Last year when I launched the concept case surveys for the 2012 JoeCon, I was impressed by the turn out… within the first week I’d gotten about 600 responders, and kept the survey open an additional week so I could capture around 1400 all told throughout the period of… three weeks I think?
Well at this point the 2013 Concept Case survey has been up for about 3 days and there are already over 700 responses! You guys ROCK.
If you haven’t participated yet, please do so! Please note, this survey is completely and totally unofficial and not endorsed by Hasbro, but as mentioned at the Hasbro seminar at JoeCon, they are looking for any feedback they can get. YOUR VOTE MATTERS.
Check out the Concept Case Survey right here and let your voice be heard!
Granted this one is a lot more low key than the infamous Concept Case survey that GeneralsJoes helped lead last year, but with some more new concept figures being shown in Indianapolis last weekend, it seemed like a good idea to kick another one of these off.
There were only a handful of new figures shown, and those figures will be the focus of this round of surveys. However, depending on the results of this one, expect another round at some point to take the winners of the 2012 survey and the winners of this survey for a more all encompassing look at every concept figure shown thus far.
A huge thanks has to go out to too many people to mention here…I put out a request for some Excel help last week in order to try and decipher the hundreds of write in’s that were supplied in Round One of the Concept Case survey.
I got almost two dozen offers of assistance, which absolutely blew me away. Matt from the Awesome Toy Blog did some great formatting and data gathering… ImpHolocron on Twitter came through as well… in the end, though, my man Trazz from HissTank.com took all of the intel together and compiled a pair of insane spreadsheets.
Who ever thought anyone would use the term “insane spreadsheets” to describe anything?
Trazz not only compiled a spreadsheet for figures and for vehicles, but actually charted the responses to measure a ratio of the most requested figures and vehicles via write in votes. Crazy.
I’ve attached the two spreadsheets here. The spreadsheets have multiple tabs, including a tab which has every single write in vote, but then also some compiled answers as well. The figures chart absolutely blew me away, showing that aside from Cobra “Viper” troopers of various ilk, Gung Ho seems to be far away the most requested character. That comes as no surprise.
Feel free to download the spreadsheets from this post and peruse them at your leisure. Excellent insight. Keep in mind that this isn’t anything that was fully analyzed by teams of professionals…it was essentially two guys (Trazz and myself, but mostly Trazz) who gathered this together and formatted it. I’m sure it’s not perfect, but it is very cool, nonetheless.
I cannot thank the numerous volunteers enough for pitching in with offers to help. Thank you ALL.
Wow…to say I was pleasantly surprised by the outpouring of help today would be an understatement. This morning I asked for an Excel guru to assist me in combing through the write in votes for the Concept Case survey, and I was inundated with offers! Emails, comments, Twitter, PM’s on other forums…a ton of offers to help, and I cannot thank everyone enough for their assistance.
Ultimately, a couple guys pitched in and provided a TON of help filtering out garbage data and compiling some very interesting results.
I need to spend some more time filtering and sorting, but this was a HUGE help, and I should hopefully be able to post the final tallies alongside Round Two of the Concept Case survey on Monday.
Big props to everyone who offered to help today. I truly appreciate the time it took and the generous offers everyone sent my way.
Well, I actually cheated a little bit and instead of closing down the Concept Case survey last night, I did it at about 5:30 am this morning. I was very pleased to see people were placing votes all the way until the end, as the last survey completed was at around 3:00am.
The response to this survey has been frankly overwhelming. Everyone has been very positive and very enthusiastic about the results and the potential for data gathering for Hasbro. While there is certainly no guarantees that anything here will impact any decisions Hasbro is going to make, they encouraged us at JoeCon to get whatever data we could, and G.I. Joe fans should be proud, you guys delivered!
There were nearly 1200 responses, which is quite impressive, and the fans have spoken. I am going to outline the winners of Round One below, and you will see a wealth of charts and graphs screen capped as well, just to prove the results weren’t skewed in any way.
30th Anniversary Top 10
Hit & Run
Crimson Guard Immortal
Crimson Shadow Guard
Pursuit of Cobra Top 10
Echo Faction Trooper
Dreadnok KAOS Crew
Zombie Invasion & Legends of the Arashikage
Ghost Ninja Henchman
Dark Ninja Master
Zombie Cobra Commander
Red Ninja Dice
Ninja Warrior Monk
Zombie Cobra Viper
There were also (obviously) results for the G.I. Joe: Renegades and vehicles as well, and I mirrored images of the survey results on those below. I figured the figures from the three main sections was the most important.
Now…where do we go from here? I think an important next step is to take the winners of each section and face them off against each other. They’ve all been compared within the confines of their own subline, but I think the next important step is to cull more wheat and refine the results even further.
