Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Recap: FSS 4.0

Just some quick random thoughts about FSS 4.0 now that it's done and all of the figures have been released. Of the three FSS series that I have been a part of, I can't say that this group has been my favorite bunch. Quick thoughts of each figure to follow.
  1. Interrogator - great figure, weak choice of head under the helmet.
  2. Night Creeper/Ice Ninja - sold
  3. Nunchuk - great figure, I changed out his web gear 
  4. Inferno BAT - pass - sold
  5. Tiger Force Outback - great head sculpt, body is a bit too small compared to head sculpt?
  6. Barricade - those arms... I really liked original figure. This guy? Not so much
  7. Tiger Force Sneak Peek - very nicely done! Great figure
  8. Billy, CoCo's son - great head sculpt, a bit too large on body choice. I added new web gear
  9. Law & Order - traditional colors, I like Renegades version better. Sold
  10. Jammer - large head syndrome, decent figure
  11. Pathfinder - a bit odd parts selection, bits don't quite mesh together
  12. Bullhorn - great figure but that 90's headband had to go!
  13. Carla "Doc" Greer - great mystery figure
Of the three FSS series that I've been involved with, I'm going to have to go with FSS 3.0 as my favorite group. Time will tell for FSS 5.0.

How about you? Which group has been your favorite?

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

GI Joe Club FSS 5.0 Reveals

All the shenanigans seem to have settled down about the reveals for the Club's FSS 5.0 set of figures. I've been it a bit of a funk lately, at least in relation to toys and stuff. Surgery, new job, moving... it's all piled up to make for an interesting summer. The toys and this silly blog got put to the side for a while.

I've signed up for FSS 5.0 and have previously been a part of FSS 2.0, 3.0, and 4.0. I figured that I might as well throw out my two cents about the troops for FSS 5.0. Nothing better than sharing your opinion on the internet, right?

I loaded the pictures as to how I had saved them, not in the sequence that they were released. So, what the hell? Let's get going.
First up is Ambush. I wasn't really a huge fan of the original figure and I think that the Club did a decent enough job in capturing the essence of the character. As has been pointed out elsewhere, his neck seems extra long with that head propped up on that collar. Maybe it's just a pre-production issue and hopefully it will be resolved. In general, I'm in favor of this figure.
Next up is the Viper based on version 4 from 1994. I really didn't like the original figure much. I'm sure I bought a few, but nowhere near the amount of regular Vipers that I would have bought back in '86. Now we have another troop builder from the Club. I can't really fault the Club, primarily because the Cobra figures were largely the troops, with the individual personalities being a smaller amount. I think the figure looks well made, but I just don't know yet if I'm going to keep him. The design doesn't really fit into the design of the current modern Vipers or Cobra soldiers. Right now, I'm thinking he's going to head to the secondary market. I'm thinking I should be able to turn him for a decent profit.
Next up is Charbroil, another figure that wasn't terribly exciting in his original form. I think the Club did a decent job with him. I like this design over the Hasbro Blowtorch design. Charbroil is a keeper.
Next up is Darklon. The Club used the character in one of the recent Convention sets and he looked pretty good. I don't recall the build and I'm too lazy to go look it up right now. I think the Club did a great job; I think the parts choices work. I've always liked the character and will be pleased to add him to my collection.
No, this isn't Gung Ho. This is his Action Force counterpart, Gaucho. The original Gaucho was just a repaint of the original Gung Ho, so... yeah... Easy figure for the Club. He's way too much like Gung Ho for him to fit into my GI Joe world. I don't know what I'm going to do with this figure. Keep or sell? Time will tell. 
Next up is General Flagg. I like the design from the Club. Not sure how well that hat is fitting on his head, but the build looks pretty decent. I'm looking forward to adding him to my team.
Raptor? The Club decided to tackle Raptor? They certainly did and they did a damn fine job. I've seen customs in which the jungle viper "wings" were used for Raptor customs and I'm pleased that the Club went the same direction. The "wings" work great for Raptor and I'm excited about adding this goofball to my Cobra lineup.
I have always liked the character of Scoop. A combat journalist always sounded like a cool part of the team. Those odd combat jobs, like the journalist or the combat engineer (Tollbooth) always appealed to me. I think the Club captured his look well enough, but I'm disappointed that the head sculpt has a non removeable helmet.
Sneak Peek in his more accurate colors is up next. I liked the FSS 4.0 Tiger Force version and this guy looks just fine as well. Lazy on the part of the Club? Yeah, maybe, but it makes sense. I'm not sure why Tiger Force came out before this regular version, but either way, this figure works. I'm pleased to add him to my team.
Next up is Steel Raven, from the Club's comic story. Loosely based on a SKAR character from GI Joe: Extreme. Wow! The Club dipped into the mutant cousin/line of GI Joe? Not bad! There's been some criticism about Steel Raven looking like a female Major Bludd. Yeah, maybe. Whatever. I think she looks pretty good and well designed. 
Next up is Xamot, from the "Shattered Glass" storyline from the Club's Adventure Team comic. Whatever the backstory, we have one of the twins in a business suit. I'm quite pleased with this choice. Does the Club have plans for Tomax? Maybe in the future? 
Next up is the biggest source of nerd rage of FSS 5.0 - Salvo. This is the first concept from the Club and the Joe fan community exploded in a fury of outrage! Personally, I didn't care too much at the time. I've always imagined that the Club has to use what Hasbro allows them to use. Apparently the fan base interpreted the somewhat bulky original figure with the idea that Salvo had to be a big dude. Nerd outrage ensued... But the fan base did a good thing. They politely went to the Club's forums and reacted in a positive fashion, which resulted in...
This new version of Salvo. The Club offered up a design using the Retaliation Roadblock torso which gives Salvo much more bulk to him, much more in line with the muscular original figure. I've got to admit, the fan base did a good thing and I'm really hoping that the Club can create this version of Salvo.

