Spoiler alert – Figure Subscription Service 7.0 Shipment 2 is arriving in mailboxes

Wow, seems like shipment one just barely arrived.

Well, when you figure the Collectors Club has five short months to roll out two FSS’s, plus the extra 12 bonus figures, I guess they’d better move at a pretty quick pace.

As usual, JE Russel received his figures first (it pays to live close to the Club’s home office, I suppose), and I’m posting them below the “READ MORE” link below to preserve spoilers for those who are into those kinds of things.

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Figure Subscription Service 7.0 shipment one arriving in mailboxes

Reports coming from social media are revealing that the first shipment of the G.I. Joe Collectors Club second-to-last FSS have started hitting mailboxes.

I’m not sure if anyone still cares about spoilers or not… click read more for the details, and hopefully Facebook preview doesn’t blow it.

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Latest G.I. Joe Collectors Club Comic Reveals perhaps what could have been

During the History of the GIJCC Club Comic, Dave Lane made sure to point out that we may see some new characters in upcoming comics, but not to get too excited because the license was winding down and they likely wouldn’t be getting to everyone we’d be seeing.  They were placed in there as Easter Eggs primarily.

Well, the latest issue of the Club Comic has arrived in mailboxes and there are Easter Eggs aplenty, including a surprise appearance by a non-G.I. Joe character.  Generally I frown upon showing images from the Club Comic, I know they keep the monthly newsletter close to their vest, but with the license winding down in a few months, it seems like not such a big deal.

Some of these images come courtesy of The Full Force Facebook Page.  Check them out below:

First of all – look at all dat Star Brigade goodness!  Sigh…

But really it’s that second panel that has me (and plenty of other folks) excited…  Miles Mayhem sitting at the head of the table full of COBRA operatives.  It would seem, even within the Club comic, the worlds of G.I. Joe and M.A.S.K. are being linked more closely together.

Just imagine if the Club had an opportunity to do a M.A.S.K. Convention Set?  My heart weeps.  Granted, it would go pretty strongly in opposition to their recent philosophy against removable helmets.  Maybe if they’d done one with Boss Fight’s involvement in 2014…  excuse me while I go cry in a corner somewhere.

The Final JoeCon Recap 04 – The Friends

I mean, who are we all kidding?  This is what JoeCon is all about.  Even with a nearly non-existent toyline, a lack of official reveals at the convention, and the wind down of Fun Publications as a whole the entire JoeCon weekend was an absolute blast.  A whirlwind of activity, both convention related and not, and a reminder of just what these shows are all about.

It started the day I got there, Thursday, when I told myself I wasn’t going to wait in line.  I went as an Aide specifically so I could enjoy myself and not feel hamstrung by product to buy, money to spend, or lines to wait in.  Yet, still, that first night, I found myself waiting and walking through the line because so many of my friends were there.  For at least four hours I stood in lines even though I didn’t have to, just to say hi and see what I’d missed over the past few years.

 

Thursday night, me and a few friends went to the incredible WordBurglar show at a local improv, which was terrific as well.  WordBurglar is a legit G.I. Joe and 80’s fan, and he killed it both with his skills on the mic, and with his knowledge of G.I. Joe (and Nintendo for that matter).   I believe “Long Pour” himself took video of nearly the entire show

Friday I had a nice breakfast at the rocking City Diner (open 24 hours), and while I unfortunately missed the parachute drop because of it (well, maybe not so unfortunately based on what I heard about it) it was totally worth it.  That night was spent in a friend’s hotel room, talking about Japanese imports (long live Diaclone!) and introducing former Hasbro employee Mark Weber to the more intricacies of JoeCon tradition.  We also spent some time in the hotel lobby drinking beers (huge thanks to code name “Long Pour” for his constant stream of quality beverages) and just talking.  Friday also gave us our first sneak peek at the sales floor when I basked in the glory of Complex and fainted dead away when one of my buddies told me what he spent in the first fifteen minutes of the show.

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Then there was Saturday.  I opened Saturday at the diner again with another good friend, talking hobby stuff (and business stuff!), then moved to the sales floor to try and get even more facetime with the product, with friends, and with familiar vendors.  We were treated to the now infamous “Behind the Scenes of the first G.I. Joe Micro-Movie” panel and I was able to spend some serious time on the sales floor, which was great.

Saturday night brought us Casino Night, which I spent playing bingo (BANGO!) with more friends, enjoying the cosplay, and even some facetime with YoJoe admin Terry who broadcast all the way from Seattle via a telepresence robot and was able to join us all for dinner.  It was a truly fantastic moment and one of those small things that makes this show great.

The best thing about Saturday, though, happened after Casino Night when I got a chance to hang out with some long time friends at a few separate establishments in the greater Chattanooga area.  We checked out two different places, the Honest Pint and the Pickle Barrel (we had one hell of a view at the Pickle Barrel) and ended up closing both of them down.  We returned to the hotel lobby where we shut down JoeCon after hours as well, finally retiring at right around 5:00 o’clock in the morning.  Hey, at least I didn’t have to drive home on Sunday or anything…  oh, wait.  Yes I did.

