Wednesday, November 22, 2017

FSS 7 Reveals

The Club recently announced the list of figures for FSS 7.0. As stated at last year's convention, their plans are to push out the last few rounds of the FSS pretty quickly. The Club has lost the license for GI Joe and Transformers back to Hasbro and they are wrapping up their products. There's supposed to be an FSS 8.0 as the final round and I think that there was one or two figures listed, but I don't recall them right now.

FSS 7.0 is supposed to start shipping nearly immediately after FSS 6.0 wraps up. I suppose that may be the plan for FSS 8.0 as well. Throw in the convention set for next year and it's going to be expensive!

The due date for ordering FSS 7.0 is December 4th or 5th; fast approaching. There's a part of me that would like to be able to resist and just stop. Yeah, I can afford them, but still, they are expensive. I'll probably jump in primarily for the reason that I don't want to miss out on any figures or pay secondary market prices.

I'll keep this post first on the blog until the Club has finished with the reveals.
  1. Dusty & Sandstorm - okay, so the original o-ring figure was mediocre at best. This new update is, well, fairly mediocre. The original paint apps were a bit too muted and the Club went back with a new design. Looks much better. Other complaints include that Sandstorm is not a coyote. Whatever. Who cares? Additionally, the Club used Falcon's head instead of the PoC Dusty head, which they have used before. Why did they do that? Well, the original o-ring version is wearing a beret. What other modern figure head sculpt has a beret? Stalker? uh, no... Flint? no, it's obviously Flint... Sgt Stone? oh yeah... used as Skip. What about the movie Flint head sculpt? licensing issue? Well, what about Falcon with a removable beret? Well that would work, but be prepared for outrage! sigh... #casuals
  2. Cobra Commander - in cold weather gear. Looks like the version from the animated movie. The design is fine, just not really impressive. But why didn't the Club use this or that part or sculpt a new coat? Sigh... #casuals
  3. General Hawk - I really liked the original o-ring version of Jet Pack Hawk. Cool design and just an awesome update to Hawk. Sure, a General wouldn't be out in active combat like the figure, but who cares? It's GI Joe! The Club has done a great update to the idea of that original figure. Fairly predictable in the parts choice, but that's what they have to use. so I'm digging the design. Which head did they go with? Here's hoping that they were able to use the head from the Resolute Arctic Duke figure. That would rock!
  4. Dreadnok Kaos - who or what is this? Apparently, this is a Dreadnok "troop builder" from the Hasbro Concept Case from a few years ago. Maybe? I don't know exactly. I'm kinda' over the whole Dreadnok team in my GI Joe world, so I'm not terribly excited by this figure. Looks like a solid figure and I'm sure that I could find a place for him as an independent Cobra contractor or just a maniac that the GI Joe team needs to take down.
  5. Treadmark - did they lose the trademark or are they avoiding the negative connotations of the original name - Skidmark. Sadly, I never got the joke when I bought the original. Whoosh! Right over my head! I really liked the design of Skidmark. Yeah, he was brightly colored, but he was also a very solid design. The Club has done an effective job of recreating the figure and I like him. The biggest issue right now from the fans is that the sleeves and the shirt don't seem to match in material. Fair enough, but it may have to do with a torso that can wear that vest. Maybe the Club will revisit the design before production? 
  6. Tomax - from the Shattered Glass comic series from the Club magazine? Or just completing the Crimson Twins in suits. Whatever, I like the idea of Tomax and Xamot in suits. Very cool! Much like Xamot, Tomax is suffering from an enlarged cranium. Please keep it jumbo, so that they both can match in their bobble-headedness.
  7. Jinx - Tiger Force Jinx with an unmasked head. Was there ever an o-ring Tiger Force Jinx? I don't recall. She did make an appearance in the Club comic, so that kind of justifies her inclusion. The unmasked head was supposed to look like the character from the animated movie. Yeah, somewhat, but I like this head sculpt better than the face from the movie. Looks similar and yet more realistic than a 'toon head.
  8. Ice Viper Officer - Okay, yeah, this figure looks cool. (pun intended) Looks to be very well made with a solid design. I never picked up the vehicle set with the Cobra Wolf and the Ice Viper driver. Therefore, I really don't have a lot of personal interest in the figure. Plus, while I understand why the Club has to go with Cobra soldiers, I don't really like expensive troop builders. I'm guessing that I could make a few extra bucks selling this figure on the secondary market. Nothing wrong with the figure, but I probably won't keep him.
  9. Budo - A Black Friday reveal! Looks pretty good. I think the Club did a decent job of recreating Budo. The Retaliation version was really quite amazing, but was essentially a traditional samurai warrior. I thought that that figure was decent enough, but was just very out of place with the rest of GI Joe. This new version maintains some traditional elements, but does not have quite the full samurai look. I saw one suggestion online that called for more traditional pants and military boots for Budo; that would have been pretty cool.
  10. Kangor - South American repaint of Big Boa - Hell Yes! Missed Big Boa in FSS 1.0. I'll just consider this guy as a Big boa repaint.
  11. Sgt Stalker - Arctic Ranger Stalker - sounds awesome! And he turned out awesome! OMG, I hate teh head sculpt!!! RAGE RAGE RAGE... geeze... I believe that's the head sculpt that was used for Tiger Force Stalker and Jammer from the past few years of FSS and Con sets. I think he looks very well done. I was never really excited by the kayak with the original figure; I suppose it's okay.
  12. Crystal Ball - one of the lamest GI Joe/Cobra figures ever - looking forward to see what the Club does. Remember Raptor? I think the Club did a decent job with Crystal Ball. I'm digging the head sculpt. The single jointed knees are all the focus of nerd rage on various Facebook pages. Decent update to another of the Cobra weirdos.

