It’s with quite a few mixed feelings that I tackle the 2016 G.I. Joe Convention set this year, mainly because this year was one of the few years that I haven’t been able to make the show, and believe it or not, quite a bit of my joy and embracing of a particular year’s convention set is a direct result of feeding off my peers and sharing thoughts and opinions with them throughout the weekend. You might think that a more segregated, impartial look after the fact represents a more accurate review, but I’m not sure. In many ways, collecting and fandom is about how the target of your fandom brings people together and creates bonds (at least it should be, anyway) and that, in my opinion, must be a factor of any review of collector oriented product.
However, even though I did lack that person-to-person contact this year that I’ve had in years past, I’ve had a few weeks to share opinions with many of my friends and peers, and by and large this Convention set appears to be very well received. I agree with this opinion, for the most part.
Standing back and looking at the set as a whole, it’s amazing to see just how many of my own personal high points are hit all at once. I’m a big fan of Sky Patrol, using them as a liaison of sorts to my offshoot “Renegades” team in my dio-stories. Along with that, I’ve always loved the crazy 90s greatness of the Air Commandos, and we have plenty of that mixed in here, too. As if that wasn’t enough, by far, two of my favorite foreign character variants are also included here in the form of Black Vulture and Flying Scorpion, two very intriguing combinations that were only available as exclusives in Brazil before now.
As I go through all of the figures in the set (and yes, vehicles, too) I’ve been quite pleased at the more modern selection of parts and the intricacies of much of the deco. There are some decisions that I’m not a huge fan of (no removable helmets on the new heads? Booooo), but as a whole this set seems to pay homage to the classics, while also bringing plenty of new stuff to the table, which is about all you can hope for as a modern collector.
Not everything is a home run, of course, but there’s a lot to enjoy here, and putting this complex, elaborate review together has been a lot of work, but also a lot of fun, as it is every year. I hope you enjoy it.