Brad-and-Me

I think by now we all know what Sunday was like.  It was odd, though, there wasn’t really a feeling of melancholy, it was a mostly fun, exciting day punctuated by bouts of emotion.  The real struggle came during the last panel, when folks were gathering to say good-bye afterwards, promising each other that this wouldn’t be the last time we all saw each other, promising that there were other regional shows and we’d all meet again somewhere down the line.

Yes, this is true.  There are regional shows, and many of them, and they all have a ton of promise.  Assembly Required, Coil Con, JoeFest, each of these gatherings promise to be fun.  But will any one of them capture the breadth of attention that JoeCon did?  Will any one of them draw in so many disparate collectors under one roof?

I hope so.  I really and  truly do.  I’ve been going to JoeCon off and on (mostly on) since 2003, and in spite of a fifteen year run, I’m not ready to say good-bye to these people yet.  I’ve seen a pregnant woman in 2003 raise a child, who is now entering high school.  I’ve made new friends and I’ve lost friends along the way.  JoeCon, at least the attendees of JoeCon, have become a part of my extended family in a way that my real family will never quite know or appreciate.  It was a good run, I met some great people, and my world was made better by the folks I’ve come to know and love through JoeCon.

Until we meet again.

The Final JoeCon Recap 03 – The Sales Floor

So, when Hasbro has very little presence at JoeCon and there’s no real new product reveals, beyond the toy dealers, what is there on the sales floor to garner the interest of the fandom?

Turns out, there’s a whole bunch!

The sales floor this year was pretty amazing, actually, with a plethora of excellent dealers and a TON of G.I. Joe product (among other things).  As always, I didn’t get a ton of time to walk around, but the time I did spend was pretty incredible.  Chris Neal’s booth was astounding as usual, and I got a chance to have great conversations with Robert Atkins, Marauder John and Carson from 3D Joes.

Perhaps the most welcome and pleasant surprise, though, was the new product reveals that WERE there.  No, nothing G.I. Joe related, but several companies had a presence on the floor, introducing new product and upcoming releases.  Even if Hasbro themselves had little to share, for fans of 4″ scale action figures, there was still a LOT to love.

Complex

RagingSpoon had their brand new Complex base building kits on display and available for purchase, and by all accounts, they were exceptionally popular.  I saw folks buying all weekend long, putting things together, and really loving what they’re doing.  The diorama was amazing, and they also introduced a new “catwalk” addition that is in production phases now for a series 02 release.  Complex base building kits are still available for pre-order on SmallJoes.com and should be shipping within the next few weeks!  You can also check out my review of the Complex building kits right here on GeneralsJoes.

Eagle Force

Yes, it’s been a while since their Kickstarter was funded, but I’m happy to say things are moving right along for Eagle Force.  They had paint masters on display at the Dime Novel Legends booth and they’re looking pretty awesome!  I don’t have a precise time table for shipping yet, but it’s always cool to see the physical product out there in front of you.  It makes it a little more real.

Marauder Task Force

I was fortunate enough to get a chance to talk with Marauder John for a few minutes at the booth, and it’s always a huge pleasure.  He also had his amazing JoeCon exclusives on display along with test shots for the Exo-Suit, the K-9’s and some of the upcoming World War II Kickstarter figures!  Always a highlight of JoeCon to me.

Dime Novel Legends

Some physical samples of the upcoming Dime Novel Legends cowboy figures were also on display at the Chicken Fried Toys booth, and things look like they’re coming along very nicely there, too.  Things are still in the midst of the production process but it seems like they are moving right along.

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Animal Warriors of the Kingdom

Also at the Chicken Fried Toys booth was the latest samples from Animal Warriors of the Kingdom (Deluxe Wave up on Kickstarter now!) which featured a nice mix of samples of their Deluxe product as well as more regular releases as well.  Great stuff for 1:18 scale fans.

VSS

Okay, this blew me away!  An amazing project that looks to take a well-designed schematic and make “build to order” sets for the Venomous Sea Serpent, a COBRA-themed aircraft carrier/attack boat.  It looks like a spectacular display piece and it was great talking to the folks behind it.  More information can be found right here as well as in the Facebook group.

JoeDeclassified

I need to take a moment to talk about JoeDeclassified as well, even though I couldn’t take any pictures of their fantastic booth.  Pete Hubner was there with his 2-up collection and it was IN-SANE.  Dude even had a Hit & Run 2-up.  As always, the DeClassified guys were very awesome, had a fantastic freebie, and always a steady stream of people in and around their booth.  One of the highlights of JoeCon for sure.

All things considered, the sales floor was pretty amazing this year, full of great product, access to awesome Joe-lebrities and some really cool new reveals to keep things interesting.

