ComicCon Exclusive Crimson Strike Cobra Scythe w/ AVAC & Alley Viper Officer

If there’s anything I’ve written about time and time again over the past couple of years it’s that I’m ready for something new. Getting new versions of old figures has its appeal for a certain time, but I feel like that time is kind of growing thin and we need to look towards the future for the viability of the G.I. Joe brand.

With that in mind, this latest iteration of the G.I. Joe: 50th Anniversary line (yes, this qualifies as a continuation of that line, just like the 25th Anniversary line lasted 2.5 years back in the day) injects a small element of newness into a lot of the same old formula. The Crimson Strike set especially seems to follow that design.

First and foremost, the packaging is pretty fantastic. A bullet hole ridden slip cover slides off to reveal one of the nicest pieces of G.I. Joe related art that I’ve seen in a very long time. It perfectly captures the look and energy of the toys inside, but manages to be an appealing piece of art all at the same time. A truly great work by Hasbro and whatever artist they commissioned to do this work.

Once you get inside, you see what Hasbro was talking about when they mentioned a “twist” to the G.I. Joe philosophy, taking captured vehicles and spinning them to the opposite side. Some would argue that this isn’t much of a twist, especially when looking at Tiger Force back in the 80s, and Sky Patrol in the 90s, both of which had that element to them. That being said, the opposite side vehicles have their own appeal beyond just being swapped around.


It’s hard to remember a time when the Skystriker was the “be all end all” of G.I. Joe vehicles. The only one I had as a kid was a used and abused ’83 original that I had traded a friend of mine for. It was missing both seats and half the missiles, and the stickers were worn and frayed, but I loved it and played with it endlessly. As I reached adulthood one of the first “major” purchases I made from the secondary market was a Skystriker complete with box, for a whopping $30. Now, over the past few years, we’ve received several different Skystrikers, and the appeal has quickly diminished. In fact, from San Diego ComicCon exclusives alone, this is the third Skystriker since Starscream was initially sold in 2011. That being said, even when a vehicle gets repurposed so many times over a certain period of time there are ways to make it desirable. I won’t say making the Skystriker a Cobra vehicle makes it desirable, but giving it a striking new paint scheme certainly helps.


The Scythe is an electric looking red and silver assault plane that simply looks terrific. The colors are vibrant and exciting, not just in their tone, but also in the snake-themed shape over the surface of the aircraft. It really stands out, and when you’re releasing a vehicle for the fifth time, that’s important. The Scythe succeeds there.

At its core, the vehicle is simply another Skystriker. Unlike the ComicCon Jetfire there are no real added parts or pieces to spark desire, it has all the same tooling as the regular release, but the paint scheme brings it to another great level.

Supplementing a great selection of colors is an array of magnificent decals, which are somewhat imposing upon first glance, but add some life to the vehicle as well, giving the Cobra aircraft a real sense of personality. Decks of cards, snake themed logos, and other trappings take this from being a generic Skystriker repaint to being something pretty new and unique. That being said, I did struggle with some of the decal placement. I’m far from a “sticker master” anyway, and I found a few of the stickers to be confusing and a hassle to try and place.

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Along with some sticker confusion, I’ve also had some real struggles with the canopy.  On both the CHIMERA and the Scythe it almost feels like the tab isn’t quite big enough to catch on the body, and thus it leaves the canopy floating around a bit, and not able to latch closed, even with nobody inside.  I’ve asked a few other folks who have these sets already, and nobody else has complained about it, so perhaps it’s just mine, but I figured it was worth a mention.

I think many folks will see this Skystriker and immediately associate it with the Crimson Guard. I think that’s certainly the intent. I’m not ready to do that myself. Even now with the rampant crimson themed repaints, I still hold true to the Crimson Guard being a small, select, elite unit, and I have a hard time wrapping my head around that unit having tanks and attack planes. For that reason, I’m not sure exactly where this fits. I kind of find some separation in my G.I. Joe world between “Crimson Guard” and “Crimson Strike” and I think I can find a way to fit this into the “Crimson Strike” category without putting it in the armory of the true Crimson Guard. I have no idea if that makes any sense.

At the end of the day, yes this is another Skystriker and it’s tough to rationalize that, but the paint scheme is exceptionally well done and quite striking, which definitely helps.



