GeneralsJoes Reviews G.I. Joe Kre-O Checkpoint Alpha and Serpent Armor set

G.I. Joe Kre-O week continues with a look at the Checkpoint Alpha build set and the Serpent Armor vs. VAMP build set as well!  I was struggling a bit with how to review these, since I really don’t have a Lego background, but some friends of mine just advised that I review them as a G.I. Joe fan would, so that’s kind of what I went with.

You might notice I’m ironing out some of the review kinks.  I don’t have box images or sticker images necessarily…some of those will come later.  I was battling an eager 7 year old who wanted to jump right into these things.  So you can either check out my G.I. Joe Kre-O Review Page, or the direct links below:

GeneralsJoes reviews G.I. Joe: Retaliation Tread Ripper Tank w/ Clutch

So over the past 2 weeks I’ve been maintaining my “one review a day” grind as we work down the “Road to Retaliation”!  Well, after yesterday, I kind of had an issue.  I’d posted reviews of every single pack G.I. Joe: Retaliation figure released to date!

Have no fear…  now we have vehicles!  I’ll be covering the Tread Ripper today and the Ninja Combat Cruiser tomorrow, and then dipping back into the figures as we examine the Wave 2 3-Packs!  Plenty of material still left on the table.  Check out the latest review on my G.I. Joe: Retaliation Review Page, or the direct link below.

Large images of G.I. Joe: Retaliation calendar – the Special Ops mystery revealed!

The 2013 G.I. Joe: Retaliation calendar went on sale last week, and GeneralsJoes has received it in the mail!  While all of the months images have been revealed in the past, I’ve got some much larger images presented in this post.  The character selection is odd to say the least with no Duke or Flint, but we did get Mouse, Clutch, and the mysterious “Special Ops”.

Many of us were wondering who this “Special Ops” character was, and I believe I’ve got the answer.  One look at this image and it certainly seems to be Ryan Hansen underneath the camouflage body armor.  Hansen was previously rumored to be playing Grunt in G.I. Joe: Retaliation, so either the Grunt character got re-named (which isn’t a surprise, I seem to remember there being some trademark issues with the generic “Grunt” code name) or they just decided to use this “Special Ops” moniker as a way around it.

Regardless, I’ve mirrored a number of the month images below, including the aforementioned Special Ops, Mouse (played by Joseph Mazzello) and Clutch (reportedly played by Jim Palmer, according to IMDB).

G.I. Joe: Retaliation 2013 Calendar IN STOCK and on sale

We saw a sneak peek of this calendar several months ago, and I just got word from Calendars.com that it is now officially in stock!  Not only is it in stock, but it’s on sale for $7.49.

Featuring the familiar Roadblock, Cobra Commander, Snake Eyes, Storm Shadow…errr…  Clutch… and…uh… Mouse!  Yes, that’s right, no Duke and no Flint, but we’ve got Clutch and Mouse.  Not to mention “Special Ops”.

Sarcastic humor aside, awesome to see some G.I. Joe: Retaliation material for sale, and you bet your ass I just bought mine.  It’s a 16 month calendar, so maybe there are some other characters that didn’t make the “back cover” cut.

Check it out here on Calendars.com!

GeneralsJoes Concept Case Top 10 – Number 8

This great looking figure first hit our radar courtesy of Mat Brouillard who posted an image of the sculpt for Clutch on his Facebook page.  Everyone kind of wondered whether it was a canceled concept, or merely something still to come.

I had an opportunity to speak with John Warden at the G.I. Joe Convention, and he confirmed to me that this version of Clutch was initially slated to come with the Pursuit of Cobra VAMP, while the updated HISS Driver was going to come packaged with the HISS in the same assortment.  Unfortunately, due to cost reasons, the new figures were dropped, and kit-bashes were put in their place.

If you don’t know which figure I’m talking about by now… here’s the official run down:

8 – G.I. Joe: The Pursuit of Cobra Clutch

Clutch was always a tough character for me to get my head around.  He had such a great personality in the comic books, and seemed to be one of those guys that you love to hate.  He smooth talks you, and goes out for beers with you, then waits until your passed out drunk and hits on your girlfriend.  He’s a guys guy, a grease monkey, and seems to be one of the more popular characters in the G.I. Joe mythos.

What is so great about this figure is they take a guy like Clutch and really turn him into something unique and interesting.  He has the familiar bearded head sculpt, but the whole rest of the figure is something dramatically new.  The armored vest with pouches are awesome, the bulky gauntlets look great, and he’s got all sorts of that terrific Pursuit of Cobra pseudo-futuristic design from head to toe.  I would have loved to have seen him behind the wheel of the VAMP, but alas it was not to be.

Perhaps all is not lost, though.  If enough fans clamor for him, perhaps his appearance in the Concept Case will get him a second life.  If you want to see this guy at retail, don’t forget to vote!

For now, just take a peek at the images below.

Adding insult to injury – the origins of the G.I. Joe: Retaliation Swamp-Viper

As usual, notpicard has got a great eye for parts, unused or otherwise.  I posted images of the Fang Boat w/ Swamp-Viper last night, and today, notpicard left a comment referencing some old unused “Clutch” tooling.

It was a story that I posted some time ago, pointing back to the Facebook page of Matt Brouillard, who is apparently a freelance sculptor who did some work for Hasbro, including an incredibly awesome looking “Clutch” (a name Mr. Brouillard used).  This Clutch looked pretty futuristic, yet had a ton of amazing detail throughout…and guess what?

Yeah, that’s Swamp-Viper.  Only the figure looks considerably different once it’s tooled up with reduced detail and articulation.  There’s absolutely no doubt that the Clutch sculpt was the foundation of this figure, yet it’s downright depressing to see how much detail and design is lost through the articulation changes.  Ugh.  It’s not just missing joints, the entire figure just doesn’t look as sharp or as cool.  Check out the comparison image below:

Obviously the armor design and overall uniform design is the same, though there are some missing pouches around the waist, and with the t-crotch added, you loose the detail in the upper legs as well.  Some of the sculpting work on the gloves is not the same either, and overall, things just look a bit softer and less crisp.  It still looks like a very impressive design, but by reducing the articulation, the figure itself suffers in almost every way.

A real shame.  Again, big thanks and kudos to notpicard for picking up on this instantly.  He’s got a great eye.

Insanely cool G.I. Joe sculpting mock ups from freelance sculptor

So a couple of weeks ago it was the now famous Mike Thompson.  Yesterday, over on Twitter, Airborne4584 let me know about a supposedly unreleased G.I. Joe figure that a contract sculptor had posted on their Facebook page.

Well, that sculptor’s name is Matt Brouillard, and he has a wealth of awesome sculpted figures visible in his photo album.  Some crazy stuff in there.  Apparently he’s the master mind behind the G.I. Joe: Resolute Duke and Destro, but he also sculpted some Rise of Cobra items, including an absolutely gorgeous unreleased figure.

The sculptor says it’s a driver from a canceled 4 x 4, but did not reveal additional details.  According to some folks, this was going to be Clutch (the head is just a place holder).  Regardless of who it was, it is an absolutely awesome looking figure that clearly deserves a place in the G.I. Joe line somewhere.

Without knowing if Hasbro actually tooled anything up, there is no evidence that this figure will ever see the light day (the sculpt is just a wax sample) but it is still awesome to look at.  Truly impressive.  Check out the mirrored images below, and look at the second-to-last image for a slightly different Rise of Cobra Firefly helmet, and the last picture is the incredibly cool looking vehicle driver.  Great stuff.