The Final JoeCon Recap 01 – The Lead Up

As I’m writing this from a hotel room in Roanoke, Virginia, running on about 10 hours of sleep over three nights, I’m still trying to gather my thoughts together as I decompress from another three days of JoeCon whirlwind.  Add that to the fact that there’s some emotional residue from this being the final JoeCon and this is an incredibly difficult recap to write.

I’d like to say that this year I performed some social experiment (rather than the fact that I just didn’t have the funds) but I made a conscious decision this year to go to JoeCon for the specific purpose of enjoying the people and enjoying the content.  I purposefully did not buy a boxed set nor any exclusives, not only because money is a little sketchy at the moment, but also because I was determined to enjoy JoeCon without the hassle of waiting in lines or the stress of trying to budget $1,000 for toys I don’t necessarily need.  That left the event a bit more “pure” where I could focus just on the people and the event itself, and I have to be honest – it was the right decision (for me).

One recurring theme throughout this final JoeCon was that these events are supposed to be about “people, not plastic” yet routinely, every year, it seems the acquisition of collectible figures is the primary goal for many in attendance.  So much so that they risk knocking over children in order to get a rare figure.  The despicable nature of that specific act aside, not feeling committed to buying things went a very long way towards making this whole event far more enjoyable, at least for me.

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Image courtesy of JoeCustoms.com!

But at its core, this was still being billed as “The Final JoeCon” which automatically made it a significant event in G.I. Joe history.  Counting what has come before it’s been over twenty years since there was no G.I. Joe convention held every year and when you plan your yearly schedule around an event like this, its loss will leave a void.

Over the next few days I hope to break down the different elements of this final JoeCon and explore what made it memorable, and use this as a forum for decompressing and understanding where G.I. Joe was in 2003 compared to where it stands now.

The years 2002 and 2003 felt like the beginning of a bright era of G.I. Joe history.  Joe Vs. Cobra had morphed into o-rings (plus we were getting classic figures via Toys “R” Us), we were fully immersed in a new Devils’ Due comic, and life certainly looked to be good.  Now, things don’t feel quiet as rosey.

But in spite of that, for one extended weekend at least, G.I. Joe fever was in full effect and the brand we all love was at the forefront of everyone’s mind.

Clearing up some confusion – The “Final Twelve”

So another whirlwind weekend at JoeCon has come and gone, and as many folks have likely noticed, I didn’t spend a whole lot of time reporting news from this last JoeCon (mostly for my own sanity).

However, there were some exciting announcements at the “Last Panel” today that I wanted to touch on because I’ve seen some folks who are a little confused about how it all works.

1) The previously announced Night Stalker 3-Pack is still being released in the 4th quarter this year, with three different ethnically diverse head sculpts, using the same builds as the GIJCC female COBRA Troopers

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2) There is a new Ninja Force Zartan w/ motorcycle exclusive coming out, which Dave Lane specifically mentioned should make the choice for the 13th figure in FSS 8 more evident.  From the looks of it, Zartan will be using the same head sculpt as the Con set’s Sgt. Smasher.

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3) Along with these, Hasbro and the Club have worked out a way to release a special “Final Twelve” assortment.  While these will be 12 figures like the FSS, this is NOT an FSS.  The figures will be packaged in two-packs in similar themes, and available for standard pre-order, then shipped in FSS-style boxes.  The Final Twelve 2-Packs are as follows:

Slaughter Marauder’s Barbecue and Low Light

Modern style figures with the classic Marauder’s paint apps to blend with the Con set

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“Black Spider” Rendezvous Adventure Team vs. Coils O’Doom

Another Adventure Team figure (since the past ones sold so well) along with a brand new Coil character (with ties to Crimson Asp) who is inspired by a character spoken about on the “Regular Joes” podcast

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Sonic Fighter Dodger vs Sonic Fighter Viper

Dodger and COBRA Viper in Sonic Fighter deco

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Sonic Fighter Falcon vs Sonic Fighter Road Pig

Falcon and Road Pig in Sonic Fighter deco

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Euro Tiger Force Hit & Run (AWESOME!) and Euro Tiger Force Psyche Out (Fetal position Christopher McLeod not included)

Modern style figures in the vintage UK exclusive Tiger Force deco’s

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Euro Tiger Force Tunnel Rat and Euro Tiger Force Blizzard

Modern style figures in the vintage UK exclusive Tiger Force deco’s

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I know I’ve been pretty clear in the past that I’m not especially enamored with constant vintage revisitations, but I have to admit, one final burst to fill in a few slots in the vintage line is a pretty cool idea, and I am THRILLED to get one last Hit & Run figure, especially in this awesome paint scheme.  This was a really nice surprise for that last panel, and I’m glad they did it, and especially happy for Chris McLeod from The Full Force, because I know how much he loves those UK Tiger Force figures.

Speaking of The Full Force, be sure you’re checking their Facebook page as they have been live streaming and posting videos straight from JoeCon.  FUUUULLL FOOOORCE!!

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.

 

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