Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Ninjas, Ninjas, Ninjas!


Really? Can we ever be done with ninjas? Not with the GI Joe line. Especially not when one of the coolest characters is turned into super-bad ninja mo-fo. Sometimes you just got to get sick and tired of all these damn ninjas!

Unless the toys are really bad-ass! As my ninja collection began to grow, I thought about uses for these different colored ninja uniforms. I thought about each "color" representing a different ninja clan. The first picture is just a quick and dirty idea of Stormshadow gathering members of the three most powerful ninja clans in an attempt to join together against a common foe. But is that common foe GI Joe or Cobra? Time will tell, loyal reader. (yeah, both of you!)

The red ninjas from the Retaliation toy line turned out fantastic. I don't really care about the string-things and they could have used more gear, but they look pretty damn cool. Based on the awesome Renegades/30th version of Stormshadow, they only varied in lower leg construction, allowing them to have rocker ankles.

Supposedly, there is a "movie accurate" red ninja on the way in a few months. We'll see. I wasn't too impressed with the preproduction pictures.

Next up in the Retaliation line were the "dark" ninjas. Oooh, scary! Clothed in dark gray and black uniforms, these ninjas are straight repaints of the Stormshadow molds. I don't even remember the gear that they came with. But they still look cool as crap!

The last set of ninjas in the above picture, besides Stormy, are the "Ninja Force" versions of Stormy found at Dollar General stores. I know, you question my sanity. That's a picture with three Stormshadows in it. Nope, not to me. The Dollar General version of Stormshadow uses basically the same body as Renegades Stormshadow, which is just so damn cool, I couldn't buy just one and quit. (hoping to see orange sherbert Stormy soon!)

So I twisted my sanity a little more and now consider these guys to be another ninja clan. I really had to force myself to stop at just five of these guys because they are so damn cool. I didn't let myself get psycho about them like the DG Blackshirts. (12!)

The guy in the center has "Kamakura's" head from that lame-ass three-pack movie version.

Damn, that figure sucked! I know, the head originally came from Stormy version 67 or 93 or whatever. I don't get that picky.

Ninjas do have a place in my twisted Joe-verse, mainly as a different entity in the battle between GI Joe and Cobra. At least they don't suck as bad as Drednoks.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Spoiler Alert!!

Not really...

Since Blackout has been revealed to be the mystery 13th figure from the Club's FSS round 1, I thought I would post a quick picture of my custom Blackout figure.
I don't remember where my original thoughts for a Blackout custom came from. I sold off most of my SpyTroops figures a few years ago, so I didn't have one to chop up.

I think I had tried a few customs with some Spytroops or Venom vs Valor figures; cutting off the neck posts and drilling out a hole into the neck.

Once I had a few of the awesome POC Snake Eyes figures, I knew that body would be a great base for Blackout. It wasn't until Joelanta from two years ago that I was able to stumble across a loose Blackout figure. It wasn't too soon after I got him home that he underwent surgery.

Oh yeah, I really dig his backstory! Check out this earlier post about Blackout.

My first attempt at a Blackout custom involved using the POC Snake Eyes body, but I eventually switched to the Dollar General Cobra Trooper in the black uniform.

I think this works better for a custom. My opinion, yours may differ.

Monday, May 20, 2013

GI Joe Collectors Club - FSS-02

The GI Joe Collectors Club is wrapping up their first Figure Subscription Service with the mystery 13th figure now shipping with the last two figures.

Barely anyone reads this blog, so - SPOILER ALERT - the 13th figure is BlackOut. From the pictures that I have seen, the club did a decent job, but I'm not upset that I missed him. I made my own version well before this figure was revealed with a POC Snake Eyes body and BlackOut's head modded to fit on the neck peg. Works just fine for me.

Figure Subscription Service #2 is underway for sign-ups and time is rapidly running out. The deadline is two days away as I write this entry. If I'm going to get on board, I need to decide quickly.

