Yes, technically I realize that this is being posted very early Friday morning but it was a pretty chaotic first night at JoeCon 2013. (It’s also the first time my girlfriend has been to one but more on that later.)
Registration was pretty much registration. In spite of the staff’s best efforts, the lines were long for the club store. In the Golden Ticket era of cons, regular attendees are limited to one of each item on Thursday night which should mean that everyone has a crack at most of the items available.
So far the only item to sell out were the extras of the bagged Iceberg figure, coming later this year to Collector’s Club members who renewed before the March deadline. The carded figures are still available, however.
Surprisingly, of all of the souvenirs, the $145 Night Boomer seems to be the least popular with most of the folks I saw in line passing on it. Given the fact that the Skystrikers are showing up at discount stores now for about 10% of that price AND include a pilot, it’s not surprising. The Boomer itself looks good, but with no pilot included I personally don’t see the value in snagging one. If I’m going to spend that kind of dough then I’m going to pick up an SDCC Starscream from a few years back!
However, the rest of this year’s souvenirs are actually pretty solid, aside from some paint issues with the eyes. Lady Jaye looks overall good albeit a bit masculine in the head sculpt. (Yes, I said it. I also played the game of “Is it a man or woman with a few folks in the lobby and got a lot of nods of agreement on her true gender.) The NF Specialists two pack of Chuckles and Freestyle is also pretty decent although Freestyle has some “derpy eye” syndrome on many of the figures I’ve seen. Chuckles looks good– but has a “lot going on” in terms of gear. He’s pretty much covered in a harness and helmet which hides his signature Hawaiian shirt a bit too much. However, that’s easily solvable by removing some gear.
The most impressive souvenir thus far is Steeler and the FLAK. It took me completely by surprise and is kind of an “out of left field” choice for a figure to be added to Night Force. However, Steeler comes with his visor for the FIRST time in the generation 3 era of Joe. Plus, I’m a real sucker for the FLAK.
Of the con set figures that I’ve been able to examine (with a sleeping roommate so all of this is on the D/L), Spearhead, Repeater, and Psyche-Out are the strongest of the Joes with Letal being my stand-out favorite of the Cobras. Yes, that’s right, I’m officially a fan of “Kermit the Frag Viper”– just maybe not for the reasons that the Club might have intended.
In terms of the KRE-O pieces available, the NF set is surprisingly nice– although I kind of wish that a Frag Viper had made it in instead of two SAW Vipers. Of course, that’s just my opinion. We’ll get a better look at the parachute figure later today.
However, the coolest item of the night wasn’t from the Collector’s Club but rather from a fan-based website called Handmadestuffs.com. I happened to have a quick conversation with the owner when she produced the most amazing stuffed Snake Eyes plush. My girlfriend’s eyes lit up like fireworks on the Fourth of July and I found myself immediately purchasing him. He’s over 12″ tall, is articulated at the head and shoulders (?!!!) and looks as though he were factory made– which he isn’t! Completely amazing!
I’ve posted a few snapshots with more to follow later. It’s been a VERY long day especially as this is my first Joe Con in about 4 years. I’ve been able to meet up with a lot of old friends and, in many ways, it feels like no time has passed while in other ways the fandom scene has REALLY changed in that time. Still, it is GOOD to be back!