Thursday, May 31, 2012

GI Joe: Retaliation 3-Packs - Quick Thoughts

I also came across the two 3-packs of "Ninja" figures today. Just a quick rundown on thoughts for each character. 

Ninja Showdown Set
  • Storm Shadow - I am so tired of this guy. Yeah, he's cool. Blah, blah, blah. The Renegades version is the best Storm Shadow out there right now. But this is a pretty decent figure. I don't know how movie accurate he is, but not too bad - for a ninja in white. Excellent articulation!
  • Red Ninja - Straight up reuse of single pack red ninja and Renegades Storm Shadow mold. Molded in black and red. Nice!
  • Snake Eyes - Absolute Bad Ass! Almost as good as POC Snake Eyes. Almost. He really looks like a nod to version 23 of Snake Eyes. I really like Snake Eyes and he is so overused and I do grow weary of all the different versions, but this one rocks. I don't give a rat's ass about the wave 1 single pack.
Ninja Dojo Set
  • Kamakura - I really don't know know what to think about this figure. Just a weird looking ninja. I wouldn't have bought him on a single card. Not impressed.
  • Beach Head - So when did he become a ninja? Who cares? Damn fine figure. POC Snake Eyes body w POC Beach Head's... head. Works great together. New web gear that looks great. Just a little too light in the color palette of his uniform, but still the gem of this set.
  • Roadblock - Okay, Hasbro? Can you use the same colored plastic for the skin of the same character across the line? Please? Basically the same exact mold as the single pack except that he doesn't have the goofy thing molded in his hand. A lighter skin tone with a barely visible goatee and black tiger stripe camo on skin. And a loose fitting head. C'mon, man! I switched the hands with my single pack Rock, err... Roadblock. Much better!
No vehicles. The only vehicle that impresses me right now is the Ninja Combat Cruiser - or whatever the hell it is called. It's an update to the POC Vamp - a damn fine vehicle. And I'll need a couple of these updated Vamp's. But it looks like I'll have to wait until it is movie time next March. Not released with the other wave 1 stuff. Dammit.

Next week, I'll post pictures and more thoughts. Stay tuned!

GI Joe:Retaliation Figures - Just Some Quick Thoughts

I need to get down my thoughts on the Retaliation (RET) toy line in regards to what I have been able to find. By now, if you are a GI Joe fan, you know that the movie has been delayed until March 2013 and Hasbro recently stated that no more toys will be shipped beyond what is already in the hands of retailers.

Okay, so I wasn't too stressed. I can relax and be patient. Well, not really... New toys are out there and I want some! But I couldn't jump on them when Hasbro advised retailers to break street date with the inventory on hand. I had to wait.

Over the past couple of days, I was able to go on a couple toy hunts and pick up a decent selection of figures. No pictures right now - I just want to get down my raw thoughts on these figures. I'll just list them and share some thoughts. Hang on!
  • Zartan - weird figure, very much a Renegades vibe with the costume design. I recently watched the Renegades episode where he got his suit and, yeah, that's him. At least partially. Maybe there are some other added design elements beyond Renegades. It's hard to say if he looks like anything we'll see in RET.
  • Red Ninja - very nice reuse of the Renegades Stormshadow mold. Excellent colors, not so much on the gear. I want a couple more.
  • Roadblock - Yeah, he's the Rock! I get the hand-grip thingy, I really do. I know it has something to do with his weapons in RET, I understand. But I don't like it. The big goofy spring loaded weapon, yeah, I hope kids enjoy it. Not me. Limited articulation on the legs, not that big of a deal to me. Remember O-ring figs, anyone? Don't bitch about it. But this is still a damn good figure. He just needs a little bit of fixing.
  • Cobra Commander - The helmet detail is incredible! I really like this figure. Basic articulation, but still well done.
  • Duke - Busted from Captain to 1st LT. Kind of a lame figure, decent body sculpt, probably custom work ahead. Looks like a decent green shirt type body.
Passed - 

  • Single carded Snake Eyes & Storm Shadow - wise choice, better in the ninja 3-pack.
  • Cobra Trooper - Saw one, didn't care, still don't care, don't know if I ever will care. Compared to 30th Cobra troopers and Vipers? Really?
  • GI Joe Trooper - Didn't see any, dammit. Want several!

So that's it for the single carded figures that I found. More thoughts later, probably next week. With pictures!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Discount GI Joe figures - Part 1

In a surprising move, Hasbro has created a discounted line of figures that is rocking the GI Joe fan base. Six iconic characters with just a few minor paint app changes or gear changes for the low price of $6.00. 
I have been searching and searching for the past couple of weeks, trying to find these figures. Dollar General seems to be the target store. Maybe Family Dollar? Big Lots? Don't know right now.

