy, I have to admit.