JoeCon 2011 Recap – The Final Countdown

So I think I’ve covered nearly every element of JoeCon 2011 over the past few days.  New Hasbro reveals, the Renegades panel, and even the slideshow from the Hasbro archives, yet I feel like I’m missing a “wrap up” post.  Just something to say JoeCon 2011 is done, so what’s next?

Joecon 2011 is done.  So what’s next?

I know everyone gets excited over the new figure reveals, and I’m certainly no different.  Some of these new toys look amazing.  I love that G.I. Joe is using so many great pop culture elements, and by far the best aspect of this is it’s really starting to cross collector boundaries.

What do I mean by that?  Well, it a degree, I think G.I. Joe has a pretty specific narrow collector base.  You find a lot of Joe collectors that also happen to buy Transformers, Masters of the Universe, or Marvel toys, but by and large, from my experience, it doesn’t necessarily work in reverse.  That seems to be changing.

As I traversed the internet trying to dig up convention news, I kept running across folks who aren’t normally Joe fans, and these collectors are all extremely intrigued by what they’re seeing, and eager to check out some G.I. Joe figures, possibly for the first time.  A fellow toy blogger and reviewer Poe Ghostal even remarked on his site that he has never once collected G.I. Joe, even as someone in the hobby for as long as he has been.  Yet the new reveals at JoeCon are starting to convert him.

This is good.  This is really good.  If G.I. Joe as a brand is going to thrive, it needs to start appealing to some of that demographic.  Lord knows the retailers don’t appear to be putting their full support or emphasis behind the brand, so perhaps it is time for Joe to narrow its focus.  Really look into becoming that high end collector brand at a normal MSRP price.  Draw in the fringe toy collector who gets a figure, becomes interested in it, and decides to buy more.  This is a big part of the reason why I’m so disappointed about Renegades being pushed aside.  Anyone who knows marketing knows that a big draw for the toyline is for collectors (or kids) to buy everyone they see on TV.  Time and time again I hear fans who are looking specifically for the cast of characters in their favorite cartoon or movie, and are willing to buy figures they might not have normally purchased just to “fill that hole”.

Where’s the incentive for that without an ongoing cartoon?  Are those fringe collectors really going to care about a fairly generic looking Scarlett, without the Renegades cartoon for her to be attached to.  Don’t get me wrong, Scarlett is an amazing figure, but to the non-Joe collector, it’s just another Scarlett.  Figures like the Zombie-Viper appeal because of the crazy accessories, wild appearance and pop culture appeal.  Without a supporting form of media, the Renegades figures don’t have that.  G.I. Joe fans are loving them and all over them (myself included) but I really think the failure to put some faith behind the Renegades series will impact Hasbro’s pocketbook, which only looks bad for G.I. Joe as a brand.

Let’s face it, none of us knows what’s coming in 2012, and frankly I think most of us aren’t particularly looking forward to finding out.  Perhaps we’ll all be surprised, and I hope we will, but Paramount is going to have to convince me.

Good news came out of the Convention in the form of the Collectors’ Club subscription service.  I think this has the potential to be very cool.  Yes, price is a consideration, but with some low production runs and reasonable costs, the opportunity to finally get some figures that weren’t originally going to see the light of day is fantastic.  We can all come up with a handful of awesome figures that got killed before their time, and this is a great opportunity for the Club and for us.

So beyond this editorial, I don’t have a lot more to report about JoeCon.  Along with new figures there were so many other cool things to see over the weekend, that I feel bad for folks who have never been able to experience it.  It’s not just news, it’s not just a new batch of toys, there is so much more.  I’ll link to some places to hop around below, but please just trust me, if you think JoeCon is just a “Toy Show” you’re doing yourself and the Con a disservice.  It really is a three day experience with fellow fans, the creators, the new toys, the voice actors, and many of the folks who had a hand in this amazing property over the past three decades.  As a G.I. Joe fan do yourself a favor and at least try to make it to one of these.  I took the chance in 2003, and I’ve only missed 2 Cons since.

Check out the links below for some other cool elements of this year’s JoeCon:

This is just a small sampling of the fun had by all.  I’ll plan on seeing all of you there next year!

JoeCon 2011 – Stunning Images from the Hasbro Archives Roundtable!!

When I saw some of those Tweets from JoeBattleLines and The Terror Drome on Sunday coming out of the Hasbro Archives round table, I immediately wished I was sitting there.  What they were describing sounded too good to be true.

A Resolute style USS Flagg playset?  No way.  Transformers crossovers with Ravage and Omega Supreme?  I’ll believe it when I see it.  And of course, I’ve spent the better part of the last 18 hours trying to find pictures of this event.

Nada.  I’m not really sure why Joe news sites didn’t have folks with cameras in attendance…I would think Joe fans would not just like to see what’s coming, but also what “could have been”.