For folks who have been following along…what would you rather see? The Top 5 from each section face off, or the Top 10? Would a Round two survey with 15 – 20 quick and easy choices be a better idea, or broadening the scope a bit? Leave me comments in the comment section with your choices.
Take a peek at the images below to get a great breakdown of each section of the poll, and most importantly THANK YOU ALL for your contributions. This has been a terrific community-building experience.
Here we are. Number one. My most requested, most admired, and most longed after item that we saw in the Concept Case at the 2012 G.I. Joe Convention. I will admit something, though. If we’re talking about being impressed by a specific item itself, I would have to admit, the Coyote was probably the most impressive toy that I saw, standing on its own. But with the thought in mind that we will likely never see this thing at retail, I wanted to place the number one moniker on a more realistic goal. A figure with some new tooling (but not too much), and a figure of a character that I have loved for a very long time.
1 – G.I. Joe: 30th Anniversary Hit & Run
In 1988 I was just starting high school, and trying to figure out what I wanted to be “when I grew up”. I bounced between being an artist, being a writer, and pretty much as far away from Information Services flunky as you can get. Back in those days, well before I ever heard the term “fanfic” I explored my writing by diving into the G.I. Joe universe. With it being 1988, and the last Sunbow G.I. Joe adventures being behind us, it felt kind of like a new start, even though I was a devout comic fan, and the comic was still going strong. One of the first figures I bought from the 1988 series was Hit & Run, and I was immediately blown away. As a 14 year old kid, I was especially impressed by his background on the filecard, involving the death of his parents, and it immediately gave the character an immense depth in my mind.
My own personal G.I. Joe universe developed over the next couple of years, and in 1990 I really dove into my writing, which involved the Joe team picking up the pieces after a massive battle had eliminated much of their leadership team. Stalker was the new commander, Bullhorn played a key communications role, and Hit & Run earned his spot as the trademark “lone wolf” being rather anti-social and angry at the world because of his rocky upbringing and his inability to stay in one place for too long. As a big fan of Wolverine and The Punisher back then, the whole lone wolf mentality was fresh in my head, and the character was without a doubt the focus of my entire G.I. Joe universe. He wasn’t a ninja like Snake Eyes, but he was fast, awesome with a weapon, and he just didn’t care about anything but killing Cobra.
The character has just always resonated with me, and continued to when I wrote my fanfic The Price of Peace (which is pretty different than what I was writing in 1990, but still had some of those elements in place), and then when I moved over to my Dio-Stories. Hit & Run has always remained a constant, and even as I’ve watched several other characters evolve through new designs and concepts, my trusty ’88 Hit & Run has maintained his place. Yes, we did receive a 25th Anniversary update in the Attack of Cobra Island boxed set, which both surprised and impressed me, but the end result, unfortunately, didn’t really give the character justice in my mind. I wondered if a new version ever would.
Turns out that yes. A new version could do the character justice. Justice in a huge way. As I walked to the Concept Case up ahead, after grabbing my parachute figures from the Sales floor, I had already heard the whispers of people milling around. No less than four people walked up to me in the 20 minutes I was in line, a couple of them practically jogging, to excitedly tell me there was a Hit & Run in the case. I almost couldn’t believe it.
After waiting in line I rushed over, and there it was. A newly tooled head, with the necessary green facepaint and camouflage. Lots of borrowed parts, but parts borrowed from as of yet unreleased figures (upcoming 3-Pack Firefly torso, upcoming 3-Pack Agent Mouse arms) and using the fantastic parachute rig that was never included with Lifeline…essentially the figure looks all new, but with lots of borrowed tooling. Parts choice was perfect, the weapons used were simply fantastic, and the new head, helmet, and goggles simply topped the whole thing off. This figure is freaking gorgeous. Gorgeous. Not only does it look amazing, but it does a perfect job of taking one of my all time favorite characters, as obscure as he might be, and planting him firmly in the modern era, capturing all of the old school spirit, yet making all of the right updates. If I was allowed to make the perfect update to Hit & Run myself, this figure would be the end result. I love this figure so much, I’m desperately trying to not imagine a world where it is never released. I’m trying to convince myself that fan demand will somehow prevail and this figure will end up at retail or as some sort of online exclusive somewhere, some time, and some place. I don’t care when, I don’t care how, and I don’t care how much, this figure must happen.
We’re getting down towards the end of this massive top 10 list, breaking down all of the coolest things we saw in the Concept Case at the 2012 G.I. Joe Convention. Even though I strongly suspect that the G.I. Joe: Renegades vehicles have zero chance of ever being released (and according to JoeDeClassified’s interview with Derryl DePriest, he agrees with me) I can’t help but give them spots on this list.
