Old School Creations spreading the O-Ring love!

For those of us who have been around the online Joe community for a while, the apparent disdain for the o-ring format is downright startling.  As someone who took part in the O-Ring MIA adventures of the early 2000’s (when Hasbro dared to omit the beloved o-ring from their G.I. Joe relaunch in 2002) seeing widespread adoption of an o-ringless format is amazing.  Of course it certainly helps that Hasbro is able to design figures that retain their full articulation and functionality without that pesky piece of fragile rubber.

Even though modern action figure design makes the o-ring at least somewhat obsolete, there is a strong segment of the fandom who holds tightly to that format and strongly believes that it is a viable action figure standard today.  I would absolutely agree with that.  Many fans complain about the dated look of the o-ring figures, but I stand by the fact that this is mostly due to the reused tooling from 25 years ago and is not indicative of the format itself.  If Hasbro and/or the Collectors’ Club turned up the dial on their sculpting with the o-ring format in mind, I think it could still work nicely.

Well, Old School Creations certainly agrees with this, and they’re working hand-in-hand with Slayer Design Studios to keep the o-ring love alive, and I love them for it.  They have some very exciting things planned, and you can check out an email below announcing their latest membership incentive drive and some talk about the fantastic projects that are on their plate.  Old school Real American Hero fans should be ALL OVER this.  Check out the details below, and make a stop over at the OSC Message Boards to share the o-ring love.

All right! BIG ANNOUNCEMENT!

The club is beginning work on the club exclusive ARAH action figures!

The staff is now compiling a list of ten choices (skimmed from the lists of suggestions submitted by users in the ARAH suggestions area) which members will then vote on to select the first figure.

The club will be doing four figures per year plus one bonus figure. We also have an ARAH special edition, “Unmasked Head Set.” in the works. This set will include up to 6 character heads sans masks.

Subscriptions will cost $100 for the full year. Those that pay the entire year’s subscription will then get to select from two choices of a BONUS FIGURE as an incentive that will be absolutely free! The only way to get the bonus figure will be pay the year’s subscription all at once.

Want a hint on the bonus figures?  They’re both bad guys and they’re both army builders.

While each club figure will cost $25, additional figures may be purchased at a much reduced cost.

About the Process:

Each figure will be a FULL figure with original head, arms, torso, waist and legs all sculpted by the Slayer Design team!  While heads and torsos may be available in the Slayer store at a later date, full figures can only be had through the club as each figure is a club exclusive.

Please keep in mind that this is not an overnight process, which is why we’ve limited the number to four per year. Each figure will take approximately 3-4 months as there is a lot of work to be done:

1. Design

2. Sculpting

3. Molding

4. Casting

5. Assembly of arms

6. Packaging

7. Mailing

This is an involved process, but we promise it will be well worth it! You will see characters that Hasbro never made AND NEVER WILL MAKE in the ARAH style!

Have you been wanting a Pythona since 1987? Better get on the forums and VOTE, because, SHE’S ON THE LIST.

These figures are a labor of love for the OSC staff. Basically, the club is a way for ARAH enthusiasts to pool their resources and get characters into their collections that would NEVER be made otherwise!

This is also your chance to design a figure or two!

Have a sweet idea for a figure? We have sculpting sheets that are done up in blue line that you are able to draw over. Submit them to the forums, who knows? Maybe you’ll see them in plastic!

We are making arrangements to ensure that those who do not desire to paint their own figures will have access to talented painters to finish their figures.

More details to follow.

OSC is about to take off, be a part of it!

We’ll see you on the forums!

G.I. Joe Collectors’ Club Roundtable intel – O-ring, it was nice knowing you.

It is with heavy heart that I confirm what I’m sure everyone has heard elsewhere already…  according to Brian, Lanny, Dave, and Pete of the G.I. Joe Collectors’ Club, by and large the o-ring is dead.

So why talk about this now?  The roundtable was two days ago, right?

As anyone knows, I’m a fan of the G.I. Joe brand.  I’m not married or tied to any particular style (or even size), if the toy has the spirit and energy that I think G.I. Joe should have, I enjoy it.  But without a shadow of a doubt, the G.I. Joe that sparked this interest and stoked the flame of my fandom for so many years was the vintage Real American Hero line.  Many fans have moved on…many folks that are current Joe fans have totally embraced the new modern era styling and articulation, and that’s fine.  I’m actually happy about that.  But for a select group, the o-ring being gone is a very sad day.  It marks the end of an era and the official demise of what was the most influential action figure line in the history of boys toys.

In my own experience, the o-ring was really the foundation of all great boys toys.  Nothing really compared.  Three of my favorite toylines from “back in the day” were G.I. Joe, Visionaries, and COPS, and obviously they all shared the same construction and same design.  Sure, I dipped into the Transformers world, I bought some He-Man stuff, and Secret Wars made an appearance here and there.  But none of them moved the right way.

Now, it’s a new generation, and the movement of the o-ring can be simulated without an o-ring.  For some that’s a great thing.  After all, less rubber rot, and less chance of picking up your favorite figure only to have it disintegrate in your hands.  In every way that matters, modern  construction and articulation is better than what we had.  But, there is a certain nostalgic joy to an o-ring figure, and the idea that we may never see another one again (or very rarely at any rate) does make me sad.

So now it’s time to look forward.  This is a good springboard into the next generation.  The sculpting, design, and articulation of the modern era figures is suddenly surging through the roof, and they are looking better and better every time Hasbro touches them.  For crying out loud, look at this:

The difference is astounding.

So, no, I’m not upset about the o-ring because I think o-ring toys are superior.  In many ways they are not.  But they do represent a major part of my childhood and part of me still longs for a day when they might make a return.  But every time I look at bad ass Pursuit of Cobra toys I’m a little less bothered.

But just a little.