Wait, what? It’s JoeCon time?

Never before has JoeCon weekend snuck up on me like it has this year.  It seemed like one minute it was months away, then suddenly I’m packing for a whirlwind 2,000 mile round trip car ride to Chattanooga.  Wow.

And yes, it’s true!  JoeCon officially kicks off tomorrow when the Golden Ticket holders can first pick up their boxed sets and get their comics, which invariably have some neat-o clues inside about potential convention exclusives.

I’ll be driving the long haul tomorrow so I can’t promise I’ll have 100% up to the minute news, but if I’m stopped and I get the intel quick I will certainly relay it.  Those dudes over at The Full Force will be ALL OVER IT I’m sure, too, so make sure you’re following their feed super close.

Meanwhile, if you’re attending JoeCon, snag me, stop me, say hi, I’ll be wandering around with a refreshed feeling of low stress enjoyment as I try to soak in every minute of this final convention without the typical rushing around of news reporting and exclusive hawking.  Also be sure to swing by the Kindle Worlds panel at 2:00pm on Saturday to hear myself, Bill Nedrow, Jim Beard, and Don Maue talk about the crazy rock star lives of G.I. Joe authorhood.  Good stuff.

This is always a fantastic, fun weekend, hopefully I’ll see some of you all there!

Until then…  I’m on to Chattanooga!

JoeCon-2018

Full Force Podcast continues to produce some fantastic G.I. Joe and related collectible content

Anyone who hasn’t been listening to the Full Force podcast is doing themselves a disservice.  They’ve been right on top of the latest G.I. Joe news and bringing some really fun stuff to the podcast world.

Just over the past few days, they’ve posted a couple of different news bursts, including a great interview with Hasbro designer Bobby Vala talking specifically about his work on the G.I. Joe Collectors’ Club Figure Subscription Service 8.0 as well as other G.I. Joe oriented product.

Also, I joined Chris and Erik from Boss Fight Studio to talk about recent rumors surrounding G.I. Joe “Ever Vigilant” (if that is it’s real name).  Some good stuff and considering the relative dearth of G.I. Joe news, they manage to be relevant, entertaining, and just plain fun.

Make sure you’re staying well up to date on the Full Force Facebook Page, their YouTube Channel, and over at Podbean.com.

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Sgt. Smasher – Slaughter’s Marauders

For the final reveal by the Collectors Club we get Sgt. Slaughter… wait, nope it’s Sgt. Smasher.  Sgt. Smasher is the Slaughter’s Marauders Sqaud Leader and will be leading the team into battle against the Python Patrol.  Sgt. Smasher is a brand new character design that is inspired by “Mister C” from the Sunbow cartoon.  I will be the first to admit I didn’t remember Mister C from the cartoon and had to look him up (picture below).  Sgt. Smasher brings with him quite a lot of controversy thus far.  I know a lot of fans were clamoring for Sgt. Slaughter to lead the team but it looks like the Club was not able to secure the rights.  Putting all the controversy aside Sgt. Smasher looks pretty good.  It’s not everyday that we get a new character and I for one will take it.  It’s a nice addition to the GI Joe mythos and the figure looks nice with a new head sculpt and a new removable drill instructor hat.  Take a look below and let us know what you think.

SLAUGHTER’S MARAUDERS SQUAD LEADER:
SGT. SMASHER

– 25th Anniversary Style/Fully Poseable Action Figure.
– NEW Modern Era Character in original SM design.
– Inspired by “Mister C” from the Sunbow: G.I. Joe Cartoon!
– Features exclusive NEW Head Sculpt with Mowak hairstyle,
and NEW removable Marine Drill Instructor hat.
– Includes removable vest, whistle, baton, pistol, Gatling gun,
backpack with ammo strip, and G.I. Joe Logo Stand.