I got lucky and found my first figure and it is actually my most desired figure - the Cobra Trooper in an all black uniform. This is just a quick review. I haven't had the chance to take pictures of the opened figure yet. Trust me, this is a damn fine figure.
The packaging is just so simple and really works well for the discount aspect of the figure. The card is smaller than a standard figure card. There is no file card - a disappointment, but not by much. I just really like the simplicity of the design of the packaging. Hasbro did a great job on these figures.
Once opened, you quickly realized that Hasbro cranked out a pretty decent figure for this discounted price. I'll review the figure in more detail in a later post, so I'll just cover some basics. The trooper uses the same mold as the POC/30th Cobra trooper. While there isn't as much gear as the POC/30th, there is just enough. Well, almost. The web gear is excellent. I think it comes from the 25th version of the Cobra officer and it works very well for this guy. A snug fit around the waist but a little loose at the shoulders. Close enough. Same helmet, just black. 
The trooper also comes with an AK-47, I don't know the origin, but it's cool. The only drawbacks to this figure are the empty pistol holster and knife sheath. No weapons included to fill them. No big deal, shop Marauder, Inc for replacements.
The only other drawback is the trooper's face. I'm kind of getting tired of this mug, but I'll deal with it. Plus the paint app is very pale. I guess he's a Night Watch commando for Cobra, because he's not getting much sunlight!
I really don't know what role this particular style of trooper will play in my twisted Joe-world. I know one thing about this guy - I need more, many more. I have around 15 of the 30th Trooper, so I'm thinking I need at least a dozen. With the less than stellar Retaliation figures, this will be an easy buy.Plus there are tons of Dollar Generals stores in my area.
The back of the card shows the other figures in this release.
Duke - in a plain green uniform - (makes a better Grunt!) Maybe a troop builder?
Snake Eyes - similar to the version 4 o-ring figure. I always liked this sculpt and am looking forward to this guy.
Shipwreck - sort of a Devil's Due/GI Joe vs Cobra look from 2002. Great custom potential as well, so I need a couple.
Cobra Commander - meh, I'll buy just one and see how he looks out of package.
Cobra Trooper - must have many!
Stormshadow - Ninja Force style uniform, except that it looks better. I'm kind of weary of Stromshadow, mainly because there have been so many lame versions of him. Not the Renegades version, that one is the ultimate Stormy. I like him, I want the figure.
Apparently there are going to be some paint app changes to these figures as well. I've seen pictures elsewhere on the inter-webs. Decent looking - we'll see.

With all the recent shenanigans about the Retaliation movie 9 month push back and concerns over the retail presence of GI Joe, I am much more interested in these figures than the movie stuff. Cheaper in cost and pretty decent updates. Maybe Hasbro can crank out some more of these as an interim product while they figure out this movie mess.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

G.I. Joe: Retaliation pushed back

So how do I keep from launching into a profanity laced tirade? 

Hasbro and Paramount have decided to push back the release of GI Joe: Retaliation until March 2013.
To add 3-D effects to the movie. What the f**k? Seriously? Am I that friggin' out of touch to still not see the relevance of 3-D movies?

I'm not paying extra for that shit.

So now there are toys for the movie on the shelves, ready to be sold. And no movie to support the line.
GI Joe is an iconic in-house Hasbro brand. And they just sh*t all over it. Again.
Yeah, it was going to be a tough fight against Spiderman and The Dark Knight Rises. But, damn, Bruce Willis and the Rock are in GI Joe!
Sure it wasn't going to be anywhere close to Avengers huge, but I'm sure it would have taken in a nice chunk o' change.
Joe fans across the inter-webs are pissed. And rightfully so. Me, too.

Friday, May 18, 2012

New Weapons from Marauder's

Sometimes, you just need to find an adequate replacement for merchandise that just doesn't seem to work out. Destro and MARS Industries has been producing weapons for Cobra for years. Cobra Commander thought that his revitalized troops needed new, revitalized weapons. That's where Marauder, Inc and the NVR Rifle comes in.
Much to Destro's dismay...
 Once I realized that this particular weapon from Marauder, Inc was loosely based on the original Viper rifle, I knew that I had to have enough for my growing army of POC/30th Vipers. The Vipers could never really hold the rifle that they came with very well. It just never seemed to fit right.
 In one of my first orders from Marauder, Inc, I had ordered a couple of these rifles, only because they looked cool. I don't know much of anything about weapons, but I knew that these were cool. These weapons just fit so much better into the grip of the Vipers. They can tuck them in tight, shoulder mount them, and just get ready to unload on the GI Joe team.
 Once I started picking up the new Vipers, I knew I needed more of these assault rifles. Unfortunately, Marauder, Inc was out! I posted a picture of them on their Facebook page and asked if more were on the way to the store. Fortunately, more were on the way! I just needed to be patient.
 Once they arrived, I knew that I had to have one for each of my Vipers. I decided to sell a mint-on-card POC Lowlight to raise the required funds. That worked out great! I made a nice profit and reinvested into more Marauder weapons. Not only did my Vipers get these new NVR's, my other Cobra troopers received some new AK-47's.
Destro is not pleased. Cobra Commander doesn't really care what he thinks. His troops are now armed with some of the best made, most affordable weapons that a maniacal despot can afford.

Friday, May 11, 2012


Black Out has always been an interesting character. He was a GI Joe wash-out whose brother and sister both became members of the GI Joe team. 

Devil's Due really went into some creative directions with this story. I don't recall Bombstrike being involved, but the conflict between the Stall brothers was a pretty intense story. Especially when Thomas Stall screwed up a mission and was imprisoned. 

He was eventually recruited by Cobra and became a part of a brutal team of Cobra agents called the Plague.

The creep also boarded a Russian sub, overpowered the crew, and launched a nuclear missile, wiping out Boston. Nasty SOB!

I have always wanted an updated version of Black Out in the modern style, but had sold off my original GI Joe vs Cobra version. I got lucky and found a very cheap copy at Joelanta 2012. All I wanted was his head!

It took me a couple tries to find the right body and web gear for my custom, but I think I'm satisfied!

Recently, I decided to try to come up with a little bit of a story line involving Thomas Stall's expulsion from GI Joe and eventual recruitment into Cobra.

You can see them here.