The Air Viper Assault Corps figure was one of my all time favorite vintage figures, and for that reason, the 25th Anniversary one has always torqued me off. They took a figure that I consider the highlight of the ’86 run and made him a mish mash of Zartan and HISS Driver, and…well… ick.

I can appreciate what Hasbro is trying to do with bringing the AVAC into this updated series, and as a pilot for the Scythe it makes sense. The part selection is an interesting amalgamation of Crimson Guard and the 25th Anniversary AVAC, and while the build looks great, it doesn’t function especially well. The older 25th Anniversary parts stand out amongst a group of more modern assembled figures, and while I think the dress uniform aspect of the character is interesting, he’s overly slender and not really exciting.


There is some aesthetic appeal. His black base color with red trim is cool enough, and he certainly has the look of a regal air corps officer. I could see this AVAC leading other AVAC’s, perhaps as Wild Weasel’s squadron commanders. His legs don’t move all that well with these convoluted parts, so don’t be hoping for a real flexible figure.



The Cobra AVAC doesn’t come with much, simply a pair of machine guns and his familiar knife, which are pretty neat weapons, but nothing overly new or interesting or key to his character.


If you haven’t figured it out simply by reading my review, my feelings on this guy are extremely mixed. He’s a figure that if I catch out of the corner of my eye, I decide I really love him, but then I take a closer look and scrutiny reveals a litany of flaws. Granted, he spends most of his time in the cockpit of the Scythe, but I would have loved his functionality to have matched his appearance.



I don’t recall asking for another Alley-Viper, especially after we received so many in such a short period of time, and I can’t quite fathom how this figure fits into the theme of this pitched air battle in the jungle. All that being said, the Alley-Viper build formula has been one of my favorites over the years, and they didn’t mess with perfection here, bringing forward all the fun qualities of the other modern renditions of the Cobra urban troopers.

He has the exact same parts as the latest Alley-Viper, which was released with the G.I. Joe: Retaliation line. That figure was mostly the same build as previous iterations, only with the armored torso of Retaliation Duke and Flint with the jungle Duke web gear over it. That holds true here.


So with a fun build, it’s tough to complain a whole lot about this figure. Even with no new parts, he’s well articulated and relatively well detailed, nice sculpting evident from the later years of the 25th Anniversary line.


Where the figure excels, though, is the paint scheme. It seems as if Hasbro took the orange that made Alley-Viper what he was and reversed it, using orange as the trim with black as the main colors. Its works surprisingly well and in person much less resembles a “Halloween Viper” than I thought it might. It’s a nice pattern of camouflage, and even though I’m not sure where this Alley-Viper Officer fits between this Jet/Tank battle, he’s a neat figure that I enjoy, and it’s kind of a shame he’s only available through a limited SDCC release.



The figure comes with much of the gear you’d expect, with the Jungle Duke web gear with removable machete, machine guns, forearm knife, helmet w/ visor, and the familiar Alley Viper shield.  It’s all there and in some pretty intriguing paint schemes.  I think you’ll find that this release “borrows” quite a bit from the Retaliation Alley-Viper (as far as paint masks go) but flips the color scheme a bit to make the overall look a lot darker and more true to an urban setting.  They all work really nicely and compliment this figure terrifically.


Alley-Viper Officer ends up being more interesting and more fun than I originally thought he might. It’s the same pretty good build as the Retaliation version with a much more intriguing paint scheme to go with it. It’s a shame army building him will be so difficult, but I suppose if you treat him as an Alley-Viper commander of sorts, it won’t be so bad.

I’m generally a big fan of the bad guys, but in the case of the Crimson Strike set, I find myself enjoying the G.I. Joe side a bit more.  I like the Alley-Viper Officer and the color deco on the Cobra Scythe is a very nice surprise, but AVAC isn’t terrific, and the theme of this side of things doesn’t jive quite as well as the G.I. Joe figures and vehicle.  There’s terrific presentation here, and it’s always cool to see some new elements, but the Cobra end of the ComicCon Crimson Strike set leaves just a little bit to be desired.

GeneralsJoes Reviews the ComicCon Marauder vs. Iron Grenadiers Kre-O set

San Diego ComicCon is upon us!  Hopefully everyone out there is ready.  One of the joys of this annual gathering of geeks is the plethora of exclusive toys that are produced for it.  This year leading the list of awesome exclusives is the Sgt. Slaughter Marauders vs. Iron Grenadiers Kre-O set!

