G.I. JOE CONVENTION 2014 NEWS
Happening in Texas right now is the 2014 G.I. Joe Convention. The annual con lasts an entire weekend and consists of a sales floor along with multiple panels and activities. I’ve never been but I think I’d like to check it out sometime. I’ve attended the last 2 Hal-Cons, which is the local sci-fi/comic convention here in Halifax, and I’ve had a good time. I never had much interest in attending a con before but I decided to give it a shot when Larry Hama was announced as a guest at the 2012 Hal Con. Mr. Hama played a very large role in creating the G.I. Joe brand that I love dearly. It was a real treat to get to talk to him, hear his stories, and even get an original sketch.
Now even though I’ve never personally attended a Joe Con, it still makes for an exciting weekend. I check the Joe news sites regularly to catch all the latest info and gossip. Just an hour or two ago the Collector’s Club announced their line-up for their upcoming Figure Subscription Service 3.0. I’ve subscribed to the FSS the past 2 years and have been very pleased with the figures produced by the club. I’ve really been looking forward to the series 3 announcement. Now that we officially know who’s included I figured I’d throw in my 2 cents on the line-up just like I did when last year’s FSS was announced. (All these pics were borrowed from YoJoe.com).
Alpine, the Joe team’s mountain trooper. I already have a modern style Alpine that I’m quite happy with so the inclusion of this figure doesn’t excite me much. This one apparently will be modeled after Alpine’s new-sculpt design. I previously reviewed the new-sculpt Alpine which I dubbed “weekend Alpine” because of his civilian attire. I like the look just fine but I’m not thrilled about paying a premium price for it.
Bombstrike. This is the figure I’m most excited about. Bombstrike is a relatively new character created during the new-sculpt years. She is the sister of the Joe team’s Barrel Roll and Cobra’s Blackout; both of whom were included in the first FSS. I assumed Bombstrike was a shoe-in to be included in the second FSS and was genuinely surprised when she was omitted. I’m very happy to finally be getting the third Stall sibling. Better late than never.
Psyche Out. Last years convention box set was night force themed. It was a must-buy for me because it included the first ever modern style releases of many key Joes, Psyche Out being one of them. I was stoked to get so many great characters but was a little disappointed that they were all painted in their night force colors. I would’ve preferred they had paint jobs to match their iconic original versions. It’ll be nice to get Psyche Out in his classice green and red outfit.
Repeater was another Joe who got his first ever modern figure in the Night Force box set. Again, I guess it will be cool to get him in his classic colors. Last years version was a big solid imposing figure, very cool.
Muskrat. Yet another character who first appeared in last years night force set. Again, it’ll be nice to get him in his original colors but I’m not thrilled to see so many repeat characters from last year. Sure, I wanted these characters in their classic colors and I knew it was a safe bet that the Club would produce them eventually but I would’ve rather seen them spaced out over the next 2 subscription services and con sets.
Spearhead. I’m starting to sound like a broken record here but Spearhead was another figure from the night force set who we’re now getting in his original colors. The difference here is that Spearhead was a favorite Joe of mine as a kid and I REALLY want a version of him in his classic orange outfit. I liked the night force version quite a bit and I’m sure it will look great repainted.
Hit & Run. Also included in the night force set. What’s different about this one is we already had a classically colored Hit & Run prior to the box sets release. This new version is “new and improved” and I know some fans are excited about it but I was fine with my 2009 Hit & Run. This figure seems pretty redundant to me.
Big Ben. Finally another figure to get excited about. Not that I care about Big Ben all that much but at least he’ll make for a new character on my shelf. Ben has never been released in the modern style before. I never owned the original or any subsequent versions of him so this shall be my first. Let’s hope he’s as nice a surprise as Topside and Sure Fire were.
Crimson Guard Immortal. This guy should be pretty cool. He’s the only troop builder in FSS 3.0 so I’m sure he’ll one of the most sought after. I never owned the original 1991 CGI but I’m a big fan of the Crimson Guard in general. I’m looking forward to displaying this guy with Tomax, Xamot and my other CeeGees. A likely highlight of this series.
Slice. His buddy Dice was included in the first FSS so this was another no-brainer. As with Bombstrike, I was surprised that this guy didn’t show up in FSS 2.0. He’s an easy enough figure to produce on the cheap; just take a red ninja and slap the fencing mask that was included with Retaliation Storm Shadow in him. I actually have a make shift Slice on my shelf using that formula. Apparently this version will have a newly sculpted head.
Night Creeper Leader. Never had this guy when I was a kid either, he came out after my time. But he’s a unique character and I’m more than happy to welcome him into my collection. The design is a little goofy but so what. Bring him on. Another potential highlight.
Vypra. Another unique character who I’ve never owned before. The 1998 original was just a version 1 Jinx figure repainted black. I imagine that’s what this one will be as well, a repainted version 4 Jinx. This will be a cheap figure for the Club to produce and I think she’ll make a cool addition to my Cobra forces. A highlight.
So those are the 12 figures to be included in next years FSS. Though, as with with previous years, there will be a mystery 13th figure, the identity of which the Club does not reveal in advance. I’m gonna go out on a limb here and guess that we might get a Golobulus which would be awesome. It seemed unlikely before because his snake body would require alot of costly new tooling. But, Boss Fight Studios, who do a lot of the original sculpting for the Club, revealed their upcoming Medusa figure for a separate toy line this weekend. Her serpentine sculpting is perfect for Golobulus and given the relationship between the Club and Boss Fight I’d guess this is inevitable even if it’s not as part of the FSS.
Lastly, the Club announced their 2015 membership figure which you get for free when you renew your annual membership in the fan club; Arctic Dr. Mindbender. It’s a weird and somewhat disappointing choice but it solidifies my belief that Golobulus is forthcoming. Mindbender wore Arctic gear when he visited Cobra-La in the 1987 Joe movie which introduced Golobulus.
They also announced they would have a repainted SHARC available in the club store that will include a modern style Sub-Viper. I have no need for a pricey SHARC repaint but will probably buy it if the Sub Viper is well done.
So there you have it. I’m not sure how I feel about this years line-up. I wish there were more unique characters and fewer repaints but at least the repaints are ones fans have been asking for. Overall I think it’s pretty promising.