 

Smasher1 Smasher2 Smasher3img_b

Python Patrol Infantry Commander: Major Bludd

The Python Patrol finally have their commander… Major Bludd.  The figure is based off the 2003 release that was part of the the Toys R Us Exclusive Python Patrol six figure set.  This version will include a new head sculpt with a removable helmet.  The paint scheme matches the rest of the Python Patrol and comes with some great accessories.  Bludd looks really good and is geared up to lead the Python Patrol into battle.

PYTHON PATROL INFANTRY COMMANDER:
MAJOR BLUDD

– 25th Anniversary Style/Fully Poseable Action Figure.
– Modern Era Update of Character based on 2003 design.
– Features NEW Head Sculpt with removable helmet.
– Includes removable grenade harness with pistol,
handgun with rocket, backpack with rockets x 3,
sonic bazooka, and Cobra Logo Stand.

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G.I. Joe Collectors Club announces theme for 2018 G.I. Joe Convention

It’s officially the final year for the G.I. Joe Convention, and the Collectors Club has released their convention brochure featuring the theme for the Con, as well as some of the figures we can expect.

And that theme is…  Python Patrol vs. Slaughter’s Marauders!

Okay, up front, I gotta say…  not a big fan of getting further exposure to both of those subteams, which have already been done to death in the past, however, based on the figure roster it seems like there’s a good chance we’ll see the TRU deco for the Python Patrol, which is my personal favorite.

Also, looks like we’ll be getting Sgt. Smasher, a potential repaint for Sgt. Slaughter (and a way to repurpose the SDCC exclusive maybe?) as well as Hardball.  On the 12″ side, there looks to be a Green Beret Machine Gun Outpost.

Check out the full details in the Convention Brochure and stay tuned for more info still to come for the final JoeCon in Chattanooga!

News from the GI Joe Club

It’s time for Heartwrencher and the Dreadnok Ground Assault 4-WD.  We have been waiting for the release of the Club Exclusive Vehicle with Figure Set since Joe Con last year and as of Thursday we can finally pre-order the set.  I for one cannot get enough of the Cobra Stinger mold and as fans we are always clamoring for more females in the lineup.  This set looks great and may be one of the last vehicle/figure combo’s we see from the club.  Make sure to jump on this right away and get your pre-order in today.

Email from the Club:

(PRE-ORDER) 2018 GI Joe 3 3/4″ Club Exclusive Vehicle with Figure Set: Dreadnok Ground Assault 4-WD Vehicle w/ Dreadnok Mechanic Heartwrencher Figure (1 set)

Part Number: 1-11-18

Price: $64.99

THIS ITEM HAS TO BE ORDERED BY ITSELF IT CANNOT BE COMBINED WITH ANY OTHER ITEMS OR ORDERS.

(PRE-ORDER) 2018 GI Joe 3 3/4″ Club Exclusive Vehicle with Figure Set: Dreadnok Ground Assault 4-WD Vehicle w/ Dreadnok Mechanic Heartwrencher Figure (1 set).

Order is billed at the time the order is placed.

FINAL PRODUCT MAY VARY FROM THE IMAGES SHOWN HERE.

Delivery approximately March/April 2018.

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G.I. Joe Collectors Club reveals FSS “Treadmark”

Treadmark?  Trademark?  Skidmark?  What’s in a name…

Honestly, when it comes to characters that require $35 modern updates, I wouldn’t put any of the above three on that list, but the Collectors Club revealed their version of the 1988 Desert Fox driver for FSS 7 regardless.

It’s a fine figure, pretty standard parts (though the sweater sleeves combined with the smooth torso is throwing me just a bit).  Check it out at GIJoeClub.com or the mirrored image below.

05-Treadmark

G.I. Joe Collectors Club FSS 7 reveals!

Once again I’ve been a little delinquent on posting reveals for the G.I. Joe Collectors Club FSS 7, but they have just released an image for their fourth figure – Dreadnok KAOS.

04-KAOS

While on the one hand, I’m really  glad they’re dipping into the Concept Case unreleased Pursuit of COBRA items, on the other hand, this was probably my least favorite of those items.  Show me some N.O.M.A.D., Clutch, or Raven’s Wing… or heck, some of those heavy Alley Viper or HISS Drivers, too!