Well, thankfully, someone out there brought a camera and took some images of the slides shown.  I’m not entirely sure who to give credit to, all I have to go on was a link to this Photobucket Account from Jay over at JoeCustoms.com.  If these are your images, please let me know so I can credit you.

For now, though…just take a look at the wonder below.  And weep out loud at your desk at the concepts that never made it past the planning stages.  Yes, I know most of us really didn’t love The Pit…but if it had sold well, there were two Cobra concepts using the Pit base vehicle that just look INSANE.  A HISS Transport and a Mobile Missile Base that make my mouth hang open.  Mauler re-issues (a Joe version and a Cobra “Shredder”), a Sigma freaking 6 OVERKILL.  Sigh.

I suppose I should thank GeneralJoes commenter Crosshair for the info…even if it did make me teary eyed on a Monday morning.  Check out the glorious images below.

EDIT – Images come courtesy of “NightViper” on AllSpark.com!  Huge props to him for grabbing these.  Some incredible discussion items here!  Thanks!

G.I. Joe and the creative spark

I know I’ve been mostly using this “blog format” as a say to report news or link to my reviews, and I’ve too rarely simply used it as its intended function…just to write and BS about some of my favorite things.

This is going to get long and elaborate, so click the “Read the Rest of this Entry” link below to dive right in.

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My take on the G.I. Joe: Collectors’ Club subscription

So, the big news out of the GIJCC Roundtable was that the Collectors’ Club is adding a new “subscription” service!  Patterned after Mattel’s “Matty Collector” online store, the idea is that you pay a monthly fee (or a one time fee) and you get whatever figure the Club releases each month.  In this case, the Club is releasing two figures per month for 6 months, with a “bonus” 13th figure for those folks who subscribed right from the start.

At this point the idea is apparently to focus on unproduced Hasbro figures or other unique items that fans might be interested in.

The first two figures are apparently “Quarrel” and the “Nano BAT”, both unproduced items initially slated for Hasbro’s 25th Anniversary line and the Rise of Cobra line respectively.

Both of these figures are excellent candidates, I think.  A lot of folks have seen the pre-production Nano-BAT, which is interesting because of what it is, though the figure isn’t all that appealing.  Well, the production figure was going to have green translucent arms and a light-pipe system to make him glow, and I think that’s pretty damn cool.  By the looks of it, the Club version is doing that.  As for Quarrel… perfect choice.  Though now I’ll have to track down the 09 Con Exclusive Blades!

My guess at monthly costs are probably around $40 – $50 for two figures.  It’s not a small amount, but for two carded figures produced in small numbers by the Club, I think that’s about what we can expect.  That makes each figure in the $20 range or so (if shipping is included).

I do see folks having a lot of hopes and dreams that I think they want to be careful of.  Before we start hoping and praying for all of these figures, I think it’s fair to assume that the Club is going to stick with existing tooling.  They’re not tooling figures up for this  on their own, they’re most likely going with what’s already there.  Granted, there’s a pretty big tooling library, but folks hoping for stuff like Pythona are probably going to be disappointed.

As long as we get freaking Iron Klaw, I’m ALL IN.  City Strike Scarlett would be cool, too… but I’d also love to see them expand the G.I. Joe: Resolute roster a little bit.  I think there are enough existing parts that could be used.

We’ll see.  Whatever happens, that’s another guaranteed 13 figures this year, and when only 30 – 40 are slated for retail release, that’s a nice little bump in the roster.  Looking forward to it.

Pictures and Analysis of JoeCon 2011 Day 2

So by now, the images are out there at various sites, but as par for the course this weekend, I figured I’d just do a nightly recap to cover some of the newness once I’ve had time to let it soak in and fully appreciate the great stuff that was shown.

Was it a LOT of stuff?  No.  But quality was insane.  Absolutely insane.  Every single angle of G.I. Joe was represented, from the vintage, to Renegades, with some very cool new school twists.  Below I’m going to break down the various things that were shown, courtesy of some images from Toy News International, who was onsite and taking some SICK pictures.  Kudos to them.  And big thanks to Jay for letting me mirror some of their awesome images here.

You can read the rest of the breakdown after the jump.

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You want JoeCon 2011 Pics! Here’s where you go…

Well, I’ve still got family stuff going on today, so I’m just tossing a post up real quick with links to some galleries around the web.  Any Renegades fan should be FIRED UP to see what’s being shown at the Con, even with no animated series to support it.

But man, fans of the vintage stuff will be excited as well as those of us who like it all.  I mean, come on… a Zombie Viper?!?  The Joe design team continues to totally raise the bar and make other company designers in the 3 3/4″ scale look amateurish by comparison.  Amazing.