Kre-O may be MIA from store shelves, but Hasbro went all out with this fantastic boxed set.  Check out my Kre-O Review Page, or click the link below for the full review.

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ComicCon Exclusive Slaughter Marauders vs. Iron Grenadiers Review

As strange as it may sound coming from an adult collector, one of the biggest disappointments from a G.I. Joe perspective I’ve experienced this year is the apparent end of a mainstream Kre-O toyline. After clearancing the majority of their stock, it appears as if Toys “R” Us has gotten out of the G.I. Joe Kre-O game, relegating us to convention exclusives.

That’s not a bad thing, and I really enjoyed the G.I. Joe Convention Kre-O set, but man, after getting that Terror Drome, Firebat and other great items, I can’t help but at least slightly lament the loss of a higher profile Kre-O presence.

This ComicCon exclusive set does two things… it satisfies me greatly, yet also gives the knife a little bit of a twist. It’s a terrific set that I love whole heartedly, but also puts a big magnifying glass on the bare shelves where G.I. Joe Kre-O used to be at Toys “R” Us.

The theme of this ComicCon exclusive set is spectacular. With a box designed like the classic VHS Boxed sets of old, each individual “video tape” pulls out into an individual component. One tape is the Iron Grenadier figure set, one tape is the Marauders figure set, and the third tape is the Triple T tank. Magnificent. The animated Kre-O themed artwork across the box and the inner tapes pulls me back to the FHE days where I’d go to my local video store and rent the “Revenge of Cobra” mini series back in the day…and the artwork is very reminiscent of the DiC series box art, too, especially with the Slaughter’s Marauders. Fantastic presentation with the box and artwork for sure.

Slaughter’s Marauders

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I think I share most folks’ surprise in seeing that Hasbro was once again able to get license to Sgt. Slaughter’s character, even if it was just in Kre-O form.

Slaughter himself is a great looking figure, using the typically fantastic Hasbro design aesthetics. Kre-O designers seem imminently capable of focusing on some very key elements of the characters and translating them perfectly to toy form.

Footloose is another great looking Marauders update with just the right touches of green, brown, and blue, as well as a neat assembled RPG and machine gun.

Low Light has his familiar Marauder paint scheme along with a great sniper rifle and Uzi to call back to the vintage version that had the same equipment. It’s neat comparing these versions to their classic originals in the Kre-O line and see what was changed.

Using a gas mask, night stick, and submachine gun, Hasbro gives us a good looking Mutt in the updated Marauder paint scheme, again a nice separation from the classic version that already appeared in the Kre-O line. Just a note – Junkyard is bagged in with the Triple T, so if you don’t see him in the action figure package, look in the Triple T box, he should be in there.

Unlike some others, Spirit never actually received a classic Kre-O version yet, something that didn’t occur to me until I was doing this review. Spirit is the consumate Sunbow character that would have made perfect sense to have done in Kre-O form, and represents just one more reason why I hope to see Kre-O continue in some form somewhere down the line. We need a classic Spirit!

Lastly we have Marauder Barbecue who comes with a great flip up Barbecue mask and fire extinguisher, along with his handy battle axe. Like the others, he has a great Marauder paint scheme that’s very evocative of the figure, and awesomely colorful.

Iron Grenadiers

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On the enemy side of things we get the Iron Grenadiers, which serves as a great tie-in to the Convention Set this year, which also contained some key members of the IG crew.

Destro leads the team in his Pimp Daddy Destro deco, another ComicCon throwback, which is a great touch. The leopard print collar and red cape are both so tacky and fantastic.

Voltar is second in command looking great in his pink and gold uniform, with an awesome helmet (even though the eyepiece is on the wrong side), a great weapon, and even his trusty vulture.

Darklon is far and away my favorite figure in this set, with great chainmail deco, an awesome sinister face, his gatling dart gun and all the trappings of Destro’s cousin.