    Well that wraps up the reveals for FSS 7.0. Registration is due by December4th. I'm pretty sure that I'll jump on board for this FSS. I'm thinking that I'll do it primarily because we're close to the end of the Club's time with GI Joe and I really want to get these last sets of characters.

    In my opinion, General Hawk, Treadmark, Kangor, Stalker, and Crystal Ball are the five strongest figures. FSS 6 seems to be a bit more exciting to me than FSS 7.

    I'm guessing that 2018 will pretty much wrap up the relationship between the Collectors Club and Hasbro. The future of GI Joe will rest solely in the hands of Hasbro and Paramount since they have the movie license. Time will tell, I suppose. Honestly, I would be just fine if I'm done with GI Joe at the end of 2018. There are chunks of my collection that I would like to eliminate and I'd probably just want to stick with a mostly figure based collection. Maybe I can dig in and work on some diorama sets. Heck, maybe I'll actually dig in and start writing down all of these stories in my head. Hopefully...

FSS 6.0: Dojo & Captain Skip

Well, it certainly didn't take long for the next shipment of FSS 6.0 to arrive. One week after the first shipment? I don't know what the story behind that was, but I don't really care. New figures!
The next two figures are Dojo and Captain Skip. Captain who?
First up is Dojo. Okay, the original Ninja Force figures were some crazy looking figures. Usually bright colors and wild designs. Initial thoughts of the design of modern Dojo were pretty rough. But he actually turned out pretty well, considering the goofiness of the character. The Club matched the goofiness quite well. The head sculpt turned out quite nicely. Much speculation is running around the various Facebook groups about the idea that the head sculpt can be easily reused as Headman. Will the DEF be next year's convention set? Sounds good to me!
Minor issues with Dojo. Including the sash and the harness makes for a bit of bulkiness in his gear. Without the harness, he looks a bit casual. Maybe off duty and hanging out around base.
The harness looks a little better by itself, but it seems a bit loose. Minor issue, but not that big of a deal.
So who is Captain Skip? I believe that he was a character from the Palitoy line before they got use of the original o-ring molds back in the 80's. I've seen pictures of a 5 POA figure in the same color palette. 
Captain Skip is a member of Z Force, a branch of the Special Action Force from Britain. The Club did a great job with the build and the Rise of Cobra Sgt. Stone head sculpt works quite well for Skip. Seems like there's always an issue with most Club figures, from minor to serious flaws. Skip's issue? Poor choice of web gear. The web gear actually looks fantastic, but it just doesn't really fit on Skip. It just seems a bit too loose. I'll probably switch it out with some other gear.

