2013 FSS PREVIEW
G. I. JOE
So today I’m going to do something a little bit different. Regular readers of this blog know that I am a huge Joe fan and that I subscribed to the G.I. JOE Collector’s Club inaugural Figure Subscription Service (FSS). The club has been releasing exclusive figures at their conventions for years but 2012 was the first year that they offered a subscription service that members could sign up for. The service meant that subscribers would receive 13 exclusive figures over the course of the year. For 6 straight months they would receive 2 figures a month and then a mystery 13th figure would be sent. The FSS met with some delays and the 2012 figures didn’t start arriving to mailboxes until 2013 but better late than never. Currently we subscribers have received 8 of our 13 figures. Thus far I’ve reviewed Dice, Nano-Bat, Quarrel, Big Boa, Iron Klaw and Sure Fire and will soon get around to Jinx and Topside. In some of those reviews I’d expressed my excitement and curiosity as to which characters would appear in the 2013 FSS. Well at last weekends Joe Con the Club released the names of the characters we’d be getting this year and I thought I’d share my thoughts. It’s not a bad selection but I’d say it’s inferior to the 2012 line-up.
First up is Skullbuster. Skullbuster has only ever received 1 figure in the vintage line. He is the leader of Cobra’s Range Vipers. I’m always happy to get “named” Cobra characters and Skullbuster is a pretty cool one. He should be easy enough to pull off as a straight repaint of the 25th anniversary Range Viper figure. Hopefully they differentiate this guy by giving him a unique face under the removable mask.
The next two are probably the ones I’m least excited about. Tiger Force versions of Airtight and Shipwreck. I know Tiger Force is a popular Joe sub-team and that these two characters only received TF paint jobs in Brazil during the vintage line, making those figures quite desirable by collectors, but I just don’t really think we need updated versions of these figures. I’ll like them more if they’re billed as new characters instead of just Joes I already own in striped shirts.
Night Force Lt. Falcon is another one that I’m not too thrilled about. If the 25th anniversary Falcon was the only one we got in the modern line then this figure would be needed badly as that figure sucked. But Falcon got a nice update in the Slaughters Marauders 7-pack making this upgrade redundant to me. Even more so then the Tiger Force guys.
Next is Cesspool who was only released once back in the vintage line and it was after I had stopped collecting. Joe had gone neon by then and they had a sub-team of Eco-Warriors that battled Cesspool and his polluting Toxo-Zombies. I’m actually excited to get this character as he has a lot of potential and a recent appearance in IDWs Cobra comic endeared him to me a little more.
Like Cesspool and Skullbuster Desert Scorpion is another “name” Cobra from late in the vintage line getting his second ever appearance here. I have no attachment to this character but he looks pretty cool so I say bring him on.
Then we’ve got Widescope. A Joe that was first released in the new sculpt era who was clearly intended to be Shockwave’s replacement. I like Widescope because of his similarities to my favorite Joe but I hope the club manages to differentiate his from the Joe’s premiere SWAT trooper. I like this choice. I hope we get his dog, Lamont, as well.
Then Toll Booth. It’s hard to get excited about Toll Booth but he’s probably the oldest joe figure yet to receive a modern update so he’s a welcome choice. Plus he’ll help me to complete my Village People diorama.
Keel Haul I never had as a kid because you could only get him if you bought the 6 foot aircraft carrier. It will be nice to finally own him but he never struck me as a really cool “must-have” character.
The next couple, Dragonsky and Big Bear are memebers of Russia’s Oktober Guard and were sorely missed by many in the the Club’s Oktober Guard convention set last year. I’ve never been a big fan of the Oktober Guard so I don’t really care, but I have no problem with them being included. I know some fans will be very happy to see them here.
Lastly we have Bombardier, a grey and blonde repaint of original 13’er Flash. I’m actually looking forward to this one but I hope they make a new head for him. The 25th anniversary Flash head was pretty weak and a few blonde locks won’t salvage it. There’s an interesting story about the original Bombardier figure pictured here. A prominent Joe collector found him but couldn’t identify him. A reward was offered to anyone with information on it’s origins but it went unidentified for years. I’ll talk more about this when I have the new version in my hands and am doing up my review.
So all in all it’s not too bad. I would’ve liked to have seen some new versions of characters that I owned and loved as a kid who have yet to be updated like Fast Draw, Sneak Peek, A classic Ice-Viper or WORMS. An updated Royal Guard or Golobulus would’ve been a nice surprise too or maybe never before released characters like Pythona or Billy. Well there’s still a mystery figure to be revealed with this year’s FSS so who knows, maybe I’ll get one of them sooner than I think.