Taking a closer look at the three Iron Grenadiers as well, some things become apparent. First of all, one of them is an officer while two of them are troopers. The officer’s Kre-O deco is actually themed like the modern Iron Grenadier update (using the Battle Armor Cobra Commander body) while the two Troopers are the vintage design with the more familiar clasping buttons. All three figures have red bandanas, but if you remove them, you see the classic Grenadier visage glaring out from behind. As an unabashed Iron Grenadier fan, I love these three troopers and they compliment the rest of the set perfectly.

Also, using a Kre-O Grunt head and a random red beret I found kicking around, the Iron Grenadier Officer quickly becomes a nice looking Sgt. Major.


Sgt. Slaughter’s TTT


Just looking at the figures themselves this set would already be a sure fire winner in my opinion, but Hasbro took it one step further and didn’t just give us 12 great looking Kre-Ons, but they also gave us a full blown ready-to-build Triple T tank!

Like many of the Kre-O items we’ve seen, the Triple T really made its mark in the Sunbow cartoon especially when Slaughter made his dramatic entrace, leaping from the oddly shaped white tank and single-handedly dispatching with a few dozen Battle Android Troopers. To be honest, in its toy form, the Triple T never did much for me, but as has happened in the past a vehicle I might not have cared much for gets whole new life as a Kre-O set. No matter how many times I’ve put these sets together, it always amazes me that I can dump out a pile of random bricks, and moments later, an actual physical form begins to take shape, eventually resulting in a vehicle that actually resembles something that I know. Early Kre-O efforts were mixed, giving us vehicles that bore only the most passing resemblance to their vintage counterparts, but recently, things have gotten much better, and the Triple T is a perfect example of that.

This is a very unique looking vehicle from G.I. Joe history, and the fact that this Kre-O build represents it so accurately is simply amazing. Using a majority of white bricks, with a healthy mix of green and brown, the TTT is an amazing feat of brick engineering that completely lives up to my expectations for these Kre-O sets. From the size and shape to the “fit” with this year’s theme and the vintage resemblance, I may actually like the Kre-O TTT even more than the regular vintage one. It wasn’t a really complex build, and as always, I find myself incredibly amused with how small these items end up, but it was a lot of fun, and the final result is 100% worth it.

From the packaging to the Kre-On mini figures, all the way to the TTT vehicle, this set is simply amazing. A truly enjoyable and yes FUN addition to the already impressive Kre-O library. I thoroughly enjoyed this set while at the same time it made me lament the sparse offerings of Kre-O going forward.

Confirmation of the ComicCon Kre-O Slaughter Marauders vs. Iron Grenadier set

Oh my.

So the news leaked a bit prematurely yesterday (unfortunately), but today we are all official, and the news is great! Yes, Hasbro will be releasing a G.I. Joe Kre-O set at ComicCon and it contains Sgt. Slaughter and his Marauders vs. the nefarious Iron Grenadiers.

UPROXX has all the latest info, on a set that looks…well… about as insane as you’d expect a Sgt. Slaughter Kre-O set to look. Phenomenal.

Something just leaped to my #1 most wanted list for ComicCon exclusives. Good stuff!

Check out the images below, and thanks to UPROXX for breaking this exciting news!

ComicCon Exclusive Desert Duel Box Art is revealed…and impressive!

This must be the night for sneak SDCC reveals, as overseas auction site TaoBao has revealed our first look at the packaging for the ComicCon exclusive “Desert Duel” G.I. Joe boxed set.

The Desert Duel set features Chuckles and the FOE Striker vs. Cobra Elite Horseman and the Cobra Basilisk, with two bonus figures, the Cobra Air Trooper, and Night Fox.  The box is fantastic with a bullet-riddled sleeve and really nice looking diorama shot on the back (as well as the great artwork that was originally revealed at the 2015 JoeCon).

It’s very impressive presentation.  Big thanks to Chris over on the G.I. Joe Discussion Facebook Group for the heads up!

Hasbro reveals G.I. Joe Kre-O Wave 5 at ComicCon!

That’ll teach me to crash early last night! Thinking that the Gentle Giant 12″ vintage figures represented the G.I. Joe news of Preview Night for SDCC, I logged off early last night, then woke up to the intel that Kre-O Wave 5 was revealed for the first time!