I thought I would do a quick review of each of the proposed FSS02 figures and share my thoughts about them. (left to right, top row to bottom)

  1. Dragonsky - the October Guard flame projection specialist. I don't have any other October Guard figures in my collection and I really don't see myself pursuing any other OG figures. Dragonsky would hit the secondary market pretty quickly.
  2. Bombardier - based on an Action Force prototype that was an elusive figure to uncover. The story behind Bombardier is pretty cool. Possible keeper, not 100% sure.
  3. Falcon - in his Night Force colors. Falcon has always been one of my favorite Joe characters. Yes, I even like him more than Snake Eyes! His transition to the new figure style started out horrifically, with redemption coming via the Slaughther's Marauders 7-pack from BBTS. The new color palette looks great! A definite keeper!
  4. Ship-wreck - in Tiger Force colors, based on a South American design. I am so over Shipwreck and his silly sailor suit. Off to the secondary market.
  5. Skull Buster - the unit commander of the Cobra Range Vipers, straight repaint, just like the original O-ring version. Not overly impressed. I like the mold, unsure if he would be a keeper.
  6. Airtight - in Tiger Force colors, based on a South American design. The 30th upgrade to Airtight is nothing short of action figure excellence. No exceptions to this guy. The tiger stripes look pretty cool, too! Keeper!
  7. Tollbooth - not only Yes, but Hell Yes! I sort of have an emotional attachment to Tollbooth. My wife bought me the Bridgelayer as a Christmas present the year before we were married, so I've always had a soft spot for Chuck X. Goren (X for nothing). Plus I really dig the character of a combat engineer. DEFINITE KEEPER!
  8. Cesspool - the bad guy behind Cobra's daliance in eco-terrorism. he was always an interesting character and the club appears to be doing him justice. One can never have too many bad guys. Cesspool is a keeper!
  9. Widescope - I'm really excited to see a new sculpt era figure in the FSS, but I'm not overly impressed. He's just a Cobra Shock trooper body with a reused sock-head. Nothing special about the gear. lamont looks like a straight remold of original. Maybe a keeper, maybe not.
  10. Big Bear - another member of the October Guard. Don't have any others, as previously noted. Nice original o-ring version, but I would let him go to the secondary market.
  11. Desert Scorpion - the original o-ring version kinda' sucked in my opinion, so I'm already biased by that suckiness. I'm not impressed. Somebody will want to troop build him. Off to the secondary market.
  12. Admiral Keel Haul - another Hell Yes! Another sentimental favorite! I never had the Flagg and knew I would never really want the 7' long beast, so I resigned myself to possibly never having the figure. years and years and years ago, somehow I came across the information that Chuck E. Cheese had Admiral Keel Haul as a prize give-away. Well, off I went to the nearest Chuck E. Cheese and checked in and sure enough, they had him. Fortunately, I didn't have to play a million games of Skee-ball to earn tickets to get him. I think I paid less than $10.00 for him. Well worth it! Hasbro did a damn fine job with the original figure and it looks like the club did a great job as well. We'll never see another USS Flagg at retail, so this is a great way to add the Admiral to the collection. Another definite keeper!
  13. unknown... Who knows? Wait and see...
Of the twelve known FSS02 figures, that puts the score at:
  • Keepers - 5
  • Maybes - 3
  • Sell 'em - 4
My biggest concern is that these figures price out at $25.50 each prior to shipping costs. Damn, that's a lot of money! Yeah, I know, I'm a cheap-skate. Where else would I be able to get them? Hasbro apparently ok'd these guys for the Club, because they won't be doing them.

I suppose the question would be if I can resell the ones I don't want for enough extra to lower the overall cost of the ones I want to keep. I haven't done any research on the secondary market of the first FSS figures, but I think I wouldn't have any problems reselling them for at least what I paid for them. I hope...

Do I pull the trigger or not? The clock is ticking...