Overall, these are two fairly solid figures in their design and execution. Four great figures from the Club lead off the FSS 6.0 releases. Who's next? I'm seriously doubting that the next set will come out next week. I certainly won't complain if they do!

Stay tuned!

FSS 6.0: Hardtop & Cross Hair

FSS 6.0 started shipping just a few weeks ago and the first two figures arrived in my mailbox on November 13th. My Club magazine seemed to have been running a bit behind, so it was nice to get both in the mail on the same day.
The shipment had already been "spoiled" online, which really doesn't bother me much. Everyone knows who is coming, they just don't know who is in each shipment.
First up is Hardtop and Cross Hair.
Nice to see the Defiant Crawler driver get remade in the modern format. It was a pretty safe bet that the Club would use the Tollbooth head sculpt as Hardtop. No helmet mic, but that's not a big deal to me.
The build of Hardtop is simple and effective. I'm not sure of the parts, but they certainly work well together. I would have to say that Hardtop is one of the best figures that the Club has put out. Top ten easily.
Next up is Cross Hair. This figure turned out quite well also. There was an issue with the original design regarding the web gear. Fortunately, the Club revisited their design and used a different set of web gear. Much better!
While this is a great weapon to include with Cross Hair, it really doesn't work too well. Yeah, it's cool that the rifle breaks down into the case and I suppose it was an easy to use accessory since Hasbro had recently used it with Shooter, but it has issues.
It just doesn't stay together. I couldn't get the scope to stay on long enough to take a picture. There are alternatives!
I think this rifle came with the BBTS Slaughter's Marauders Lowlight figure. It's still a bit of a cumbersome weapon, but a little more easily held by Cross Hair.

My only complaint about Cross Hair is the head sculpt. Again, I have no idea what the decision making process is for parts usage, but I'm sure there were limitations in the design. There's only so many times that you can reuse the Airborne or Dusty head sculpt. It's a minor issue.

FSS 6.0 is off to a great start! I'm excited to see who's next!

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Dickie Toys Holiday Camper Review

Who remembers the pure awesomeness of the EM-50 Urban Assault Vehicle from the movie Stripes? Such a silly ass movie, but still a load of fun. Wouldn't it be awesome to have something similar to the EM-50 for 4" action figures? 
What I would really love to have would be the Coyote from G.I. Joe Renegades, but it only reached the prototype stage. Too bad, I would have liked at least two of them!
I don't really recall where I first saw the Holiday Camper from Dickie Toys. I'm pretty sure that I saw a custom version of it somewhere on a G.I. Joe related web page or Facebook page. I was able to locate it on Amazon, but I hesitated at first and the price jumped up beyond what I was willing to pay. 
A few weeks ago, I checked again and the price was down to around $26.00! I quickly ordered it and just a few days later, I had my own Holiday Camper for my G.I. Joe team!
The packaging was a bit beat up, but who cares? It didn't take me too long to free it from its cardboard prison. 
For this review, I took quite a few pictures to try and capture all of the features and details of the the camper. Way too many for just one post. 
I've decided to create a separate page for all of the pictures and my thoughts about the camper. Click here to check them out!

Thursday, August 31, 2017

SDCC Revolutions: Roadblock

Roadblock! Roadblock!
Yeah, he's really the reason that I bought this set. I like most of everything else, but Roadblock is really the star of the set, at least to me.
This version of Roadblock comes from the short-lived GI Joe Renegades series. Renegades was an amazing series, with kind of an A-Team feel to it in general. Cobra was portrayed as a multinational company that had insidiously infiltrated society. Much of that vision of Cobra influences my own fictional GI Joe world.