Looking like another fantastic line up by Hasbro, this fifth series gives us the following mini figure Kre-Ons:

  • Zarana
  • Bullet Man (!!!)
  • Lifeline
  • Outback
  • Stinger Driver
  • Dial Tone
  • Techno Viper
  • Ninja Ku
  • Leatherneck
  • Tele Viper
  • Iceberg
  • Battle Damage B.A.T.

The info and images come from and Toy Ark. Along with Series 5, we also got some great in person looks at the upcoming Terror Drome, which looks… frankly… like the best thing I’ve ever seen in my life, perhaps including my two children.

Check out all of these great images below!

Confusion abounds regarding SDCC “Danger at the Docks”

Okay, just when we thought we had it all figured out, thanks to, there seems to be more confusion now about exactly how the “Danger at the Docks” SDCC Exclusive 50th Anniversary set will be available.

Over on a Press Release from Toys “R” Us was revealed, and within the context of that press release, there seems to be an indication that the “Danger at the Docks” G.I. Joe set will NOT be available in Toys “R” Us stores. This has caused some confusion because it’s been pretty widely reported (mostly by me) that this set would not strictly be sold at ComicCon itself.

As it turns out, the most likely result is both stories are true.

Previously there was a Faker/Bizarro 2-Pack from Mattel that was an SDCC Exclusive, but was also available at, but was NOT actually in brick & mortar stores. It sounds like that is likely what’s going to happen here. Considering themselves has advertised that the Danger at the Docks set will be available online after ComicCon, but they’re also listing it as “Available Only at San Diego Comic-Con” in this latest press release, this sounds like the most likely result.

According to folks I’ve spoken with, the Faker/Bizarro 2 Pack was not especially difficult to get after ComicCon, and certainly far easier than dealing with Hasbro Toy Shop, but at the end of the day, I’d say if you want the Danger at the Docks set, be prepared to jump on it on and don’t sit and wait for it to show up at Brick & Mortar. Thankfully SDCC is right around the corner and our long, national nightmare shall soon be over. Check out the full text of the Press Release after the Jump.

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Official Press Images of SDCC 2014 “Danger at the Docks”

Hasbro’s Public Relations firm has made available the high resolution press photos for the ComicCon 2014 “Danger at the Docks” set. This set begins as an SDCC Exclusive, but then should be available at Toys “R” Us following the debut in San Diego.

I know there has been some confusion about the availability of this set, but as first reported right here on YoJoe, the intention is for this set to be available at Toys “R” Us following its release at SDCC. You can find some images below, including a great shot of some brand new accessories built just for this set!

Thanks as always to Hunter PR for making these images available.

The GIJCC gives you an opportunity to buy ComicCon Exclusive “The Epic Conclusion”!

For folks who weren’t able to get their hands on the 2013 ComicCon exclusive G.I. Joe and Transformers “The Epic Conclusion” there is another opportunity that has just been announced! The G.I. Joe Collectors Club and Transformers Collectors Club have been allocated a limited number of these exclusive sets!

Rather than do a “First Come First Served” chaotic sales event, the Club will be offering a “lottery” to Club members to win an opportunity to purchase these limited edition sets. All of the information is contained in the e-mail they sent out to club members. I have reprinted that email below:

There is some very exciting news!

We have been allocated a very limited number of the 2013 Comic Con GI Joe and Transformers “The Epic Conclusion” Vehicle/Figure sets from Hasbro. We are offering this set to our club members, both Transformer and GI Joe, but in order to be fair to everyone due to the limited number we received, we have decided to have a lottery drawing for the opportunity to purchase this set. If you want to be included in this lottery drawing, you must send an email to ONLY. Send only one email with “LOTTERY” as the subject.

Please do not contact our office or email any other email addresses regarding the lottery. Multiple emails will void your entry. These items are limited to 1 item per membership if you are selected in the lottery drawing. You must be a current active member to participate. The email that you send does not guarantee that you will get an item; this just includes you in the lottery drawing. The price on this item is $150+shipping. The cutoff for sending your email will be Friday, July 26, 2013 at 9am central time. We will not accept any emails after this time. Once the names have been drawn from the emails received, you will be contacted by email and given further instructions on how the order will be processed.

Again, please DO NOT contact our office for any reason regarding this lottery drawing! Thank you and good luck!

So good news for Club members! Send your email in now and get your chance to own this exclusive ComicCon item! You can check out the GeneralsJoes review of that item right here.