Figure three was revealed a couple of days back, and I gotta be honest, this is one of the coolest figures I’ve seen in a long time.  Yeah, I’m mark for most things General Hawk, but as a kid I LOVED the jet pack version of him (I wish it had been used more in the comic) and I think this is a pretty cool representation.  The colors aren’t quite right, but the build is fantastic and I just love how the figure looks.

03-General-Hawk

Figure #2…  I’m kind of blah.  For a nearly swan song Figure Subscription Service, the last thing we need is yet another COBRA Commander.  And honestly, the Arctic Version was horribly overrated just because it was a canceled figure.  If it had been released, I can almost guarantee nobody would have cared less.

That being said, I’m glad at least that the Club overhauled the parts with more modern choices so the articulation wasn’t quite so bad.  It’s an okay figure, I guess, I just don’t get the hype.

02-Arctic-CC

If you like what you see, you can sign up for FSS 7 and go crazy!

GeneralsJoes wraps up 2017 Convention Reviews

And that’s a wrap.  It always feels like the annual convention reviews are a sprint, with coordinating all of the images, the Photoshopping, the organizing and the page layouts, and then by the time the whirlwind week is over, there’s a feeling of some sort of satisfaction.

I have to be honest, though, I didn’t feel a whole lot of satisfaction with this one.  Ultimately, most of the figures and vehicles felt underserved and overpriced, which is unfortunate.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s great that the Collectors Club is able to put together these figures for a fanbase that has no other outlet currently, but in looking back even to just 2015 the blatant and obvious degradation of quality is a shame.  There were some highlights last year with Sky Patrol, several of them in fact, but this year everything felt pretty run-of-the-mill with very few exciting surprises.  I felt there was a handful of serviceable figures that did the source material right, but there really was nothing that surprised, impressed, or blew me away.  Perhaps I’m asking too much given the limited tooling supplies and resources available, but when the Club is asking nearly $1,000 for a set of exclusives, I gotta say, I expect more.

Anyway…  the last three reviews can be viewed below:

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G.I. Joe Convention 2017 BattleForce: 2000 Conquest X36

AvalancheBlasterBlockerDodgerKnockdown
MaverickB.A.T. Squad LeaderCobra B.A.T.BackstopDee Jay
COBRA CorrosionLaser ViperSky Serpent w/ Laser Viper OfficerMarauder SnowmobilesBAT Rocket Packs
Conquest X36Con Set Recap

gijcc-joecon2017-conquest-01

In 1987 Maverick piloted the Vector, a brand new, pseudo-futuristic jet as an addition to the G.I. Joe air arsenal which was even featured a few times in the G.I. Joe comics.  Fast forward several years and even though he’s dead, he gets an upgrade to a new variation of the Conquest, this time marked the X-36 instead of the typical X-30 moniker.

Fans got pretty excited when they saw the artwork for this potential upgraded plane in the convention comic with the wing format looking remarkably like the COBRA Hurricane.  But alas, when the actual physical items were revealed, it was a Conquest repaint, a new deco for the newly molded 25th Anniversary Conquest.

gijcc-joecon2017-conquest-02

The new version of the Conquest originally released several years ago was a marketable improvement over the ’86 original.  The fins stayed in far better as well as the missiles, though beyond those structural improvements, the plane looked much the same.  This one does as well.  The swept wing design of the Conquest looks nicely futuristic, although the shape of the plane is so iconic for G.I. Joe that it’s tough to see it as anything other than a Conquest with a different paint scheme.

gijcc-joecon2017-conquest-04

That being said they did a decent job mirroring the paint scheme of the Vector, and it matches Maverick pretty well, too.  I like the fact that the decal work is all applied with paint apps rather than actual stickers.  The vehicle is a pretty fun addition to the growing convention air force and makes for a neat foil for the Sky Serpent.  I’m not sure it’s worth the cost that it requires to acquire one, but on its own merits it works.