Finally, there will be the mystery 13th figure. The Club has revealed that the figure will be a female figure and a "highly requested GI Joe team member." So what does that mean? Sounds interesting, I'm looking forward to seeing who it will be.

I was pretty much sold on FSS 5.0 from just the original line up and the release of the preproduction designs further completed my buy in of the line up. Right now (only considering the 12 named figures), it looks like there are ten solid keepers, with the Viper being a probable sale and Gaucho being on the fence as to what his final fate will be in the end.

My only real complaint with the Club and the FSS figures is the lack of communication. I don't want to know all of their business, but keep the fans updated on production and expected shipping delivery times. Just give us something once in awhile. Please.

One last question - Will the last figures from FSS 5.0 be released before the 2017 Convention? I certainly hope so.

Thursday, September 15, 2016


having the qualities of surrealism; bizarre.
"a surreal mix of fact and fantasy"
synonyms: unreal, bizarre, unusual, weird, strange, freakish, unearthly, uncanny, dreamlike, phantasmagorical

Life has been a bit "surreal" these days and this silly blog has suffered because of it. I suppose I can't really be blamed. After all, I did have my chest cut open around nine weeks ago. Damn, nine weeks? That's just weird. I had a quadruple bypass just a little over nine weeks ago.

That's some crazy stuff. No prior symptoms and I have heart surgery. WTF? Here's a quick run down. I think I wrote about this previously, but personally, I need to just hash it out again.

July 5th, I go to my cardiologist and he recommends a cardiac cath. July 11th, cardiac cath, no damage to heart, but significant blockages. July 13th, quadruple bypass. After that? Just recovery, lot's of recovery.

I'm finally back to work. This is actually my fourth week back. I'm better, much better, but there's still a bit to go. Cardiac rehab is in the near future. I'm actually looking forward to it. I want my strength back, but one step at a time.

My faithful reader(s) have probably noticed that the blog pretty much sucks right now. I just haven't been into it right now. The toys are mostly packed up with no room to unpack them. Inspiration is at a bit of a low point right now. I'm not stressing, it will return one day.

Another aspect of the feeling of "surreal" is our move during July/August. We found a house in a new neighborhood in Canton, GA around two weeks prior to surgery, sold our house in McDonough the next weekend, which was just nearly prior to the surgery.

We moved from McDonough to Canton in early August, only a little over four weeks after surgery. We're well established in our new home, but something still feels a bit off. It doesn't quite feel like "home" yet. I don't know why. The house is fantastic, but it's just not quite homey yet. I'm sure it will come.

And then there's the new job. I was at my previous school for eleven years with quite a unique culture. My new school is quite different, and yet, regardless of race, adults can still screw up their kids pretty well.

Life is good, health is better and better every day, but life still seems a bit off. Surreal, I suppose. No regrets at all, it's just an odd feeling. But it gets better every day.

I need to get this nonsense blog rolling again. I've got some 4" Aliens to review as well as initial thoughts on the reveals from the Club's FSS 5.0 lineup.

Bear with me, loyal readers, I'll be back soon. It's been a crazy summer.