A version of the Renegades Roadblock was revealed alongside the unreleased Coyote truck. Oooh, that would have been sweet!

I don't recall the build, but I'm sure the body was quite different. Hasbro resurrected the head sculpt and the vest, but used the Roadblock/Rock body from Retaliation. The combination works great! 

While the Resolute version of Roadblock was pretty cool, and the Rock/Roadblock version was awesome. But this guy... He's now my default Roadblock. The Roadblock of the original 80's characterizations is gone, replaced by a Renegade!
The team is finally together! Wait, what about that Snake Eyes? I never really liked the Renegades portrayal of Snake Eyes and never really liked the figures and never bought any of them. City Strike Snake Eyes works well enough for me!

I'm so thrilled that I was able to secure this SDCC Revolutions set! If you were able to get the set, which is your favorite figure?

SDCC Revolutions: Jetfire

I remember having the original Jetfire Transformer figure and just loving it. I liked it more as what the original Transformer was - a Macross Veritech. Hell, I remember when I bought him at the same KMart where I bought my first GI Joe figures. There was a huge display of them, dozens and dozens of them. And I only bought one. Crap.

Unfortunately, I sold him off several years ago to help us get past some rough financial times. Sad, but necessary at the time. 
I'm not a huge Transform fan, I've liked some of the comic stories much more than the toys. There has been an amazing change in the design and engineering of the toys for quite a few years. When the vehicles transform, you actually have an action figure. Usually a well made one!
The look of Jetfire in his fighter jet mode looks enough like the original version so that I really like this figure. Plus he still reminds me of one of the later advanced Veritech fighters from later Macross series.
That's pretty much where the connection with Macross ends. But how does he stack up against the rest of the SDCC set? He's definitely got them beat on the height difference. I think that he works well enough that I'm quite pleased with using him right alongside the regular figures.

Well, what about his jet mode? Maybe his alternate mode just mimics the form of a jet fighter and doesn't have to be in "scale". Works for me.
I think that Jetfire makes for a great part of the team!
The Micronauts look pretty cool hanging out with him. I'm guessing that they are much closer in scale to each other over the 4" figures.
Jetfire is a definite keeper!

Looks like there's just one more SDCC Revolutions review to do!

SDCC Revolutions: Action Man, Rom, & Dire Wraith

Next up on the SDCC Revolutions mini reviews - Action Man, ROM, and the Dire Wraith.
I've had plenty of exposure to Action Man, specifically the 12" versions that came out several years ago. I have no idea what's going on now with GI Joe's British cousin. So what about the figure?  Decent, but still kind of a miss. The biggest issue is that his head is a bit too big for the body. And what's the deal with that Tron suit that he's wearing?

I sort of see him as an enhanced human or at least someone wearing a powered suit of some sort. Cool figure, but still not sure how to integrate him.
Yeah, like integrating ROM will be easy! ROM was a rather clunky large scale figure from the late 70's that appeared in comics in 1979. The comic started slowly, but it really developed into an amazing series once other space knights were introduced. The Dire Wraith subplots were also pretty well done, at least as far as I can remember.

The figure turned out... okay... I think everything works out until we get to his legs, they're just too short when compared to the rest of the body. But still... Holy crap, I've got a GI Joe scaled ROM figure! Pretty frikkin' awesome!
How about ROM's enemy, the Dire Wraith? Absolutely fantastic! I'm not sure where the body came from, but it works quite well. Hasbro integrated the mutant zombie viper arms into the execution of the overall design and it works out quite well.
Look at this head sculpt! Simple, yet very creepy. That damn, wide evil grin is so cool! Just so alien and creepy! I love it!
How do I integrate this creep? Not sure, but I could definitely tie him into the mutant zombie viper figures, especially when you add the mutant arms. Not sure exactly how yet, but it could work.

A couple more SDCC Revolutions reviews to go. Stay tuned!