I already talked about Flint’s Jeep with my number 4 ranking, but here at number 2 I had to focus on the big beast itself.
2 – G.I. Joe: Renegades Coyote
I think most of us fans of the G.I. Joe: Renegades animated series have been dreaming about the eventual release of the Coyote, but realistically I never expected it to happen. Considering the quick dismissal of the excellent Renegades animated series by Hasbro, even considering that they would invest big money in tooling up a new, larger sized vehicle, seems totally out of the realm of possibilities.
That being said, I was so blown away by the look, feel, and playability of the Coyote vehicle shown in the Concept Case, that I just had to mention it within the confines of the Top 10 list. I know it likely won’t be released, but it looks awesome, the press-button play feature is golden, and it would make the perfect endcap for a G.I. Joe: Renegades collection. I think that is perhaps what is so painful about the whole G.I. Joe: Renegades situation. The fact that we may not even get a complete Renegades team (where’s Roadblock, HASBLoowWW/??!1/?) and even if, by some massive stretch of the imagination, we do get Roadblock, there is probably a 2% chance we’ll ever see their trusty vehicle. So close, yet so damn far away.
But that won’t stop me from looking at the pictures of the Coyote from the 2012 G.I. Joe Convention Concept Case and dreaming a little dream…
Getting down to the nitty gritty, which is where you’ll find this particular figure on most people’s want lists. To be honest, if I had been asked a month ago what my most wanted figure would be, this guy would be pretty much have hit the top of the list without any competition.
Well, when Hasbro unveiled the Concept Case at this year’s G.I. Joe Convention suddenly there was a LOT of competition. Vehicles, figures, ideas… it almost relegated this guy to the “been there, done that” pile. But not quite.
One close up look at this figure will tell you that even for folks who don’t really care for the character are still getting a very good G.I. Joe toy.
3 – G.I. Joe: 30th Anniversary Kwinn
Of course one might ask, among a team of heavily armored, heavily equipped, future tech sporting super-soldiers, where does an Eskimo with shorts, a khaki shirt, and a weasel skull necklace fit in? That question has obviously been asked a lot, especially by Hasbro themselves as this poor guy (who is a fully tooled and ready for release figure) still has not gotten an opportunity to be released yet.
I think Hasbro pushed fans near the breaking point when they actually displayed him in a case full of unused (and perhaps never-to-be-used) concepts, but based on conversations with Hasbro at JoeCon, I think chances of Kwinn being released are probably around 85 – 90%. This is not a guy you need to worry about never getting your hands on. Regardless, he still stands proud pretty close to the top of my Top Ten list. Admittedly, though, based on responses I’m seeing from the Concept Case survey, I am in the minority for putting him this far back, which should be good news for all of you Kwinn fans out there.
I’ve always been much more of an action figure and character guy than a vehicle guy, but even the cynical “vehicles take up too much damn space!” part of me fell in love with some of the vehicle concepts we saw at the G.I. Joe convention. As someone fully in love with G.I. Joe: Renegades, the minute I saw the Coyote and the Jeep in that case, my rational mind was completely overwhelmed by my drooling fanboy mind.
Combine that with the fact that Hasbro designers cited MASK as an inspiration for these vehicles? Sign me up.
4 – Flint’s Jeep from G.I. Joe: Renegades
I think most of us probably figured that the Coyote was in some form of production based on how heavily it was utilized throughout the G.I. Joe: Renegades animated series. Heck, the massive transport truck was practically a character in the show. But I’m fairly certain that the surprise I had at seeing Flint’s military Jeep in there was not only mine. Deco’ed in pretty straight up military greens, with a small light on top, the jeep bares only a passing resemblance to the one used on the show, but more importantly looks like a nicely sized, exceedingly fun play toy.
Combine that with the fact that there is a great button-key system that flips the Jeep from mere transport to gun-toting vehicle of awesomeness, and you have a can’t miss proposition. All I can do is think about what Major Bludd’s car from the animated series could possibly look at in toy form, and all I get all weepy inside.
It is a delicate balancing act between vehicle design, media accuracy, and play features, and by the looks of things, Hasbro hit every single right note with this one, and for that reason, it deserves one of the top spots on my list.
Just wanted to drop a line to remind folks that the Concept Case Survey is still rolling along, and Round 1 will end Friday, July 20th. Responses from Round 1 will be tabulated and I will post the actual SurveyMonkey charting to ensure 100% transparency.
Based on those results, I will set up Round 2 of the Survey to kick off, most likely next Monday, where the winners of Round 1 can face off against each other to get an idea of what the fans want!
Meanwhile, propaganda has started appearing online…the political machine is already at work. Ladies and gentlemen…Joe fans…I encourage you to vote with your hearts. But if you’re easily swayed…