Check out the links below to view some awesome galleries around the web.

  • Toy News International – Jay has absolutely KILLED it this year.  Fantastic images.  I’ll be cleaning the drool off my keyboard for a week.
  • HissTank.com – A ton of images here, too, with lots of comments, of course, as to be expected.

As more images come out there, I’ll link some more, plus I’ll spend a bunch of time this evening getting it all organized.

No, there isn’t a LOT of product, but I’ll be damned if we don’t keep getting some amazing looking stuff out there.  I just wish we could convince retailers of the same thing.

Intel from the Hasbro G.I. Joe Round Table/Seminar!

So, for those folks who aren’t following the current Twitter deluge from The Terror Drome and JoeBattleLines, here is a recap of what Hasbro revealed at their roundtable and seminar.  Hopefully we get some great pics incoming!

  • “3o for 30″ Trademarked by ESPN, line will be the “30th Anniversary Celebration”
  • Detail and design will make Low Light look like “#$#!”
  • Hasbro continues to fully support G.I. Joe: Renegades with a “lot of great toys”

Figure showcase.  A lot of what we saw at Toy Fair, but NEW STUFF too!!  Stuff like:

  • Renegades Cobra Commander will definitely have TWO heads.
  • Storm Shadow will also have a normal and “Renegades” head!
  • Hazard-Viper comes with some “compound Z” to transform into a variant “Zombie-Viper”!!!
  • Renegades Tunnel Rat
  • Techno-Viper with interlocking road cones for those Army builders
  • Sci-Fi with multiple heads for visor locations.  Up and down positions
  • Renegades Cobra Trooper!  HELL YES.
  • Data-Viper – The evolution of the Tele-Viper, and comes with a UAV drone
  • Renegades Law & Order with articulated Order!  The head moves
  • AIRTIGHT!
  • LIFELINE!!  Trauma equipment included with Lifeline.  Removable helmet, IV, stretcher

Oh wow.  Wow.  Freaking KWINN IN JUNGLE FATIGUES!!!  KWINN!!  Only artwork shown.  But DAMN!!!  Supposedly very comic book accurate, and we can thank Derryl DePriest.  THANK YOU, DERRYL!

Okay, then they moved on to vehicles.  The vehicle news is what we’ve heard already.  Crimson HISS, VAMP, Skystriker at $30.  Single seater with no parachute.

Now they’re talking Exclusives.

  • Starscream Skystriker comes with packaging that references the non-existent 5th issue of the Transformers vs. G.I. Joe Comic
  • Vintage Zarana is primary exclusive, Cold Slither is variant

That was it.  Stay tuned as I com the net for pics of this awesomeness!

 

JoeCon 2011 Day One – G.I. Joe Toy Recap

Well, I could probably just leave this page blank, because there was really nothing new or exciting toy-wise, at least not on the first day.

But fear not, trusty Joe fans, Hasbro is holding their seminar tomorrow at 11:00am Eastern, and I can guarantee that some great new stuff will be revealed following that.  Eager fans won’t go away from JoeCon without something new to check out.

Click the “Read the Rest of the Story” link below to see my recap.

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Images arriving for 2011 JoeCon Exclusive figures and vehicles!

As I reported yesterday, the following is the list of JoeCon exclusive items (above and beyond the boxed set):

  • Lightning, AKA “Relampago” and Trigger, AKA “Gatilho”: LE 650
  • PP Stinger with PP Motor Viper 500
  • PP Water moccasin LE 400
  • MOC Dial-Tone LE 600
  • Silver edition Cobra Commander LE 500
  • PP Tele Viper parachute trooper LE 500
  • Freebie Armadillo

Images have now started arriving for these items, courtesy of HissTank.com and Toy News International.

As I feared, I freaking love these.  LOVE.  The Lightning and Trigger 2-Pack is absolutely fantastic.  That tooling translates exceptionally well to the Python Patrol paint apps, and I really dig that Lightning is the Water Moccasin driver with Trigger as a sniper.  Very cool additions to the crew.

The Stinger is terrific as well.  It will fit in seamlessly with the old school Python Patrol vehicles, it can pull the ASP, and the Motor-Viper can be used to drive the old school Stun while the Python Trooper (who looks like a Stinger Driver) can pilot the Jeep.  As the beer commercial goes…  “BRILLIANT”.

I’m not a fan of the Water Moccasin generally, but this red paint scheme looks really sharp.  And man…the idea of a Python Officer paint scheme for the Tele-Viper to make a Tele-Viper officer?  Pretty damn inspired.

I kinda think the Cobra Commander is a bit “gimmicky” and that one doesn’t really float my boat…but man, everything else is very, very well done.  As if I should expect anything else.  Looking good, Collectors’ Club.  Now to figure out how to get my hands on these things.  :shifty: