GeneralsJoes Reviews 50th Anniversary Croc Master & Blowtorch

While I admit to not being all that excited about the unreleased concept art Blowtorch and Python Patrol Croc Master, I’m glad to see that many collectors who desired those two figures are being satisfied.

Do a pair of new paint deco’s make up for any shortcomings from 25th Anniversary era figure builds?  Check out my 50th Anniversary Review Page or click the links below to see for yourself!

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G.I. Joe 50th Anniversary Blowtorch

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When I reviewed Spirit from the Classic Clash 2-Pack I made reference to the fact that while I wasn’t in love with the 25th Anniversary version of the figure, the accessories almost made up for it.  I kind of feel the same way about Blowtorch, though his accessories aren’t quite as cool.

Blowtorch is one of those frustrating figures to me.  He has a great sculpt with some good colors and very nice accessories, but has a few limiting factors to me, most of which are his elbow joints.  When this figure was first made a number of years ago they hadn’t quite perfected the bulky cloth sculpt while maintaining great articulation.  As a result, Blowtorch’s thick padded uniform ends up restricting his elbow movement far too much for my liking.  I have some room for forgiveness for a lot of aesthetic choices like that, however when a guy whose specialty is essentially his flamethrower weapon can’t even hold said weapon, that’s a bit of a turn off.  Because of the elbows he cannot even hold the flamethrower two-handed, so I have a hard time finding some love for the figure.

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However, there are some things to love about this version of Blowtorch.

I know most folks reading this are aware of the homage to Gary Head with the Sightline figure, and that’s a terrific aspect of this series of 50th Anniversary releases.  What some folks may not know, though, is that Gary’s relationship with legendary sculptor Bill Merklein revealed some early concept art for Blowtorch, including a piece showing him in this green and gray color scheme.  There was a lot of fandom clamor for a version of Blowtorch in that color scheme, so in a way, I consider this figure also an homage to Gary, and I’m glad it’s out there for that reason.  Not only that, but as much as the color scheme for Blowtorch does make sense from a flamethrower perspective, seeing the figure in a darker color shade is enjoyable as well.  Add that in with the whole throwback to the canceled Pursuit of Cobra figures, and there are some things to appreciate here.

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From head to toe this is just a repaint of the 25th Anniversary Blowtorch…that fact alone is a bit off putting when you consider that the original 25th Anniversary Blowtorch was never that much of an in demand figure, and for some reason we got the figure re-released in the Pursuit of Cobra (almost exactly the same) and then re-released again last year in the 50th Anniversary line.  Now we have him for a fourth time, although at least this figure has a drastically different paint scheme.  As I said, I understand the temptation to do this figure, I just hope we can now consider Blowtorch retired for a long while.

Accessories

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The G.I. Joe flamethrower comes with his typical accessories, including the helmet, oxygen mask, flamethrower, backpack, oxygen tank, assault rifle, and two mines.  They’re all repurposed accessories from the Pursuit of Cobra/50th Anniversary versions, and while it’s nice to get some of the gear in slightly different colors, there isn’t much really new and exciting here.

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It’s difficult for me to rationalize the decision to release yet another version of a somewhat mediocre 25th Anniversary figure, but with the fandom demand for the canceled Pursuit of Cobra repaints, I can see why Hasbro would want to lean that direction.  That being said, from a personal perspective I don’t have a lot of love for another Blowtorch repaint, even as an homage to a canceled vintage version.

G.I. Joe Collectors Club reveals back story for TNT – 6 days left for FSS!

Like they did with Quarrel last week, the G.I. Joe Collectors’ Club has revealed some past history for TNT, who started his career as an Argentinian Blowtorch repaint.  While I’m not really a fan of the 25th Anniversary Blowtorch figure at all, the color scheme for this figure is just bright enough to make me smile and think back to the glory days of the 90’s.

You can check out the Club’s article on TNT right here, and keep in mind there are only SIX DAYS left to sign up for the Figure Subscription Service.  The below email comes courtesy of the G.I. Joe Collectors Club as well:

Hello all you G.I. Joe Fans!

The Figure Subscription Service ends at midnight on September 4th central time.  DON’T MISS OUT!  Go to the club site for the official link.

Please note that if you are checking your FSS order, you do this at the FSS site NOT the club store. The two systems are independent even though they are able to use your same login and passwords.

NOTE ABOUT SINGLE FIGURES:  There will not be a large quantity of single figures ordered for the club store so if you are interested in most of the figures offered, we recommend that you subscribe and sell the items you are not interested in to others.  This will ensure that you receive the figures that you really want.

If you log in to check your order(s) (click My Account at the bottom after you log in), and you are not seeing your invoice or emails, please drop us an email using the link at the bottom of the My Account page and we will have your file reconstructed.  Your invoices are in the system but there are a few accounts that are not displaying correctly.  After the subscription period ends, we will only send out emails to the FSS subscribers concerning shipping/billing updates and all of those emails will appear in your My Account.

Thanks for your patience and support of this new system.

Brian

1. You must be a member of the G.I. Joe Collectors’ Club to take advantage of the Figure Subscription Service.

2. This is a build to order system.  We will build as many as you order, so we cannot run out.  YOU CAN ORDER AS MANY AS YOU WANT, there is no limit.

3. What you do need to be concerned about is the closing date of the subscription service, which ENDS on September 4th at midnight.

4. You can either pay In Full or by Installment.  There will be 3 installments.  When you subscribe and choose pay by Installment, you will be billed for the first two months’ shipments.  Then sometime during the second month, you will be billed for the 3rd and 4th months’ shipments and sometime during the 4th month you will be billed for the final 2 months’ shipments.

5. Your free surprise 13th figure will come with your final shipment during the 6th month.

6. The figures will be shipped in random order. All members receive the same figures each month.  The figure pairings will not be preannounced.  So if you don’t mind, when you get your shipment each month, PLEASE do not go online and tell what you received. We want each shipment to be a surprise for as many members as possible.

7. The cost is $294 if Paid In Full (plus shipping) or three Installments of $98 (plus shipping).  Please note that there is a $3 online processing fee for each billing. We take Visa, Discover or MasterCard.  Unfortunately we cannot accept Money Orders or Checks for this offer.

8. If you pick a shipping service that does not include insurance or if you don’t pick the insurance, we do not have any responsibility for replacement of lost or damaged or misdirected orders.

9. If you move or need to change your credit card during the program, you can log into your account at the FSS and change it there.  This will change all of your future FSS billings and shipments.  We will also be sending you reminders to check your address and cc before each billing/shipment goes out.  We are not responsible for shipments that are lost due to incorrect shipping information on file.

10. We are waiting on the final schedule from China so we don’t know exactly when the first figures will ship.  We hope it will be by Christmas. We will announce this as soon as we get the final schedule.

11. Some of the figures (single figures) MAY be available in the Club Store after the subscriber’s figures ship. These will be at a price of $32 per figure.  There is no guarantee of availability of any of the figures in the club store. If you want to ensure getting these limited edition figures, you need to subscribe to the service.  The single figures will be very limited.

GeneralsJoes starts the Pursuit of Cobra Wave 5 Reviews

I know it’s been a while…I’ve been juggling several reviews at once, and now I’m finally at a point where I can start posting some of ’em!  I’m running through half of Wave 5 today, I’ll finish up Wave 5 tomorrow, and hope to get rolling on the Con stuff (as well as another couple little surprises) maybe next week.

Don’t hold me to that, though.  :shifty:

Anyway…hit up my Pursuit of Cobra Review Page to check out the newest reviews for Pursuit of Cobra Wave 5, or just hit the links below:

Enjoy!

Pursuit of Cobra Wave 5 Images on JoeDeclassified.com

Been a busy couple of  weeks for Gyre Viper over at JoeDeclassified!  We got Pursuit of Cobra Wave 6 images, then the Skystriker w/ Ace, and now we’ve got Wave 5 of the Pursuit of Cobra figures!

There has been debate online about which wave is better, 5 or 6, and to me its hit or miss, but there are some sure fire winners in both.  Wave 5 gives us an awesome update to the Steel Brigade, a great looking General Hawk, and an impressive looking Cobra Trooper.  Gyre Viper has also graciously allowed me to host these images on GeneralsJoes, so you can either hit up JoeDeclassified or see the mirrored images below.

Updated press images from upcoming Wave 3 Pursuit of Cobra

Well, it looks like things have changed a little bit since Toy Fair, and mostly for the better.  Site sponsors Big Bad Toy Store and Past Generation Toys have posted some new press images for the upcoming 3rd wave of 2011 Pursuit of Cobra figures, and there is a very interesting alteration:

While most of the subtle coloring differences are mostly a result of Photoshop, one look at Cobra Commander tells us that his legs are being reused from the previous version instead of the classic Cobra Commander look.  I think it’s a big improvement.  It will be interesting to see what the final result looks like.

Thanks to The Terror Drome for the info.

Next two Pursuit of Cobra Assortments finally ironed out?

Over the past week we’ve received some conflicting information about upcoming releases from G.I. Joe: The Pursuit of Cobra, but it would appear that things have somewhat ironed out.  Several online retailers including Big Bad Toy Store, Entertainment Earth, and Small Joes have received information from Hasbro that seems to finally confirm what waves 3 and 4 for 2011 will consist of.  This is how it shakes out:

2011 Wave 3 (AKA “Wave 5”)

  • Blowtorch
  • Cobra – The Enemy
  • Cobra Commander
  • General Hawk
  • Jungle B.A.T.
  • Steel Brigade

2011 Wave 4 (AKA “Wave 6”)

  • Snake Eyes Temple Guardian
  • Crazy Legs
  • Croc Master
  • Rock Viper
  • Viper
  • Iron Grenadier

To pre-order, make sure to visit Small Joes, Big Bad Toy Store (wave 3 and wave 4), or Entertainment Earth (wave “5” and wave “6”).  Now, just to get some pictures!  Keep your eyes peeled to GeneralsJoes.com next weekend as I visit New York City and attend the 2011 Toy Fair!

Secrets revealed in Previews Magazine?

Well, it would certainly appear so, according to Ragi Foesmasher of HissTank.com.

Previews typically lists figures set for release a little ways in advance, and they report the following:

“For over twenty-five years, the G.I. Joe has been defending America and the cause of freedom from the evils of Cobra! Characters like Blowtorch, General Hawk, Steel Brigade Trooper, Cobra Trooper, Cobra Commander and the Jungle B.A.T. enter the fight for the fate of the world as these collectible 3.75″ figures! Blister card packaging.”

Uhhh… wha–?

It’s pretty unusual for Hasbro to be able to keep assortments like this under wraps right up until release, but kudos to them for doing it, if that’s what this is.  What sort of format these figures will come in raises some questions as well…obviously they’ve all been released as Anniversary figures already (except for the Steel Brigade Trooper), so are these some sort of Pursuit of Cobra upgrade figures?  Curious…

According to the poster, this edition of Previews will hit comic shops in two weeks.  It appears “on Page 360 will be a listing for item code FEB111522. With a title of GI JOE AF ASST 201103. The picture is of Wave 4 and the shipping date is 4/27/2011.”

Guess we know what to look for at Toy Fair!

More G.I. Joe questions answered by Sideshow Collectibles

Big thanks to GeneralsJoes contributor Mysterious Stranger for giving me a virtual “slap upside the head” for some missed details on the Sideshow Collectibles Q & A this morning.  While I focused on the two questions that appeared on Tuesday’s slate, I missed the question that had been posed on Monday, and now, we also have a new question for today as well.  Heck, they even posted a question from way back in August that I think I might have missed.  Many fans (myself included) will be extremely pleased with what Sideshow revealed in Monday’s Q & A:

I would like to know if some of these characters are in your plans for the 12-inch G.I. Joe line: Strato Viper, 1986 Viper, Cross Country, SciFi, Xamot & Tomax. Please say yes about Xamot & Tomax at least!

The 1986 Viper is getting the 12-inch treatment for a fact, and the twins are good possibilities (but a little further down the road).”

Yes, Sideshow has revealed that they will be doing a 12″ Cobra Viper.  ROCK.  As for their other details…

Pump out more 1/6 scale Joes!

What a coincidence, we just had a meeting to look at the next 5 Joes, all mocked up and studly. Some greatness is coming, let me tell ya! Jungles, deserts, and marine environments should be well protected. ;)”

Is a Blowtorch or Barbecue a character that Sideshow will consider realistic enough for 1/6th scale G.I. Joe? -AND- I really wanted to say that you guys are doing an awesome job on GI JOE. I just got the Cobra Throne, and it is easily the most startling item in my collection. And I’m looking forward to more of them. I have to ask, with the real world twist you apply to each character, will Joes that have bright colors like Blowtorch (a personal favorite of mine) be on your list? I’m curious how you’d adjust the colors.

Blowtorch made it to our planning, but has yet to find a ‘locked’ position in our development track. Our Creative Director, Tom Gilliland, has a serious soft spot for Blowtorch, thanks to his time working for Toys ‘R Us back in 1984/5/6. There was a kid that came every day to the store asking for Blowtorch, and one day, Tom was finally able to connect that kid with his long-sought-after figure, and it left a strong impression on Tom.”

So there you have it.  We should be all covered.  Chill the hell out, Stranger.

If you want to keep up to date on all of the Sideshow Collectibles G.I. Joe Q & A intel, this link should help you out!

Five-Page Previews for G.I. Joe: Cobra Special II and Hearts & Minds

Tomorrow is new comic day, and IDW is gracing us with a pair of G.I. Joe related books in the form of the second G.I. Joe: Cobra Special, this time featuring Chameleon.  The second book is the fifth issue of G.I. Joe: Hearts & Minds with a look at the Cobra Trooper and G.I. Joe member Blowtorch.  Check out the five-page previews for both below.

G.I. Joe: Cobra Special #2

Mike Costa (w) • Antonio Fuso (a & c)

Her name is Chameleon, and she is the Joe’s newest recruit in COBRA II. Now we see the rest of her story—her recruitment, her first mission, and her mysterious connection to… well, you only THINK you know who we’re talking about, as Mike Costa and Antonio Fuso attempt to outdo their previous, critically celebrated Special.

This extra-length Special features an all-new G.I. Joe prose story from the upcoming G.I. Joe: The Cobra War prose anthology!

FC • 40 pages • $4.99

G.I. Joe: Hearts and Minds #5 (of 5)

Max Brooks (w) • Howard Chaykin, Antonio Fuso (a) • Chaykin, Fuso (c)

From Max Brooks, New York Times best-selling author of WORLD WAR Z, and masterful artists Howard Chaykin and Antonio Fuso comes the next generation of G.I. JOE and COBRA.

“We are the nameless, faceless legion, but once, we were human beings.”—COBRA RECRUITS

“I destroy darkness. I create fire.”—BLOWTORCH

*2 regular covers will be shipped in a 1-to-1 ratio.

FC • 32 pages • $3.99